Yahoo unlocks local advertising value online

Hilary Schneider joined Yahoo last Fall, charged with the mission of developing “new ways of monetizing transaction listings across Yahoo,” as senior vice president of Marketplaces, a newly formed business unit for the company.Schneider’s operations responsibilities include Yahoo Marketplaces properties in the U.

Hilary Schneider joined Yahoo last Fall, charged with the mission of developing “new ways of monetizing transaction listings across Yahoo,” as senior vice president of Marketplaces, a newly formed business unit for the company.

Schneider’s operations responsibilities include Yahoo Marketplaces properties in the U.S.; Autos, Classifieds, HotJobs, Personals, Real Estate, Shopping & Auctions, Travel and Yellow Pages.

Prior to joining Yahoo, Schneider led the digital efforts for several print media companies such as Knight Ridder, Inc., Red Herring Communications, Times Mirror Interactive and The Baltimore Sun Company.

Schnneider keynoted at the Kelsey “Drilling Down on Local” conference this morning and proudly presented a promotional video showcasing Yahoo’s strategic partnership with a consortium of seven newspaper chains (representing 176 daily papers across the country) to share content, advertising and technology, a deal announced shortly after she joined the company.

The video was inspirational, but short on specifics. Schneider’s personal remarks on Yahoo’s aim to “unlock the value of local advertising,” however, were substantive.

The local advertising market is “big and growing,” Schneider said. Citing Bank of America data, she noted today’s almost $4 billion local online advertising spend is projected to grow to over $12 billion within the next five years.

Local searches are growing as a percentage of overall Web searches, Schneider underscored. At Yahoo last year, local searches accounted for 14% of all searches conducted versus 11% the year before.

For Schneider, the “research online, buy offline,” component of local activities on the Web represents the greatest opportunity, a “$ 1.3 trillion marketplace.”

Out of the 130 million monthly unique users of Yahoo last year, “116 million of them came to Yahoo with local intent,” Schneider said. Local search, mapping and local news and information are some of the local activities engaged in by users at Yahoo.

On the mobile platform, local intent categories are the most sought after data: maps and directions, directory listings, restaurants and stores, flight information and local movies. Mobile is a “massive opportunity to reach consumers beyond computer screens,” according to Schneider.

Mobile advertising revenues are expected to grow from about $1 billion today to over $11 billion by 2011, Schneider said.

At Yahoo, local content is a priority. Yahoo has data on 60,000 cities, 80,000 zip codes and 17 million businesses, Schneider indicated.

The Yahoo local advertiser value proposition is delivered via diverse product offerings:

Online Marketplace
Website
Storefront with Billing
Content Match
Keywords
Branding/Promotion
Targeting Capabilities

The Yahoo local advertising ecosystem is designed to show the “right ad to the right audience, in the right format.”

Yahoo targets local advertising messages based on three types of user behavior:

Declared; Yahoo user registration data,

Observed; Click stream activity,

Inferred; Behavioral modeling.

Next generation advertising platforms, available today at Yahoo, are delivering “Smart Ads” Schneider proudly underscored.

STAY TUNED FOR MORE COVERAGE FROM DRILLING DOWN ON LOCAL!

Online advertising meets ‘The User Revolution’
Growing local ad spend: Top seven predictions
The future of Local Search: Report from the field

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