“These are products that have been in the works for a long time, where we’re closing the loop on in-store visits and purchases, not just providing some fuzzy location match,” said Joran Lawrence, VP of product management for Millennial.
Lawrence added that AOL has other initiatives in the works around what is sometimes called "total audience measurement," as opposed to channel-based approaches to targeting and attribution in mobile, desktop and TV.
Doing will require some thoughtfulness around cross-device tracking and the related privacy concerns. In the latter area, AOL's new parent has not always inspired confidence.
But the opportunity is large for Verizon to leverage its customers' mobile data to provide a challenger to Facebook and Google's powerful deterministic (i.e., logged-in) audience data sets.
“Privacy is a huge issue, which is why being 100% deterministic 100% of the time can be really creepy,” Lawrence noted. “There does need to be this important layer of obfuscation people are going to want to have in the digital marketing space, but it all falls apart if you build a [probabilistic] model on too small of a deterministic set.”