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MediaGroup London’s Bart Burggraaf looks at real-time bidding as a method by which FX brokers could efficiently fine-tune their cost model when purchasing advertising space for banner placements
Much has been said about the different marketing tactics used by brokers. An average media mix consists of PPC advertising, SEO, Display advertising, email advertising, some print and TV advertising and sometimes affiliate campaigns and there is much to be said about each of those that can improve performance. However, in this guest editorial I want to focus on Real Time Bidding and why brokers should consider using it more than they do.
First; what is Real Time Bidding? At its simplest, it is buying unsold banner impressions at an auction, in real time. So a site like Bloomberg might not sell all their banner impressions directly and to improve revenue, they offer that impression to a number of exchanges (auctions).
The ‘winner’ of the impression is the advertiser that bids highest and so Bloomberg can improve their income numbers. From the client side, buying in this way gets them cheap impressions on relevant sites and/or targeting relevant audiences. All of this happens within a split second and thousands of times a day.
Going a little deeper, with the technology in the market today Brokers can use a few different tactics to buy on exchanges. The most used of these is Retargeting (where you ‘follow around’ the internet people that have visited your site) and this tactic is mostly used to increase conversion of visitors to your site.
This tactic started mostly by way of ecommerce advertisers that for instance show you the exact piece of electronics you were looking at before leaving their site; but it can be applied to users not signing up for a demo or users signing up for a demo and not for a live account as well.
Besides Retargeting, there are a number of tactics available that allow brokers to get in front of a new audience. Tactics such as these are usually bucketed as Prospecting and consist of a few elements:
1. Behavioural; looking at the interest of users and using ‘databases’ of relevant users to target them elsewhere. One example might be visitors to the ForexFactory site which we know to be relevant for certain brokers and showing these specific users banners on other sites, but vendors also offer a variety of other data to use.
2. Contextual; showing broker advertising next to suitable content in the same way keyword targeting using Google Adwords works. An example might involve looking for NFP related articles and showing a banner creative talking about ways to trade NFP.
3. Domain Targeting; By using lists of very specific domains we can target the right audience at a much lower cost. We might want to work with a premium financial publisher list and include all the tie one sites in order to drive awareness and conversions among the right audience.
4. Channel targeting; a variation of Domain Targeting, this tactic takes a very large number of domains that have been classified as being about finance, news, business or other content as required and use that list to show your advertising (and optimize it at scale) to a relevant audience. This is a cost effective but more broad tactic.
With all of these tactics we have the additional opportunity to target specific languages, countries, types of browsers, devices and much more so it has the potential to be very targeted. However, brokers are sometimes conservative, have strict legal and compliance requirements, brands that rely solely on trust and complex products that are mostly only suitable for a very niche audience.
RTB vendors that focus on this niche need to offer premium, brand-suitable inventory that is very targeted, have better – super niche – data available and be priced at a point that makes sense.
One vendor offering this specifically for financial advertisers is MediaGroup Performance (a part of the same group of agencies as MediaGroup London, my company) but there are a few other providers in the market offering similar services.
The main message here is that it’s important to consider RTB as an additional tactic in your media mix and improve your ROI. Comment below if you have any suggestions or questions!
This article was written as a guest editorial by Bart Burggraaf, Managing Director & Partner at MediaGroup London, which is a specialist marketing agency focused on financial services companies.