Yahoo! Does Channel Deal with AMEX

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Yahoo! has partnered with American Express’ OPEN Savings program for small business (SMBs), offering 5% off on search marketing and other SMB services (e.g., webhosting) from Yahoo!:

Through this partnership, business owners can use their Small Business ard to automatically reduce their costs of doing business with Yahoo! Search Marketing and Yahoo! Small Business services. Small business Card members will receive a 5% discount on Yahoo! Search Marketing’s online advertising and promotion services in addition to Yahoo! Small Business’s comprehensive, easy o use services, including Web site hosting, e-commerce, business e-mail, and domain name registration.

Amex is a great potential channel partner — Amex is underutilized as a channel to SMBs for online marketing services in general — but Yahoo! isn’t offering the right product for this market. Interestingly, it doesn’t seem to be promoting its simplified “local listings” product here. (I can’t remember if this is being phased out or otherwise integrated with Panama.) Instead, Yahoo! is promoting straightforward SEM.

Self-service search marketing is still too complicated for most SMBs, unless it’s three fields:

  • what category?
  • how much do you want to spend per month?
  • where are you located/what is your service area?

Yahoo! should either promote Local Listings, establish a simplified “DIFM” product internally or partner with a local SEM that can deliver something along those lines for the company.

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