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Yahoo leaks give few strategy hints September 26, 2012

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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The impressions that are leaking out of Yahoo’s strategy presentation to its employees are pretty vague. Om is probably too harsh in reacting to their lack and to other sources, but there’s not a whole lot that seems new or counter-intuitive. Business Insider seems oddly better sourced than AllThingsD, but take it all with a grain of salt. Personalization seems to be the main theme, but with little on product or implementation of it. Projects will have to hew to a “rule of 100 million” (dollars or users?), which is perfectly sensible for a company of Yahoo’s girth. Acquisitions will be for talent rather than tech or businesses.

As I’ve written before, Yahoo has significant assets and should be salvageable, if not returned to a high-growth superstar. It has a big, still-loyal audience that uses it quite regularly for a broad mix of content and communications. It has the potential to be an advertiser or agency’s good friend in targeting mass-reach audiences in a variety of contexts. It should focus on quality content and brand advertising. It should use search primarily in support of its display advertising business. If Google comes a-knocking, it should answer the door, but Microsoft might still be a good partner, especially if Yahoo can get an even sweeter deal of of Redmond.

Yes, Yahoo’s ad targeting should be much better than it is, given the amount of data it should have been collecting about its users. Yahoo historically applied its personalization skills better on content than on ad support. There’s no way its home page will look like this. And if its premium content efforts result in corrections like the one in this NY Times story (confusing YouTube for Yahoo video), then it has a lot of work to do in getting the news out.

 

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