Report – Yahoo Alibaba Windfall Imminent; Ensighten Gets $15 Mil

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Yahoo! Cash

AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher says that Yahoo! is about to enjoy a huge, $7 billion windfall thanks to the sale of 80% of its Alibaba stake. Swisher suggests acquisitions are ahead for Yahoo!  Read more.  Will advertising and marketing technology lure Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer to use her new war chest?  Hard to say how that might look.  Now that Right Media has been “reaffirmed,” it is either time to invest in RMX via acquisition or more manpower to prepare for the continued growth of programmatic buying – guaranteed, remnant, Tier 1, Tier 2, etc.

AdWords Apps Play

Google is promising “better bids, better ads” with its latest AdWords for apps offering – just in time for Apple’s big iPhone announcement. The new features let marketers include reviews and ratings, similar to Amazon rankings. “We’ve found that when app advertisers provide users with this kind of important information about their apps, many have seen their cost per conversion decrease by about 25 percent,” says Chrix Finne, Product Manager for Google Mobile Ads, in a blog post. Read it.

All Social Nets Are Not Equal

When we talk about social networking and marketing, we’re mostly talking about Facebook and Twitter, with LinkedIn, Pinterest and Tumblr on deck as possible platforms to augment ad messages. The trick isn’t to wait until obvious business models materialize, however. Using social media is a matter of the right tool for the right job, Diane Kegley, CMO of RichRelevance tells Mediapost’s Gavin O’Malley. “Not all channels in the social space are created equal,” Kegley, noting that Facebook dominates as a traffic driver, pushing users to 86 percent of shopping sessions, while Pinterest and Twitter trail far behind with an 11.3 percent and 2.9 percent share, respectively. Read more.

Funding Floodgates

Tag management company Ensighten (AdExchanger Q&A from May) raised a healthy $15.5 Million in series A funding according to a release.   The company touts its traction with eCommerce publishers and says that clients include A&E Networks, LendingTree, Lenovo, Microsoft Stores, Monster and a bunch of others. Read it.


On Digiday, Josh Sternberg talks to Gawker’s Erin Pettigrew and Reuters’ Vikram Somaya about their overall views on ad tech vendors as they sift through solutions for each of their companies.  Pettigrew says, “I want to know if we are a pawn in their takeover-the-world strategy or a partner in their service platform. I want to know if they are funded and founded by folks who are looking to flip in which case the future of our relationship would be less clear and potentially undesirable.” Read more.

Platform Arms Race

It may seem that ad tech companies have too many products, that result in a lot of confusion. Who’s platform is better? James Curran, co-founder of AdStaq, tells Clickz’s Tim Nichols that there’s an arms race among platform tools, and ultimately, the benefits will be shown. “There is value in every one of these technologies… It is the reason why ad networks flourished with high margins, great targeting and scale. None of that would be possible without technology behind it.” Read more.

Displaying The Numbers

In case you haven’t seen it, comScore decided it didn’t like the way it’s display ad, reach rankings were breaking out and is trying something new – ad networks and web properties are now separated.  The release last month (PDF) explained the the company has “expanded its display ad ecosystem reporting to provide additional granularity in the classification of ad publishers, networks and other platforms that comprise the ecosystem.”   Get this month’s pay-for-play numbers which say that PulsePoint is at the top of all the U.S. ad networks on a reach basis.

Growth Hacking

LeadsCon empresario Jay Weintraub wades into the “growth hacking” discussion, a concept popularized by Andrew Chen.  He writes, “Today’s customer acquisition techniques and platforms were once new, and unlocking them most effectively, ultimately meant doing so programmatically. That is why I tend to think of customer acquisition as the systematic scaling of strategies uncovered during the growth hacking process. If you can figure out the latter, it gives you a leg up on the former.” Read what that means.

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