Q&A: Bobby Figueroa, Yahoo's VP of product development for consumer advertising

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Yahoo's Bobby Figueroa, VP of product development for consumer advertising, discusses the company's 2011 goals

Q: What is the ‘digitorial?'

A: The digitorial is a new ad format that is actually one of many future formats we are going to release. It has several capabilities that can be combined to create different types of ads. The digitorial combines the powerful content expertise that we have at Yahoo along with various advertising tools. For instance, an advertiser can ask Yahoo to create relevant content for the messaging that they want to communicate to their audiences, which will also be perceived as something useful to the consumer.

Q: You have a new position at Yahoo. Why was it created?

A: My role is basically leading the product management marketing organization that focuses on all advertising products. We're bringing together all of the talent that focuses on advertising from a product perspective to work behind a unified plan — including other areas of the business, like development, that will take us through the next couple of years.  

Q: What are some digital direct initiatives you are working on?

A: We will continue to make a lot of progress on the search side. The partnership with Microsoft [The Search Alliance] is going very well, and we expect to be able to continue to provide all sorts of search-related services to our advertisers, both existing and new ones. 

Q: Name a recent initiative at Yahoo that you consider innovative. Why was it effective?  

A: We created a new ad offering for advertisers, which we are calling the “Log-In Advertising Page.” This was launched two months ago in partnership with several of our larger advertisers. It is meant to basically allow the advertiser to show some beautiful graphics of either a product or a service that they have. What we've seen is it creates such a high level of awareness about the product or the service that after the consumer finalizes the paths that they were going to go on, they often go back and take an action related to the ad that they saw there. 

Q: What are some challenges you face in creating direct marketing strategies in the digital space?

A: The biggest challenge is striking the right balance to make sure consumers continue to be engaged with both the content as well as the advertising. 

Q: In what ways can we expect to see your fingerprints on future Yahoo initiatives? 

A: Certainly in everything as it relates to Yahoo products and sales solutions that we will create. I will be playing a key role in helping better meet those needs of our customers and doing it in a way that brings continuous innovation and differentiation to them

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