Yahoo is stepping up its game in the digital advertising arena with the launch of Blueprint, its innovative feature designed to optimize advertising campaigns in real-time. Debuting on Tuesday, Blueprint integrates into Yahoo’s Demand-Side Platform (DSP), offering advertisers a potent tool for enhancing campaign effectiveness and evaluating consumers’ long-term value and conversion probability.
Blueprint harnesses first-party data from Yahoo’s websites, combining it with purchase and location insights from users with Yahoo email accounts. Unlike previous AI functionalities in Yahoo’s DSP, Blueprint centralizes algorithmic recommendations for numerous campaigns on a single, user-friendly dashboard.
Bolstering Advertiser Support
Following the closure of its Supply-Side Platform (SSP) in February, Yahoo has redirected its focus to bolstering advertiser support, according to Elizabeth Herbst-Brady, the company’s Chief Revenue Officer. This new direction is part of Yahoo’s broader strategy to strengthen its DSP services, exemplified by recent initiatives like the Backstage direct-to-publisher buying solution.
Adam Roodman, Senior Vice President of Product Strategy and Management, notes that Yahoo’s strategic pivot is a response to the evolving programmatic marketplace. He explains that the shift away from SSP services aligns with publishers’ growing expertise in monetizing inventory through header-bidding wrappers, reducing their reliance on external tech platforms.
Blueprint’s development also acknowledges the advanced capabilities of advertisers in today’s market. Advertisers now have extensive data access but seek to avoid the intricacies of campaign troubleshooting and audience testing. They prefer to leverage AI for these tasks, as noted by Benjamin Cao, Digital Marketing Director at Red Moon Marketing. In early trials with Blueprint, Red Moon successfully streamlined campaign management, freeing up valuable time for client engagement and internal learning.
The tool initiates its process with advertisers’ Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), offering suggestions for audience segments or Private Marketplace (PMP) strategies to achieve desired outcomes. Clients have the autonomy to adopt these strategies, which are presented alongside impact projections on different targeting strategies. For instance, for awareness campaigns, Blueprint proposes cost-effective PMPs or bid adjustments to optimize Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPMs). Similarly, for Click-Through Rate (CTR) optimization in conversion-focused campaigns, it suggests high-CTR marketplaces or deactivating underperforming audiences.
Accessible to all Yahoo DSP clients, Blueprint integrates new data visualizations, audience insights, campaign forecasting tools, predictive audience modeling, and customer lifetime value assessments. Further enhancements are slated for release next summer.
Additionally, Yahoo’s Backstage direct publisher connection will be integrated with Blueprint for tailored campaign optimizations.
Continued Emphasis on Yahoo’s 1P Data
In its pitch, Yahoo emphasizes the strategic use of its robust first-party data set, adhering to privacy regulations and ensuring marketer trust. Blueprint also incorporates third-party data, such as anonymized digital receipt information from Yahoo email accounts, to refine audience targeting and create lookalike models for consumer behavior prediction.
Such capabilities are particularly valuable for Red Moon’s digital campaigns for major brands like Coca-Cola, Cao remarks. Moreover, Yahoo’s collaborations with location data firms Lifesight and Cuebiq enhance its DSP’s ability to target audiences based on geographical patterns, crucial for driving foot traffic to physical stores.
Despite the utility of AI optimization tools, transparency concerns persist in the industry, particularly with competitor offerings like Google’s Performance Max and Meta’s Advantage+. Yahoo aims to maintain open communication with advertisers about its data usage and algorithmic decisions, ensuring advertiser control over campaign adjustments.
However, Cao expresses apprehension regarding the sustainability of such systems in the face of privacy regulations, advocating for greater transparency in the use of user data.