Yahoo announced today the launch of their new behavioral targeting platform called SmartAds that combines Yahoo's targeting capability with the chance to create on the fly display ads to the targeted customer set. All you need to do is provide Yahoo with your creative assets and segmentation criteria and they'll take care of the rest. Sounds too good to be true? No. Not really.
You see, I've been using Yahoo's enhanced behavioral targeting capabilities for at least 6 years and I've always had success with it. In fact, other than taking my own created list and having a publisher match it and then serve ads versus the matched segment, Yahoo's behavioral capabilities are the best around and that includes Google. A few of Yahoo's targeting services I've used include:
- Demo targeting with only a slight increase on the CPM
- Beaconing on either current customer pages or key sign-up pages for future re-targeting efforts
- Once the beacon's been in place for significant time, Yahoo built cloning models for me that targeted these clones on their network
- Specific customer targets built by Yahoo for easy selection on their network
Literally, you name the segmentation and I've used them with much success. Yahoo's behavioral targeting has been my ace in the hole for years and I always make sure they are included in my media plans or I've composed the entire media plan from them.
How does it stack up against other targeting capabilities? Based on my experience, Yahoo is the best and that includes Google. And, if you couple on the fly creative development, Yahoo should have a bit of a hit on their hands except for one drawback. I saw no mention in the release if this will be limited to advertisers that spend a minimal amount on an insertion order.
Yes, the dreaded minimum on the IO. If Yahoo opens this up to any advertiser than they WILL have a big hit that will give them a considerable leg up on Google and other publishers. If it is limited to a minimum IO spend, than not as many advertisers will be able to experience it. Unlike Google's targeting which any size advertiser can experience, Yahoo's SmartAds will not gain as much traction in the marketplace.
Anyway, I'll check with my contacts tomorrow morning (July 3rd) to see what the details of SmartAds are. For the bulk of my advertising, I should be able to test it out especially when it finally rolls out to Finance. It should work great for the advertisers that are eligible for it, but unless it is opened up to any sized advertiser, it won't gain traction in the ad marketplace.