Today, Yahoo launched what is sure to be the next step in the company’s advertising future. Behavior-based SmartAds is a product that will meld direct response advertising and brand by allowing advertisers to target their message and creative on-the-fly and applies it based on user behavior.
Yahoo has yet to acquire a patent on the SmartAds technology, but the product has been in beta tests for months.
Agencies are able to design an individual set of rich media creative assets and a database of offers, then let the technology out together various relevant combinations.
Todd Teresi, Yahoo’s senior vice president of display marketplaces said the technology gives advertisers, “the ability to deliver more personalized marketing messages to consumers, and still engage very large audiences with their brand.” The product will start in travel and is expected to expand by the end of the year to retail and automotive according to Teresi.
Should a person be looking for a sporting event in another city, a travel ad may pop up that provides the lowest rate from the user’s location to the destination city. For auto advertisers, Teresi says creative may include geographically relevant images with local dealer offer. He calls it a “template assetized approach,” stating, “All of a sudden, the ad experience becomes more relevant.”
As of now, SmartAds is being sold by direct sales, but may be made available through an auction-based system or an automated format. Teresi reported that during the fourth month testing period, SmartAds displayed a click-through rate that was two to three times higher than other traditional ads using target placements techniques.