Yahoo Distributes Its Cash; Pledging Mobile

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Yahoo’s Alibaba Cash

Alibaba’s long-time-coming share repurchase from Yahoo has come to pass, and Yahoo investors are to be the main beneficiaries. Wall Street liked the payout (YHOO is up nearly 2% after hours), but is doing right by shareholders the wrong thing for Right Media? The liquidation move puts to rest speculation that Yahoo would hoard much of the cash for reinvestment in its ad exchange and other technologies. It will still keep some, CEO Marissa Mayer said in a statement: "This yields a substantial return for investors while retaining a meaningful amount of capital within the company to invest in future growth.” More coverage in WSJ (registation), Business Insider, Bloomberg, and AllThingsD.

Pledging Mobile

Kraft will up its mobile spend to 10 percent, Kraft media director Melissa Laux told the audience at a Mobile Marketer event in NYC. Gartner Research VP Mike McGuire, who caught her presentation, says, “While a total figure was not disclosed...Laux made clear they were pulling the budget dollars from TV, print, out-of-home and digital.” Read McGuire’s post. Meanwhile ClickZ’s Adaline Lau reports Reckitt Benckiser is also upping its mobile commitment. More.

Vivaki AOD Gets GM

Five months after its previous general manager Kurt Unkel climbed the ranks to lead Vivaki Nerve Center (AdExchanger interview), Vivaki’s AOD unit has slotted in a new guy to oversee the day-to-day at the trading desk. Chris Paul was previously at Digitas leading the AmEx media team. Read more. Separate but related: Adam Shlachter, formerly of MEC, has joined Digitas as SVP Media in New York. He replaces Paul on the AmEx business. More on that.

Social CRM Siren Call

Dreaming about social CRM? Dream on, says Adobe Digital Marketing product guy Lawrence Mak in a post on the company’s Digital Marketing blog. “There is a dif­fer­ence between the data you get from a data­base and the insights you can draw from actual cus­tomer behav­ior... Behav­ioral data is much more indica­tive of true busi­ness impact and influ­ence than pro­file data,” Mak writes. His advice: ask social CRM vendors the tough questions. Read it.

Visualizing Audience

Optimal is making its keyword visualization tool available to everyone. The idea is to expose a “visual web” of relationships for topics on Facebook, which in turn is meant to spark new audience buying possibilities on the social platform. To see a sample web of keywords in the auto sector, click here.

Agency Automation

Forrester analyst Joanna O’Connell, like just about everyone in the ad business, it trying to figure out just what the media agency of the future will look like as programmatic buying becomes more mainstream. (She’ll be speaking about the issue at AdExchanger’s Human Centered Automation conference this Thursday.) She tells Digiday’s Brian Morrissey that the agencies will be bifurcated between analytics and strategy. She also sees trading desks becoming extinct. “The idea that media would be managed by some removed group at the holding company rather than the team that works with the client: I don’t fundamentally think that has a future,” she says. Read more.

Keeping the ‘App’ in AppNexus

AppNexus is once again using its blog to drive awareness of its app strategy. A new series of posts takes up where its “30 apps in 30 days” drive left off.  First up is an app called Adgent Digital +Video, made for publishers that are “looking to run video advertising but don’t have video-compatible inventory.” Read about it. Seven more to follow.

Bizo’s B2B Moves

Bizo is trying to make email marketing a bit more attractive by combining it with retargeting tools. It introduced its CRM Retargeting tool, which will be rolled out fully over the next few months. "The future of online marketing is one where website, display, search, CRM, social and email lead nurturing programs are all integrated and automated, and marketers measure true attribution and ROI back to individual prospects in the CRM database," said Bizo CEO Russell Glass. Read the release.

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