Marketing Biz: New Foursquare, Transforming Data & Map Wars

foursquare-iconIt was a busy week in the marketing world, so this week’s column is going to be a bit like a lightning round on a game show.  So without further ado …

Groupon and Foursquare End Distribution Deal

Groupon has stopped utilizing Foursquare as a mobile distribution partner. A Groupon spokesperson on Tuesday told ClickZ that the relationship had “reached a natural conclusion” but wouldn’t specify when the development occurred. The partnership appears to have lasted less than 10 months.

It ‘reached a natural conclusion’ when Foursquare made it clear it was going to compete with Groupon and not be a simple marketing channel.

The #allnew4sq is here. Download it now!

Our re-imagined Explore gives you ideas of where to go the moment you open it up (you don’t even have to search). We tell you where your friends are (we moved nearby friends to here; just tap on the new ‘friends nearby’ box), where you can save money, and what you might like nearby. We even know if you’re in your home neighborhood or traveling and adjust the recommendations.

Two days after the distribution deal with Groupon ends and the new Foursquare app comes out. Coincidence? I think not. twitter-logo-2012-new

Twitter Product VP Satya Patel Steps Down As Its Products and Ad Business Grow

Satya Patel joined Twitter in March of 2011, after a four-year stint as an investor with Battery Ventures. He took on the big job of managing the company’s core product as well as its growing advertising business. But now, as its ads business is starting to take off, he’s leaving the company.

The continuing evolution of Twitter is fascinating to watch. This is a company transforming itself from a culture focused on product to one focused on advertising.

Twitter Hires Senior Google Ad Exec Richard Alfonsi; Long-Time Product Leader Elad Gil To Advisory Role

Twitter is still busy making changes to its senior management. Following up on product leader Satya Patel’s departure earlier this week, we’ve learned of two other significant moves. The first supports the company’s recent statements about its ad business growing faster than many observers had expected.

Richard Alfonsi has been recruited from a senior sales position at Google to be Twitter’s new vice president of global online sales.

The sales numbers being bandied about ($1 billion in ad revenue by 2014) sound great and clearly Twitter is hustling but it all seems so … calculated. I’m not ready to jump on the bandwagon, particularly since I feel the hot breath of a marketer telling me ‘it’ll make you feel good’.

SCVNGR raises $12m from Google Ventures and others to boost mobile payment product LevelUp

LevelUp is essentially an app that lets you pay at local businesses with your Android handset or iPhone. Users can link their credit or debit cards to the app and scan a unique QR code at checkout at partner merchants.

Already, LevelUp is available at more than 3,000 merchants across 8 cities in the United States, including chains like Johnny Rockets, Goodburger, Coldstone Creamery and Ben & Jerry’s. The proceeds of the funding round will primarily be used to expand the platform nationwide.

Mobile payment services are going to be all the rage in the next two to five years. The market is highly fragmented right now so I expect consolidation. The fact that Google Ventures is the investor is intriguing.

Meet the startup helping sites like Fab and Etsy court their customers

With its predictive analytics software, the Y Combinator-backed startup, which launched last year, helps popular commerce sites, such as Fab, Etsy and Birchbox, get an early read on their customer relationships to figure out which ones will be the most valuable over time – and how they can keep those high-value customers happy.

“In general, online marketing is very visitor- and session-centric – they convert or they don’t,” said Corey Pierson, co-founder of Custora. “We’re really trying to expose that longer-term way of thinking about each and every customer.”

Solutions such as Custora are the future of online marketing. Get ahead of your competitors and start testing and using these services today.

Data analysis competition firm Kaggle launches ‘Prospect’ to better analyze oodles of information

Essentially, Prospect is for companies who have data, and want to improve their business, but might not know exactly how best to proceed in turing that data into decisions. Kaggle allows for competitions to be private, with only top analysts invited, for firms with more sensitive data, or more secretive policies.

Marketers have become very good at hoarding data but have struggled to turn that data into information. Kaggle could be a way for companies to get out of data gridlock, finally turning data into business actions.

After Vitrue, Oracle acquires social media monitoring firm Collective Intellect

The social media monitoring, CRM and marketing space is certainly heating up. First, Oracle acquires Vitrue for $300 million, and then Salesforce.com buys Buddy Media for nearly $700 million.

That means it’s Oracle’s turn again – they’ve just announced the acquisition of real-time social media monitoring platform company Collective Intellect.

Robin Wauters at The Next Web is right, this space is heating up and the consolidation is happening quickly. The question I have is whether these offerings will remain nimble as the social landscape inevitably changes and accelerates?

A digital marketing platform to win the moments that matter

It’s hard to reach the right audience at the right moment with the right message when every channel requires its own system and you’re patching together, and switching, between ad platforms that aren’t in sync. In fact, in a recent survey of 300 clients, marketers and agencies, they told us their team members are spending almost two days a week working across various digital platforms, often on manual workflow tasks. They estimate an integrated digital platform could liberate a third of that time. That’s an extra month every year that each team member can invest in other campaigns and new business.

The new DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform aims to integrate, unify and streamline digital marketing management. DoubleClick has an inside track here given their reach, but does need to address these shortcomings before their competitors.

Ex-Huffpo CTO launches RebelMouse, a social publishing platform

“Right now, most of the world is on Facebook or Twitter, usually both. You’re spending way too much time and struggle and getting way too unsatisfactory results on your own website,” said Berry. “You need something to bring it together, to show who you are and that’s true of individuals and companies.”

Berry said the goal is to create something that’s fresh and social. So users can pick and choose what content they’ve shared through Facebook and Twitter and turn it into a post on a larger page. Or they can create an original post with their own media. There’s a bookmarklet for pulling in images from other sites, similar to Pinterest. And there’s analytics for each post so you can see how many people are reading it.

I’m intrigued by RebelMouse because it looks like they’re trying to reduce the friction of creating a website by aggregating the actions you’re already taking on other platforms. That’s smart and definitely something to keep an eye on.

Google Beefs Up Maps as Apple Breakup Nears

News of the Google Earth and Maps upgrades come a week before Apple is expected to dump Google as its default mapping technology on its iOS mobile platform. In a world where location-based services are becoming more popular and lucrative this is bad news for Google. Perhaps Google’s intent was to show Apple what it was going to miss. And it did.

Get ready for Map Wars! Maps sit in the sweet spot for advertising – between local and mobile. And Apple finally got sick of Google Maps being the second used app on iPhones behind iTunes.

The Top Secret Method for Marketing Effectively on Reddit

As a new and quickly evolving medium, reddit has been a tough nut for most marketers to crack. Because the site relies on a democratic voting system to decide what content becomes most visible, marketing overtly at redditors is counterproductive.

In order to understand how to effectively market to this motivated, but finicky, group, you must first understand the community and its particular idiosyncrasies.

Reddit is a powerful force online and a savvy-marketer should be trying to figure out how to include it in their marketing mix.

IFTTT Integrates With Bitly, Hopefully Placating the Internet

IFTTT allows users to create tasks so that if something happens, the service will do something else. So you could set an IFTTT to get an email when it rains, or receive an alert whenever someone specific tweets. The bitly integration makes it possible to automatically tweet any link you shorten (that is, provided you’ve figured out how to shorten links on the new bitly).

No, I’m not placated but it’s nice to see IFTTT integrate with Bitly if only to give people an excuse to give IFTTT a try.

Link Building Means Earning “Hard Links” Not “Easy Links”

Consider this article the tamer, more coherent version of my rant. But the core message is the same. You don’t want links. You want good links. And sadly, I think many people have completely lost track of what a good link is.

If you’re in search or are responsible for hiring a search agency, you need to listen to Danny Sullivan’s rant and read this post. In general I think ‘link building’ is the wrong term and mindset. Link earning or link gardening are far better terms and/or metaphors.

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

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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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