I don't know if my Comcast Xfinity iPad app is tracking my nightly crawl through its countless cable channels, noting which channels I tend to pick and ignore, what my tastes in nighttime entertainment might be. But lord, I sure hope it is. This indispensable app is tied to my cable box so that at long last I am freed from the stultifying and bad on-screen channel surfing interface. It turns the iPad into a big, fat, smart remote control that can filter the hundreds of channels by content type, search for specific shows and then flick my cable box ...
Demand-side platforms (DSPs) have caught my attention. I predict they will change dramatically during the next year, moving from simply connecting brands to ad servers, toward providing what a Forrester Research analyst calls "customer," or custom, "intelligence" to sort through a variety of data. While the Forrester analyst refers to these companies as Data Management Platforms (DMPs), which are completely different, I see DSPs moving into this role.
Facebook did an Apple this week. It whipped up anticipatory enthusiasm for its CEO keynote and drafted off of a slew of rumors and intentional or unintentional leaks from partners. Much of what Mark Zuckerberg rolled out the other day at his f8 conference was aimed at enhancing the Facebook ecosystem in order for people to stay longer and do more on the site. They were trying to move the social network ever closer to becoming a platform unto itself, an uber-portal of sorts.
I'm fascinated by patents and often log on to the United States Patent & Trademark Office to search for newly filed or granted patents. This time I ran across a recently updated patent filing from Yahoo. The title, emoticlips, assists in targeting online ads based on the consumer's emotional state.
Forget your click-throughs, your hang times, your content choices. One of the basic Web behaviors that envelops all other determinations of effectiveness is the simple gaze. Where someone is looking -- at your Web site and your ad, for how long and even in what order -- should tell you volumes about what parts of your brand message are, and aren't, getting through.
Venture capitalists apparently want to throw money at companies developing behavioral targeting services -- this time, a company supporting mobile. Apsalar, a San Francisco-based mobile analytics and behavioral targeting platform for Apple iOS and Google Android applications, raised $5 million in its latest funding round.
I am not sure if Keith Piper and the crew he leads at Pretarget are fishermen, per se. But they sure do love to talk about "bass." Not the deep sounds that boom from my surround sound system, and not the stringed instrument, but "bass" the fish.
Companies targeting ads to consumers on TVs based on location, channel surfing activity and more might seem like a futuristic platform to some, but in reality companies offer the service today.
I recently spent time at the Mobile Insider Summit in Lake Tahoe listening to and speaking with mobile marketers who are themselves surprised at the tectonic shift of user behaviors to mobile. Google, Yahoo, Travelocity, Pandora, OfficeMax, and many other brands were there, and almost everyone reported the sometimes-shocking acceleration of mobile use in their categories.