At CES 2014, Yahoo introduced the new Yahoo Advertising, a unified approach to digital advertising. Yahoo’s Head of Americas Ned Brody shares his thoughts on the story behind the new approach.
Q: What are the biggest challenges that you see advertisers facing now?
Ned Brody: In my meetings with them, they always talk about two things:
First, they want more creative flexibility. They want to work on a digital canvas that lets them tell rich, engaging stories, but the current state of online advertising doesn’t always allow for that. However, the desire to create the next big idea is still there.
Second, they’re tasked with driving greater efficiency, which is fueling the growth of programmatic advertising. They need to optimise campaign performance, but to do that, they need better insight into what’s working and what’s not. They’re asking very specific questions like, “What am I doing that’s actually driving conversions? Was it my search ads, or my mobile campaign?” So understanding attribution is key.
Advertisers say that those two challenges—the desire to be more creative and the need to be more cost-effective—often pull them in two different directions.
Q: How can this dilemma be solved?
NB: Advertisers need a digital canvas that’s open and unrestrictive, something that lets them take advantage of all the Web has to offer so they can tell compelling stories that grab consumer imagination. At the same time, they need a system that offers standardized models and formats so they can buy all kinds of advertising, including premium, on a cost-efficient, programmatic basis.
To help advertisers flex their creative muscles, Yahoo is offering new custom branded experiences based on the Tumblr platform. It’s a very flexible template that opens the door for advertisers to create rich and engaging experiences to really differentiate a brand. To see it in action, check out Yahoo Food and Yahoo Tech, our new digital magazines.
To help them improve performance and efficiency, we introduced a new unified approach to digital advertising. A major obstacle in online advertising is how fragmented it’s become. Advertisers have to deal with so many partners to get the reach, targeting, and effectiveness they want.
Our unified approach tackles that problem head-on. It includes a comprehensive suite of Web, mobile, and video ad products across premium and audience-focused display, native, and search advertising.
These products are supported by our data and analytics, with insights into the digital daily habits of more than 800 million people worldwide.
Q: How does this help advertisers become more efficient?
NB: Advertisers gain efficiency through data, but data is useless if it’s not interoperable. For example, if I can’t use a common measurement system to understand how my search results impact my mobile results, I’m missing out. The unified approach leverages data from our millions of registered users across screens for targeting, performance measurement, optimization, and more.
That data also provides answers to which tactics are actually driving conversions, which helps advertisers determine the optimum media mix for their campaigns. That’s huge, because our research shows that using the right media mix boosts efficiency in performance ad campaigns by 2.5 times and in brand campaigns by four times—with the same dollars spent.
Q: How does programmatic buying figure into the new approach?
NB: We introduced several new platforms that leverage programmatic buying and complement our full-service model. For example, Yahoo Ad Manager is a new, simplified platform that gives advertisers hands-on access to a wide range of native and display advertising. Yahoo Ad Manager Plus lets large advertisers plan, execute, and optimise complex display campaigns directly. And the Yahoo Ad Exchange is our new global ad marketplace that leverages programmatic buying.
Q: How are clients reacting?
NB: They’re really excited about the opportunities to be a part of re-imagining our new custom branded experiences, and they’re showing strong interest in the unified approach and how it works within their business. We’ve built packages around most of these offerings to let advertisers launch quickly and see the results first-hand. I think the most important thing is that advertisers are seeing our commitment to lining up everything we’ve got to help them meet their key challenges.
Hear more from Yahoo! at their Catalyst session, “Deconstructing Digital Daily Habits: A Deeper Understanding of how Gen Y/Z Affects Online Advertising” on Wednesday, March 12th at 9:30 am.
This post originally ran on the Yahoo Advertising Blog.