Microsoft Corp. made a hostile bid to buy the company, and Carol Bartz replaced Jerry Yang as CEO.
Even with its Internet focus, Yahoo's financial performance has slumped. The company generated $7.2 billion in revenue in 2008, but that was only 3% higher than the previous year.
And Google, which has long eclipsed Yahoo in search, has now signaled that it wants to move into Yahoo's still strong domain, behaviorally targeted display ads. Still, even with all of that turmoil, Yahoo qualifies as a strong partner for b2b marketers.
Phone: (408) 349-3300
Traffic: 146.1 million unique visitors^
Ad revenue: N/A
Ad rate: N/A
Comment: Google may dominate search, but Yahoo is the leader in display advertising. Small b2b marketers rely on Yahoo’s targeting capabilities to find new customers on the Web.
Yahoo's search engine remains second to Google, but its sites deliver an amazing reach, with 146.1 million unique visitors in March, according to comScore.
“The first thing we talk about when we're talking with a Fortune 500 advertiser is our reach,” said Bob Dillon, Yahoo VP-strategy and operations of North American sales.
Allisyn Wheeler, interactive and online media planning supervisor at Nicholson Kovac, said she often recommends Yahoo search engine marketing for the agency's b2b clients and praised Yahoo's search for its efficiency.
“Yahoo does definitely make the cut,” she said. “It's still an important player in the game.”
Ryan DeShazer, global director-search marketing at GyroHSR, said that because the search traffic and the number of advertisers vying for keywords are lower than on Google, it's possible to get good deals if a b2b marketer is diligent. “The return is actually great on Yahoo,” DeShazer said.
“We view it as a more efficient channel [than Google]. The conversion rates are equivalent, and we attribute that to reduced competitive activity.”
Vickie Szombathy, VP-media director at Spark Communications, said she has used Yahoo's display advertising capabilities for her agency's clients in the information technology and health care markets.
“With Yahoo, it's all about finding those outlets that reach your customers to have a conversation with them,” she said. “We have used them and used them effectively.”
There are several areas of Yahoo that attract a b2b audience. The finance destination, for instance, features finely detailed information on publicly traded companies and attracts b2b advertisers such as Microsoft and Sprint.
To go with its broad base of users, Yahoo offers an array of interactive marketing techniques for b2b advertisers.
“We drive return on investment with our targeting,” Dillon said. “We have behavioral targeting, geographic targeting, demographic targeting and retargeting.”