Yahoo Advertisers Test Buzz Index, Share of Voice

A small group of Yahoo's advertisers and ad agencies are working with the search engine to find out how well their keywords perform among certain demographics as well as their share of eyeballs versus other advertisers.

Yahoo Search Marketing, Sunnyvale, CA, is broadening its 5-year-old Buzz Index program for advertisers, which tracks brand awareness and campaign effectiveness, to include more customized research. It is working with 10 to 15 major advertisers and agencies to determine the keywords relevant to their target audiences and better optimize their search campaigns.

“We work on a custom basis with major advertisers and agencies to figure out campaign by campaign what does it mean in terms of metrics,” Jason Lehmbeck, director of agency sales at Yahoo Search Marketing, told DM News.

The three campaign metrics that Yahoo is testing with advertisers are:

* Pricing strategy, to determine whether the advertiser should be more aggressive on keyword bidding.

* Audience target: Is the advertiser hitting the right audience with its message?

* The campaign's creative approach. The creative approach looks at how the advertiser is “doing in terms of starting a dialogue with that particular audience,” Lehmbeck said.

“It is the message, from the title and description all the way through to the landing page,” he said.

Consumer packaged goods manufacturers and others are using the research to tailor their campaigns.

“If they're launching a new shampoo product targeting women ages 18 to 34, they can target what those consumers are searching for on a daily basis,” Lehmbeck said. “For example, yoga is something that is top of mind for those shoppers, so they've built content around those lifestyle affinity keywords, then tied their product into that.”

Some advertisers also use a metric that Yahoo dubbed “Share of Voice.”

“It is the share of queries that my brand shows up against in relevant categories, the share of impressions,” Lehmbeck said.

For example, an advertiser that has 100 million impressions can gauge how many of those are relevant to its brand and how it fares against other manufacturers.

“Search Share of Voice is an additional tool we're researching with major partners, specifically related to the share of impressions as well as the share of clicks,” he said.

For a laundry detergent manufacturer, for example, Yahoo can show them what share of impressions and clicks the manufacturer is getting versus other laundry detergent manufacturers.

“Are they top of mind against all of these impressions and clicks?” Lehmbeck asked.

Yahoo plans to continue researching the two capabilities “until we feel like it's something we can roll out,” he said. “We've definitely gotten a good response. The major brands and major agencies are really using it [Share of Voice] on a daily basis.”

Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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