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