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Brand Footprint Is About To Explode

Verizon announced that they are purchasing Yahoo and the deal will be finalized by Q1 of 2017. For most people this news is just another company spending big money to acquire potential competition. For digital marketers, however, this is a game changer. Much like Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn, Verizon’s purchase will influence how digital marketers create impact for the brands they represent. Verizon is the biggest wireless company in the country, holding 35.2% of the market share. This acquisition allows them to break into the revenue generating digital advertising world on a new level.  They will no longer lack the platform to leverage their large audience. Buying Yahoo gives them access to a nearly twenty-year-old search advertising technology – a platform that has been built to serve consumers ads at the right time and in the right context. This knowledge means new layers of targeting for brands on a new, highly utilized network.

The Birth Of A New Ad Platform

A new ad platform will emerge here. We anticipate that Verizon will leverage their millions of mobile subscribers and serve them ads using the technology Yahoo has perfected over time. This will be a competitor platform to the biggest names in tech:  Google and Facebook.  The competitive advantage for Verizon lies in their access to consumer buying and surfing patterns, data usage, location – the list goes on. Directly competing with Google and Facebook for brands’ digital advertising dollars will be no easy task. But they have a leg up on both of them. Think of a consumer as a tenant in a building. Verizon owns the building and because of that they can control what their tenants see.  That means customized content and advertising in line with the unique targeting variables they have access to (and the blocking out of competitor network content if they so choose). Verizon has not launched their plan for activating the new network but brands can bank on the ability to target customers’ on their phones through text messaging, while using an app or searching within the app store. The sky is the limit with the interface. Imagine receiving a push-notification when you’re within a block of a restaurant that you’ve eaten at within the last week, offering you a free appetizer just for coming down. Would you think about going there? This is where the power lies for brands once Verizon announces their plan.  Can we get closer to real-time offers to potential customers without them having to use an app? That answer should be yes.

Put On Your Ad Block

There is one thing that still needs to play out. Apple blocks ads within Safari on mobile phones making it tricky to reach Apple’s app users. This user-first approach is the cornerstone of Apple’s business and it’s worked (they own 23% of the market share for mobile operating systems). Will this acquisition spark Apple to further enhance their ad blocking or will we see cooperation between Verizon and Apple? Other apps, like Google and Facebook, still have in-app advertisements that consumers can see.  It will be tough to say what might happen, but it will be fun to watch if the gloves come off.     Want more like this? Subscribe to our blog here.
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