Check out the video below where I describe how AdRoll bids on retargeting impressions.

Alright, today we’re going to talk about what happens behind the scenes when AdRoll actually serves retargeting impressions. So the AdRoll platform is all about helping you understand the behaviors of different users on your site and targeting your marketing to them accordingly. So let’s look at how this all works behind the scenes.

This is going to be a bit of a simplified view, but it should work to convey how it all works. So as you know, it starts with AdRoll’s smart pixel. Because AdRoll uses a smart pixel it means that you only have to paste the same code across all pages of your site and that will let AdRoll collect data on your users.

So, some users will bounce off your homepage, some users will look at certain products, some users will purchase, other’s wont. Some people will abandon items in their shopping cart and so forth. All of that data is collected by AdRoll smart pixel and goes into the data warehouse. That lets AdRoll determine how valuable different users are to you and what products to show them when we see them later on.

When a user visits a webpage and an ad impression is loaded on that page, AdRoll can respond in real time within 50 milliseconds with a bid and an ad to show that user. So that impression goes out to the auction, it goes to AdRoll, it goes to Company A , it goes to Company B, and when that impression comes to AdRoll, we can look up in the data warehouse based on the different behaviors that that user took on your site how much to bid on that user. So let’s say this user is calculated to be worth $2 to you, $2 CPM, Company A might bid $1, Company B might bid 50 cents.

Now in this case, since you are the high bidder for this impression, it is what is called a second price auction. That means you only pay 1 penny more than the next highest bid. In this case, it is 1 dollar, so you will pay 1 dollar and 1 cent CPM for this impression. And then AdRoll can also determine based on the products that they looked at what the best products and offers are to make to that user when we render the ad unit.

So that’s a simple view of behind the scenes of surveying a retargeting impression through the AdRoll platform.