Yahoo makes a play for small business ad dollars, dives into proxy fight

The company launched a marketing dashboard for SMBs and lobbied shareholders to approve its board candidates

Yahoo launched a free marketing dashboard on Wednesday to boost its advertising appeal for small and midsized businesses by simplifying digital marketing for them.

The move comes as part of new CEO Scott Thompson's strategy to narrow the company's focus and boost its profit.

Yahoo's dashboard tracks search listings in local search results and on platforms including Yelp, flagging listings that don't include the business in question, for example. It also pulls information from social networks and other sources to show businesses what's being said about them around the Web.

The dashboard additionally offers paid services, including Yahoo advertising and reputation management packages.

"The goal is to help small businesses manage their online marketing, but also to help them discover new marketing opportunities," said Shannon Parker Hane, director of product marketing at Yahoo's small business unit.

Parker Hane said the main way to access Yahoo advertising in the dashboard now is through its recommendation of managed search-marketing campaigns through Orange Soda. But Parker Hane said the dashboard will feature more marketing opportunities in future iterations.

Karsten Weide, an analyst with IDC, said that the dashboard launch shows Yahoo is muscling into the growing field of small and medium-sized business doing digital marketing.

"It's a very, very nice interface," Weide said. "Once you're in there, I think it's really straightforward to book your campaign and track it afterwards."

"It's certainly going to help boost [Yahoo's] SMB revenue," he said.

Also on Wednesday, Yahoo issued a letter to shareholders urging them to vote for its slate of board candidates rather than the alternative slate put forth by activist shareholder Daniel Loeb, who leads the hedge fund Third Point LLC, which owns more than 5 percent of Yahoo's outstanding shares.

The letter said Yahoo's candidates "have strong records of significant accomplishment at the highest levels of media, advertising, marketing, Internet, technology, and finance, including corporate finance and restructuring, and insight into customers' perspectives."

"[W]e believe that, based on the specific qualifications of Third Point's nominees relative to Yahoo!'s business and opportunities, the candidates nominated by the board's Nominating and Governance Committee are significantly superior to those proposed by Third Point," the letter said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Cameron Scott

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?