1,000-Exhibitor Antique Show Taps RTB

The Original Miami Beach Antique Show, the world’s largest indoor antique show, recently wrapped up its 53rd edition with “record attendance” and 90 percent of exhibiting dealers renewing their booths for the 2015 show, according to the post-show press release.

The show organizer significantly increased its online advertising with the addition of several million impressions bought via real-time bidding (RTB). As I get a lot of questions on RTB, I thought I would share some comments on this part of the attendee acquisition campaign for the show, which is a client of my agency, Encore Media Partners.

While this piece focuses on RTB, site-specific (publisher-direct) ad buys were an important part of the digital marketing too. The show organizer used a blended ad buying model sourcing ad inventory through both RTB and site-specific channels to optimize the overall impression portfolio for the event.

Here are some reasons you may want to use RTB for your show’s digital marketing, with some takeaways from the online campaign for The Original Miami Beach Antique Show.

RTB enables you to more cost-effectively reach your audiences by applying rich data sets to undifferentiated ad inventory, which has a much lower cost basis than site-specific ads. Due to the favorable economics of the RTB ad buys, The Original Miami Beach Antique Show was able to triple the number of digital ads it ran this year, which would not have been possible with traditional ad buying models.

But you may wonder…does the lower cost ad inventory decrease results? Well, consider one metric from the campaign for this show: The average CPC on the RTB ad buys was lower than the average CPC for the site-specific ad buys. The RTB ad buys delivered more visitors to the show web site per dollar spent than the site-specific ad buys.

CPC is being used here as a post-campaign performance metric (ad spend divided by clicks) and does not reflect the pricing model against which the ads were purchased.

RTB can help you target new buyer and visitor prospects by leveraging third-party data from publishers and data aggregators that gather anonymous data from consumer interactions (browsing content, searching, etc.), and categorize this data into marketing segments such as affluent shoppers, pet owners, sports enthusiasts, etc.

Whether you use predefined audience segments or access third-party data to create custom segments which best match your attendee profile, pairing this data with RTB ad buys enables you to scale your cookie-audience pools much faster than you could on your own.

RTB ad buys provide much more granular performance data in real time than traditional site-specific ad buys. Understanding at a micro-level how different targeting data, contextual environments, etc., are affecting ad buys enables you to discover valuable optimization points that you might not otherwise notice. The real-time feedback loop means you learn things much quicker too.

RTB enables frequency capping, which improves ad buy efficiency and the experience for potential attendees seeing your ads. For example, The Original Miami Beach Antique Show increased the frequency cap of some its RTB ad buys at the tail end of the campaign to boost exposure in the time period right before the event.

RTB enables you to optimize attendee advertising on the fly based on real-time performance data, or as part of a predefined optimization strategy, in ways not possible with traditional ad buying models. For example, The Original Miami Beach Antique Show scaled the geographic footprint of some of its RTB ad buys, starting off broad and then tightening up as the event approached.

Cristopher Levy runs Encore Media Partners, an audience strategy, marketing and media buying agency, which specializes in “live” exhibitions and events. Connect with him on LinkedIn or at clevy@encoremediapartners.com.

To stay updated on the latestEXPO news, become a Facebook fan, follow us on Twitter or sign up for our newsletter!