Yahoo!’s Circulars: Too ‘Old’ to Work?

July 26th, 2008

There’s been lots of talk for some time about the convergence of online marketing with the print advertising world. Of course, as this blog has discussed in a past entry, there’s the virtual catalog with its ‘thumb-through-the-pages’ technology. And there’s been new ‘online magazines’ debuting in recent years.

Well, Yahoo! has announced a program designed to target online viewers with display ads that originate from the Web versions of retailers’ newspaper circulars. Now, on its face, this is not entirely new. Specifically, grocery chains, drug stores and other retailers have made their circulars available for printable download.

However, according to Yahoo!, they will deliver the promos through their SmartAds technology, which is supposed to measure online users’ interests by the sites they visit, search terms they use and ads they click on.

Hmmm…THAT *could be* interesting.

Meanwhile, though Yahoo! has been testing the service with a handful of retailers since last fall, the portal has not identified the clients using the program. They suggested a few are in the top 10 of US chains.

At any rate, the fact that they are publicly announcing the service and not shelving it probably tells you that the results so far have been at least pretty good. However, I am a little bit skeptical about the idea overall.

Does the Internet really need wannabe newspaper circulars? After all, the ‘YouTube audience’ isn’t all that young anymore. In fact, it’s getting older. Loads of adults aged 40 and older now use the Web like younger folks do — in its entirety, including videos and blogs.

So, isn’t online marketing moving in warp speed towards more video, UGC and interactive and away from the traditions of the print world? I say, yes. What’s your take?

Categories: Consumer Marketing, Ecommerce Eretail, Email Marketing, Offline Marketing And Advertising, Online Advertising, Online Marketing, Social Networking Evangelism Community Tags: , , , ,

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