Digital advertising continues to be a place of uncertainty, but it also presents myriad possibilities to companies to generate new ways to connect brands with customers. Google and Facebook, the dominant forces in the game, might have some serious competition, if companies like Verizon-owned Oath have anything to say about it.
This week, Business Insider published a story outlining the ways Oath and Tim Mahlman, its president of advertising and publisher strategy, hope to take on the duopoly by relying on brand trust, new partnerships and a wealth of data.
Late last year, Oath announced plans to develop four new ad formats, including augmented reality and social, in a step to take the company in a mobile-first direction, while combining those tools with internal data.
Mahlman told Publishing Insider: “Because we are a publisher -- a house of media and technology brands -- we also have a deep understanding of what our publisher partners need to be successful. We help them capitalize on those opportunities.”
Business Insider notes that one of the key benefits in Verizon’s acquisition of AOL and Yahoo “is that it can theoretically identify consumers — anonymously — using its vast pool of consumer data.”
Some of the areas Oath gathers data from include AOL and Yahoo email accounts, but also fantasy-sports customers, as well as Verizon customers who have offered information about where they live and the apps they use. The company also follows users' web searchers.
In his conversation with Business Insider, Mahlman also disclosed Oath is talking to The Weather Company and Pandora, hoping to acquire their consumer data.
When Publishing Insider asked how Oath would gain the trust of brands and convince them to invest, Mahlman put trusted content first, saying: “Data is a powerful tool for us that creates better insights, better targeting and better measurement … We take an open approach across our ad tech platforms and work with the top third-party measurement providers to ensure we’re not grading our own homework.”
Being a part of Verizon is a major asset for Oath, with the largest scale of mobile carrier data in the industry available, plus “insights across more than 1 million apps and 2.6 billion mobile devices.”
Mahlman says that allows Oath to deliver on what customers want organically, whether that means offering coupons for favorite products or notifications about sports teams.
It's all part of a larger picture: Publishers are hungry for new ways to diversify revenue, while advertisers are on the hunt for platforms that guarantee returns.
Perhaps the last paragraph should have appended "and Verizon wants to be more than a telecom carrier."