This interview of PushSpring's Publisher Partnerships leader, Brad Dobbs, originally ran in the Thalamus blog, July 31, 2016.

For those of us who aren’t familiar with PushSpring, please tell us a little more about your platform for both advertisers, and publishers.

PushSpring is the largest independent mobile app data provider, working with the leading DSP’s and DMP’s in the digital space. PushSpring has created a deterministic mobile app dataset of over 170 million targetable mobile device IDs, which advertisers and publishers alike can take advantage of for more relevant messaging in external and retention marketing.

PushSpring offers a wealth of data about mobile app users, and allows both advertisers and publishers to activate this data and export it for both targeting and monetization on multiple data & buy-side platforms. Can you speak more on your integrations with other companies and how you work with each?

From the perspective of a marketer at an agency or at the client direct, PushSpring’s Personas are already listed and purchasable within platforms such as Google DBM and The Trade Desk, amongst others. This allows for buyers to easily select data sets within their DSP of choice to try out mobile first, deterministic data. However, an incredible amount of value is provided when customers create their own segments. Think of the power of app data if you are running marketing for a mobile or video streaming service, the ability to target competitive apps, or in some cases, avoid those apps could prove to be a great way to win new mobile users.

Conversely, as a publisher, having this data within your DMP for use within private marketplace deals or with our direct integration within DoubleClick for Publishers can help quantify your audiences and provide helpful insights and targets for clients. Publishers can also use this data to learn more about their mobile audiences.

What do you think is the #1 problem that mobile app publishers face today?

I believe one of the largest challenges that app publishers face today is quantifying their mobile audience and using that to monetize more effectively. Imagine knowing that your audience also streams tons of mobile video, uses music streaming services as well as have car shopping apps installed – data that can help unlock new potential advertising partnerships and revenue outside of contextual fits.

Can you share more on how you quantify, and categorize PushSpring Personas?

PushSpring Personas are constructed using a variety of device-level signals. For example, we are able to build a Spanish-speaking Persona based on both the language setting of the device and the presence of Spanish language content on device. In certain cases, we use time to help age out certain Personas (e.g., house shoppers).

Retention rates for mobile apps has been known to be horrendous, sometimes with 90% of users becoming inactive after 30 days. How can a publisher leverage PushSpring data segmentation to run re-engagement campaigns for their users, and what are some best practices?

PushSpring’s console allows for matching of IDFA’s and AAID’s of your audiences, and further allows you to find out what else interests them. For example, a streaming music client approached us with a similar situation in which they wanted to re-engage those inactive users, and especially wanted to have an impactful message for them besides just telling them to launch the app. After an audience match showed an over index in workout apps, a controlled A/B test between generic creative and creative that showed off a workout playlist feature was run. The test concluded that they were able to get a cost per engaged user 57% cheaper than with generic creative, with over 100% in CTR lift as well. You can see the case study here. This sort of example directly influences the issue of user retention.

How is a brand advertiser able to leverage PushSpring 3rd party data – how does the actual technical implementation work if they are using a DSP?

It’s pretty easy. Upon logging into the PushSpring Audience Console and creating a custom segment of your own, simply provide PushSpring with your account credentials for the DSP you would like to use through the export tool. Depending on the partner, those audience segments will be available for targeting within 24-48 hours.

Are there any innovations happening in mobile data or advertising now that excite you the most?

I think the most exciting thing for mobile advertising and the industry in general was highlighted in Mary Meeker’s 2016 report on the state of the internet – specifically the contrast of time spent with mobile devices and the amount of ad revenue that is associated with the channel. 13% of digital ad dollars today are spent on mobile, but 25% of consumer’s time is spent there. That is a huge opportunity – and the ability for us and other great companies to find out ways to close that gap is the most exciting thing for mobile advertising today.

Lastly, what is your take on the future use of 1st party and 3rd party data in mobile advertising?

I am bullish on publishers who have vast amounts of first party data that are now learning how valuable that information can be, especially if it is unique and tied to their vertical. The way we can complete the circle of insights and understanding, and help advance the innovations that I am so excited about is really through the additional value of being able to associate that 1P data with strong 3P data and tell a complete user story.