It probably goes without saying, but the Yahoo brand has seen better days. The Internet Brands sector is chock-full of amazing rags-to-riches startup stories and Yahoo was one of the earliest, and definitely a pioneer in its respective market.
But Yahoo’s downward media spiral has been hard to ignore.
At the January 2016 close, Yahoo earned a 4-year media rating low of 87 points, down -1 point for the month and a full -10 points off its high of 97 for the preceding 4-year period.
I bring Yahoo up for a couple of reasons, one from personal experience. A number of years ago I pitched the marketing team at Yahoo on the need to adopt a media monitoring and measurement solution. At the time I was working for a measurement service provider. Our initial take on the brand’s media position showed a company vulnerable from smaller startups and more aggressive entrenched brands. At the time, Twitter wasn’t even around.
They said earned media wasn’t important, it’s all about advertising.
Not too surprising coming from a firm that makes 99% of its revenue from advertising. But media visibility for a brand is like a bank account. Earn and deposit your media share away each month until some day when you need to leverage that trust and equity to make some critical media plays.
Yahoo’s top perch has now eroded to the point where it’s competing to stay more relevant than Flickr (80) and Spotify (85), and trailing well behind dominant brands like Twitter (100), Google (99), Instagram (98), B2B-focused LinkedIn (93), and Snapchat (88).
The main reason I showcase Yahoo in this post is to point out the media vulnerability of even the strongest brands in a sector. From a media visibility standpoint, Yahoo should be a top-3 brand in its sector, not a struggling #11 brand. Staying relevant in the media is hard work. That work should have started 3 years ago. The media momentum is all but disappearing at Yahoo while competing brands are running consecutive months of advancing media momentum.
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