Yahoo!: Dayparting Can Boost Ad Campaigns

NEW YORK — Speaking before a mostly full house on the second day of the @d:Tech conference and exhibition, Yahoo’s chief solutions officer, Tim Sanders, urged advertisers to embrace the Internet as a way to buff up their offline marketing efforts.

Perhaps reflecting the lowered expectations for the industry, Sanders said online media is best used in assisting the heavy lifting done by traditional media — instead of replacing other advertising channels entirely.

Sanders said agencies need to be convinced of how the Internet can drive consumers to other media. In this support role, online advertising can act in a role similar to how radio pushes people to look for inserts in their Sunday newspaper.

Sanders pointed to the work done by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, Marketing Evolution and Dynamic Logic on the cross-media optimization study, which showed the effectiveness of online advertising when added to the media mix.

Central to online media’s role in the media mix is the ability to audiences target by time of day — especially during the day. Sanders trumpeted Yahoo’s work in driving awareness for Gap and the Ford Focus by capturing consumers’ attention during daytime hours, when they are less likely to be reached by other media.

For Sanders, the answer is “Brand 360,” the idea that advertisers need to touch a consumer at a variety of points — at home, at work, on the road, and at play — in order to build brand awareness, loyalty and purchase intent.

He said an advertiser like Budweiser might do a good job of reaching consumers at home with TV and print; on the road with radio; and at play with outdoor advertising. However, when it comes to work hours, taking up a large chunk of the day, the advertiser is mostly absent.

“The Internet is, in many ways, the glue that holds everything together,” Sanders said.

Yahoo’s traffic mostly comes during the daytime hours, with Sanders identifying peaks at the lunch hours of all U.S. time zones. For a movie advertiser, it only makes sense to touch consumers during Friday afternoons, when most weekend movie decisions are made. The best way to find them, Sanders pointed out, is to hit the Net.

“If you want to reach them during the day, get good at using the Internet,” he said.

Dayparting has caught on with some publishers, including CBS Marketwatch and NYTimes.com. The Online Publishers Association has pushed the Internet’s daytime hours as a “primetime” equivalent to TV’s hold on the evening hours.

Advertisers that realize the concept will flourish, while those that don’t risk losing an opportunity to savvier rivals, Sanders added.

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