Real-time bidding for mobile - everything you need to know

“There’s no question about it: buying on real-time bidding (RTB), also known as programmatic bidding, is shaping up to represent the future of the mobile ad marketplace.” - VentureBeat

What is real-time bidding?
Real-time bidding is impression-by-impression ad serving. Advertisers participate in online auctions when an impression becomes available, and the winner’s ad gets served. This process occurs in milliseconds.

What is an impression?
An impression occurs when a user is engaged with an app or mobile website with available advertising space.

Why is this real-time bidding "better" than other ways of ad buying?
RTB technology allows advertisers to reach more qualified eyeballs, no matter what the customer is looking at on their mobile device. It also allows advertisers to buy ad space faster, more accurately, and with less work. Lastly, it enables us to create products like DropIn Local Advertising that let small businesses access mobile advertising for $10, $5, or even $2 a day.

Where do ads show up?
Ads are served on thousands of quality apps, games, and mobile websites such as: weather apps, messaging apps, local news, entertainment and sports channels.

When does a customer see an ad?
Mobile display ads reach customers when they are engaged with their mobile device and located in your target area. The app or website sends the user’s location data to the ad network along with the ad request. There are no beacons, sensors, or hardware necessary to reach the customer.

>> Example: open up Accuweather or Weatherbug and watch as the ad loads. It’s highly likely that a real-time bidding auction just occurred in order for that ad to be served. Cool, right?

Why is location targeting important?
Particularly for advertisers who have a physical presence or retail location, knowing when a customer is nearby and showing them your ad is the most powerful way to determine if they are likely to be influenced by your ad message.

How do you get the customer’s real-time location data?
When an app or website sends an ad request (“I have ad space available!”), if available, they also transmit other anonymous user info such as location coordinates, gender, age, interests, and more. Ever wonder why your favorite word scramble game asked for your age when you signed up? Well, that’s one reason.

What if I want to limit who sees my ad, or where they see it?
Picking specific zip codes is already a great way to filter based on demographic data. You know where your customers live and work, so use that data to your advantage. It’s also possible to limit who sees your ad with filtering like gender, age, HHI, or interest category. However, increased filtering will decrease total available impressions that can be purchased.

Mobile Advertising Is Important. Here's Why.

According to eMarketer, smartphone users worldwide are predicted to surpass the 2.5 billion mark (that's billion...with a "b") by 2017. Check out our infographic below to learn more about why mobile advertising is important for everyone.

And that's why mobile advertising is important.

The world is watching their mobile devices; wouldn't you want them to see you too?

Check out DropIn today to launch your ads and join in on the fun.



What is a mobile display ad and where does it show up?

We realize that not everyone in the world knows exactly what a mobile display ad is, so we thought it’d be a good idea to take a minute to lay some groundwork.  Consider it a refresher if you’re already “in the know”.  And if you’re not, then welcome.


A mobile display ad is an advertisement that appears on mobile devices, primarily on smartphones and tablets.  Usually they look something like this:



Mobile display ads exist on a variety of mobile websites and apps…you may have seen them on your favorite mobile game (Solitaire never gets old!).   You won’t, however, see mobile display ads on Facebook, Twitter or any other app that has its own ad network – that’s where you’ll see “Sponsored Ads”.  If you’re on the lookout, you will see these types of ads at the top, bottom or even middle of your screen.  Like so:



And that’s what a mobile display ad is.


If you want to find out more about how CraveLabs is bringing mobile display ads out into the open, and allowing our customers to buy those ads in the specific geographic area they want, then check out DropIn.

You asked, DropIn listened...

It may be surprising to some, but the best part about rolling out a product is not the quiet, docile customers, but the ones who give honest and sometimes not so nice feedback.  As a product team driven by offering the best product to our customers, we listen to feedback, learn and deliver.

Here at DropIn our team was proud to roll out our self-serve product in early August and even more proud when companies from across the country signed-in, served ads and saw results. That said, the pride always comes before the fall so we are now several iterations beyond that first release.  We could not have arrived at the latest release without all of the valuable feedback we have received and for that we say, Thank you. 
We also ask that you keep the comments coming so we can push the cutting edge with top quality product that works for you.
Without further ado let's get to the latest and essential features to be found in DropIn. We think the following will enhance your experience and make mobile advertising easy, but, of course, let us know what you think:
Our objective with the Dashboard is to put the most important things in one place and to have clear pathways to finding all the features. Let's look at a few key points:
  • Tabs - We recently added the "Welcome", "Apps & Sites", "Map" and "Tips" tabs to the Dashboard to give you more information about DropIn, your campaign and how best to advertise using DropIn's real-time advertising power.
    • Map - The map that we show you is a "heat-map" of where on the map your ads are being seen by readers. DropIn allows you to target down to the zip code and by that we mean people who are actually in that zip code when they see your ad.
    • Apps & Sites - We are really excited about releasing information to you about the exact apps and sites where your ad is being shown. We think that it supports our view that when using DropIn for awareness and increased engagement it is really "that" your clients are reading not "what" they are reading.  We only buy ads on premium sites and we know this is of value because there is no way for you to reliably predict what sites people in your area are reading.  That said, we show you the top sites that your customers are reading so you can have a sense.  We are also using this data to improve our targeting so look for more improvements to come.
    • Tips - We've run millions of impressions for businesses of all types around the country and we have included some helpful tips so you get the most out of your ads.  Keep your eye on the Tips tab for updates and suggestions.
  • Subscription Plans
    • Monthly Plans - We introduced the monthly plan feature in mid-October after extensive polling of several hundred customers.  As you will see, the plans are based upon a "Pass the Savings Along" approach. We value all of our customers and are glad to pass along savings to those who sign-up for monthly plans by providing rock bottom pricing.  When you are on a monthly plan you can always do "surge" buying to support an event or special sale.  If you don't do surge buying, you can rest assured that when you are on a monthly plan the name of your business is being seen by 1000s of people on a daily basis, which equals increased presence.
    • Pay-As-You-Go - This product was actually what drove us to start working on DropIn.  When working with publishers we constantly heard from businesses and sales teams that monthly plans were not right for some. We listened and developed cutting edge technology to allow you to start and stop a campaign in the span of one-day.  The day rate is slightly more expensive than the monthly plan day rate but we believe the flexibility makes up for this.
  • Customized Ads and Landing Pages
    • Ads - If you take the Tour in the "Welcome" Tab or if you are already a regular user of DropIn, you will know that our customers have access to "Do It For Me" fully-automated ads drawn from existing social feeds as well as "Do It Yourself" ads created from scratch. With DropIn you can:
      • Keep your ad linked to your business Facebook activity by simply updating the active ad you are running every time you update Facebook.
      • Create a separate ad with an image from your Facebook Page by "Editing" the campaign to change the ad copy.
      • Create an ad from scratch by clicking on "Create A New Post". This feature allows you to upload a photo from whatever device you are on and write custom copy.
    • Landing Page - DropIn customers who are on our premium subscription plan are able to use either the automatically created mobile website that all DropIn customers have linked to their ad or to have their ad link to a website of their choosing.  This feature requires that the linked page be fully functioning and that it meets the highest community standards. This release is one that we at DropIn are taking straight from the playbook of Top Brands and making it available to you.
DropIn Neighborhood
Early adopters are the ones to thank for the DropIn referral program.  Based upon customer enthusiasm and our internal knowledge of how tightly knit many local business communities are we decided to let others pass along the savings. By referring DropIn to other businesses users are able to earn up to two-months of free mobile ads. When a referral turns into a free trial we reward the referring business with one week of free ads (7,000 people seeing the name of their business!) and give the new business the power to do the same.
We hope to see this program take off as more people learn about DropIn.
Customer Support
Though it may seem obvious, many of our customers have been overjoyed by the fact that we actually care.  We built and continue to work on DropIn because we want to see mobile devices filled with helpful, real-time information about local businesses.  As such, we want to help our users in any way we can.  If you ever have a question or need some guidance on how to use DropIn or what is possible with DropIn, simply click the "Questions" button on the Dashboard and our team will be there.  We will be adding to this feature but one thing you can always expect is a receptive and genuinely interested person on the other end of the line.
We here at DropIn believe that advertising and marketing got a little bit out of reach in the past 10 years.  Basic advertising that used to be easy now feels like a chore and is far too time consuming, which means that regular businesses are getting left behind. We see the rising prominence of mobile devices with intuitive design and "do it anywhere, easily" programming as an opportunity for all businesses not just for the world's largest companies.  With DropIn we seek to put the power of mobile exactly where it should be - in the palm of your hand.
Jeff and Jeff

Preparing for the Upgrade to Facebook Timeline



What’s changing?

The basic layout appears much different than the original Facebook. There will be a large cover photo across the top boarder, view posts from a timeline format, “go back in time,” and directly connect with your fans through messaging.

Until you’re adjusted to the new view, you can choose to “preview” your page to see how it will appear to the public as you play with the settings. On March 30, 2012 your page will automatically be converted to Timeline format, whether you’re ready or not- so let’s make sure you’re prepared!

Cover Photo

First thing’s first. What are your fans going to see? Your cover photo. You want to make this colorful, artistic, and pertinent to your company.

Things to Avoid:

  • Billboard style (nobody wants ads)
  • Words (can be perceived as an ad, and once Timeline is updated for mobile, it will be difficult for people to read)
  • Don’t blow up a picture or shrink one down (830x315 pixels- crop it!)

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Does the cover photo grab your attention?
  • Does it reflect the personality of the company?
  • Is the picture good quality for the size?

Profile Picture

Your cover photo will not be reflected in your posts or comments, it will only be seen when people visit your page. Your profile picture is still associated with all of your actions. Keep your profile picture clear and simple and use your company’s logo.

Page Icons

There are four visible icons for apps, they will show up at the top of your page and you can change which apps are visible and the order of appearance.

Timeline Feed Format   

So now you’ll notice that your posts are no longer confined to one single line on your page, instead they are separated into two parts and connected along a timeline. Although this may seem confusing at first, think of any timeline you’ve created- you need to put information on both sides of the timeline. In Facebook, these sides of the timeline are represented through the different columns. Of course, most timelines you’ve created have probably been horizontal, but just change your orientation a bit- this one is vertical.

Post Organization

Normally all of your posts are recorded and confined to the time and date in which you posted them, but now you can go back in time! Not really, but if you’re just starting your Facebook Timeline page, haven’t been great about posting, and feel like your page is looking a tad empty, you can post to the past.

To post in the past you can click on the clock in the bottom left corner of the post screen and pick the month and year you’d like to use. This is a great way to fill up empty space on your page without spamming fans.

Thing to Post Back in Time

  • Interesting Articles
  • Mentions
  • Older Pictures

Cleaning up Your Timeline

When you go to “preview” your Timeline you may notice that some old posts from fans appear more prominent than you would like, go ahead and clear them off of your Timeline. To do so click the “x” in the top right corner, just like you would delete a post on the old Facebook.


You can click the “pin” button that keeps one post at the top of your page in one column. Doing this allows for newsfeed to continue flowing in one column, while your pinned post is kept in view on the other side.

Great Things to Pin

  • Company Mentions
  • Blog Posts
  • New Pictures
  • Updates


Another way to draw attention to a particular post is by clicking the “highlight” button. This will make a post stand out by spanning across both columns (cutting through the timeline line). So when fans are scanning through your timeline highlights will catch their eye and they can see important moments in your company’s history.


Have a big event that you and your fans want to remember? You can show the importance of an event by clicking “Milestone” and inputting the date, location, story, and optional picture. Milestones also span across both columns like highlights.

Possible Milestones

  • Foundings/Openings
  • Long-time team members
  • Etc.

Admin Panel

This is where you can check your notifications, new likes, insights to who is liking your page, message inbox, and page tips. The Admin Panel is designed to work for a team format, so you and your team members will be able to access this page and see and manage the happenings of your page.

Ready, Set, Go!

You still have a couple weeks, and now you are well prepared to start updating your site! Don’t get bogged down, this should only take a few hours. And have fun with it. Found a goofy picture of your co-worker or remember a great event? Go ahead and add ‘em!

Facebook created Timeline so that users can have a more personal connection with the pages, so keep it bright, light, and fun!



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