AOL's $90.7 million acquisition of Gravity to personalize ads and editorial is good news. But is it good enough to enable it to compete with the likes of Facebook or Google?
AOL has acquired content optimization start-up Gravity for a total of $90 million, allowing the publisher to offer advertisers more contextualized targeting, as well as to catch up with industry majors who are already big on personalization.
Gravity is known for its proprietary Interest Graph, which pulls out users' interests, habits, and preferences to allow for customized serving of ads and/or editorial content.
This illustrates the process behind Gravity's work:
Founded five years ago, Gravity launched its personalization API in 2013, allowing brands and publishers to boost their engagement by 240 percent "compared to sites that do not have personalization," AOL and Gravity say in a joint-statement. Logically so, the newly acquired team will report to AOL Brand Group head of product Luke Beatty.
Although this is obviously good news for AOL, one cannot help but wonder how much catching up it can hope to do: Facebook's Graph is already gathering the tastes, affinities, interests, passions etc. of its 1.19 billion users and Google is already pulling together all the data from all its various properties, from Gmail to Maps to plain browsing. Both these industry giants are not just steps ahead but at least mega leaps ahead. So the question is, how is this one single acquisition going to give AOL sufficient edge to attract more advertisers, brands, and users?
Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Sept 5 to take advantage of Super Saver Rates!
Liva Judic joined Search Engine Watch and ClickZ in May 2010 as a news blogger. She has lived and worked across the globe in Madagascar, Switzerland, London, NYC, Asia and is now based in between New York and Berlin.
Her background is in government relations and financial media where she started out as a journalist at Bloomberg and became senior editor at AFX news (now part of ThomsonReuters). Prior to forming her own consultancy Judic was head of international PR for a head of state.
Judic focuses on facilitating brand and marketing transitioning for European startups moving to the US. She has been named one of the Top 50 Industry Influencers of 2014 by AGBeat
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.
September 17, 2014
September 23, 2014
September 30, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT