A couple of people were on the news call and say they were underwhelmed by Steve Ballmer’s explanations of why this deal now. It may be that he just isn’t fully apprised of the details- he has a few businesses to run, right? One guy that surely is down in the weeds is Brian McAndrews, who Microsoft brought in when they acquired the aQuantive ad platform.
I was going to blog about an intriguing memo I got from Brian today, anyway, especially in the light of Google’s poor yield management in buying social media space for its ads. Google just missed expectations because it is paying too much for traffic.
Same day I get this from McAndrews:
“While search has been the main driver of the blistering growth of online advertising in the past, at least partially because of the “last ad clicked” performance measurement standard (pioneered by Atlas in the late 90s), we do not believe this will necessarily be the case in the coming years. The current system for tracking ad conversions , while the best available for years, is not optimal because it gives all credit to that last ad seen or clicked – often a search engine – and not any credit to other ad units the consumer may have seen prior that helped influence the user to seek more information about the advertiser. Thus, Search has gotten more than its share of the credit, but that’s starting to change. We’ll be making significant inroads here in 2008 through our continuing ground-breaking work in the area of “conversion attribution,” a new Atlas technology offering that will do a better job of “giving credit where credit is due.”
That said, we’re not discounting the importance of Search as it continues to drive a lion’s share of digital advertising budgets. Our goal is to help advertisers and agencies make their Search campaigns as relevant, targeted and highly converting as possible. We’ve made great strides toward this end, and will continue to make deep investments in both our Live Search engine and Microsoft adCenter to improve the value of our Search offerings for customers.
The context of the search is far more valuable than the search itself. I have spoken before about the via: via: economy – word of mouth referrals in the delicious age. That is what Microsoft is buying into and planning to build upon. They should obviously jump in for Twitter right now, but there you go.
I think GOOG is now likely to go in for Facebook and now we have a game on our hands.
One final point. Yahoo is not very good at developer marketing. Microsoft is world-leading on that score. Put Microsoft evangelism behind Yahoo, with an injection of web DNA, and the results could be really sweet. If Microsoft has any sense they will be lining up Jon Udell as chief evangelist right now.