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Yahoo is due to unveil on Monday a new system dubbed SmartAds that allows advertisers to compile ads on the spot based on a Web user's Internet profile, including such data as their location, recent product searches and, in some cases, age or household income.
"It starts to marry the concept of targeting ... with the construction of the ad," Todd Teresi, Yahoo's senior vice president of display marketplaces, told Reuters.
The aim, he said, is for "consumers to view advertising to be as relevant as the content they're looking at."
[edited by: engine at 10:57 am (utc) on July 2, 2007]
Supermarkets are finally beginning to send out offers that relate to what they know people are buying, for example.
Yahoo's problem is going to be dragging the marketers into using this technology. Target marketing is a lot of work for the ad buyer. Most ad agencies will give a tremendous amount of lip service to it, but in reality they don't want to fool with it because it takes too much time and makes them too little money.
Retails are only a little more interested. Most want carry the products people are seeking and have little interest in creating demand for new products or even growing demand for established products.
Yahoo, therefore, needs to talk directly with the makers of consumer products about deploying this technology.
But, you have to be careful. Automakers, for example, have designed new cars to go after, say, the youth market, only to find that it is the baby boomers who like their car.
I published a industrial magazine that had different rate cards for different markets. Only 45 percent needed left-handed widgets, so we charged the widget makers half of what we changed the copy machine firms. That's what is going to happen at Yahoo and elsewhere eventually as the targeting gets more and more precise. That still going to beat "pay per click" however.
Google looks at my blog and determines it has almost all business related information with a smattering of foreign trade. They pop on ads for helping people start companies in china etc.
I can tell Yahoo my age group is 18-23 year old students looking for help on their MBA.
Honestly this should have been around years ago, I wonder how this will affect some of these large web 2.0 type communities who have fantastic levels of detail into users' lives.
An increase of relevance in ads will lead to an increase in conversions, going from 5% clicks to 7% clicks is huge.
Now if only I could get through to the article so I can read more about what I'm blabbing about..
Adcenter had this demographic targeting from the off. However, Yahoo will be able to target on a presumably smaller but very distinct set of users - those with Yahoo logins - compared to Microsoft who has Passport data.
You are right though - getting Marketers to use it properly is a whole different ball game to actually having the capability.