Buy-side platforms and real-time bidding have completely revolutionized the world of mobile and desktop advertising. Real-time data helps marketers segment by more than interest, honing in on users based on specific qualities uncovered by competitive research. In addition, these platforms offer targeted traffic from multiple networks. The amount of inventory means that you need to approach your campaigns with a focus.
Fortunately, there is more than one way to purchase targeted traffic from one of these ad exchanges. Choosing the best route comes down to your budget, resources and knowledge.
Full-service options are for advertisers who either lack the resources to manage a campaign in-house, or have a budget that allows them money for scaling . The process begins with reviewing your competition and performing some analysis on your targets. You work with a team who helps formulate some realistic goals based on your campaigns, and then they take your ideas and optimize traffics sources based on the targets you are trying to reach.
There are two distinct advantages to this approach. The first is that you can set and forget your campaigns, focusing on other aspects that require your micro-management. The second is that you can take even a moderate amount of competitive analysis and turn it into something productive.
New comers to the scene tend to forego this approach because it has a high barrier for entry. It’s common for full-service solutions to require a deposit or an extended commitment. People in this category may prefer a more hands-on approach.
Platforms that offer a buy-side option cater to individuals looking for a self-serve approach to advertising online. With this kind of setup, you set your budget and the interests that you want to target. Inventory is already broken down into categories, so you can select the qualities that best fit your audience and work on bidding for position. All data is fed to you in real-time as well, which differs substantially from the delay found in PPC platforms that may obscure reporting by up to a day.
The primary draw is the self-service nature, but don’t expect to get far without proper research on your side. These platforms rely on your input, and offer substantial traffic. If you leave your campaigns open to receiving too much traffic, your budget will spend too quickly and you will fail to accumulate actionable data. Buy-side platforms are also excellent for expanding campaigns that already work well, because you can use targeting data from other platforms to inform your efforts elsewhere.
Bio: For over ten years, Ted Dhanik has used display advertising to boost traffic for businesses. Ted Dhanik is the co-founder of engage:BDR, and is an active mentor at the startup accelerator Start Engine. Ted Dhanik publishes advice on how to utilize mobile and banner advertising to Ad Age and Venture Beat.