Discover what's up in the business of marketing each Friday.
Marketing Biz: Mapageddon & Authority Wars
Mapageddon was front and center as the new iOS Maps fallout continued and the fight to control the most valuable context began in earnest. Meanwhile both LinkedIn and Bing raced headlong into identifying experts and assessing authority. While you can quibble with their implementations the trend toward a web of people is undeniable.
While these two themes dominated the week, there were plenty of other interesting stories from Groupon’s acquisition of Savored to the launch of Wanderful Media to new NFC business cards from MOO.
This is … Marketing Biz.
The decision, made sometime before Apple’s WWDC event in June, sent Google scrambling to develop an iOS Google Maps app — an app which both sources say is still incomplete and currently not scheduled to ship for several months.
It seems like Apple and Google are no longer frenemies but full on competitors. That really shouldn’t be a surprise. Android is taking a larger and larger share of the smartphone market and Maps is essentially another (perhaps the most powerful) type of search. Sure iOS Maps are pretty dreadful but inertia reigns supreme and controlling context is essential.
We don’t give one-size-fits-all results; we make the smartest, most personalized recommendations possible. That means we do things like show you a local coffee shop that 3 of your friends have been to before we show you a national chain, give you an array of excellent hot dog choices when you first arrive in Chicago, and help you figure out where to get dessert after you’ve checked in at dinner.
Foursquare continues to postion themselves as the local search leader. What is even more impressive is that amid the mapageddon buzz Foursquare cranked out this post. This is a prime example of being opportunistic and of agile marketing.
In a move to increase community and social networking and decrease reliance on paid editors and writers, Aol’s struggling hyperlocal site Patch is rolling out a redesign today in five Long Island towns. The redesign will spread to 50 more communities this year.
While many seem to be writing this up as a cost cutting move I think it’s also, potentially, the right decision. Hyperlocal sites only work when the community is involved. They work because they are passion based. Can Patch inspire that passion? That remains to be seen.
On LinkedIn, you have many smart, talented, and skilled professional connections. Starting today, we are introducing Endorsements, a new feature that makes it easier to recognize them for their skills and expertise.
With just one click, you can now endorse your connections for a skill they’ve listed on their profile or recommend one they haven’t added yet.
This seems like a fairly transparent end-run to create an influence score akin to Klout. LinkedIn already has a way to endorse people: recommendations. Perhaps LinkedIn can integrate these low-friction endorsements but it feels a lot like a popularity contest instead.
Today, we’re excited to announce that Bing and Klout are partnering to help enrich the discovery and recognition of influencers across our platforms. This is an alliance based on a shared belief that people are at the center of task completion. To help you find the right person we need to determine who is influential and trusted on different topics on the web. Bing and Klout share this vision. In addition to the technical partnership described below, we are announcing that we are making a strategic investment in Klout.
Authority and expertise are important when it comes to search so Bing is responding to Google’s Authorship program by partnering with Klout. Overall, Klout is good at measuring broad influence, meaning the difference between a score of 60 and a score of 30 is material. But scores within 10 points seem useless. Outsourcing this critical piece of information also seems risky which is why I’m not surprised at the strategic investment.
The big points seem to be that Yahoo will work very hard on personalization and mobile.
Mayer’s strategy for mobile is interesting: apparently she is going to bring in people who can build great apps through “acqui-hires.”
This is all whisper-down-the-lane type of stuff but if true I’m not exactly bowled over. These don’t seem very specific to Yahoo. The message here seems to be that they need beter talent (true) and have to move faster to innovate (true). Show me, don’t tell me.
The value that we have created in the restaurant industry is clear. Just ask any one of the many restaurateurs that has seen their bottom line increase by 50% since joining Savored about the impact we are having. Or ask any of the many diners who now celebrates out with friends and family more often. It is with these people in mind that we are eager to introduce Savored to a larger audience. And for that reason, I could not be more proud to announce today that Savored has been acquired by Groupon.
This is an interesting acquisition. It clearly puts Groupon in competition with OpenTable but also gives them access to cross-sell their growing small business services to a new segment. What’s next? A review service?
Facebook today announced that it will start including search history in users’ Activity Logs. The feature will be rolled out to all users in the next few weeks.
The feature allows for users to view and delete all or some of their past searches.
Is Facebook interested in search or not? This change certainly seems to indicate search is on their radar. Yet recent comments by Mark Zuckerberg indicated it isn’t a priority – sorta, kinda, maybe, not really. I’m getting tired of the head fakes. Do or do not already.
Starting today, any pack of Business Cards you buy from MOO will come with a little extra – a free NFC enabled Business Card.
“A what??” you say? In short, an NFC enabled Business Card is a regular Business Card, with a tiny microchip and antenna embedded inside the paper that can transmit data from itself to a mobile phone which is also NFC ready, when they are tapped together.
OMG I want one! I firmly believe this is where ‘business cards’ are going in the future. It’s also exciting to see that MOO is out in front of this and looking to adapt to this digital environment.
Wanderful represents a media industry initiative to transform the $4 billion business of traditional advertising circulars through digital innovation. Just as joint media ventures such as CareerBuilder and Cars.com strengthened the industry’s position through the use of new technology, Wanderful Media was created with an even broader set of investors to reinvent the circular advertising business for its partners and extend it to the rest of the industry.
There’s no doubt that the circular market is ripe to be disrupted but … I’m not sure this is the answer. Apps from Safeway, CVS and RiteAid that integrate with your loyalty card and provide access to the weekly circulars seem more valuable. What do you think?
Indeed today announced that it will be acquired by Recruit Co. Ltd, a leading provider of integrated HR and information services based in Japan. The acquisition enables Indeed, the most visited job site in the world, to continue its rapid expansion while benefiting from Recruit’s reach and resources. Indeed will be an independent operating unit of Recruit, led by Indeed’s current senior management team.
Indeed isn’t the flashiest of the job boards but they’ve quietly gone to work (for 8 years) and delivered substance over style. There’s a lesson to be learned here. This also reminds me of Rakuten’s acquisition of LinkShare.
“This investment will accelerate our ability to help more companies improve their customer experience,” said Hald. In fact, Medallia today announced the launch of its Social Feedback for Retail product. “Our focus is helping companies act on social feedback, and our solution routes reviews and comments to the right location so companies can respond personally to customers. Since Medallia’s social solutions can be fully integrated with surveys we collect across customer stores, call centers, and websites, we expect rapid adoption.”
Medallia might have the inside track on the entire enterprise social management market because of their multi-channel approach. The blend of offline and online feedback makes this incredibly powerful for marketers.
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