Future of Irish operations set out in Yahoo chief's play book Agency changes as SuperValu on hunt
FOR a man about to endure a string of media interviews, Rich Riley does not have the weary look of many businessmen about to spend a day with the press.
Quite the opposite in fact. The 37-year-old Texan looks like he could still be the American football linebacker he was in his younger days and appears as fresh faced as a man 10 years younger.
A former investment banker, Mr Riley left a career on Wall Street to join the internet giant Yahoo in the late 1990s. Now, as Yahoo's senior vice-president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Mr Riley has to reinvigorate a market that historically has been a weaker one for the firm.
In town to open Yahoo's new Dublin headquarters and to take part in an advertising conference, Mr Riley seems to have clear plans for the Irish operation.
"We've redeveloped our platform to make it more specific to every country. Previously, the Yahoo Ireland page would have been more or less the same as the UK page, but now if you go to Yahoo.ie, you will find much more Irish specific content," he said.
"Importantly, we can customise the Yahoo page to a user's tastes without the user having to do anything. Many people are not prepared to rearrange their home page to suit their needs.
"Now, we can do it for them. A 50-year-old businessman may not be interested in celebrity gossip, but he may want to see share prices and sports news on his page. Now he doesn't have to do anything to achieve that. Importantly, if the page is more focused on the individual, then we can customise the advertising on the page as well."
Mr Riley clearly knows exactly what the company is trying to achieve. As well as the redesigned home page, Yahoo is about to start rolling out a new email layout that, in Mr Riley's words, "combines the best parts of a desktop email reader with the best of web-based email".
"Our aim is to make Yahoo an essential page for web users. Most people visit a limited number of web pages when they're online, so we are trying to bring as many pages into the Yahoo website. We hope users will begin their web experience on Yahoo and move from there rather than it being an incidental page to their browsing," he added.
Get marketing with the 'Five Cs'
IN any economic downturn, advertising and marketing is often one of the first expenses to be cut as companies roll back any discretionary spending.
For small businesses, that is usually doubly the case. In many cases, small firms and individuals who have never done any marketing are having to start from scratch in order to survive as a business.
To that end, Rachel Killeen has written a book specifically for those businesses. 'Client Science: The Five Cs Marketing Plan for Professionals' details a strategy businesses can use to get up and running.
"The five Cs are fairly straightforward," says Ms Killeen. "Collate -- you need to know what you want to achieve through marketing. Create -- what can I provide that my competitors can't? Communicate -- get out into the local community, it will be the key to how your business does. Collaborate -- by working with local businesses you will get more business for yourself. Finally, calculate -- you must evaluate everything you do. Are you getting the return you want?"
Ms Killeen is speaking this morning at a PM Forum at BDO, Beaux Lane House, Mercer Street, Dublin 2, at 7.45am. Details at pmforum.co.uk
Agency changes as SuperValu on hunt
WORD reaches PostScript that the SuperValu creative account has gone out to pitch.
Meanwhile, there are changes at the top of two agencies. Mark Lynch has left after five years as managing director of Vizeum in what has been described as a "perfectly amicable arrangement".
A direct replacement is not expected to be appointed and the agency is understood to be undergoing an internal reorganisation.
Tom Doherty is leaving QMP Publicis after six years. He will, however, remain in his position until a replacement MD has been appointed.