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Five Common Mistakes CMOs Make When Running RTB Campaigns

By Jenna Bruce on Fri, Feb 03, 2017 @ 11:26 AM |


Real Time Bidding (RTB) has become a hot digital marketing trend over the last few years and for good reason. The technology has already proven its value to advertisers and publishers alike. Among other benefits, RTB offers pricing precision, increased value of remnant space, and the ability to gain audience insight.

However, the technology is still rather new and there are many pitfalls to avoid. By steering clear of the following 5 mistakes, your chances of succeeding with RTB increase exponentially.

1. Not Meeting Required Specifications

You wouldn’t use charcoal with a gas grill. You wouldn’t because you would have read the manual that specifically said, “DO NOT USE CHARCOAL WITH THIS GAS GRILL OR YOU MAY CAUSE IRREPERABLE DAMAGE.” In this case, you would have followed the required specifications.

But many advertisers are setting up their campaigns without the required specs, and these campaigns in turn are getting rejected. Specs may include banner size, type of file, or maximum weight allowed.

Be sure to always check the required specifications and follow them to a proverbial “T.” Fixing this one mistake will get you on the right track fast!

2. Using Inefficient Bidding Strategies

CMOs need to do their homework before running an RTB campaign so they don’t use the wrong bidding strategies. The first thing to do is consider what your campaign’s objectives are and where your prospects are placed in the sales funnel.

Once you know this you can think about which bidding model you should use. For instance, the cost-per-mille (CPM) model is designed to reach a specified CPM for a given activity. This can be very helpful when running retargeting campaigns because your target audience has been identified and all that is needed is the right price per impression.

The CPC model will optimize your cost-per-click, which is ideal for run-of-network (RON) campaigns. These campaigns are the digital equivalents to “Run-of-paper” campaigns, when you don’t choose where in the newspaper your ad will appear. In RON, your ad can appear anywhere in a wide collection of websites that belong to one advertising network. With the CPC model, an advanced algorithm is used to detect users who are likely to click on your ad.

The most important thing to remember about digital and RTB campaigns specifically is that nothing is ever static. That includes where your audience is placed in the sales funnel. To increase your campaign’s efficiency, your bidding strategy may need to combine the two bidding models or shift from one to the other as the campaign progresses.

3. Don’t Focus Solely on CTR

When it comes to online campaign metrics, click-through-rate (CTR) along with impressions have always been important indicators of success. But, you should not think of CTR as a holy grail. So someone clicks through to your landing page? Then what happens? Did they convert or not?

Conversion is the most important element when it comes to analyzing performance of display campaigns. If conversions aren’t being measured, how will you know what kind of return you’re getting on your investment?

For this reason, it is crucial for CMOs to implement lead tracking. This will allow you to look at clicks, conversion AND revenue at the same time to determine if your campaigns are effective or need to be adjusted.

4. Not Leveraging Targeting Opportunities

One of the biggest benefits of RTB technology is that it offers some major targeting opportunities. But many advertisers aren’t leveraging these. When setting up your campaigns, be sure to consider geo-targeting, demographic targeting, and time of day targeting.


 5. Going it Alone

As effective as it can be, RTB is a little bit of an art form and a little bit of science combined. It is so new and complex that many advertisers simply don’t understand how to utilize it properly. And, with all of their other responsibilities, they don’t have the time to test different theories and models.

A media buyer can help you to effectively spend and reach your audience at just the right time. They will also ensure you always follow required specifications so your campaigns are never rejected.

If you’ve been wanting to add RTB to your integrated campaigns but have been feeling overwhelmed, get in touch with us today. We’d love to get you setup with the right RTB model so you can reach your marketing objectives.



 Download the CMO's Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media

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