The last two weeks in marketing have been relatively quiet because of the holidays. But upon closer inspection there are some stirrings from the likes of Adobe, Nielsen and Foursquare who are all positioning themselves for 2013 and beyond.
In addition, the FTC made a predictable ruling in regards to Google, Andrew Sullivan made a declaration of independence, Flingo expanded their interactive TV offering and, OMG, BuzzFeed secured another $19 million in funding.
This is … Marketing Biz.
With over 1 million members, the acquisition of Behance accelerates Adobe’s strategy to bring great community features to Creative Cloud, making it the ultimate hub for creatives worldwide. Adobe® Creative Cloud™ is an industry-defining shift in creative expression and inspiration, where members can access Adobe’s world-class creative tools and services and create, publish and share their work across devices, the desktop and the Web.
At first this news caused me to furrow my brow in confusion. But it quickly dawned on me how smart it is to connect a leading creative community to the leading creative software maker.
We’ve always accepted that with success comes regulatory scrutiny. But we’re pleased that the FTC and the other authorities that have looked at Google’s business practices—including the U.S. Department of Justice (in its ITA Software review), the U.S. courts (in the SearchKing and Kinderstart cases), and the Brazilian courts (in a case last year)—have concluded that we should be free to combine direct answers with web results.
I’m not surprised at this result but the line about direct answers is very telling. Google clearly sees a future where they’re providing more and more answers instead of results. I do think this is good for users but will be painful for more and more third-party aggregators and middleman businesses.
In December, the company passed 40 million unique monthly visitors (Google Analytics), with growth driven by social (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) and mobile (over one third of all BuzzFeed traffic). The company also grew revenue more than threefold in 2012, exclusively from content-driven, social advertising, and grew staff to 180 employees.
Would you like a side of photobombs with that? You might say you don’t like BuzzFeed but … you secretly do. Marketers looking to find inspiration on how to tap into the social psyche should look no further than BuzzFeed. From selection to presentation to interaction they’re separating themselves from the pack.
123.3 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones (53 percent mobile market penetration) during the three months ending in November, up 6 percent since August. Google Android ranked as the top smartphone platform with 53.7 percent market share (up 1.1 percentage points), while Apple’s share increased 0.7 percentage points to 35 percent. RIM ranked third with 7.3 percent share, followed by Microsoft (3 percent) and Symbian (0.5 percent).
It’s a new year and we all know that mobile is going to be a huge part of any marketing initiative. So it’s a good time to review smartphone marketshare. Despite the fandom and hype, it’s Android and not Apple who maintains the lead in this critical race.
Room 77, which lets consumers search hundreds of travel sites for hotel rooms, says it has directed “hundreds of thousands” of room nights booked in less than nine months. The company plans to use the funding for building out its technology, as well as international expansion. Room 77 is differentiating from other travel sites by focusing exclusively on hotel search, says Kevin Fleiss, chief operating officer of Room 77.
Vertical search is still a huge opportunity, particularly where the average basket is high. There’s also a lesson to be learned here from focusing on just one thing (hotels) instead of the entire vertical (travel). Specialization and subsequent acquisition may be the trend for the next few years.
With Arbitron assets, Nielsen intends to further expand its “Watch” segment’s audience measurement across screens and forms of listening. “These integrated, innovative capabilities will enable broader measurement of consumer media behavior in more markets around the world,” said Steve Hasker, Nielsen President of Global Media Products and Advertiser Solutions. “We will also bring local clients greater visibility to empower more precise advertising placement and campaign effectiveness.”
Nielsen is quickly consolidating and partnering (with Twitter) to ensure they remain the gold standard for audience measurement. As our screens converge, holistic audience measurement may be more important than specialized measurement. Should comScore be concerned?
Our particular version will be a meter that will be counted every time you hit a “Read on” button to expand or contract a lengthy post. You’ll have a limited number of free read-ons a month, before we hit you up for $19.99.
Popular political writer Andrew Sullivan is ditching advertising and testing out a pay-as-you-go subscription model. While these types of things haven’t been well received in the past I think services such as Tinypass and a general acceptance of micropayments (app store, iTunes) give ‘meter’ monetization a fighting chance. If this works and catches on the ramifications for advertising are quite large.
Over this holiday weekend Foursquare rolled out some rather large privacy changes that affect all users of the service. The biggest change? The fact that users will now have to display their full name rather than a first name with last initial.
There will be the predictable outrage about privacy but I think that misses the point. Foursquare has grown out of it’s quirky badge-seeking infancy into a more mature company concerned about inspiring trust in the local search platform it’s developed. Yelp should be very, very nervous.
To help people share better stories, sometimes you need to customize the syntax of the Open Graph. Today we’re launching flexible sentences, an advanced feature that lets you modify sentence structure and build richer stories.
There are numerous ways in which you can take advantage of Facebook’s platform, but Open Graph stories are perhaps the most powerful one out there. After reigning in the number of verbs used it looks like Facebook is investing in making these interactions more human.
In its Interactive TV implementations, Samba offers viewers the ability to actively engage with programming in real-time through their primary screen. This can take the form of polls, social conversations, recommendations, or consumption of related media. In the case of Second Screens, aka internet-connected laptops, tablets, and smartphones used simultaneously while watching TV, the company can offer an even wider array of complementary content and engagement, such as aggregated social feeds relating to live programming or an ability to watch past episodes of a live show. This can all be delivered across multiple screens, in concert.
I can’t say I’ve been that enthused with interactive TV, though I may not be the target market. However, the second screen component here seems like a smart way to both extend reach and introduce users to the service. Perhaps multi-screen viewing is what finally puts interactive TV on the map.