AOL Allows Advertisers To Target App Users

Not a week after the company was acquired by Verizon, AOL launched an expanded set of mobile marketing capabilities to help advertisers reach app users.

These tools, additions to AOL’s programmatic advertising platform One, were announced yesterday. They have a specific focus on data-driven user acquisition and retention strategies. Advertiser data is overlapped with AOL’s audience data, location targeting data and any other third-party data to programmatically target and reach people on their mobile devices. Additionally, marketers can set up unique targeting parameters, such as consumers who have downloaded but not used their app, according to Chad Gallagher, global director of mobile at AOL and Advertising.com.

“On a targeting side, we’re getting really granular in a programmatic perspective so you’ll really be able to fine-tune the audiences you want to target. It’s one thing to say, ‘Hey, I want to target everyone who has this app on their phone,’ but where I get more excited is, ‘I want to target people who have done something but maybe haven’t done something else,'” Gallagher says.

“If you’re Uber, maybe you want to target people who downloaded the app but haven’t had a ride yet. If you’re Macy’s, you want to target people who have downloaded the app and are in your top 10 percent of highest-valued customers because you want to seek them about some sale coming up,” Gallagher continues.

In addition to allowing marketers to programmatically target app users, AOL’s new tools will measure and attribute mobile app advertising’s role in overall media spend. Attribution – which also covers the effect of TV, desktop and mobile ads on the app campaigns – is available through Convertro, AOL’s multi-touch attribution platform.

In-app targeting is nothing new. Because many mobile-centric tech companies have long been working in this space, Anthony Iacovone, chief executive (CEO) of AdTheorent, a predictive targeting mobile ad network, thinks AOL is “late to the party.”

But while he thinks the tech giant is catching up, he thinks AOL’s new offerings will prove important for the industry because of the big names that will inevitably come along. One partner, Camelot Communications, is an early adopter on behalf of clients such as 7-Eleven, Southwest Airlines and the NFL.

“Every year, everyone says, ‘This is the year of mobile,'” Iacovone says. “The reality is, as bigger players move into the space and make some waves, it shows that the industry is taking mobile seriously. I think it’s tremendous. The more people like the AOLs and the Yahoos of the world provide [mobile-centric products] the more money they bring into the mobile media channel.”

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