Guardian fine-tunes targeting methods to up-sell to mobile users

The Guardian is honing its targeting methods to encourage its digital audiences to upgrade to premium mobile app users, as publishers seek alternative methods of monetising their online audiences, according to speakers at this week’s Apps World conference. 


Speaking yesterday (22 October), Tom Grinsted, Guardian News and Media’s (GNM) director of product and mobile apps, told attendees the Guardian publisher was focussed on upgrading its Android app users to its premium subscription package in particular as part of its “freemium” strategy.

This involves sending Guardian Android app users displaying requisite behaviours with a call to action, encouraging them to sign up to its 69p per month premium package.

It is also encouraging its iOS app users to do likewise.

Grinsted said: “We’re looking to see how we can strategically target mobile web users who are most likely upgrade to becoming mobile app users.”

He went on to explain that GNM was constantly assessing how it monetises its suite of mobile services, including its website and premium iPad edition.

This is despite the suite of services currently being on course to deliver its “best ever quarter” for mobile, in terms of ad revenues and premium subscription fees.

He said: “The Guardian has experimented with a number of business models since launching native apps three and a half years ago.

“You need to embrace change, it can be quite painful. The business model that’s working today might not be the right one for tomorrow… While you’re doing well, it’s always important to realise that you could do better.”

Meanwhile, during a separate session at the panel, Jennifer Macrae, Mastercard’s VP digital wallet market development, explained how the payment giant was partnering with publishers to monetise their digital pages using its online payment service MasterPass.

Since early October, Mastercard has partnered with Wired publisher Conde Nast to trial ShopThis!, which lets Wired readers click on a link next to a featured product, that will then let them purchase it using a MasterPass account without leaving the pages of the publication.

Separately, mobile specialist ad firm Mojiva used the conference to launch a study into tablet user behaviour based on activity from its network of over 1.1 billion devices.

The study found the majority of tablet users consumed entertainment content on tablet devices with 62 per cent of such devices users watching video content, and 49 per cent using them to read newspaper/magazine content.