General Search Marketing

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo Dish on Integrated Solutions for Reaching Customers across Online Landscape

September 16, 2010

Mitch Spolan, VP of North American Field Sales & Advertising Agencies, Yahoo

There’s display, content and search. What if we leveraged all the screen space, told a story, and made an emotional connection? The idea’s not far from Tim Armstrong’s point that only 18% of online space is used for content. In this case, the content is mostly referring to advertising. He showed a compelling example with Chevy showing a major spike in brand recall and Yahoo! Buzz with an immersive takeover of Yahoo’s login screen.

Carolyn Everson, CVP, Global Ad Sales & Strategy, Microsoft

Their DNA is to be a partnership company. Then consumers started making their own IT decisions. With that revolution, Microsoft is reinventing how it approaches advertising and the marketplace. Microsoft is 3 different companies: a technology company, a marketer (spending $2 billion a year), and an advertising company. Its focus is now on innovating with marketers

Jim Lecinski, Managing Director, US Sales, Google

Google discussed the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) – a moment before consumers ever encounter a product on a shelf, something before what Procter & Gamble called the First Moment of Truth (FMOT) where consumers have that initial experience. Google can target consumers where they are and where they’ve been. The concept is integration at a concentrated, pre-planned effort. Read more about ZMOT on Google’s CPG blog.

Questions then came from Abbey Klaassen, Executive Editor, Advertising Age:

Q: What does the merger of Bing and Yahoo do for marketers?

Yahoo focused on the added simplicity for marketers who now have to work with just two systems instead of three. Microsoft noted how some marketers may now have a harder time placing well in Google and can do better with them.

Q: Do you see Facebook as a competitor?

Microsoft: Social is very important and we’re looking for those partners like Facebook. Social will be part of what everybody does in their web experiences: Yahoo: “What an opportunity.” From content creation to advertising to search, how can we leverage the information and share it with those we care about most? It’s not just Facebook. It’s the content – including Associated Content (which Yahoo acquired). Microsoft: We might be in the first inning of what search looks like, especially when you look at mobile.

Q: Rapid fire question and answer time! Wired wrote about the web being dead due to closed ecosystems. Does it worry you, or do you reject the premise?

Google: Yes, and… not either/or. There will always be a need for curated, premium content and closed systems are good for that, but long tail, collaborative systems are great for that.

Microsoft: Closed systems like Apple won’t go away, but the scale of more open systems like Microsoft is much bigger. We don’t intend on becoming closed.

Yahoo: It’s going to be open (funny anecdote omitted – it’s impossible to capture everything especially from Mitch).

Q: What does your scale get marketers?

Microsoft: A big part of it is global. Not too many players can run globally, and that’s where much of the growth is coming from.

Yahoo: It’s not just how many people but are you giving them a canvas to care? If we can’t impact people’s businesses, we shouldn’t be here.

Google: Scale begets standards. Standards lead to optimization. Optimization drives results.