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Sprint eyes larger role in mobile advertising with new targeting tools

Sprint Nextel is aiming to make mobile advertising more personalizing with a new service for marketers.

Sprint Nextel is working with Amobee to create an advertising platform as well as brand agency Digitas on the initiative. With the new service, brands will be able to launch and run targeted campaigns.

?We believe that we are allowing marketers to reach the audience that they are trying to but are allowing to reach them at scale,? said Dan Polk, director of business development at Sprint, Overland Park, KS.

?We are in a unique position as a mobile operator with our assets to add value to all aspects in the industry,? he said.

?We believe that things have matured enough in the industry that we are now in the year of mobile.?

Market on mobile
The new advertising tool is called Pinsight Media+.

With the new tools, consumers can opt-in to share information about how they use their mobile devices. The information will be kept anonymous.

Information about a consumer?s mobile behavior and location are both examples of data that will be leveraged with the tool. Location information can be honed down to a smaller level than a ZIP code, according to Mr. Polk.

In return, targeted ads will be served across Sprint?s properties. For instance, the ads will appear on, Sprint Zone, Sprint Web on-deck as well as third-party publishers.

Sprint will run ads on these properties regardless of whether consumers opt-in with information. However, the targeted ads will be based on criteria such as a user?s interests to make the ad more personalized, including offers, content and advertisements.

Sprint claims that the new advertising tool is a break from spray-and-pray advertising that is currently used in the industry ? including cluster targeting and batch processing.

Brands including WhitePages and ad networks Jumptap and RedMas will partner with Sprint on the effort. Additionally, publishers AccuWeather and Scout by Telenav are included at launch.

Targeted offers
As mobile advertising continues to gain traction, personalization will be a key factor in moving the industry forward.

Targeting messages based on a consumer?s preferences and interests is a great way in doing this.

However, privacy is consistently an issue. The service is opt-in and lets consumers know that in exchange for passing over anonymous information, they will be targeted with more contextually-relevant offers.

According to Sprint, the carrier is particularly poised to have a strong presence in the advertising ecosystem because of its trove of data from its customers with unlimited data plans.

?This will enable advertisers, agencies and brands to serve more relevant messages to our subscriber base by leveraging data that we have from our customers,? Mr. Polk said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York