POV: Twitter Ad Control
At the beginning of September Twitter announced it was acquiring MoPub, a mobile publishing exchange that provides app developers with greater (and more simple) control over their own inventory, pricing, and placement of advertising. Twitter has recently announced that it now plans to give advertisers greater control over ad placement too – a move which plays into the current trend towards transparency in digital advertising, as well as capitalising on advertisers interests in in-stream and native advertising (as advertisers will also be able to choose the frequency and positioning of in-stream ads too).
There are a number of key parts of both the acquisition and the announcement of greater control over the location of advertising that should appeal to advertisers. Firstly, this represents an opportunity for brands to begin layering together their own data with that of Twitter data, and specific app-based data – which, depending on the application and depth of Twitter information, may become a very powerful adaptive marketing tool. The second implication will be around split testing creative across different segments using that data, and starting to introduce creative testing into programmatic and RTB in order to begin sequential storytelling tests. The programmatic angle is something that hasn’t been mentioned by either Twitter or MoPub, but as Twitter looks to integrate MoPub’s RTB technology into its own platform, we’d expect to see a programmatic angle to this offering too. When we combine this with the cross-platform elements of this deal, that then offers brands the opportunity to begin to scale a lot of creative and content tests, which potentially leads to increasing overall campaign performance and increased efficiency of media spend – adaptive marketing at its best, and a great combination of the Mad Men and the Maths Men.
Effectively, this acquisition and announcement could mean that Twitter has just acquired both a brand advertising platform and publisher side platform rolled into one – which is then fuelled by both Twitter and location-based data. This has significant implications for the use of data by advertisers using the Twitter platform, and may lead towards an integration of first (advertiser data, such as custom audiences), second (earned and social data from Twitter itself), and third party data (from third party publishers where the advertising is to appear). This integration of data, and the fact that Twitter is beginning to replicate a lot of Facebook-esque behaviours, is a strong signal that Twitter is trying to make the leap into the much-hyped advertising technology and Big Data space.