With iAd a lengthy one-week old at this point, Apple is already gearing up to utilize the treasure chest of user-data its acquired through the roughly 150M iTunes accounts it has full access to.
More specifically, Apple has commissioned a thorough study of the purchasing patterns of its users in terms of apps, music and video content to better target its key demographics and give more power to the advertisers using iAd. Robust targeting capability is the true value with iAd, and Apple is going to do everything it can to give its advertisers the most bang for their buck.
A good example of which is Unilever, which together with Apple, has created an iAd campaign to target married men with children who are in their late 30s to market Dove men’s soap. Analyzing iTunes purchasing and profile data, Unilever was able to create a highly relevant and targeted campaign that goes directly after the preferred demographic.
Rachel Pasqua, director of digital marketing firm iCrossing, highlighted the impressive wealth of behavioral and buying pattern data available to the company; “Apple knows what you’ve downloaded, how much time you spend interacting with an app and even knows what you’ve downloaded over time and didn’t like or deleted.”
User privacy issues aside, iAd will certainly become a force to be reckoned with in the future, despite regulatory scrutiny. Apple wants to do with mobile advertising what Google did with search advertising over the last decade- which is to use the mounds of user-specific data to serve highly relevant and targeted adverts. With iTunes on its side, Apple already has a significant leg up, though Google is gearing up for a fight of its own with its purchase and integration of AdMob.