Klaussner Home Furnishings, a 2,000-employee regional furniture manufacturer and retailer in Asheboro, N.C., doesn’t exactly fit the profile of a typical Yahoo advertiser. But Klaussner is exactly the kind of advertiser Yahoo wants to convert to display with a self-service platform targeted at small and midsize local marketers.
Today Yahoo (YHOO) rolls out the first version of its self-serve ad product, My Display Ads, a bid to win over local advertisers and convert search advertisers to display. Yahoo isn’t the first to offer self-service display; Google, MySpace and Facebook have all rolled out similar self-serve display ad systems. AOL’s Ad.com is developing its own self-serve system that new CEO Tim Armstrong wants pushed out the door.
But with its scale and premium display properties, Yahoo is applying some heat to this space, as it hopes to convert search advertisers — or businesses that haven’t done any online advertising — to display.
It’s a bit of a free-for-all in the local ad market right now, with both automotive and real estate crippled, and the incumbent media, TV, radio, newspapers and yellow pages all struggling with their own compromised business models. But that doesn’t change that it’s a $13.6 billion market that someone is going to sort out.