Marketing Biz: Groupon Acquires Hyperpublic, Pinterest Addresses Copyright Flap and Twitter Rushes Toward Ad Business

This week brought a number of contrasting stories around tracking and privacy along with significant hires to support the ongoing evolution of major Internet properties.

Groupon snatches up local-data startup Hyperpublic for better deal targeting

“We have everything. Need Twitter handles of vegans in the East Village? Done. Millions of display ads referencing places in Chicago? Done,” the product description explains.

I’m not a big Groupon fan (from a business model standpoint) but think that this acquisition is very smart. Hyperlocal deal targeting could expand the Groupon footprint and go a long way to help ensure response and ROI remained high for participating businesses.

Microsoft launches no holds barred anti-Google campaign

According to Microsoft, Google’s productivity suite is a joke — a sad side project where Google moonlights in its downtime and uses unwitting corporations as guinea pigs — and businesses would be crazy to play Google’s game.

Google Apps is such a joke that Microsoft decides to launch an ‘education’ campaign against it and essentially calls those using it stupid? Good luck with that ‘strategy’.

Obama Administration Unveils Blueprint for a “Privacy Bill of Rights” to Protect Consumers Online

In addition, advertising networks announced that leading Internet companies and online advertising networks are committing to act on Do Not Track technology in most major web browsers to make it easier for users to control online tracking. Companies that represent the delivery of nearly 90 percent of online behavioral advertisements, including Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and AOL have agreed to comply when consumers choose to control online tracking.

I’m sure they mean well but I’m not convinced that this is going to afford any real difference in privacy for the majority of consumers. Also, there’s still a huge amount of data available offline which is not being addressed.

Pinterest’s Quiet Copyright Coup

Sites that don’t want users stealing pinning their images can now place code on their site and Pinterest’s users will no longer be able to pin images from that site in one click.

Pinterest users can STILL save any image from any website, and upload it to Pinterest (removing any value to the originating site) where it can then be repinned into oblivion.

As the hottest start-up going Pinterest continues to be lashed by critics. I can see both sides of this debate but do find the outrage here curious in contrast to the reaction to SOPA.

YouTube Hires Bing Exec to Lead Marketing

The hire is a blow to Bing, which is fighting for market share against Google but succeeding mostly in taking it away from Yahoo. Marketing Bing was about getting consumers to try a different brand in search, which few people think is broken. YouTube, on the other hand, is a brand everyone knows and uses, much like Google’s search.

Clearly Google is investing a lot more into YouTube and transforming it into a viable TV alternative. As such, I’m surprised YouTube didn’t tap someone who had more experience with TV or at least someone from outside of the technology bubble.

Twitter Grabs Two Googlers for International Advertising Expansion

Twitter has hired two high-profile Google execs — Shailesh Rao and Stephen McIntyre — to lead an aggressive international expansion in advertising.

So after doing nearly nothing in terms of advertising for years and years Twitter now seems hell-bent on doing everything it can at once. A day late and a dollar short?

Mozilla to challenge big players in mobile web

Mozilla is expected Wednesday to announce plans for its own app store, to be called the Mozilla Marketplace, offering mobile apps that could run equally well on an iPhone, an Android phone or a Windows Phone device. Mozilla is also working to develop a smartphone that would not be locked into the “walled gardens” of apps, operating systems and devices that are now controlled by Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), Microsoft, Amazon and a few others.

Can Mozilla do it again and replicate what it did for web browsers? I’m not sure. Developers might be feeling the pain here but are mainstream consumers? Or is this a necessary pivot based on the erosion of browser market share? More questions than answers here.

Yieldbot announces new Series A round of funding

The funds will be used to continue development and bring to market our Yieldbot or Publishers (YFP) realtime intent-graph™ technology (launched July 2011) and our Yieldbot for Advertisers (YFA) realtime intent marketplace that launched in alpha this month. Together YFP and YFA create a valuable media channel of realtime consumer intent that delivers an order of magnitude more relevant ad matching and performance. 

Yieldbot doesn’t make a lot of splashy headlines but if they can follow-through on their vision you’ll be hearing a lot about them soon.

Adam Singer Joining The Google Analytics Team

I’ve been personally interested in moving our industry forward through blogging, speaking and consulting. Going in house to focus my efforts on a product that is essential for modern marketers was the clear next step in my career (thanks Louis Gray for the nudge).

I am excited by the addition of Adam Singer to the Google Analytics Team. Having ‘one of our own’ working from the inside could help improve the product and remove some of those glaring problems that cause frustration on a daily basis.

Demand Media posts $6.4-million loss in fourth quarter

“The business that they took public changed fundamentally when Google changed its algorithm,” said Patrick Walravens, an analyst with JMP Securities. “The business model they had for producing content no longer works. So what’s the new model?”

When algorithms attack! These are the right (and tough) questions for Demand Media. The current response of photos, videos, humor and more social content may work for a while but still seem like attempts to ‘chase the algorithm’.

AdRoll Appoints Google’s Head of North American Sales Suresh Khanna as Vice President of Sales

His appointment comes at a time of significant growth for the company and for the retargeting space, the brightest spot in the$200 billion display advertising industry. AdRoll grew revenue 400 percent in 2011 and is poised to repeat that success again in 2012. With over 3,500 active customers, AdRoll has the largest customer base of any retargeting company.

More and more companies are realizing the value of retargeting even amid the roar of privacy and tracking concerns. Expect to see more high profile hires in this space as companies seek to grab market share and catch shifting advertising dollars.

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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