Yang Leaves Yahoo! Board; Namely Optimizing Agency HR; Q4 Earnings Cavalcade Begins With Google

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Yang Out

All Things D's Peter Kafka notes the official announcement on the departure of Jerry Yang from his Yahoo! board seat and, presumably, the strategic control he had of the company - though he remains a holder of a significant amount of Yahoo!'s publicly-traded shares. Yang said in the release, "As I leave the company I co-founded nearly 17 years ago, I am enthusiastic about the appointment of Scott Thompson as Chief Executive Officer and his ability, along with the entire Yahoo! leadership team, to guide Yahoo!..." Read more. Will Yahoo! board chair Roy Bostock be next?

The Data Of Agency HR

Former Aol-owned Pictela's marketing guru, Matt Straz, has taken the wraps off of his latest venture, Namely, and writes on the new company blog that Namely "is developing talent management software for the advertising industry," particularly agencies. The agency HR group is challenged with hiring in a rapidly innovating environment which is simultaneously buffeted by fleeting client relationships, the generous compensation structures of the startup and client-side worlds and a sideways global economy. Straz sees the effective management of people as just the first step as he posits later in his blog announcement, "The systems that we use today to manage media buying may eventually become linked to the systems that we use to manage our people." Read more. MediaPost's Joe Mandese notes the investor group is a who's who of media tech including Medialink's Wenda Harris Millard and Michael Kassan, Simulmedia’s Dave Morgan, Buddy Media's Mike Lazerow, Admeld's Michael Barrett, former Aegis North America chief Sarah Fay and more. Read more on MediaPost. Namely could end up being an interesting fit with MediaOcean plans to offer plug and play capabilities for agency back office data streams and Namely's focus on unlocking the agency HR algo, if you will. Bill Wise (LinkedIn) meet Matt Straz (LinkedIn). Matt Straz meet Bill Wise. And, see Namely.com.

Chief Optimization Officer

A flurry of C-level hirings continues in the ad ecosystem as attribution analytics company Convertro announced the appointment of Armen Avedissian as Chief Operating Officer. According to the release, Avedissian was CRO of MyLife which leveraged his media mix planning and optimization skills. CEO Jeff Zwelling said that the hiring also signals an expansion into providing attribution channels into the offline world of TV and Radio. Read more.

Engaging Gains Brands

Young-Bean Song, who help drive early innovation around attribution in digital ads while he was with Atlas (eventually bought by Microsoft), takes a turn at Digiday's microphone and writes about his new company, AnalyticsDNA, and its efforts to unlock how engagement works using Solve Media CAPTCHA tech. Song summarizes, "For us to excite and surprise brand marketers, our bar needs to be double-digit gains and outliers that show the Web is as good at branding as it is at selling." Read about his findings.

Google To Report

Google is to report Q4 2011 earnings this Thursday after the markets close. Webcast happens here. Citi analyst Mark Mahaney thinks that other than some foreign currency exchange challenges, "Google’s Core PC Search business still has robust, sustainable growth. We believe newer growth drivers (Mobile, Display, YouTube) are all becoming more material. And we believe market concerns over Facebook, investment ramps, and the MMI (Motorola) deal are somewhat overstated." GOOG's a "buy," says Mahaney.

Do You Online AE?

A new study from Borrell Associates says that if you're an online seller, you're gold!!  But, you knew that.  PaidContent's Laura Hazard Owen reports on the Borrell data: "The sites that do employ online-only account execs (AEs) 'outperform those without by a factor of 2.5' in terms of gross online revenue per sales rep." This comes in the face of another trend the study unearthed- that of the uber seller who increasingly sells all channels in spite of the digital-only rep performance.  Spicy stuff.

Publisher Audience Buyers

As web publishers consider marketing budget to build their paid subscriber list, Matt Shanahan returns to Scout Analytics' company blog and deciphers some data and suggests a best practice or two relevant to the audience buying crowd. He writes, "By focusing on the group with the highest engagement, a sales force can target their efforts to help fence-sitting fans build justification, differentiation, and ROI to go from trial to subscriber. Behavioral data reveals why conversion rates are typically low but also why conversion rates can be doubled." Read the deets.

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