“We need to stay ahead of the curve and invest in the infrastructure behind the business”: Rocket Fuel MD Dominic Trigg on AI in the RTB environment


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

November 4, 2013 | 3 min read

Adaption is one of the biggest challenges set to be faced in the next year in the real time bidding (RTB) environment, according to Dominic Trigg, UK managing director of media buying platform Rocket Fuel.

Trigg, who is set to discuss Man vs. Machine: Artificial Intelligence as a sponsor at The Drum’s 4 Minute Warning conference in December, told The Drum about the upcoming challenges set to be faced by the company, and the industry in general: “Using the technology we have to make decisions, we need to stay ahead of the curve and invest in the infrastructure behind the business as we are and get better results than other people.

“The challenges are relatively constant and we have to stay ahead of that game: there is no time at which we will rest on our laurels and think ‘we’ve done it now, we’re there’. We need to continue to be competitive and that means hiring good people and training them and making sure that the technology supports what customers want.”

Rocket Fuel, which became a public company in September, works to serve the relevant ad to the right user at the right time, Trigg said, citing that between 1.7 and 1.8 billion impressions are available to buy every day. The shares in the company launched at $29, and currently sit at $58.48 on the Nasdaq, at time of writing.

“It’s been terrific to be in this place, but at the moment we are reeling in the momentum created by being public, and all of the conversations around us are about ‘gosh you’re worth a lot of money’ and what the future holds,” he enthused.

He also described the RTB industry itself as a ‘terrific environment’: “There’s a huge amount of information that comes about when you spend money there.

“RTB has created a whole environment where publishers, instead of having to pay expensive sales teams to go out and tell advertisers that they have a great audience to advertise in, they simply put their inventory into the exchanges and companies like us can then make the decisions about how much that is worth and bid against that. We’ll decide if you have an engaged audience, how much we’re willing to pay for that, and you as the publisher can then decide what the threshold is that you’ll decide to allow ads to run on your site.

“It was only five or six years ago that if you wanted to be able to buy advertising you had to go out and create and negotiate rates with all the publishers, but buying through the exchanges, the RTB exchanges, you essentially have a seat at that station and you decide how much you want to bid for it, and it has become an environment which is vast.”

The 4 Minute Warning event, which takes place on 4 December, focuses on the idea of ‘thinking the unthinkable’, with delegates set to learn about the latest developments in content-creation, distribution and measurement, citizen journalism and the future of mobile and education from speakers including Blippar and the IAB.

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