Companies launching internet campaigns on Yahoo! can now customise their display ads to suit the needs of different audiences.

In a post on the Yahoo! Search Marketing blog, editor Jeff Sweat said the search engine was expanding its Smart Ads programme to help display ads perform more like search engine marketing campaigns.

He pointed out that companies often sell their products and services to a large demographic but face a tough challenge advertising to all of these different consumers, as not all of them will respond to ads in the same way.

Using behavioural information on Yahoo! users, the Smart Ads programme lets firms deliver different ads to customers depending on their interests.

For example, a mobile phone company may wish to target display ads focusing on entertainment and high-end handset features to younger consumers and ads extolling the financial benefits of certain mobile packages to older audiences.

"That’s where Smart Ads’ machine-learning technology comes in," said Mr Sweat.

"You could prepare a few taglines, offers, images, logos and colours and Smart Ads technology combines them to create thousands of ads that can be displayed to your potential customers."

Meanwhile, eMarketer reported last week that a new survey by MTV shows good quality is often more important to younger consumers than a cool brand image, which is something that internet marketing teams may wish to bear in mind.

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