Leveraging ContextDriven Mobile Advertising to Drive User Engagement
Monday, February 8, 2016
URX recently launched its AppView Carousel solution, which dynamically extracts information from the page a mobile user is engaging with and provides those users with relevant, product-level content and a direct path to product purchase via deep linking. We visited with Mike Fyall, Head of Product at URX, to discuss how the platform works.
ADM: What are the biggest challenges to mobile commerce today?
Fyall: For all the hype about mobile commerce over the last two years, only a fraction of purchases happen on mobile. Retailers are quickly learning that more mobile site visits doesn’t mean more sales, and they are in need of real solutions to connect consumers to the right product at the right time. That last part - at the right time - is key, and how URX is different.
The key to mobile commerce lies in anonymously and accurately harnessing user intent. URX was founded to improve the mobile experience by unlocking the content inside apps through deep linking. We have announced a new product, AppView Carousel, that helps brands connect users to the items or content they want, when they want it.
ADM: Explain more about AppView Carousel and how it works.
Fyall: AppView Carousel first determines what a user is interested in, by making sense of what real world entities (person, place, or thing) that they’re reading about. For example, if a user clicks on an Entertainment Weekly article about Sunday’s Super Bowl 50 halftime show, then, while the page is loading, URX would extract the key entities such as Beyonce, Coldplay, and Super Bowl 50.
We then look through our massive index of mobile content and predict what someone reading about the Super Bowl 50 halftime show would want to do next. Our platform then helps turn intent into action by deep linking users directly to the desired content, wherever it lives across the mobile ecosystem.
The AppView Carousel works at the product-level by indexing advertiser feeds to provide rich product details, dynamically providing recommendations that match page context and leveraging deep linking to provide the shortest purchase path.
The product also helps extinguish fires started by intrusive and ineffective mobile ads. Instead of serving static, irrelevant ads, publishers can now use the AppView Carousel to bring useful, easy-to-navigate products directly into users’ hands.
ADM: Are there any privacy concerns to surfacing content based on what a user is reading?
Fyall: URX is inherently focused on user privacy. Our technology utilizes context - for example, keywords on a page (e.g., Beyonce, Coldplay) - instead of personal data to gain insight into what a user is likely interested in. We feel strongly that personal data should not be viewed as a means to an end for advertisers.
ADM: What makes context-driven ads better for brands, particularly on mobile?
Fyall: We believe that real-time context is a considerably more valuable (and underutilized) signal for mobile user intent than what that user has done in the past. Many companies are spending an increasingly large percentage of their mobile marketing budgets on mobile (particularly on large platforms like Facebook) and using personally-identifiable information as the default “currency” for targeting, tracking, etc.
Beyond the user privacy benefits, URX’s solution takes a future-focused approach to mobile marketing. We don’t need to know who a user is, how old they are, what products they’ve purchased, etc. to drive success for mobile marketers.
In contrast, we believe that contextual commerce experiences will help solve some of the direct response marketing challenges that many large advertisers are facing with their existing marketing strategies.
ADM: Do you have any examples you can share to illustrate how brands are benefitting from this model?
Fyall: Absolutely, The Huffington Post is one of the brands using our platform today to take control of its mobile monetization. They are using the AppView Carousel to provide users with context-driven ads that fit into the user experience naturally. It looks like this, if a Huffington Post reader sees a mobile article about Ed Sheeran, the AppView Carousel will allow them to do things like listen to popular songs on Spotify, find tickets to upcoming concerts on SeatGeek, buy related products on Wish, etc.
Other successful partners include Entertainment Weekly, FanSided, Fetch, and Spin.
ADM: Consumers are spending more and more time on mobile, how does the AppView Carousel help publishers monetize this trend.
Fyall: There’s no question that publishers have been struggling to monetize the consumer shift to mobile. While an increasing amount of content is consumed on mobile, publishers receive only a small fraction of revenue from mobile.
One root of the problem is that these publishers looked for easy ways to repurpose their existing desktop technologies to monetize their mobile traffic. Shoehorning these solutions into mobile hurt the user experience by inflicting invasive ads, slow load times, and less battery life.
ADM: What should content publishers be doing to make it easier to enable context-driven commerce experiences?
Fyall: Mobile content publishers should prioritize their user experience above most other things, but particularly above their business (i.e., revenue) goals. The answer to bridging the mobile monetization gap is not to put more useless, intrusive banners on the page. This is only going to make the problem worse for these publishers.
Instead, the answer is to build innovative user experiences that will keep people coming back to your site, and to then figure out within this context how can we achieve our business goals (e.g., LTV, quarterly quota, etc. ). By keeping users at the center of their world, publishers can become part of the solution and integrate solutions like URX’s that gives users access to complementary content while making progress to their business goals.
Read more: http://urx.com/
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