New technologies are making it easier for advertisers to connect with their target audience, whether through the Internet, mobile phones, or television. Many of the companies that gave presentations this week at Venture Summit East in Boston, MA, are working on technologies aimed at making it easier for advertisers to reach specific audiences and measuring how well they respond.
Ad network Quattro Wireless, for example, has developed software designed to make it easier for companies to create content for mobile phones with integrated targeted advertising. The company’s new product, GetMobile, automates many of the changes needed to allow mobile phones access to websites, and provides an interface that makes it easy to check the work and make adjustments. Advertisers can use GetMobile to choose a target audience. For example, the advertiser can target users in a specific location or using a particular device. The interface also allows the advertiser to track the success of their ads and to get response rates among particular groups of people.
Joe Cuccinelli, general manager of the GetMobile product, says that the self-service software is a scaled-down version of what the company offers to full-service clients. While the self-service client allows advertisers to target broad areas, such as the United States, the company’s full-service arm can, for example, target the residents of Fargo, IN, or the users of a particular model of Nokia phone. Since carriers have historically kept data about subscribers close to their chests, he says, Quattro Wireless uses data gathered by companies that publish mobile content, such as downloadable games, and information provided by users themselves, through mobile social-networking sites, for example. In many cases, he adds, that data is enough to narrow down the user’s location and demographics. “The industry has said we already have a good base to go off of here to do this type of targeting, so let’s go for it,” Cuccinelli says.
But mobile phones aren’t the only device that advertisers can use to collect information about demographics and behavior. Navic Networks, which also presented at Venture Summit East, is bringing that type of measurement to televisions equipped with digital set-top boxes. John Hoctor, vice president of business development, explained that the company can add interactive overlays to advertisements and programs that invite viewers to respond by taking actions such as voting or agreeing to view a longer ad. Hoctor said in the presentation that the company’s recent release, Admira, allows advertisers to target groups of people based on past viewing behavior, collected from the set-top box. He explained that advertisers who want to target people who watch the news every night would no longer have to wait for the news to serve those ads.