Microsoft last week began offering behavioral targeting for ads running on its mobile network. But while the service offers a range of online targeted categories -- about 100 --to advertisers buying mobile display inventory, the launch really means so much more.
Jamie Wells, Microsoft's global director of trade marketing, mobile advertising solutions, says the targeting cuts across the Web, mobile and Xbox platforms when consumers sign into their Windows Live account. It allows media buyers to purchase consumer profiles demonstrating interest in specific categories, as well as specific times in a purchase funnel.
Although tight-lipped on Microsoft's strategy, Wells admits "this is just the beginning." Microsoft plans to expand its approach to tie together the Web, mobile and Xbox, drawing on the power of the entire Microsoft network. The strategy will integrate the audience, he says.
"The mobile application addresses one of the biggest challenges, which is targeting," Wells says. "This is a way to circumvent the cookie problem and use online profiles. Also, some folks would argue that there's a much higher bar for ad relevancy on mobile, and BT speaks right to that."
Wells didn't disclose the cost for the service, but Patrick Moorhead, who oversees research and development on behalf of Razorfish's Advanced Marketing Solutions group, revealed to eMarketer that an eight-week campaign for mobile media can run between $250,000 and $300,000. In the interview, he says the investment offers substantial reach and allows for specific targeting.
Yahoo in May opened its Smart Ad platform to third-party companies to bring behavioral targeting services to its mobile network.