Yahoo has taken the step to combine both its search marketing & display advertising groups under one unified advertising sales division which will be headed by David Karnstedt, who is the current head of the Yahoo Search sales force.
Via the merging of the two sales arms, advertisers will now be able to purchase and hopefully manage an integrated search marketing & display advertising program grouped with behavioral targeting and post-search targeting of display ads (user searches for ‘cars’, gets served a Carmax banner when checking Yahoo Mail).
“Integrating our world-class search and display sales teams under David’s leadership will allow us to better serve all of our advertisers’ marketing objectives ranging from brand awareness to direct response,” said Sue Decker, President, Yahoo! “This is one of many important steps we’re taking to re-invigorate our display business, further build on our industry-leading position in advertising, and drive thought-leadership in the online advertising marketplace.”
In an environment where search and display advertising is becoming more integrated as part ofthe overall branding philosophy, Yahoo says that its integrated sales organization will be the first of its kind to offer the widest selection of advertising products coupled with the broadest scale of search and display inventory to customers. By organizing around marketers and their needs rather than advertising products, Yahoo feels it will be better positioned to provide marketing customers with the most comprehensive set of end-to-end solutions.
The merge of search & display may also, in some circumstance, give Yahoo an upperhand on building marketing partnerships, like their search partnership with Bebo which began last week.
Sure, Google AdWords has its own display network via Google AdSense contextual advertising, but Yahoo display ads can be of a higher CPM persuasion and targeted towards the behavior of the Yahoo Network user. If Yahoo can bring this revenue generating monster into a major partnership and serve such integrated ads outside of the Yahoo domain, then they will have so much more to leverage.