This is the next post in my series on Asians in Advertising and it is none other than Dennis Yu. Dennis is the CEO of BlitzLocal.com, an agency that does online advertising for big brands and yellow page category businesses. I ran into Dennis at one of the conferences and he was kind enough to educate me on the whole local search craze, fast forward a couple of years later, thought it would be a good time to bring this to you.
1) Dennis, tell us briefly about yourself and how you got started in this industry.
I had been doing PPC and analytics at Yahoo and saw how much money we were paying out to affiliates. I thought to myself, “Gee, that’s a lot of money and how hard can it be?” My role at Yahoo! allowed me to see across a wide range of properties, gave me access to a lot of data, and provided some amazing relationships. A bunch of friends left Yahoo! to apply what they knew, so it was only a matter of time. In my case, I felt that local affiliate marketing would be the long term vision (still do), and that we could use earnings from dating, ringtones, toolbars, and e-commerce programs to fund it. I also enjoyed public speaking, as it gave me opportunities to meet interesting people and travel.
2) Do you think being an Asian in this industry has hindered or helped you achieve the level of success you currently have or anticipated?
I think it doesn’t matter. Does an advertiser care about whether that conversion was driven by an Asian or a Caucasian? Does Google’s system care, for that matter? I find that affiliates tend to be the most open and accepting of all walk of life, specifically because a focus on the numbers means that you can’t discriminate. If you discriminate based on race, age, weight, or whatever, then you are excluding yourself from potential business partners that could make you very successful. And affiliates are smart enough not to make that mistake. Hence, look at the people of …read more