Last week I attended OMMA RTB in Los Angeles. The theme of the conference was around the “growing pains and challenges” of programmatic and real-time bidding (RTB). Throughout the day, there were interesting discussions to be had about display media inventory, transparency and fraud concerns among the ecosystem players, mobile opportunities, and more.
I was pleased to join in the discussion on stage on a panel about Best Practices for the Facebook Exchange (FBX). In the last slot of the day, I was surprised to realize that this was the first conversation all day to take place about FBX – Facebook’s RTB Exchange. FBX came onto the scene in 2012 and made a big splash in the industry. Now, two years later, where does FBX stand?
Moderating the discussion was the CEO of Adomic, Gabe Gottlieb, and the additional panelists represented a nice mix of tech, agency, and brand, including:
Christopher Hansen, President, Netmining
Drew Huening, Associate Director, Social Channel, VivaKi
Ryan Johnson, Head of Interaction, MediaCom LA
Amrita Sahasrabudhe, Director of Marketing, Aramark
The conversation covered ground on FBX strategies and goals, creative types, and formats updates, but it really began to get interesting as we entered mobile territory. Mobile advertising accounted for 62% of Facebook’s Q2 2014 total ad revenue, but as of right now, FBX doesn’t even play in the mobile space. So, the question Drew opened up to the panel — will FBX move into mobile? And, for the the most part, we were all unsure of how that story might unfold.
FBX represents just one component of a holistic Facebook strategy and should work in tandem other existing ad types. Facebook has continued to build out its offering, rolling out new functionality to help fill in the gaps where one area might be weak.
Mobile is a good example of this. Although FBX isn’t available on mobile, Facebook’s Custom Audiences represents an opportunity to address these cross-device audiences in a complementary way. In the end, I think we all could agree that FBX shouldn’t be viewed in isolation but rather as a part of the bigger digital picture.
We concluded our discussion with some best practices, which I’ll highlight for you now:
Chris emphasized the importance of deeper attribution. Drew encouraged marketers to connect the pipes to integrate social metrics suchs as likes and shares. Ryan reminded the crowd that FBX is an engaging environment and that marketers should take advantage of that when it comes to messaging and creative. Amrita reiterated that marketers must know their audiences and avoid getting bogged down by channel, media, or method of targeting.
Amrita’s point really resonated with how we’ve been thinking about social, not just FBX, at Skai. Marketers must begin to leverage and activate data across channels to reach and target audiences, not just keywords or likes and interests. While the future of FBX may be uncertain, one thing is for sure: marketers must continue to test and learn, iterate and innovate to keep pace in today’s evolving RTB ecosystem.