iAd Revamp

Apple’s release of its new mobile operating system last month came with an overlooked gift for marketers: the ability to retarget ads based on users’ in-app browsing behaviors.

According to ad agencies, Apple is actively pitching the new capability as a way to effectively solve the mobile cookie problem.

“One of the big limitations of not just iAd,
but the entire iOS ecosystem,
is that cookies don’t work,” said Eric Franchi,
co-founder of cross-device ad network Undertone.

Say, for example, a visitor to a retailer’s iPhone app adds a pair of shoes to his cart but ultimately decide not to buy it. In this scenario, the retailer will now be able to retarget that user with an ad for that exact pair — even in another app on his iPad. When tapped, the ad would direct him back to his abandoned checkout page and automatically add the shoes to his online shopping cart.

E-commerce companies are a particular focus for the new feature as it enables them to retarget users across Apple devices based on items they have previously expressed interest in. E-commerce apps can also track the items shoppers add to their digital wishlists and send ads for those items when they go on sale, and target ads based upon a person’s shopping history.

Cross-device retargeting should help iAd. With just a 2.6 percent share of the U.S. mobile ad market, Apple lags behind Google (37.7 percent), Facebook (17.9 percent), Twitter (3.5 percent), Pandora (2.9 percent) and YP (2.7 percent), according to research firm eMarketer. The iAd business, rolled out in 2010, has not exactly set the ad world ablaze. Mobile ads remain a sidelight for the company.

“This is huge for any app developer
that’s monetizing off of iAd,”
Jeremy Lockhorn, mobile lead at
digital agency Razorfish.

Apple’s primary motivation for maintaining iAd is to entice app publishers into developing apps for its devices, as advertising is tangential to Apple’s business. Apple shares a majority (70 percent) of iAd revenue with app publishers using the network, and its projected mobile ad revenue for all of 2014 — $487.1 million, per eMarketer — is just 1.3 percent of the revenue Apple earned in the third quarter alone.

Apple declined a request to comment for this piece.

Read the full article at Digiday