7 Essential Answers About Marketers' Bidstream Data Questions
Data is the Holy Grail of programmatic advertising. U.S. companies alone spent over $11 billion on marketing data in 2018. Information about users gives companies the power to build successful businesses both online and offline. Knowing this, data providers don’t hesitate to put a high price tag on it. Some DMPs ask for more than $500,000 for managing data sets of up to 50 million users.
When running ads fueled by data-driven targeting, media buyers feel excitement from the rapid increase in performance. However, afterward, the disappointment comes up. The advertiser’s eyes fill with pain when they see their net profits with all of the margins and fees deducted from it.
Yes — today, data is very easy to find. At the same time, it’s quite expensive to buy; especially if you need it wholesale. So what’s the solution? How do you acquire all of that data without high margins and fees? An answer is bidstream data.
What Is Bidstream?
Bidstream is data about the user who saw the ad unit on the app. This data comes from apps and publishers that take part in a real-time auction. Bidstream then passes along basic facts about the ad unit. For example, you see the URL, location, type of device, and IP address. It may also contain audience demographic data. And even more: platforms which specialize in users’ fingerprints claim to analyze up to 50 attributes per user.
With bidstream, all of this information gets collected in your DSP, even if you don’t win the impressions.
And the best part of bidstream is that you can get this tremendous amount of data for free. On top of that, compared to other types of data, bidstream is very simple to acquire and scale.
How Can You Start Getting Bidstream Data?
Bidstream is only available to those media buyers and advertisers who buy traffic with their own DSPs. You can’t access bidstream in self-serve DSP accounts or elsewhere. Many self-serve DSPs hide the real names of apps and websites and replace them with general IDs.
You may only get bidstream data by advertising with your own demand-side platform. Building your own DSP from scratch doesn’t mean that you have to invest tons of time and money into development. The easiest and quickest way to build your own DSP is using a white-label solution.
The white-label solution allows you to customize a ready-to-use technology (like a DSP) as it has always been yours.
Hence, your plan is as simple as this:
- Search for a white-label solution, sign up for a demo call and peek inside. Does it seem to perfectly fit your media buying needs? Can you navigate it with ease? Usually, white-label DSP solutions offer free trials to help you better understand the platform.
- Afterward, you’ll need to connect traffic sources, like ad exchanges or SSPs, and start buying their inventory. Hint: if you’re not ready to spend much time connecting to traffic providers, then search for companies that may plug your DSP into their pool of traffic. For example, with the white-label solution from Epom, you may connect over 50 major SSPs to your DSP in a few clicks.
- Start bidding on traffic and receive the data from bidstream, arriving right to your DSP.
If you’re so lucky as to already have your own DSP, then you’re guaranteed to receive enough bidstream to stay competitive. Just make sure that you’ve connected a good number of publishers that will pass the data to your DSP. The more publishers you have in a pool, the more data you will receive from them.
How Does Bidstream Work?
Bidstream data may be gathered via an ad request within the browser or through the SDK, which is integrated into an app. In a nutshell, the user visits an app, sees an advertisement, and then the SDK sends the request to an SSP. This request already contains information about the user’s device location, screen size and orientation, language settings, and more. Data is then transferred to your DSP.
Now let’s imagine the current frequency in which users interact with ad-supported apps. Imagine the volumes of data in which you can collect during a week, a month, or even a year. Sounds unreal, right? However, it’s all possible with bidstream.
Besides, unlike the cookie data which is stored in browsers and can be removed by the user, bidstream data stays with you for much longer. So, as long as users continue to use the same smartphones or tablets, they will stay within your eyeshot.
Why Do Marketers Need Bidstream Data?
Because there are at least three valuable ways to use bidstream data:
Create a Profile of Your Customer
A successful marketing campaign should always resonate with the desired audience. Enterprises aspire to create accurate and in-depth customer profiles for further audience segmentation in their advertising campaigns. The journey to precise customer segmentations goes through the gathering of User IDs. Bidstream provides enough data to recognize that User A is “User A”. It’s a simple fingerprinting.
Along with ad request, you receive the nuggets of information such as the user’s IP address, user device ID (if you buy traffic from apps), screen size and orientation, language settings, and other non-personal parameters which help depict the person.
If you acquired a bunch of parameters yesterday, and you keep acquiring them today through the bidstream - you may assume that these parameters belong to the same users, so at this point, you can assign personal User IDs to them. After assigning IDs, you get the opportunity to explore the online behavior of your targeted audience. Although you may track any other apps and websites they visit when online.
Get the Most Out of Location Data
The location data is the most sought-after part of bidstream. In 2019 the estimated revenue from sales of location-targeted advertising is expected to reach $21 billion. For biting a bigger piece of that pie, app developers and other publishers excise and sell their location data to specialists for targeting or attribution.
Bidstream also empowers you to track ZIP codes and some map landmarks (for example, the nearby metro station). Not all of these attributes will be transferred by default, however, many SSPs like MoPub usually deliver precise locations. Publishers can even share GPS locations for hitting the user at the store entrance. With the proper scale and time spent on tracking, bidstream location may help you better understand users’ traveling and behavioral patterns.
Discover Your ‘Perfect User’
The perfect user is someone who has a very high purchase/install/signup intent toward your product. In other words, it’s a person who’s more likely to buy what you’re offering. Bidstream helps you discover such groups of users and hit them with your ad all over the Internet.
After getting the first performance results of your ad campaign, you’ll clearly see the parameters that characterize users who buy. Use them for narrowing your targeting to a specific location, ZIP code or user ID. Achieve better ROI and avoid paying for users who have zero chance of converting.
With bidstream, you crystallize the core of your audience and use it for creating lookalike audiences for your next ad campaigns.
How Can Bidstream Elevate Your Business Right Now?
Bidstream can ensure the following benefits:
Buy New Users Cheaper Than You May Now
Let’s say you know that your “perfect users” spend time in the trading app, but the winning bid for that app is $30. Quite expensive, right? However, let’s not forget that the average number of apps that we use daily reaches nine. Why not follow your users outside the trading app and catch them in apps with cheaper inventory? With data from bidstream, you can easily do that.
By collecting many bidstream data points, like Wi-Fi or IP address, screen size, battery details, or clock format, you may identify all of these users without cookies. So your DSP will remember users, even when they navigate through different apps. This means you’ll get exactly the same users who were in the trading app, but for a lower price.
Bid and Pay for Unique Users, Only
There are 5.1 billion unique mobile users in the world. And the number of ad requests sent per day surpasses the total number of people who live on the planet (7.7 billion). How could that happen?
The answer lies on the surface — ad exchanges resell their own impressions to each other. Actually, bidstream has grown, because companies are selling the same impression multiple times. Want it or not, when you’re buying traffic from a couple of DSPs at a time, you’re at risk of bidding on the same users and competing with yourself at the auction.
Bidstream helps identify unique users and target them across the web. With the help of bidstream, media buyers segment audiences and decide whether to include or exclude them from their campaigns. In this way, they may eliminate the risk of paying for the same users.
Increase Ad Performance, Perhaps Without Additional Spending
Data provides insights to better targeting and optimization. With bidstream, you know which websites and apps your audience is visiting, when, and where. This information has incredible potential when you use it wisely. It’s free and it’s right at your fingertips.
Okay, But What About the User Privacy? Is Bidstream Safe for Users?
The DSP may receive the data, but it doesn’t own it. For extracting the data from bidstream, you’ll have to ask for permission from the publishers. In turn, the publishers always need to get the user’s consent with permission to collect the data. Bidstream is safe for users, unless DSP owners misuse it. We’re living in the days of GDPR, so let’s respect the privacy of each other.
What Are Bidstream’s Pitfalls?
Of course, bidstream has pitfalls. And the main one concerns its lack of accuracy. Forensiq reported that approximately 80% of its bidstream data is inaccurate. Unfortunately, bidstream isn’t able to deliver as a precise a location as 5 meters. It also can’t identify the time spent in a location. At the same time, bidstream knows a lot about your users and shares this info for free.
Data has never been as valuable for online advertising as it is now. Today, if you're not fueling your business with user’s data, you lose to your competitors. However, when it comes to performance advertising, the data is often overpriced. Bidstream can become your free alternative to expensive first-party data.
Smart usage of bidstream data ensures audience-like marketing for a lesser cost. The acquiring of bidstream data is possible with your own DSP in a box. If you’re ready to give it try, follow the industry rules and don’t cross over the red lines of GDPR.