How RTB Fits in a Brand Strategy

Online media is growing up. Once thought only appropriate for performance advertising, it has now entered many media plans much earlier in the marketing funnel—at the stage of building the brand.
This has made media planning more complex, especially as real time bidding now constitutes almost 40% of ad sales. How does a media planner buy both brand advertising and performance advertising in a real time environment?
You can only do it by viewing the marketing process through the eyes of the CMO, who sees her desired outcome as a somewhat linear progression from the creation of awareness to the creation of demand, and finally to the actual sales. CMOs are on a journey to measurability, and not just in terms of direct sales. They’re getting clearer on their objectives and thus clearer about what works and what doesn’t at every stage.
the relationship between advertising meant to produce brand lift and direct response advertising, which produces immediate conversions, is sometimes difficult to see. RTB allows measurement, course correction and elimination of wastage, but one brand’s wastage may be another brand’s long term vision (as in the example of advertising car brands to children, which is known to create future customers). Every media planner has a unique need–what’s right for an individual brand.
It takes a lot longer to build a brand than to make a sale, and thus advertising budgets should be 60% branding and 40% harvesting the demand created by the branding. Creating demand may be less efficient than direct response but paves the way for it. If you want to think in terms of efficiency, think of branding as creating efficient ways to harvest demand,
In the RTB world, it is too easy to give the entire marketing strategy over to real time bidding and big data and then wonder what happened when we don’t get  conversions. Many things can happen: the targeting can be off, the message wrong, or the data faulty. Big data is not a substitute for the essentials of good advertising, it’s a check and a balance. And real time bidding isn’t a panacea, it’s a way of automating a process that was becoming more and more arduous as sites proliferated and brands went global.
We believe data from RTB should be used to inform brand strategy, which can then be executed either through programmatic channels or direct buys. There isn’t yet an algorithm for the relationship between a buyer and seller who understand each other’s needs.
That’s why we tell our publisher partners to reserve special inventory for our private exchange platform, ZINC, or to sell our high impact formats through direct sales channels. It’s also necessary for publishers in this environment to gather and interpret their own data in order to support their value proposition.
At some point in the near future, we believe big data will be recognized as a support and RTB as a workflow tool, instead of the misunderstood  buzzwords they are today. When that happens, brand and performance advertising will converge in the RTB process