Apple iAd Advertisers Can Now Retarget Across iOS Devices
Audience retargeting works in apps and across websites on iPads and iPhones in iOS 8.
Though they haven’t been shouting it from the rooftops, Apple added audience retargeting capabilities to its mobile ad platform iAd in iOS 8.
Digiday reported that Apple has been actively pitching agencies cross-device ad retargeting via iAd, which has struggled to find a foothold and the premium identity bestowed upon its launch in 2010. IAd retargeting will allow advertisers — such as retailers, gaming app developers, travel apps and more — to follow visitors to their own apps after they leave and move across other apps and even websites on iPhones and iPads and try to lure them back with offers.
The capability helps Apple get around the problem of traditional cookie tracking not working on mobile devices by relying on users’ Apple ID tied to their iTunes accounts.
In a presentation to developers at WWDC14, Paresh Rajwat and Ravi Chittari teased the new audience retargeting features as part of the updates to iAd Workbench in iOS 8:
“Audience retargeting lets you re-engage with every segment that you have in a customized way so you can give a custom experience through each of your segments.”
“When you build segments using iOS 8, your segments are automatically updated in real-time. . . .When you create segments this way, segmentation is automated, audience insights run based on segmentation, that’s real-time updated as well as the audience retargeting is updated in real-time.“
Advertisers can create custom messages to get dormant users to open an app, move up to the next level of a game app, bring users back to an abandoned cart or take some other type of action.
It’s well known that Apple’s mark on the mobile ad ecosystem has been relatively minimal to date, capturing 2.6 percent of the U.S. mobile ad market this year, according to eMarketer. That brings it in behind Twitter’s 3.5 percent and a far cry from Facebook and Google, which are expected to grab 37 and 18 percent of the market respectively.
After a few years of languishing, Apple has been making recent investments in iAd, including adding new brand-oriented pre-roll video and full-screen interstitial ad formats, expanding to Russia and Switzerland and opening up to small businesses, including all levels of app developers. IAd was also the first mobile ad network to receive MRC accreditation for viewability, meaning advertisers are only charged when ads are viewable to users.
Despite its pedigree, or perhaps because its pedigree is steeped in product rather than advertising, iAd had faced challenges on many fronts — from Google and Facebook to a host of mobile-only ad platforms. Audience retarget across Apple devices will likely get agencies and advertisers to give iAd another look, particularly during the holiday season.