Yahoo checks in on online trends

Malaysia - When A+M caught up recently with Jon Tjin Kee (pictured), Yahoo Malaysia country sales director, they checked in on online trends and how marketers have transitioned from traditional advertising over the years.

With more becoming more social online, search marketing and mobile are taking the world by storm. Jon adds smartphones will inevitably become cheaper and more affordable.

"In Indonesia, more people are going onto the internet for the first time via mobile. It's not surprising to me, looking at their population size and with cheaper smartphones, it will be more affordable than desktops," he says.

The other trend he sees is e-commerce. "With any brand you would talk to today, it all comes down to the sales target. Every brief we get by brands is ultimately to increase sales, and one of the ways to do that is through e-commerce.

"Compared to five years ago, more people are shopping online today, breaking out of their fear of online transactions, which got more secure as well," said Jon.

This, he adds, will surely increase in the future, making portable online shopping grow as well.

Whether the increase in mobile and e-commerce will make certain forms obsolete, Jon says no.

"I don't see anything become obsolete, at least the key things like search and display ads will not fade for sure. It's all part and parcel of marketer's strategies," he said.

"Advertisers will become mature enough to see which will be more effective, depending on the objectives they wish to achieve and all these platforms will become more interdependent, with marketers realising how to utilise them integratedly."

But how did we get to the digital stage to begin with?

"A lot of marketers today have taken traditional forms of advertising to online platforms by creating different types of ad forms such ad banner and display ads," says Jon.

"First came search, then display advertising, followed by owned media like fan pages and websites, earned media including blogs and shares, and finally social media," he adds, with mobile the present and future way of marketing.

Jon points out that when online forces took over, it was a matter of interruption versus interaction, with traditional advertising causing the former and online advertising offering the latter.

"A lot of traditional media is interruption in nature. You go to it to watch news and movies, read articles, or listen to songs. Then you're interrupted by advertisements. But online ads are created in a way that allows interaction, with advertisements on log-in pages, roll-over ads and custom branded pages that reach out to those who are interested only," he says.

What Yahoo has done in enriching the online space is creating Custom Brand Experiences (CBEs), which are branded sites created within the Yahoo website.

The success factors of these sites are measured by unique visitors and time spent on those sites by these users.

Jon adds that Yahoo also pioneered the social bar-partnering with Facebook-which tells users of the latest articles read by friends, in turn creating conversations.

With the evolution of these options online, Jon says marketers have certainly become more mature in using these platforms.