Agencies Should Invest In Tech; Yahoo To Shut Down Half Its Content Verticals

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Skin In The Game

A simple way for agencies to stay relevant is to invest in tech. “Putting some capital into startups makes good business sense because it can fuel product innovation for the agency or clients and open new lines of revenue,” writes Steve Bernstein, president at a Kansas City-based marketing firm, in an Ad Age column. It’s hardly a revolutionary theory – WPP’s ad tech investments date back to 2007 and agencies were major M&A players in 2015 – but there may be an investment and innovation vacuum to fill as VCs and the stock market cool on tech. More. Related: Publicis recently announced it will invest in 90 startups.

Yahoo’s Winnowing

Politico reported that Yahoo will shut down half of its content verticals, including food, auto, health, music and tech. The Information, meanwhile, reports from behind its paywall that the core Yahoo properties – Mail, Homepage and Search – saw an 8-17% user drop-off at the end of 2015 compared to a year earlier. And its social presence, in the form of Tumblr, is also lagging far behind its competition, per an eMarketer report. Solving Yahoo’s focus problem may come at the cost of supply.

BuzzFeed Embed

In a long Fast Company feature, BuzzFeed President Greg Coleman speaks to the difficulties of setting expectations with brands using its branded content offering. Advertisers often hope for and expect a smash hit along the lines of “Dear Kitten,” BuzzFeed’s globally shared ad for Purina. Coleman’s team is trying to sell brands on the idea of producing a series of videos that generate incremental value, and if one happens to “hit the zeitgeist” all the better. But it’s hard to predict success. Read on.

Site Specific  

Turns out mobile websites matter. Indian ecommerce player Myntra will reopen its mobile site after going app-only last May [AdExchanger coverage]. “This is not a revenue-related decision,” said head of product Ambarish Kenghe. “We want to give customers an additional reason to use Myntra. This move will eventually result in more app installs.” The desktop property is still dark, but apparently the mobile web and apps are more intertwined than some expected. More.

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