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How does Real Time Bidding benefit the Tourism sector?

An Expert opinion


Internet has revolutionized the tourism sector. We’ve witness an emergence in recent years of a growing number of offers by tourism comparators and e-retailers (discount travel, customized trips...). The competition is increasing and the web has become a key component for the major players in this sector. To effectively reach their target and maximize the visibility of their offers, while ensuring a satisfactory level of profitability; it is crucial for these players to develop relevant online advertising strategies.



Charles Gros, co-founder of Tradelab
Charles Gros, co-founder of Tradelab
The last few years have been marked by the explosion of the Big Data, along with advertisers’ growing awareness of the immense potential of operating with it.

New technologies specific to online advertising have since been developed, among them the RTB.

Real Time Bidding (RTB) is a programmed way of purchasing advertising space in real time on the web, mobiles and online videos.

Buying spaces works at the unit level per advertising space, and is most often managed by trading desks (independent or affiliated with media agencies) for the advertisers' account.

There are many advertisers who have already adopted this mode of retail advertising, that witnessed a 125% increase in 2013, a large increase for a slowly evolving digital advertising market (+3% in 2013).

The RTB makes it possible to implement a strategy of granular targeting minimizing audience loss. Advertisers are more efficient and thus see their ROI largely optimized.

Although the benefits of RTB seem obvious, what can this new technology bring to an advertiser in the tourism sector?

The buying process in RTB

The process of bidding – like an auction – of RTB runs in less than 120 milliseconds.

The internet user fitting the advertiser's targeted consumer profile consults a web page, the advertisement available on the same page is then auctioned in real time and the trading desk bids automatically if the space is deemed interesting for the advertiser.

For example, if the user logging on to a site is identified, thanks to the anonymous data collected relating to his profile, as having a strong interest in flights from Paris to New York, an airline offering this type of service will have a strong interest bidding to win the advertising space, and thus reaching a user fitting its key targeted profile.

Whatever the medium is, media buying is done automatically by providing a flexible price per single advertising space through an auction system.

The advertiser offering the highest price wins the space and can then display its advertisement. This variable price is dependent on many space-specific factors of the advertisement and more broadly to factors related to the user’s profile.

Today, almost all advertising formats online are available in RTB, from the classical IAB banner to full page features.

Effective targeting and a relevant message

As mentioned above, the RTB offers many more advantages than conventional displays, including minimized targeted audience loss (targeting non peer users that are not part of the target objective) and therefore reducing acquisition costs on targeted profiles.

The trading desks analyze the "first party" data of the advertiser, meaning, all the data collected at the time a user visits a website.

Once this information is collected and analyzed, it is possible to retarget the right user by offering the proper message.

Indeed, combining geolocation, sociodemographic, and browsing history data, it becomes possible to identify the affinity of a user for a travel destination and from that information to propose, via programmed purchase, a flight from his/her hometown (geolocation) to the coveted destination (browsing history/observed affinities.)

Technology called "DCO" (Dynamic Creative Optimization ), specific to the RTB, allows the dissemination of customized content according to the browsing history of the user.

Thus, it is possible to attract the user by offering a flight or a trip to a recently searched for destination or a room at a preferential price in a hotel of which the site was visited.

Targeting is even more granular and the user extremely specified, the likelihood of processing here is 30% to 45% greater than that within a conventional display campaign.

The technological contribution of RTB represents a real opportunity for advertisers in tourism to be visible within the multitude of offers available online.

Optimizing brand exposure

Buying RTB enables full management of the exhibition context: a 100% brand-safe promotion.

Indeed, advertisers have the ability to black list any websites identified as being harmful to their brand image, and conversely, it is possible to focus on some very powerful pages and/or websites enjoying a positive image or strongly linked to the advertiser's industry (whitelisting.)

This is important especially in the tourism sector where many prestigious advertisers are very attentive to their image.

The trading desks give their customers a transparency on the list of sites and mobile applications affected, which is not always the case in the context of a traditional display campaign, or at least not for the same price!

It is important to note that almost all formats are available with RTB, including impact formats such as website features, which provide tourism advertisers great visibility at discounted prices.

About Tradelab

Tradelab defines itself as "the first independent media buyer RTB in France and the third largest purchaser of all categories, specializing in the campaign acquisition of displays, mobile and video."

The start-up has developed Tradematic, a technologically self-owner platform that allows advertisers and agencies to isolate and target their best audience at the right time and only on the most visible and the most effective locations.

In just 3 years, Tradelab, a Young Innovative Company, has established itself as a leading player in the RTB market in France: more than 1,000 campaigns for more than 200 advertisers have been conducted and a turnover of nearly €7 million was realized in 2013.

Tradelab is part of the 8 French start-ups selected by the committee ubi i/o to follow the program of business acceleration in San Francisco. The company "made in France" intends to conquer new markets.

The ubi i/o is in the French Tech process initiated by Ms. Fleur Pellerin, delegate in charge of SMEs, of Innovation and the Economy.

Written by Charles Gros, owner of Tradelab translated by Joséphine Foucher the 02/05/2014
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