Unlock the Secrets of Real Time Bidding and Transform Your Digital Advertising Game

Unlock the Secrets of Real Time Bidding and Transform Your Digital Advertising Game

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Are you facing challenges in harnessing the potential of real time bidding (RTB) in your digital advertising campaigns? You’re certainly not alone. The nuances of RTB can be daunting for many marketers. However, this article is here to illuminate your path.

We’ll delve into the common complexities of real-time bidding and equip you with robust solutions and strategies. These insights aim to transform your approach, leading to enhanced decision-making and a significant increase in campaign efficiency. Prepare to not only overcome the hurdles of RTB but also to elevate your advertising efforts to new heights of effectiveness and precision.

What is Real Time Bidding in Digital Marketing?

Real-time bidding (RTB) stands as an automated digital auction system where advertisers can bid for ad space offered by publishers. 

This bidding is done on a Cost Per Thousand (CPM) basis, which is the cost an advertiser pays for their ad to be seen by a thousand people. In this auction-like process, the highest bid from the most relevant ads usually secures the ad placement. 

For instance, when an athletic shoe brand like “SwiftStride” bids for ad space on fitness-related websites, they do so under this CPM model, aiming to have their ad for running shoes seen by thousands of potential customers, with the winning bid ensuring optimal ad placement.

How does Real Time Bidding (RTB) Work?

How does Real Time Bidding (RTB) Work?


Real time bidding (RTB) is a sophisticated yet efficient digital advertising process that involves several key players: Supply-Side Platforms (SSPs), Ad Exchanges, and Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs). 

Let’s explore this process using “SwiftStride,” a fictional athletic shoe brand, as an example to illustrate how each component interacts in the RTB ecosystem.

1. Supply-Side Platforms (SSPs):

SSPs are digital platforms used by online publishers to manage, sell, and optimize their available ad space.

SwiftStride’s Interaction: Imagine a popular fitness blog or a sports news website. These publishers use an SSP to offer their digital ad spaces in real-time auctions.

2. Ad Exchanges:

Ad exchanges are the digital marketplaces where the buying and selling of ad inventory take place. They connect SSPs with DSPs.

SwiftStride’s Interaction: As soon as a user visits a website connected to an SSP, the ad exchange jumps into action. It facilitates the auction by gathering information about the ad space and the visiting user, such as their interest in athletic activities or recent searches for running shoes.

3. Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs):

DSPs are used by advertisers to buy ad space. They allow advertisers to bid on and purchase ad inventory based on specific targeting criteria.

SwiftStride’s Interaction: “SwiftStride” uses a DSP to automate the purchasing of ad spaces that align with their target audience. For example, when a fitness enthusiast visits a sports news website, the DSP used by “SwiftStride” would bid on ad space on that site. 

The DSP decides how much to bid based on the user’s compatibility with “SwiftStride’s” target demographic – keen athletes interested in high-quality running shoes.

The Chronological Process:

Real Time Bidding (RTB)


  1. User Visits a Website: A user interested in fitness visits a sports blog integrated with an SSP.
  2. Ad Space Auction Begins: The SSP sends information about the ad space and the user to the ad exchange.
  3. Bidding by Advertisers: DSPs, including the one used by “SwiftStride,” evaluate the user’s data and place bids in real-time to display their ad.
  4. Ad Placement: The highest bidder, potentially “SwiftStride,” wins the ad space. Their ad for the latest athletic shoes is then displayed to the user on the website.

How Much does Real Time Bidding Cost?

The pricing in RTB is dynamic and varies based on multiple factors, meaning you will encounter different costs depending on your specific campaign requirements.

1. Bidding Model – Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM):

Understanding CPM: In RTB, you’ll commonly encounter the Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) model. This means you pay a certain amount for every thousand times your ad is displayed.

Variable Pricing: As you plan your budget, keep in mind that CPM rates can change dramatically based on your target audience, the quality of the website your ad appears on, and even the time of day. 

For example, if you’re advertising niche products like real estate or luxury cars, you may find higher CPM rates due to the specificity of your audience.

2. Factors Influencing Your Cost:

Target Audience: The specificity of your audience can significantly impact your costs. Broad targeting usually comes cheaper than going after a niche market.

Ad Inventory Quality: You’ll find that ad space on premium or high-traffic sites comes at a higher price, owing to increased competition and engagement potential.

Time-Based Factors: Be aware that costs can fluctuate based on seasonal trends or even specific times of the day, which can impact your budgeting.

Ad Format and Size: If you opt for more complex ad formats, like interactive or video ads, or larger sizes, be prepared for higher costs.

3. Average Cost Range:

While pinpointing an exact cost without considering these factors is challenging, as a rule of thumb, you might see CPM rates in RTB ranging from a few dollars to over $50 per thousand impressions. Your goal should be to find the sweet spot between cost and potential ROI.

Budgeting for RTB:

Start by clearly defining your campaign goals and understanding your target audience. This approach helps you set a realistic budget.

You should also consider testing different strategies and gradually increase your spending based on the performance and ROI of your campaigns.

Benefits of Real Time Bidding

1. Enhanced Targeting Capabilities:

RTB allows you to target your ads with incredible precision. You can reach specific audience segments based on demographics, interests, browsing behavior, and more. For example, if you’re advertising a new sports drink, you can target fitness enthusiasts who frequent health and wellness websites.

Your ads are more likely to be shown to users who have a genuine interest in your product or service, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion.

2. Real-Time Optimization:

One of the most significant benefits of RTB is the ability to make real-time adjustments to your campaigns. Based on immediate campaign performance data, you can modify your bidding strategy, targeting criteria, and even ad creatives.

Continuous feedback on your ads’ performance helps you understand what works and what doesn’t, allowing for quick optimization.

3. Cost-Effectiveness:

With RTB, you have complete control over your advertising budget. You can set maximum bid amounts and daily spending limits, ensuring that you never overspend.

Since you’re targeting more precisely, your ad spend is more likely to result in higher engagement rates and better ROI.

4. Increased Reach and Scalability:

RTB gives you access to a wide range of ad inventories across numerous websites and platforms, helping you reach a broader audience.

You can scale your campaigns up or down based on performance, budget, or changing marketing goals, making RTB a flexible option for businesses of all sizes.

Take Your Advertising to New Heights with Flying V Group

Real-time bidding (RTB) offers a transformative approach to digital advertising, presenting unique opportunities for precision and efficiency. However, mastering RTB can be complex and overwhelming. 

This is where Flying V Group steps in as your solution. With our deep expertise in RTB, we simplify the complexities and amplify your campaign’s effectiveness. 

By partnering with Flying V Group, you can navigate the RTB landscape with ease, ensuring your digital marketing strategy is not just effective, but trailblazing.


What is a real time bidding system?

A real time bidding system is an automated method used in digital advertising, where ad impressions are bought and sold in real-time auctions. Advertisers bid on these impressions based on targeting criteria, and the highest bidder’s ad is displayed to the user. This process occurs within milliseconds as a user visits a web page, making it a dynamic and efficient way to serve targeted ads.

What is the real time bidding business model?

The real time bidding (RTB) business model involves advertisers participating in auctions for ad impressions in real-time. Advertisers specify their bidding criteria, such as target audience and bid price, to win ad space. The winning ad is displayed to users, and the advertiser pays the bid amount. RTB provides precise audience targeting and efficient ad placement, making it a cost-effective model for digital advertising.

What is the difference between header bidding and real time bidding?

Header bidding and real-time bidding (RTB) are both programmatic advertising methods, but they differ in execution. Header bidding occurs before a web page loads, where multiple demand sources bid simultaneously for ad space. RTB, on the other hand, happens as the page loads, with auctions held for individual ad impressions. While both improve revenue for publishers, header bidding can create latency, while RTB focuses on efficiency.

What are the advantages of real time bidding?

Real-time bidding (RTB) offers several advantages, including precise audience targeting, cost control, and real-time optimization. Advertisers can reach specific demographics, set budget limits, and adjust campaigns instantly based on performance data. This flexibility leads to higher ROI and more efficient use of advertising budgets.

What are the different types of real time bidding auctions?

There are two primary types of real time bidding (RTB) auctions: first-price auctions and second-price auctions. In a first-price auction, the highest bidder pays their bid amount for the ad impression. In a second-price auction, the highest bidder wins but pays the second-highest bid amount plus a minimal increment. Each auction type has its advantages and is used in different RTB scenarios.

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