Performance marketing develops at such rapid pace that applying uniform terminology and criteria can often seem to be a redundant activity. However, the ability to describe its components’ workings is paramount to understanding them.

When it comes to ‘biddable media’, for example, one marketing blog sums the phrase up as, “digital media made available for purchase by advertisers through auction platforms.”

While this statement may be broadly accurate, it doesn’t quite pay tribute to a marketer’s motivations for using it, the multiple groups that are involved, and its various many other technical nuances.

In order to gauge just how close the industry is to an agreed-upon concept of ‘biddable media’, PerformanceIN challenged 11 experts to each provide their own 50-word definition.

Imran Khan, head of programmatic, xAd

“Biddable media is now the ability to reach the right person with the right message at the right time, and with mobile location data, the right place in real-time, enabled via the programmatic ecosystem – 1:1 marketing at scale.”

Richard Robinson, managing director EMEA, Turn

“Biddable media, bought through auction platforms in a programmatic way, allows advertisers to bid for digital ad impressions online and on every device, in real-time. This enables improved campaign efficiencies and effectiveness by using data to target audiences at the right time, on the right device and within the right context, to provide greater brand relevancy.”​

Chris Camacho, managing partner of precision marketing, SMG

“In essence, biddable media refers to any form of media that is bought via real time bidding – this definition includes media hosted by third party platforms. These third parties (e.g. demand side platforms) have allowed for a far more agile approach to auction-based media buying, with performance coming to the fore, as advertisers are in the driving seat in terms of where to appear and what cost to reach.”

Barbara Agus, head of programmatic, The Weather Channel

“As the term implies, biddable media is simply any type of media submitted to the user as a result of a bidding process. Real-time bidding [RTB] is the disruptive technology behind the process: automated systems and algorithms add efficiency to the process of buying and selling advertising and improve the effectiveness of campaigns.”

Erik Mikisch, VP of marketing, Performance Horizon

“Biddable media consists of ad placement opportunities that advertisers or agencies openly compete for and that are sold to the party offering the highest price. The assumptions around biddable media are that ad placements are well described (location, size, audience, channel, etc.) and only price is being considered when awarded.”

Richard Murphy, senior vice president, BPA Worldwide

“Biddable media – advertising opportunities sold through auction. Most common in the online advertising marketplace, but it is expanding to all media formats. Media owners offer their product (inventory) to buyers (advertisers, agencies) in a digital marketplace called an exchange. Buyers bid on the opportunity and the highest bid wins.”

Chris Dobson, CEO, The Exchange Lab

“Biddable media describes media bought in an auction, usually through programmatic RTB. The cost of the placement is determined by its relative value to the bidding advertisers, rather than the publisher. This value is based on the stage of the relationship between the advertiser and customer in the purchasing cycle.”

Nigel Gilbert, VP strategic development, EMEA at AppNexus

“RTB of media turbocharges the selling and buying of ads, via sophisticated technology that matches the right ad at the right time with the perfect audience. Biddable media plays a critical role in shaping future advertising sales and media planning. It elevates the human touch by freeing up human sellers’ time, empowering them to unlock their creative talent by finding smart solutions to problems, and ultimately enabling them to drive even better business outcomes.”

Adam Baker, MD, Sociomantic UK

“Connected, addressable or biddable media is advertising on any device with an IP address that can be traded using programmatic technologies (RTB). Programmatic ad trading enables advertisers to use data and algorithms to bid for individual ad impressions in real-time, in order to increase performance of online marketing spend.”

Alison Watson, VP connections planning & media, nFusion

Biddable media is made up of three primary components: one – a media marketplace, two – a technology platform that enables RTB, and three – multiple advertisers bidding on the same impression (an auction). It comes in many forms and is most effective when purchased in combination with first and/or third-party data.

Patrick Hopf, president, SourceKnowledge

“Biddable media has traditionally been the media bought through ad exchanges on RTB. However, as programmatic evolves, the definition must also take into account the importance of buying media based on audience. RTB no longer becomes the main driving force around buying quantitatively, but about buying a qualified audience that converts for the advertiser.”