Monday, May 01, 2006

Yahoo! Improving Word-of-Mouth Reach

Internet firm will give marketers access to consumers seeking gadget reviews.

Yahoo will attempt to harness consumers’ proven preference for word of mouth as the most credible source of product evaluations with the introduction of Yahoo Tech, a web site designed to help consumers and provide a preferred advertising platform for product marketers.

The site will be an aggregation point for user reviews of electronic consumer gadgets such as digital cameras, notebook computers, cell phones, and MP3 players. It will also provide some overall advice on the use of these increasingly complex devices.

There are quite a few sites that encourage user reviews, reflecting a broader drift towards user-generated content on the Internet. However, the Yahoo brand could provide some name recognition to a field dominated by technology publications such as, PC Magazine, and PC World.

In fact Yahoo will incorporate product reviews from PC Magazine and PC World and tech explanations from the “--- For Dummies” publication series.

Yahoo Tech will also test the advertising tolerance of skeptical consumers who have already tuned out traditional media because of the clutter of advertising and the climate-controlled opinions of corporate reviewers.

Yahoo Tech includes very prominent advertising on just about every page.

Yahoo already has a number of advertising sponsors, including Verizon Wireless, Hewlett-Packard, and Panasonic. Published reports say that the ad slots are sold out for the crucial first three months of Yahoo Tech.

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