verizon aolA key initiative in 2017 for an evolving Verizon AOL strategy is to more tightly integrate Verizon/ AOL marketing initiatives, said Marni Walden, Verizon president of product innovation and new businesses, at a financial conference today. Moves that the carrier already has made in that direction have had a substantial positive impact, she noted.

For example, Walden said, “We have seen triple digit audience growth just by cross promoting and putting a piece of content of Go90 in Huff Post and moving it back and forth.”

While Go90  is Verizon’s home-grown content offering developed specifically for mobile devices, the Huffington Post –  referred to as “Huff Post” by Walden — is one of numerous media assets that Verizon gained when it acquired AOL.

Verizon AOL Strategy

marni walden
Marni Walden

“One of my key operating initiatives this year is to leverage all of the assets,” said Walden. That, she said, will include bringing Verizon customer data into AOL. In instances where the company already has made that move, “the result on targeted advertising is significantly better,” Walden noted.

Broadband privacy rules adopted by the FCC earlier this year created some hurdles for broadband providers such as Verizon with regard to marketing efforts and consumer privacy. But Walden said Verizon will not run afoul of the privacy rules and will “ensure we don’t compromise the customer relationship.”

Verizon’s purchase of AOL was driven by a desire to better monetize its network investment by tapping advertising opportunities, which Verizon expects to be a $90 billion market by 2020, Walden said.

“We’ve built amazing networks that enabled innovation” on the part of many players, she said. Increasingly, Verizon wants to ensure that it innovates at the same speed at which others are innovating. She also noted that management is “trying to make sure we have multiple paths to monetization” of company assets.

The “aspiration is to do a whole lot more in the platforms and service layer and what that does for us is it diversifies the way we think about revenue,” Walden said. She pointed to the ThingSpace Internet of Things developer platform  and the Hum connected car offering as examples of Verizon offerings above the network layer.

Walden made her comments at the Citi 2017 Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference in Las Vegas, which was also webcast.

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