Yahoo, yes Yahoo, has launched a tool for businesses to obtain a "consolidated picture" of marketing results and reputation. Is this the first step in Yahoo!'s return?
Using the Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard, small business owners can monitor their search engine and directory listings and receive recommendations on new opportunities on over 100 sites and monitor their online reputation on up to 8,000 digital sources (including Facebook and Twitter).
The dashboard also offers users access to site traffic analysis reports, integrating data from Yahoo Merchant Solutions and Google Analytics. Yahoo is also offering up a way for SMB users of the marketing dashboard to integration with other services - notably email service provider Constant Contact and local internet marketing solution OrangeSoda.
“We created the Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard to help small business owners who feel overwhelmed by online marketing options and monitoring a wide range of sites and social networks to keep up with customer feedback,” said Shannon Parker Hane, Director of Product Marketing, Yahoo! Small Business. “Now, within a single tool customers can conveniently evaluate their marketing options, campaign results and online reputation without having to search across the Web for information.”
While I believe there are stronger unified software services for monitoring and managing search and social, it's good to see the company moving in what I believe to be the right direction. The Yahoo Marketing Dashboard requires businesses to list within the Yahoo Small Business, but based on some of the features offered out of the virtual box, that's a small price to pay for use of the free service.