Yahoo searchlight award 2007

yahoo_searchlight.gif Avenue A/Razofish was recognized with

the Yahoo searchlight award

This afternoon I visited the Yahoo searchlight award and I am blown away of what I saw. Yahoo searchlight recognizes and rewards advertising agencies that develop search marketing applications outside of the tried and true direct response mindset.

pass_searchlight

(webanalyticsbook text added later, b/c it did not fit on the batch)

Spontaneously I decided to join this event at the Time Life building and I immediately noticed what the differences between "platinum advertisers" and "advertising agencies" are. My yearly PPC budget is kind of a joke compared to the agency accounts.

After the welcome from Ron Belanger, Yahoo's Vice President Agency Development, Laura Desmond, CEO of Starcom Media VestGroup, opened with an impressive keynote. I took so many notes that I cannot really remember anything, besides her "competing for the future" remarks. In order to compete it is necessary to innovate (Puma), Integrate, Reinvent (Tiger Woods) and Imagine. Several agencies presented their campaigns which included Sprint, Special K (Kellogs), Lexus LS and Chase bank. I don't want to mention boring details here, but in regards of webanalytics, I was astonished how little knowledge these agencies had. The high-profile panelists from Businessweek, Imedia, Adweek and Sterling Market Intelligence asked the advertisers detailed questions about the campaigns and most of the webanalytics related answers were extremly vague. All agencies showed their success stories with impressive Yahoo buzz numbers , but except winner Avenue A/Razorfish (Chase campaign) nobody came up with meaningful webanalytics data. Some agencies got even 'busted' when the penalists wanted to know more details about A/B testing, customized landing pages, SEO and optimization methods.

After the event I was asking one of the presenter for more information about their tracking methods and I was absolutely shocked when he told me that their PPC bidding tool (with a few million $ budget) wasn't merged with webanalytics data.

It is obvious that large agencies/clients need more webanalytics education and the webanalytics industry needs to do more to about that will have a lot of business over the next few years.