AOL’s Chad Gallagher discusses mobile-first approach in 2016

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In interviews released earlier this week, AOL Global Head of Mobile, Chad Gallagher, discusses the company’s plans to push forward with its mobile-first approach as well as trends in the mobile ad industry this year.

Having acquired mobile ad specialist Millennial Media last year, AOL has been steadily building its mobile ad portfolio. Now, the company plans to zoom in on targeting to reach very specific audiences. Talking to Wireless Week, Gallagher revealed:

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“The better the ads are targeted, at least its stuff you’re interested in. So that’s what we’re thinking about. How do you go mobile first, design the ad for the person, take data into account and also take into account all the data we have on the actual device.”

In addition, AOL is looking into the possibility of targeting users based on network, which could help solve data load and consumption issues and ultimately steer away consumers from feeling the need to use ad blockers. He says:

“We know if you’re on WiFi or not when we actually serve the ad. So that right there is really interesting because we can start to decision ads based on WiFi verse 3G or 4G. So if it’s a heavier ad, we can immediately block when you’re on a data connection to make sure you only get that in certain places.”

As more marketers strive to reach audiences more efficiently, Gallagher highlights the need for first-party data. In another interview with Mediapost’s RTBlog, he says:

“User-level attribution is needed. And I think we’re moving in that direction with more brands seeing they’re undervaluing mobile. They’ll see the benefits of more advanced, granular attribution. User-level attribution is really the Holy Grail, with advertisers being able to directly connect mobile impressions with dollars spent and to better optimize campaigns.”

In addition, he pointed towards the rapid growth of private marketplaces to connect publishers with mobile advertisers as one of the highlights of 2016. In-app advertising has already proven successful and according to Gallagher will continue to flourish.

“In-app mobile ad spending is really the future of the mobile advertising category. Consider that people with access to a smartphone or tablet now spend an average of three hours on them per day. And 84% of all smartphone time is spent in-app.”