Yahoo Bets Big on Mobile Search, Live Programming and Meaningful Data

Revenue chief Lisa Utzschneider on all things digital

Specs

Current gig Chief revenue officer at Yahoo

Previous gig Svp, sales, Americas at Yahoo

Twitter @Lisa_Utz

Age 47

Adweek: What's your first priority in the new role?

Lisa Utzschneider: I'd like to focus on our customers and try to be as customer-centric as we can. Customers, for my organization, are advertisers and agencies. So, to instill an approach that we can really try to listen to what the advertiser needs and deliver great ad products and great experiences for them so that they're able to make great connections with Yahoo's consumers.

What's the biggest opportunity you see for advertisers?

A lot of advertisers are trying to figure out how to use mobile as a place to connect with consumers. They're rooting for us when it comes to mobile and mobile search. We've made a concerted effort over the last two years to be a mobile-first company. The second area is all around data and analytics. There's so much data out there that advertisers get confused. I'm a big believer in making decisions with data and trying to be analytical in everything that we do—using 80 percent data and 20 percent gut. I think we are starting to see that focus on analytics pay off, and also starting to pay off for our advertisers.

Any recent examples of that?

For the Honda Community partnership, Honda had a seat at the table when we were brainstorming with them: What are your goals when we're creating this customized rich experience and integrating the Honda brand and product into the Community experience? Once we got very clear and aligned on what their goals were we were able to create an experience that the Yahoo consumer and viewer absolutely loved, and we were able to hit the KPIs that Honda was aiming for.

What's Yahoo's video ad strategy moving forward?

We're expanding on the success of our digital video strategy with a continued focus on live programming, short-form digital magazine video content and original video programming. Our full slate of digital video programming is available for advertiser integration and collaboration. But we believe both sides of the video ad equation are important, so we're creating compelling video content for advertisers to align with and providing a powerful programmatic video buying platform with BrightRoll.

How will you keep momentum going at a global scale?

One of the keys to a successful global business is a.) focusing on the customers and b.) focusing on the similarities across the markets and getting unified with those similarities. Those similarities are how we identify and define what our priorities are and what advertisers need from a product perspective.

Any industry terms you wish would disappear?

Big data. Instead, marketers should focus on how to make meaningful connections with consumers by applying the most relevant data.

This story first appeared in the Oct. 12 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.