In 2005, advertising on the Internet was a growth industry, and Yahoo's ad sales team was big and getting bigger every day. The problem wasn't lack of opportunity, but how to take advantage of the opportunities by making the team more effective and efficient.
Yahoo needed a system for allowing their advertising sales team to access all of the opportunities available as well as craft stories around them. A key to that was making information about advertising opportunities on the site and the sales stories around those opportunities quickly available to the salespeople. The answer seemed to be an intranet, but the team's existing internet wasn't being used. The company asked Method to help solve the problem.
Method began the project with research. Interviewing Yahoo sales staff at every level, from management to support personnel, we probed for information about what types of information people needed to carry out their jobs, and how they were currently getting that information. In addition to problems with current systems, we heard about new types of information, not currently available to the staff, that could prod new ideas for clients. At the end of the process, Method presented Yahoo with a report outlining our findings and describing possible features for a new, more effective intranet.
The new site had several key elements. A library of pre-built slides provided elegantly formatted, ready-to-present information about every sales opportunity on the site, along with information about the advantages of each ad position. In an automated "Solution Builder," salespeople could enter industries, budgets, and other attributes to find the opportunities appropriate to a certain client. The site provided news feeds from hand-picked outside sources on topics relevant to particular industries, as well as internal news for salespeople and up-to-date statistics on traffic for different Yahoo properties.
Working with the sales staff's creative leadership, Method created a new visual design style for the slides that presented a sophisticated, consistent presentation of the brand, replacing the homemade versions formerly created by individual salespeople. A variation on that design was also used for the site, reinforcing the brand's new expression for the sales team.
Method offers a rational and intuitive approach to solving complex brand challenges in all traditional and digital media.
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