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New York Times turns focus to targeted advertising on social for app users

Daily newspaper the New York Times is implementing targeted advertising using social channels to take mobile application users back for more via a collaboration with data collector Gallop Labs in an effort to further engage with users. 

Frequent users of the publisher's app should expect to see targeted ads in the future on social sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, as executives look to not only deliver the most personalized content to users but also the most targeted ads elsewhere. The strategy, which is being executed in partnership with Gallop Labs, is one of the many ways that the New York Times is ramping up its mobile strategy this year. 

?We want to help marketers think and act like data scientists," said Farzana Nasser, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Gallop Labs, New York. "Under the hood of the mobile analytics dashboard, there is a ton of detail on their users. Marketers can use this data to drive more targeted advertising based on what users are looking at and what they?re interested in at the right time and with the right message.?

A full sprint
Gallop Labs, a mobile marketing automation platform and is a recent winner of Facebook?s Innovation Award, is directing New York Times marketers toward social channels based on the data collected.

Gallop recognizes the few channels that marketers can use to execute entirely targeted efforts, such as Facebook and Twitter, and encourages their clients to use these channels to better acquire, engage and retain app users.

In a similar way that Facebook remembers the sites its users visit and then develops coordinating ads, Gallop?s capabilities can use the habits of dedicated New York Times? users to advertise more targeted information to them while they browse on their favorite social sites.

Rather than Gallop?s focus be on recruiting subscribers, the company collects data following subscription to keep the user interested and more engaged.

By using a combination of algorithms, specifically in-app behavioral data, Gallop aims to help marketers optimize their campaigns based on post-install metrics. 

Other endeavors for Gallop have been helping music publishing app Rithm leverage Facebook data to increase monthly app users by 25 percent.

Expansive technology
In July, the New York Times released new features on its iPhone and iPad mobile applications, allowing users to customize their experience by choosing what types of news alerts they receive. 

The development of these features was introduced to encourage more engagement with the apps, given users can filter different news genres, depending on their personal interests. The features launch at a time when push notifications have become a crucial marketing tool to remind users of the brand (see story).

In April, the New York Times upped its digital video investments with the launch of an editorial section that complements several new cross-screen advertising opportunities for marketers.

The video section is called Times Video and is designed with responsive design to render across smartphones, tablets and desktops, and Acura is the launch sponsor of the new site. The New York Times has also partnered with Vimeo to create customized content for advertisers (see story).

With the right type of data, marketers are able to look past the bigger picture and know users on a personal level, enabling them to provide an overall pleasant experience while using the app and recruiting users that will keep coming back.

?We see a huge focus on driving cheap installs within mobile advertising these days, and there is not as much of a focus on high quality users,? Ms. Nasser said. ?If users don't stick around after their install and do not drive revenue, they aren't too valuable."

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon, editorial assistant for Mobile Marketer, New York