Marketing Biz: Circa, Curation Marketing & Brand Gifting

This was an interesting week for marketers with the slow evolution of established web 2.0 channels.

Circa is doing interesting things with mobile content. Swipp has a new twist on local recommendations. Yahoo! snapped up curation tool Boomerang launched a B2B gifting product. Quora opened up a blogging platform.

I wouldn’t call any of this new, but digital Darwinism is pushing companies to be better, faster and more efficient.

This is … Marketing Biz.

Circa Raises $750K From Group Including Lerer Ventures To Revolutionize Mobile News Delivery

Circa allows you to follow an ongoing story, like Lance Armstrong admitting that he doped during his cycling career. It updates as individual bits of information come in, rather than making you read an entirely new story each and every time.

I’ve been wondering whether it’s not just how the information is presented on phones (and tablets) but whether the actual content itself will need to change as well. Should it be shorter? More visual? Marketers should watch Circa to see if it catches on. If it does, it has implications for how content should be delivered in a multi-screen landscape.

Unlocking The Wisdom of the World

Swipp Index

We believe that when the collective knowledge of the social graph is aggregated and displayed, it will create a better-informed world. The best part? You don’t need to be a data scientist to understand it.  Swipp gathers social data and gives it right back to the community in the form of data dashboards (also known as ‘infographics’) that are built right into the products. They’re yours and they’re free. And the more people use Swipp, the better the data gets, and the more informed we all get.

You’d think that the recommendation space was crowded enough as it stands, but there’s a rising grumble of people who are finding traditional recommendation platforms (aka Yelp) to be both overwhelming and decreasingly useful. I’m not sure Swipp has it solved but it’s a reminder to marketers to investigate alternative recommendation platforms such as Swipp, Foursquare and Facebook Graph Search to name a few. is Joining Forces with Yahoo! Logo

We are thrilled at the opportunity to bring’s vision to a larger scale at Yahoo!. While we can’t share the specifics of what we’ll be building, we are excited about the opportunity to take social news to new, exciting heights at Yahoo!.

Yahoo! is making moves in their quest to be the content source on the Internet. was a curation tool which may point to a broader curation marketing strategy. I actually like this better than the current contributor network model which is rife with poor content. Better to be the portal and aggregator of quality content. The question is can Yahoo! deliver on this before someone else does and pirates their customers away?

Simply Measured Debuts Google Analytics Reporting, Expands Deeper into the Enterprise with Marketing Analytics for Business Users

“It’s a well-documented trend that marketers are becoming increasingly inundated with data,” said Adam Schoenfeld, CEO of Simply Measured. “Our goal is to translate data into deliverables that bring analytics to life, making business intelligence more accessible and consumable for users across departments.

Armed with a new round of funding Simply Measured is hoping to be a major player as information becomes more important. Because it’s not having the data but transforming it into information that counts. Even better, Simply Measured reduces the friction by making it easy to use Excel and Power Point. Sounds stupid, but that’s a big deal.

Vine: A new way to share video

Today, we’re introducing Vine: a mobile service that lets you capture and share short looping videos. Like Tweets, the brevity of videos on Vine (6 seconds or less) inspires creativity. Now that you can easily capture motion and sound, we look forward to seeing what you create.

Twitter continues to move away from their text based roots with the launch of Vine. I sort of see these as glorified animated GIFs. That’s not a bad thing though if you know how to create something interesting or viral. A smart brand marketer could create a series of these to tell an interesting story. Think of it as Burma-Shave advertising for the Internet.

Social gifting startup Boomerang goes antisocial

Boomerang has developed a channel that lets brands give gift cards to their marketing email lists.

For a brand, it’s a bit of a white label version of the social version of Boomerang, but gift card recipients familiar with the service will still recognize the Boomerang presentation. When a customer receives the digital card, he or she is also given the chance to share the card with 10 or so friends on Facebook to receive rewards like another gift.

This is a smart move by Boomerang since the consumer gifting space is incredibly crowded. A B2B product that appeals to marketers could gain traction quickly. Obviously, it has to be implemented carefully so it’s not interpreted as corporate spam.

Mercury Media Acquires iMarketing to Establish the Largest Independent Integrated Performance Marketing Agency in the U.S.

Mercury Media, a leading direct response television media agency, announced that it has acquired iMarketing, a full service digital agency, creating the largest independent online and offline performance marketing agency in the country. The acquisition will enable Mercury Media to offer fully integrated cross-channel media and marketing solutions to cost-effectively drive sales, customer acquisition and lead generation for its clients.

Yet another merger of offline and online capabilities. Convergence is upon us and it just doesn’t make a lot of sense to work with an agency that doesn’t have their fingers … everywhere.

Introducing Blogs on QuoraQuora

Blogs on Quora are great for people who (1) don’t have a big, established online presence already and (2) don’t want to do the time-intensive, heavy lifting of marketing their blog and slowly building an audience. If you are a good writer but don’t have thousands of Twitter followers or a big audience for your blog, Quora is an ideal place to write. Your blog will be discovered quickly without you having to do any work besides writing.

Here I thought that people should have to hustle to earn their readership. Silly me! In my view part of becoming a better blogger and marketer is figuring out how to attract that audience. I’m a better writer, blogger, marketer for the struggle. Not only that, but I’d be careful putting your own intellectual property on someone else’s domain.

Extole Raises $7.5M To Build Brands’ Word-Of-Mouth On Social Media

Extole allows businesses to find the best advocates in their customer base and offer them rewards to promote the company to their friends on social networks — in other words, it gives companies a way to build word-of-mouth.

Identifying natural advocates is important. I’m not thrilled with the rewards angle myself but I know it has better short-term results. The problem to me is whether you short-circuit the motivation for evangelizing that brand. I’ll be interested to see if there’s a diminishing returns to this type of effort over time.

Optimal Announces $7 Million in New Funding to Fuel Social Media Ad Buying and Analytics Expansion

“I’m excited to join Optimal as an investor and board member. They have the most efficient platform for reaching and managing a brand’s reach across social media. In other words, I selfishly use them for my own purposes. Additionally, they are a one-stop shop for me to buy media across social platforms, including Facebook retargeting. I had been looking for this, so I invested.”

The Facebook ecosystem is alive and well. Optimal is cashing in on their Facebook retargeting success, as well they should. We’re still in the infancy of social ad buying so being at the forefront of it is good for Optimal (and good for marketers.)

And Then …

Announcing Moz’s 2012 Metrics, Acquisition of AudienceWise, & Opening of Our Portland Office

SocialCode Welcomes New Chief Revenue Officer Bill Masterson

Exceptional Women in Publishing Names Federated Media Publishing’s CEO Deanna Brown the 2013 EWIP Award Winner


Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Marketing Biz


About The Author: is Owner of Blind Five Year Old, a San Francisco Internet Marketing firm specializing in search. An experienced marketing executive with a successful track record spanning 20 years, AJ combines a deep understanding of search marketing with a passion for product strategy and iterative product development, fusing design and user experience with quantitative analysis.


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