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5 Questions For Hunter Madsen, Marketing Director, Yahoo! Canada

Hunter Madsen
Dr. Madsen recently joined “Yahoo! Canada”: as head of marketing programs, to accelerate Yahoo!’s growing momentum in the Canadian market. He previously headed product marketing for Yahoo! Marketing Services, as well as product management for the company’s industry-leading advertising delivery system. In his previous position, Madsen drove Yahoo!’s innovations in advanced ad targeting, analytics, rich media ad formats, and promotions services for advertisers.
Originally a social scientist, Madsen received his doctorate from Harvard University and subsequently lectured there before beginning his marketing career with J. Walter Thompson, the advertising agency.

*One Degree: Yahoo! Canada has gone through several different phases since it was launched. Is there a renewed emphasis on serving the Canadian market at Yahoo?*
According to ComScore, three out of four Canadians online each month use Yahoo!, so Canada has long been a big and important market for us. But over the years, we have taken varying approaches to how we manage and develop our business. The approach we’ve been taking in recent years puts a strong team in charge here and keeps it well integrated with functional teams back at our headquarters.
*One Degree: You’ve just recently moved to Toronto from Yahoo’s head office in Sunnyvale California. What are your early impressions of the differences between the Internet industry here and in the valley?*

I’ve been here only a few weeks, so my impressions are sketchy at best. But in my talks with interactive marketing experts here, I get the sense that the experts are fully current on the latest innovations, yet general market adoption is a few quarters behind the U.S. market.
*One Degree: How much of Yahoo! Canada’s advertising is focused on the Internet rather than more traditional channels?*
Like any advertiser, we go to connect with consumers where they’re found more and more these days, and where marketing enables more immediate trial and engagement – that’s online. Of course our marketing involves other channels too, but online advertising remains our hub.
*One Degree: Are there any particular online marketing techniques you’ve found particularly useful in the past? I’m thinking of ones that either aren’t on most people’s radar or things that others are moving away from that you’ve found opportunity in.*
Until recently, I headed up product marketing for Yahoo!’s advanced targeting systems, so I’m biased, but I have seen first-hand how sophisticated behavioural targeting can boost ad effectiveness, for both branding and direct response. Most advertisers are dabbling in BT(Behavioural Targeting) these days — it has just shown up on everyone’s radar – but the smartest players dived right in more than a year ago, and they’re pulling results that would surprise you.
*One Degree: Any other techniques of note?*
Yes, I think that online promotional events are just beginning to become a powerful force in marketing, and not just to drive direct response near the bottom of the purchase funnel, but to drive brand engagement, consideration and trial among those in the mid-funnel. Promotions are also a brilliant way to gather crucial behavioral data from users. This isn’t on the radar of the marketing industry just yet, but they’ll figure it out soon enough.


  1. Jane Doe
    Jane Doe September 15, 2006

    For those of us who don’t know – What is BT? (Not for me I’m asking for a friend…)

  2. Ken Schafer - One Degree
    Ken Schafer - One Degree September 15, 2006

    Well “Jane”, BT = Behavourial Targeting (or Behavioral Targeting as Hunter might want to spell it).
    In most modern browsers the “BT” in the article above should provide you with the meaning of the acronymn if you hover over it (you should see a dotted underline). Just a tip if you see other undefined terms at One Degree.

  3. Robert Simon
    Robert Simon September 16, 2006

    Is it just me or hasn’t anyone else thrown Yahoo! out of their office in the last year?
    My interactions with Yahoo! marketing experts are (a) they treat you like your an idiot and talk down to you (b) they fear ROI and general accountability.
    Granted, this was a team up from SF, but really, does anyone think I am missing out but cutting Yahoo! out of my media?

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