A Look at RTB Supply and Demand Strategy During Coronavirus  | Adtaxi

A Look at RTB Supply and Demand Strategy During Coronavirus 

Digital Marketing

Jennifer Flanagan

Apr 02 2020

The marketing and advertising industry is undergoing rapid change, with 24% of advertisers pausing all spend and digital spend decreasing  33% across the board, according to an IAB buy-side poll.

With self-isolation and shelter-in-place orders, people are spending more time at home on the internet. As a result, inventory for ad placement and potential impressions have increased dramatically. For example, take a look at this graph of RTB Display impressions available in the San Francisco area during March. You can see a huge increase occur around March 16th, when shelter-in-place was ordered.


Decreases in worldwide ad spend and increased inventory mean less competition. Win rates have increased by over 100% since the beginning of March. But when it comes to win rates, bigger isn’t always better. So what can media buyers and advertisers do to make the most of their ad spend during this time?

Decrease base bids to win more impressions at a lower CPM

With 100% increase in win rate, CPMs can be effectively lowered by up to 50% and serve twice the number of impressions to the same audience at the same cost. 

Focus ad spend on more granular third-party data and low-funnel retargeting audiences

More desirable audiences (EX: cart abandonment) are the smallest audience pools and, as a result, most competitive. Less competition and more inventory means you can focus on reaching your best audiences more consistently at a lower cost. You can see a similar spike in potential impressions when looking at a Bay Area advertiser’s retargeting ad group. 


Shorten recency windows for third-party and retargeting audiences

A recency window is defined as the amount of time that has gone by since a user has triggered a pixel fire. While historically there has been good value in, for example, retargeting people who have made it to a product description page in the last 30 days, people’s financial situations or In-Market interests are changing rapidly. This could potentially make recency windows less reliable. Ad spend at this time is better utilized on more recent and lower-funnel engagement, and these windows can be tightened with less impact on CPMs and available ad spend.

Things are changing rapidly and affecting each advertiser differently. For some, there’s opportunity to be had. Inventory is at a significant discount right now, and it’s vital to constantly monitor the demand-side market to provide the best use of ad spend for advertisers.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Sign up with your email address to receive news and updates