Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yahoo Rolls Out APEX

Yahoo (YHOO) is rolling out its APEX system at the annual Advertising week conference which opened Sep 22. APEX stands for Advertiser Publisher Exchange. It allows advertisers to target demographics more accurately. So if you are looking for a 33 year old yummy mummy with one child, decent common law life partner with executed co-hab agreement, who actually does not like Hagen-Daz ice cream but trades stocks on the internet this is the system for you.

The problem with the advertising business is that they drink their own cool-aide too often. The ads will become so targeted that there will not be enough revenue to cover the infrastructure. Ad revenues will become sales commissions where you are paid on a per scalp basis.

It used to be that at least 50% of advertising was wasted we just were not sure which 50% it was. What the ad industry and marketing in general need to figure out is how to generate demand and awareness. The focus on hyper specific targeting is inadvertently leading Yahoo and Google (GOOG) to become digital vending machines.
The real value will be in getting people in front of the vending machine. When you start having a crowd control problem then you will have done your job.