New Yahoo Targeting Ripe for Holiday Shopping Season

  |  November 8, 2011   |  Comments

Local targeting lets retailers and other advertisers target based on consumers' home addresses and measure impact on sales.

Yahoo has partnered with offline data firms to enhance its online ad targeting capabilities. The company has unveiled a new form of local targeting based on consumers' home addresses and introduced ways to measure the impact of online ads on offline purchases.

Over the past year, the company formed alliances with large consumer data houses Experian, Axciom, and IXI to expand its ability to target registered Yahoo users based on offline data and customer data from advertisers themselves. Yahoo works with those outside data firms to match advertiser data with Yahoo's addressable database of 150 million consumers, and to provide encrypted data sets to target ads on Yahoo.

The service technically has been available for some time now, and is similar to data matching services for online ad targeting offered by AOL and MSN. However, Yahoo believes its database of 150 million people who have provided email and physical addresses when registering on the site offers increased scale.

"We're now getting out into the market and expanding it," said Bryan Schroeder, senior director of Yahoo, advertiser and publisher solutions, Americas.

Yahoo is also introducing a new form of location-based targeting. The Proximity Match system targets audiences based on distance between their homes and a business location, such as a department store. Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the idea is to drive foot traffic to stores within a relatively short distance of the target audience's neighborhoods.

"You've got Yahoo's addressable audience, and we believe that home address is a reliable indicator of where a user is likely to shop offline," said Schroeder.

The company has tested the targeting capabilities with department store retailers, and is using third parties to measure the impact of proximity-targeted web ads on in-store sales. According to Schroeder, Yahoo will tie online ad exposure to audience segments in the hopes of showing the effect on sales in nearby store locations.

Yahoo is also working with longtime partner Nielsen for the Consumer Direct product for CPG advertisers. It uses Nielsen Catalina Solutions shopper data and ties in-store purchase activity against Nielsen's panel data to target and measure sales lift. The service uses pre-defined segments such as "heavy buyers of ice cream."

The new and enhanced targeting capabilities can be used for all online ad formats except for search, including display, video, and rich media units, said Schroeder.

Amid heightened concern around consumer data privacy online and off, Yahoo will include the AdChoices icon in all ads employing the new targeting. The symbol has been seen in more and more ads across the web and lets users click to learn how ads were targeted and opt-out from future targeting.

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Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.

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