The Impact of Data on Digital Advertising

Despite real-time bidding’s ability to automate online auctions, send ads where they belong, and accelerate clearing operations, it doesn’t work all by itself. However fast they crunch the numbers, algorithms don’t have intuition with which to assess and sort impressions. Without the descriptive data associated with each of those zillions of ad spots, RTB wouldn’t offer the advantages I’ve discussed in preceding chapters. In fact, it wouldn’t work at all.

Stripped of its technological trappings, real-time bidding is a way of matching price with value. It enables nimble advertisers to quickly change the prices they bid if different impressions appear to have different values. But determining ...

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