NativeX Unveils New ‘Psychographic’ Targeting For Mobile Ads

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Mobile advertising company NativeX is announcing new targeting features that it describes as “the most precise demographic targeting technology to date.”

That might sound like marketing hype, but NativeX (formerly known as w3i) says most other companies target mobile ads on just one or two attributes, whereas its technlogy uses hundreds of thousands of attributes — not just device type and location but also age, income, gender, ethnicity, education, and more. So advertisers should be able to reach the exact type of user that they’re looking for, whether it’s “a 20-year-old undergrad who likes to gamble” or “a working mom with two kids”. Then they can show them an ad that specifically tailored to their demographics and interests.

Here’s a slightly longer explanation from the NativeX team, which doesn’t go into a lot of technical detail, but does mention Justin Bieber:

Imagine you are a poster vendor, and you’re presented a class of 100 high school girls who are interested in buying posters. You can give out a catalogue of Justin Bieber posters (because he’s a hot ticket) and you’ll land 20 customers who will buy multiples, but you’re losing out on the other 80 because you don’t know what they like.

NativeX’s smart engine examines various elements about all 100 girls and finds out what each of them like. Instead of sending out one Justin Bieber catalogue to the whole class, you give out catalogues that target each student’s interests. You’ll hit not only the power buyers, but also the students who receive catalogues relevant to their interests.

The company collects app demographic data through anonymous user surveys, but the targeting is also supposed to work without the surveys. In early tests, the targeting led to a 500 to 600 percent increase in eCPMs (the money that advertisers effectively paid for each 1,000 impressions).