Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Inside Yahoo! Marketing

Big News today at Martha Stewart Living...

Susan Lyne Exits MSLO, Millard, Marino Tapped As Co-CEOs by Amy Corr Susan Lyne has stepped down from her posts as President and Chief Executive Officer of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Replacing her as Co-CEOs are Wenda Harris Millard, currently president of media and Robin Marino, president of merchandising. - Read the whole story...

But what I want to focus on is Wenda and some comments she made recently about her former employer, Yahoo!:

Millard: Yahoo Blinded By Google Envy
Wenda Harris Millard, president of media for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, slammed her former employer, Yahoo, during a Q&A with search guru John Battelle at a recent industry event, saying that the Web giant has long suffered from a bad case of Google envy. "It's a classic case of forgetting what you're really good at," she said, adding that Yahoo decided to chase Google in the search and contextual ad markets instead of focusing on its dominant position in brand advertising.

During her time at Yahoo, where she assumed the role of Chief Sales Officer, Millard helped boost the company's revenue from $720 million in 2001 to $6.4 billion by 2007. "You don't need to choose a single competitor," Millard said. "I never competed with Google in the brand space."

Last week, Yahoo President Sue Decker pointed out that incorporating elements of automated advertising programs could help boost brand advertising, but Millard could not disagree more. "Technology is very important, but where many companies go wrong is when they think technology is the answer or primary solution to proving a business solution to a marketing problem," she said. "The business of advertising is still a business of persuasion. Machines can't make art...I'm extremely disturbed at the commoditization of Internet advertising before we've had an opportunity to establish its value proposition." - Read the whole story...

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