Smaller agencies still undecided on programmatic

With programmatic trading, size seems to matter. While large advertising agencies are embracing it, many small- to mid-sized agencies aren’t sure what to think. For some it’s a trust factor, and for others it’s a feeling of uncertainty about the validity of buying media through programmatic exchanges.

The small- to mid-sized agency reservations were reported by software developer Strata who surveyed 75 agencies. and they show a marked difference from the large agency holding companies who have invested heavily in programmatic trading desks.

One of the more major issues, the survey said, was an inability to define programmatic trading. Furthermore, many smaller agencies could in fact be using programmatic trading without knowing what it is.

If the survey results tell us anything, it’s that education is still important across the advertising industry.

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SiteScout RTB Update: Introducing Video!

by Ratko Vidakovic on March 4, 2014 · 3 comments

Today we are thrilled to announce the addition of video campaigns to the SiteScout RTB platform! Video campaigns are a whole new format that we are proud to introduce as an exclusive part of our new user interface. In other words, our old interface will not be supporting video campaigns.

For you, this is big news. Very much like when we first launched mobile. Today, mobile is one of the most widely used targeting features on the platform, and we expect video to become just as popular.

New Targeting

Video inventory will consist of pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll placements. When creating a video campaign, these roll positions are now a unique targeting feature:

Moreover, the same targeting features that have been hallmarks of the platform, like audience and contextual targeting, will all be available to overlay on video campaigns, giving you the same level of efficiency and effectiveness.

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Real-time bidding explained in plain English

Real-time bidding (RTB) has become hugely popular over the last year, but if you still have lingering questions about RTB, Digiday has an excellent primer to bring you up to speed.

A popular misconception around RTB that continues to persist is that it’s the same thing as programmatic advertising. It’s not. It’s merely a type of programmatic advertising that involves the automated buying and selling of online ad impressions through real-time “auctions.” Those auctions take place in less time than it takes to load a web page, usually with the help of ad exchanges or supply side platforms. The highest bidder wins the impression and their ad loads on the site.

A key benefit of RTB is its ability to let advertisers target specific users online with an incredible amount of efficiency. Advertisers can also access heaps of inventory across a variety of websites, cherry-picking impressions as they like.

If you know someone who wants a simple explanation of RTB, forward along this link.

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Webinar: SiteScout RTB 2.0 Tour (Mar 4, 2014)

by Ratko Vidakovic on February 21, 2014 · 0 comments

The Full Steve Monti

Since releasing the beta version of our new interface, we’ve been getting a huge amount of interest in a training webinar. So, we’ll be hosting our next webinar during the first week of March, giving a guided tour of the new SiteScout RTB 2.0 platform.

During this webinar, Steve Monti will give a live tour of all the improvements in the new interface, along with explanations of why we made them and how you benefit. He will be guiding us through the most notable enhancements in the new interface, including:

  • Tactical campaign templates
  • Hyper-local improvements
  • Enhanced reporting
  • And much more!

After the presentation there will be a Q+A period where Steve will be answering questions from webinar attendees.

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AOL's best year in a decade fueled by programmatic

If you ever wanted a clear example of how programmatic can slingshot a business forward, look no further than AOL in 2013. According to the company’s CEO, Tim Armstrong, AOL just came off its best revenue year in a decade and programmatic played a key role.

AOL reported a 23% year-over-year increase in advertising revenue and 63% growth in third-party network revenue. Growth was a driven by the sale of premium formats across the company’s programmatic platform, including revenue from Adap.tv.

AOL Networks, the division of the company that deals in the intersection of “premium programmatic,” also saw marked success, experiencing an increase of 50% in its revenue year-over-year due to video, mobile and programmatic.

For more on the numbers, check out this MediaPost report.

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Facebook becoming one of the biggest players in RTB

With Facebook Exchange (aka FBX), Facebook is quickly becoming one of the larger players in the real-time bidding space. Its growth and potential are already leading to some to delcare it could become even bigger than Google’s AdX exchange. Business Insider recently released a report that sheds some light on this new RTB powerhouse in terms of how ads are purchased and how its grown and performed to-date.

Revelations in the report include Facebook already accounting for almost half of retargeted ad clicks on the web. Not only that, FBX has provided great early results to advertisers when it comes to performance and cost.

That said, despite its size, FBX only accounts for a small share portion of Facebook’s revenues. It’s not yet mobile-ready, nor does it provide access to Sponsored Story social-native ads.

If you’re looking for a good primer on Facebook’s real-time future, this is it.

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Introducing: SiteScout RTB 2.0 Beta!

by Ratko Vidakovic on January 28, 2014 · 1 comment

At SiteScout, our customers are at the core of everything we do. We are constantly striving to deliver a platform that advertisers can use to produce amazing results. That’s why we are thrilled to introduce a newly redesigned RTB platform that has many of the new and improved features you’ve been asking for. It’s been a long time coming – but it’s finally here!

Overall, there are about ten new things worth noting about the new design. We will go through each of them now, starting with the most important changes, and then finish off with some answers to a few anticipated questions.

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Publishers embrace real-time bidding as data takes centre stage

Publishers are warming up to real-time bidding (RTB) and there are numbers to prove it. A report from Econsultancy indicates more publishers are turning to ad exchanges and supply side platforms (SSPs), as well as using RTB data to improve advertising effectiveness.

According to Econsultancy’s Online Publishers Survey Report, 22% of publishers are using a Data Management Platform (DMP).

Last year saw a surge in interest in DMPs, largely due to the strong growth in programmatic and internal pressure to investigate big data. SSPs have seen the largest uptick in terms of use — increasing from 35% in 2011 to 67% in 2013 — and they’ve established themselves as a way for publishers to manage each impression and maximize ad revenue, the report says.

Finally, the report says revenue from online display advertising continues to grow at a steady pace.

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How to build a programmatic sales team in 4 easy steps

AdAge is making it easy for publishers looking to prep their operation for programmatic sales. A recent article from the publication provides four easy steps for building a programmatic sales team.

The first step for publishers is to make sure their ad ops can handle programmatic campaigns. The second step is to watch for conflicts while starting to push programmatic, and the third step is to turn programmatic sellers into internal consultants.

The final step for publishers involves getting direct sales teams to sell programmatic. As the article says, “the day where a chunk direct sales are transacted through programmatic platforms may not be far away.”

If you’re a publisher and want more details around these four parts of building a programmatic sales team, this is a good place to start.

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Happy Holidays from SiteScout and Centro!

by Ratko Vidakovic on December 23, 2013 · 0 comments

We hope everyone enjoyed 2013 as much as we did – it was an amazing year!

To view our special interactive holiday card, click on the image below:

Please note: The SiteScout offices will be closed for the holidays on these days:

Tuesday, December 24
Wednesday, December 25
Thursday, December 26
Wednesday, January 1

The ad quality and customer service team will still be working remotely throughout these days, so we expect that creative review and ticket support will continue uninterrupted. If you have any urgent situations or emergencies, please send an e-mail to support@sitescout.com

Have a happy holiday season and see you in 2014!

RTB Zeitgeist: Is Apple getting into the RTB game?

by Ratko Vidakovic on December 23, 2013 · 0 comments

Apple is building an RTB platform to sell in-app ads

Apple is looking to automate the sale of in-app ads, and so the tech giant is reportedly looking at real-time bidding as a solution. According to Adweek, the company is currently in the process of building its own RTB exchange while its iAds team focuses on selling Apple Radio inventory.

The majority of iAds’ revenue comes from in-app advertising and the iAds sales team has been integral in helping developers monetize apps, writes Adweek’s Garett Sloane. While Apple is attempting to grow revenue from iTunes Radio, Sloane says it’s keeping the development of its RTB exchange “under wraps,” possibly because it’s trying to figure out how to transition from previous aggressive sales efforts.

Sloane cites an insider as saying it’s unclear if the exchange will be limited to mobile.

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RTBZeitgeist: How big is real-time bidding really?

by Ratko Vidakovic on December 9, 2013 · 0 comments

How big is real-time bidding, really?

RTB spending is certainly increasing, but the question of how big the RTB market really is changes depending on who you talk to says Digiday’s Jack Marshall.

In his article, Marshall cites figures from eMarketer, which recently projected that $3.37 billion will be spent through RTB channels in the U.S. this year. That accounts for 19% of total digital display ad spending. Magna Global predicted a bigger RTB spend for 2013, at $3.9 billion, while J.P. Morgan’s projections were much lower, clocking in at $2.5 billion.

Marshall says vendors have an even less conservative view on how the numbers will end up; the Rubicon project believes upwards of 40% of online display advertising is traded via RTB, whereas agency folks say anything more than 20% is “probably the product of irrational exuberance.” Until analysts can agree, he concludes, anywhere between 15% and 50% will have to do.

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Are the mobile & video revolutions all just talk?

As programmatic buying — specifically real-time bidding — continues to grow at breakneck speeds, mobile and video are starting to win the most attention for being growth-drivers. In an article for Marketing Land, SiteScout’s Ratko Vidakovic sits down to meditate some of the discussion and explain what’s true and why.

So what’s noteworthy? In mobile, the area in which RTB will have the greatest impact is with reporting based on location as defined by GPS coordinates. Zone reporting will have a massive impact on campaign optimization, as advertisers will be able to take campaigns right down to the neighbourhood, and even street intersection level.

With video, as with everything else that RTB has touched, advertisers are realizing the kinds of efficiencies it brings. Thanks to RTB, video advertisers can run retargeting campaigns that combine spend and efficacy and high ROI with high impact video ad units.

Want to know more about the impact mobile and video will have? Here are Vidakovic’s fireside musings.

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RTB Zeitgeist: The urban legends of programmatic

by Ratko Vidakovic on November 11, 2013 · 0 comments

The Urban Legends of Programmatic Advertising

Ad tech can be complicated enough without urban legends making things even more cloudy. Thankfully, Digiday’s Jack Marshall decided to poll publishers and agencies on fact VS. fiction and shed light on the truth behind programmatic.

For example, are programmatic and real-time bidding the same thing? Are publishers being “outgunned” by buyers? Will technology replace people in the world of advertising? Is it true everything can be bought programatically now? Will all media inevitably be biddable? Is programmatic ready for prime time?

These are among the top issues Marshall covers in his article and if you’re not sure if about any of the above, this article is for you.

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Epic News: SiteScout + Centro!

by Paul Mokbel on November 5, 2013

Today we are very proud to announce that SiteScout has been acquired by Centro, an ad technology company based out of Chicago. The past three years have been an incredible ride that leave me with a warm feeling of nostalgia when I think about our humble beginnings. At the same time, I am also extremely excited to be closing this chapter of the story and beginning our next adventure with Centro.

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