Marketing Biz: Nextdoor Neighbors, Facebook Search Ads & GoodData

While Q2 results for Zynga and Facebook took center stage, efforts by Foursquare and Nextdoor continue to make hyper-local look like a real future instead of a mirage. And new providers like GoodData and Retention Science seem well placed to help marketers deal with the rising volume and complexity of data.

Zynga Takes Axe to Outlook, Spooks Facebook InvestorsZynga Logo

Blaming its poor performance on a steep drop-off in players for its core Facebook money-makers, Zynga took an axe to its earnings forecasts, predicting 4 to 9 cents a share, down from a previous 23 to 29 cents. Zynga shares tumbled to a record low of $3.00 after the bell.

That’s going to leave a mark. I’ve always suspected that social gaming would eventually have a very quick burnout factor like most casual games. That means you have to keep filling the pipeline with new games. But is Zynga set-up for that type of business?

Facebook Begins Testing Sponsored Results, Its First Search Typeahead Ads

Heads up, Google. Facebook is testing a new format of search ads called Sponsored Results that lets advertisers show ads in the Facebook search typeahead to users looking for a particular Page, app, or Place.

Facebook didn’t tank the way Zynga did but investors weren’t gushing over Facebook’s Q2 earnings. But with all the pressure, I can’t imagine why Facebook wouldn’t want to experiment with real search advertising.

Mind you, I’ve been saying Facebook should do search for about 2 years now but … really, they should. You’d want to advertise to people on Facebook searching for a topic, wouldn’t you?

Nextdoor takes $18.6M to strengthen communities across America

“The more users communicate using online mechanisms, they more likely they are to communicate in person,” Tolia said. “If you use Nextdoor to get to know your neighbors, you are way more likely to walk outside the door and meet them in person. Ultimately, we are trying to get people to meet in the real world.”

Even though I very much support hyper-local models, my first instinct was to say that if I wanted to be social with my neighbors I would be already. Yet, I like the idea that this type of service could ease the discomfort of real-life meetings.

The parallel for me is the ease in which I can meet people at conferences because I’m familiar with their avatar from Twitter or Google+. So, maybe this really could bring neighborhoods together.

Introducing Promoted Updates – helping you discover new businesses and money-saving specials around youFoursquare Logo

Promoted updates are just like the local updates that you see in your friends tab, except that businesses can pay to promote them in our Explore results. The update can be a money-saving special, an update on a new fashion line, or a photo of their latest dish. It works similar to ads on Google; there, if you search for ‘laptops,’ you’ll see an ad for an electronics website next to the results. In foursquare, if you do the same search in Explore you might see a promoted special about a weekend deal at a nearby computer store.

I admit it. I like Foursquare. So maybe I’m a bit biased here. But I love how they compare themselves directly to Google. It’s a bold way to educate users about the product and also signal their intentions in local search.

GoodData Raises $25 Million to Fix Business Intelligence

Companies can connect GoodData’s platform to existing cloud-based products like Salesforce, Zendesk, Google Analytics, Twilio, and Pardot. Through these integrations, users can access data warehousing, advanced reporting, and operational dashboards.

Beyond just structuring data into graphs and other visualizations, GoodData also gives companies the best practices and actionable insights. This point of differentiation is what drives the most value and creates a barrier to entry for would-be competitors.

Once again, another company that is on the right scent. We’ve got data coming out of our ears. Those who can herd and transform that data into information that we can understand and act on will be vital partners in the next decade.

StackSocial Announces Seed Financing and Launches Publisher Commerce Platform

Ecommerce platform for publishers StackSocial has created a solution to both problems by offering online publishers easy to integrate, white-labeled, curated ecommerce marketplaces that can exist directly within their sites. As a result, users receive additional value alongside existing editorial content, while publishers get an alternative revenue source and additional brand engagement.

I haven’t seen this in action. Or at least I don’t think I have. But allowing publishers to use eCommerce without a full and very lengthy integration sounds very interesting. Alternatives to traditional advertising based revenue models are sorely needed for publishers.

Data Science Startup Retention Science Gets $1.3M

Retention Science has built an intelligent customer profiling engine that outputs actionable retention strategies. The system combines a variety of signals such as demographic, social, and behavioral data, real-time web viewing patterns, and purchase history, to dynamically create relevant and timely offers for each individual customer.

As a former retention marketer, I’m really pleased to see companies like Data Science get traction. Too often we spend the time and energy to acquire a customer and then never optimize that customer through the customer lifecycle. Crossing your fingers and sending reactivation emails doesn’t cut it.

Sparrow + GoogleSparrow Logo

We care a lot about how people communicate, and we did our best to provide you with the most intuitive and pleasurable mailing experience.

Now we’re joining the Gmail team to accomplish a bigger vision — one that we think we can better achieve with Google.

It sounds like the Gmail experience is about to get a whole lot better. If it isn’t already the leading email provider (which it might be), this is likely to put it over the top. Android, Chrome, Gmail … it’s a not so subtle vertical integration strategy.

Roku Becomes Pay TV’s Streaming Box Of Choice, Raises $45 Million From News Corp, BSkyB, And Others

Roku users watch about 12 hours of video on their devices each week — which means that’s probably 12 hours less traditional TV they’re watching. If for nothing else but fear of their losing audience, traditional content providers understand that being on Roku and other streaming platforms will be increasingly important as viewer attention becomes ever-more fragmented.

How we digest media is changing rapidly. For instance, I burn through TV shows on Netflix on my iPad while on the elliptical in my garage. Those who are willing to embrace these changes will solidify their audience not lose it.

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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