I recently attended the Yahoo! Search and Bing Cus­tomer Forum in Seat­tle, WA, a pre­cur­sor to SMX Advanced. Rob Wilk, Senior Direc­tor, Account Man­age­ment, Yahoo! and David Ku, Cor­po­rate Vice Pres­i­dent, Ad Plat­form, Microsoft, pro­vided the open­ing remarks and called to order a day of  insight­ful presentations.

The first few hours included:

Bing Con­sumer Search Innovation”

  • Yusuf Mehdi, Senior Vice Pres­i­dent, Online Audi­ence Busi­ness, Microsoft
  • Focused on Bing’s per­son­al­ized search efforts and inte­gra­tion with Facebook
  • High­lighted the stream­lin­ing of Face­book data into search results

Yahoo! Con­sumer Search Innovation”

  • Vivek Sharma, Vice Pres­i­dent, Product-Management – Search & Mar­ket­places, Yahoo!
  • Touched on pri­vacy vs. per­son­al­iza­tion in search results
  • High­lighted the new focus on answers instead of links

Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance Update”

  • Chi-Chao Chang, Vice Pres­i­dent and Gen­eral Man­ager, Global Search Busi­ness, Yahoo! and David Pann, Gen­eral Man­ager, Search Net­work, Microsoft
  • Phase 1 was to “Sta­bi­lize the Mar­ket­place,” Phase 2 will focus on “Execution”
  • Dis­cussed the core processes that will lead to areas of focus
  • High­lighted the mas­sive effort involved in migrat­ing plat­forms that took only one year and three months to com­plete (really, the num­bers were quite impressive)

Effi­cient Frontier’s Q1 2011 Global Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Per­for­mance Report”

  • Dr. Sid­dharth Shah, Senior Direc­tor, Busi­ness Ana­lyt­ics, Effi­cient Frontier
  • High­lighted the ROI improve­ments post-migration of platforms
  • Down­load the full report here

Though there were many high­lights to the above pre­sen­ta­tions, the real gem was the brief unveil­ing of a never-before-seen new prod­uct.  Though they didn’t require NDAs to be signed -- and I won’t be the one to blow the lid off com­pletely — let’s just say, man­ag­ing your AdCen­ter Accounts. Yes, there’s (going to be) an App for that. And that was the gist of the rest of the day: innovation! 

After lunch we sat at inti­mate tables in break-out sessions:

  • Look­ing Back: Recently Released AdCen­ter Features
  • AdCen­ter Next: Upcom­ing Fea­tures & Scenarios
  • AdCen­ter Account Optimization
  • Bing SEO Update

The ses­sions were each fol­lowed by round­table dis­cus­sions with Yahoo and Microsoft prod­uct devel­op­ers and engi­neers. The atmos­phere was edu­ca­tional, col­lab­o­ra­tive, and once again, inno­v­a­tive. At the end of “Look­ing Back,” the Yahoo and Microsoft team mem­bers asked the audi­ence what fea­tures they would like to have seen rolled out, and, of course, those were just the fea­tures high­lighted in the next session.

The new fea­tures rolling out in the next three to six months will be game-changers on how the AdCen­ter plat­form works, and will require even fur­ther hard work from their prod­uct and engi­neer­ing teams, even fur­ther col­lab­o­ra­tion with their agencies/advertisers, and even more inno­va­tion. But, it’s excit­ing! When was the last time you saw “inno­v­a­tive,” “game changer” and “excit­ing” in a blog post about Yahoo! and Microsoft?

And, yes, folks, they’re finally address­ing and solv­ing the Match Type issues!

Karen Maci­olek
Senior Account Manager/Master Social Media Strategizer