When I first heard the words Real Time Bidding or “RTB,” I thought it was synonymous with Google’s AdWords. I was on the right path, but I wasn’t exactly correct. Although they can both be used to accomplish the same goal; they complete those goals in different ways. This is how I was introduced to Digital Advertising.

I’ve learned that the Digital Advertising world is always evolving. There are several different platforms that do almost the same thing; most of them just have a few slight differences. When I learned about both platforms, I decided to categorize Google’s AdWords into one group; while I separated RTB into a different group. I found the one of the major differences between these two groups is how narrow their targeting ability can be.

There are different targeting tactics we can use to reach our desired audience. To find out our target audience, we have to understand their locations, devices, and behavioral characteristics.


Location targeting helps local businesses to compete and thrive. There are small differences in the targeting ability of both platforms. That difference is just how specific of targeting some of the location modifiers can go. i.e: Zip Code, IP Address, Radius, City, State, Country


Google’s AdWords uses a simple system to target different mobile devices. You can now place your ads across all of the different device platforms by simply selecting the option. RTB gives you the same option, except it allows you to take it a step further and target specific mobile operating systems, device model types, and even which browsers they use.


Targeting behavioral data like interests, demographics, and household Income is a targeting feature in AdWords that can be used to a certain degree. Businesses can use it to segment which gender, age group, and even a household income sees your ads. However, it can’t be the primary targeting tactic. In order to further your advertising experience, RTB platforms allow you to have first and third party data options.

It’s up to you to analyze your target audience and discover which tactic would work best for the goals of your company. A mixture of both Google AdWords and RTB Advertising would yield the best results for anyone looking to take their campaign to the next level.