As ecommerce takes off globally, retargeting technology and demand-side platform (DSP) provider RTB House, which works with brands in 29 markets, is educating international advertisers about programmatic buying and RTB.
Programmatic buying and RTB in Europe has benefitted from the increase in ecommerce and the growth of the international fashion industry. RTB House started in 2012 in Warsaw, Poland, has most recently expanded into the UK and Ireland, where its new sales director, Robert Geruszczak, is working to expand the team and partner network.
"The UK is the main market for RTB in Europe," Geruszczak said, adding RTB House hopes to open an office soon in London, with a team of technologists, project managers and customer support. He also singled out Ireland as a particularly promising growth area. "Everybody forgot about Ireland, but there are a lot of companies that have offices there who operate from the US."
Brands in Russia, Bulgaria, the Netherlands and even Azerbaijan also are working with RTB House on campaigns.
"Fashion and online stores open every day," Geruszczak said. "The technology is easy to arrange with the ecommerce shop. We work not only with the direct clients, which is a key target for us, but we also cooperate with the top players from affiliate networks. There is huge potential."
Peter Ostrem, managing director of Dutch affiliate network TradeTracker Denmark, said his company has seen growth throughout Europe in ecommerce and, subsequently, programmatic buying. TradeTracker operates in 18 countries, 16 with RTB House.
"The technology has been improved and the data that they use for targeting has developed more as well," Ostrem said. "Programmatic is growing a lot, especially when you look at the media agencies, they are really using RTB and programmatic a lot in their media planning and media buying."
In Bulgaria, where RTB House client Bfashion is based, Internet shopping has increased and advertisers are looking to RTB to reach the growing number of Internet users. According to Teodor Stoyanov, advertising manager for the online retailer, programmatic buying started taking off in Bulgaria in 2013 and the company is running campaigns in 11 countries with RTB House.
"There are not very many competitors online that use the RTB method of advertising, but I believe programmatic buying has a great future in Bulgaria, as well as worldwide," he said. "Advertisers' first wish is to show the right product to the right person at the right time."
Dr. Heiko Hildebrandt, COO of TradeTracker International, predicted that the importance of RTB will increase in all markets across Europe, especially when it comes to mobile: "Within RTB, mobile will increase a lot this year. For now, it takes 15-25%, but it will go up to 35-40% of the total." Video RTB, he added, is too early to tell in the European market, but he believes the company is ready for wherever the growth happens.
One region where there's a particular need for education: Russia.
"In Russia, the abbreviation RTB is not widely recognized," said Alexander Bachmann, CEO of Russian affiliate network Admitad. "Many businesses claim that they have their own platforms, but in fact they do not have anything. We think that true RTB systems are only provided by western companies, and they will control the Russian market."
Admitad is working on 20 different campaigns with RTB House and hopes to expand to 100 by the end of 2014, Bachmann said.
Despite the room for growth in Europe, RTB House, which has 100 employees and plans to add an additional 30 to 40 in the next year, is looking to expand beyond the continent.
"RTB is still the future and there is still a lot of potential even in exotic countries, like Azerbaijan, Asia and the North of Africa," Geruszczak said. "We operate in Morocco, for instance, and there are a couple other countries where we want to do more direct business, like Turkey. After the UK and Ireland, the natural step is to go to the US and also try to expand to Australia or the huge market and potential for the future, China."
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