Elisa Steele and Mollie Spilman: marketer to marketer

Click here to read the cover feature: Yahoo! The comeback kid?
Click here to read a Q+A with Elisa Steele and Mollie Spilman

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Andrew Warner

Andrew Warner, EMEA senior marketing director at Expedia, asks: After nearly 15 years in the market how will you ensure that Yahoo! stays relevant to the needs of advertisers as the line between content and advertising become blurred?

Mollie Spilman: Yahoo! wants to provide content that will be as informative and engaging as possible to diverse audiences – and to connect our advertisers to those audiences in a way that goes beyond just a standard banner or video ad. Developing new technologies, partnerships and innovations in creative formats are ways we can achieve this.

We have three types of content – our own original content, content we license and crowd-sourced content. We believe in the value of each of these to help advertisers connect to their target audiences in compelling ways.

An example of content we license is the five-minute highlights of the English Premier League. This allows us to bring advertiser messages to core audiences while engaging them with the content that they want when they want it.

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Jessica Reading

Jessica Reading, head of marketing at Laterooms.com, asks: What does Elisa consider to be her biggest success since her appointment as chief marketing officer, and what would you do differently?

Elisa Steele: I’d say it is bringing the Yahoo! team together to create a truly globally integrated marketing organisation. We have many bright and creative people but allowing them to connect and harness the power of each other across the organisation allows us to develop programmes and initiatives on a much grander level. An example of this is our efforts around the World Cup 2010. Our marketing activities spanned 22 countries with gaming, content, interviews and local events.

What I would do differently is find a way to time travel. There isn’t enough time in the day to be everywhere. I want to be able to blink and arrive in London, Singapore or New York because there is no substitute for being there.

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