While many of us have grown up with Yahoo as our email services provider, today the company is a global giant in the media and tech space that offers a full-stack platform to grow businesses and drive more meaningful connections across advertising, search and media. 

In Asia, it works with established brands such as StarHub to optimise sales for the telco's products and subscription plans. Amidst the pandemic, Yahoo and StarHub decided to launch a campaign targeted at driving users to its online store. The campaign saw Yahoo win gold for Excellence in Programmatic esb电竞数据投注电脑版 at  MARKETING-INTERACTIVE 's esb电竞数据投注电脑版 Excellence Awards Singapore 2021.  In an interview with  MARKETING-INTERACTIVE , Rene How (pictured), sales strategist, Yahoo, shared how adtech grew in importance and significance during the pandemic. She also shared how digital advertising platforms such as DOOH, AR and VR will shape the future of advertising. 

This interview was done as part of MARKETING-INTERACTIVE’s winners’ and finalists’ interview series for esb电竞数据投注电脑版 Excellence Awards Singapore 2021. To find out more about the awards click  here .

Borders and markets are now opening up. How are you leveraging this to help brands and agencies?

How: Disruption became the word of the day for the industry amidst the COVID-19 pandemic — but last year’s consumer is not this year’s consumer, in light of developments such as high vaccination rates and loosening restrictions. These have all continued to reflect and shape what users need and want in the experiences they expect.

In 2021, there was much emphasis on heightened digital engagement and capturing the attention of hyper-engaged consumers who turned to the online sphere for their work and play needs.

This year, we see the importance of connecting with consumers at different touchpoints, particularly as they venture out into the open outdoors again.

We're now looking at hybrid experiences. As people resume some pre-pandemic activities like going out and visiting shops, this year's consumers bring with them new-normal habits such as their reliance on online platforms for purchase-making decisions. With consumer behaviour continually evolving, Digital Out of Home (DOOH) and omnichannel campaigns are becoming more and more relevant to target and capture audiences where they are, as they are.

What was one shift in the marketing space that caught you by surprise? How did your team pivot?

How: We witnessed a massive digitisation wave across Southeast Asia in the new normal — 40 million internet users came online for the first time in the region in 2021 . Meanwhile, e-commerce spending increased exponentially in SEA/APAC, valued at USD120 billion in 2021, and is forecasted to see even more significant growth in 2025 at USD234 billion. It was an exciting development, and at Yahoo, we were focused on helping brands and agencies ride the wave, leverage this trend, and create value in this sphere.

It boils down to the right tactical strategy — targeting the right people at the right place and time with the right message supercharged through Yahoo’s suite of adtech solutions. A synergistic mix of various tools and formats achieved highly cost-effective and impactful campaigns with impressive conversion metrics.

Tell us one crucial learning lesson the team gained in 2021.

How: One realisation that last year’s events have stressed is that it’s all about knowing fully who your audience is, and the rest will follow — including the right mix of channels and platforms that would help further optimise the message. Understanding the specificities of the consumer that you are trying to reach will lead to meaningful engagements and undoubtedly more effective brand storytelling and conversions.

We’re moving beyond spreading the broadest reach possible and more towards deeper, nuanced profiles, spurring them to take action with the right mix of channels and creatives.

In 2021, we had to cut through a crowded digital space as most brands flocked to the online sphere. Brands needed to set themselves apart amid the online chatter. At Yahoo, we helped our clients surpass their targets with the right tools that enabled us to precisely target incremental audiences, optimise these campaigns, and maximise their performances.

Tell us a bit of the marketing plans and client/agency campaigns you are working on this year.

How: The following mantra guides us: People first, partnerships always, and performance now. What this means for us this year is the importance of building sustainable value for our clients, agencies, and partners. This will be based on our commitment to people - putting people first and focusing on nurturing our partnerships while continuing to be driven by performance metrics.

This is evident in our plans for 2022 to grow Yahoo’s DOOH presence and inventory across the region, as the need for omnichannel campaigns makes headway across our markets. We are still navigating shifted consumer behaviour, pointing to anticipated demand for hybrid and holistic touchpoints for brands to meaningfully connect with them.

We’re also especially keen on the Yahoo Academy Learning Center, an on-demand learning platform where marketers can gain knowledge on how to maximise Yahoo DSP and learn how to leverage Yahoo’s suite of solutions to their best advantage. We are looking forward to helping our partners gain even more insight on how to thrive in an evolving digital ad landscape in the region and achieve meaningful results.

What is one trend you are excited about in 2022?

How: The rise of programmatic Digital Out of Home (pDOOH) is exciting to see and how full-stack solutions can address these emerging needs and demands, as holistic omnichannel campaigns continue to be front and centre. What I also want to see more of is how privacy-centric solutions will pan out as the cookieless race looms even closer. Yahoo’s suite of identity solutions that highlight consumer choice and privacy put us ahead of this race amid other players scrambling for the next big thing after the cookie.

We have worked on a host of privacy-safe identity-based and identity-less solutions that remain GDPR-compliant. Yahoo ConnectID draws on first-party data from opted-in users across our O&O platforms. Meanwhile, our Next-Gen Solutions leverage billions of real-time signals in contextual targeting.

All of these ultimately play into the emergence of next-gen tech as the industry moves towards immersive, “phygital” experiences that further blur the divide between real and the virtual realms - and the opportunities that await in the metaverse.

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