surveillance-eye-200This week the creepy factor gets turned up to 11 with the science behind Google Now, the launch of Sense Networks Retail Retargeting, expansion of Facebook Highlight and BuzzFeed’s purchase of Kingfish Labs.

Conductor and Mass Relevance launched new products for enterprise marketers and Dice confirmed the validity of content marketing with a $20 million acquisition.

Of course, the mobile payments space continues to evolve with Tello’s PassTools, Groupon Payments and a massive round of financing for Square.

This is … Marketing Biz.

Why Google’s Predictive Personal Assistant is better than Siri

Google was granted a patent this week that describes the predictive algorithm behind Google Now that learns from its owners’ behaviors. It can determine where you live and where you work, and can offer alternative routes to or from work if there’s road congestion on the route you usually take.

I’ve had the opportunity to play with Google Now for about a week. It’s impressive and provides a window into what might be possible in the future. Make no mistake, predictive search will be part of our lives sooner than we think.

Tello’s PassTools Could Help Make iPhone’s Passbook a Mega-Hit

Tello PassTools

What’s radical about this is that PassTools, in development since Apple announced Passbook earlier this summer, makes the mobile wallet immediately accessible without the heavy programming that would otherwise delay adoption and shut out the majority of SMBs.

Apple’s Passbook could accelerate the adoption of digital wallets and usher in the age of mobile payments. PassTools not only makes it easy to integrate but levels the playing field for businesses of all sizes. SMB marketers would be wise to jump on this opportunity.

Sense Networks Unveils Mobile-Based Retargeting Technology

Retail retargeting also allows retailers to identify and target prospects that are frequently near the retailer’s location and target prospects that meet the retailer’s behavioral targeting priorities, thus helping retailers attract and convert new customers.

This is super interesting and effective marketing if you can get past the very eerie big brother aspects of the technology.  Our phones are increasing our personal digital wake and extending it into the real world.

Facebook expands test for Highlight

Facebook Highlight

“We are expanding a test that started last May that enables people to pay to promote a status update so that more friends may see it in their news feed,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Next Web.

If Facebook gets the pricing right I think it could be very successful. Tumblr has a very similar product as well. I view this ad product as the ego-based equivalent to an iTunes download or App purchase.

Introducing Groupon Payments

Groupon Payments is perfect for any business whether it’s a spa, deli, bar, salon or restaurant. In addition to slashing transaction fees, Groupon Payments offers services that most of the traditional processors don’t. Rather than waiting the typical two or three days for credit card payments to hit an account, Groupon Payments users get paid overnight. It’s never been easier to calculate bill totals, process refunds, redeem Groupon vouchers, email receipts and most importantly, save money!

If you’ve been reading Marketing Biz regularly (as I sure you have) then this should come as no surprise. The launch of payments shows just how dedicated Groupon is in changing into a small business services company with daily deals as just one part of their buffet of options.

Dice Holdings Pays $20M Cash For Slashdot, SourceForge And Freecode From Geeknet

“Dice has been talking about building content and user engagement to be top of mind and more integral to professionals doing work, and if you think about SourceForge and Slashdot, it’s about user engagement to help you do your job,” Michael Durney, SVP, finance and CFO of Dice Holdings, told me today in an interview. “We started to build on our own [content business] but here we have two sites that do it very well.

If you wanted evidence that content marketing is valuable, look no further. Kudos to Dice for realizing that it might be easier (and quicker) to purchase content marketing assets. This is one of the smartest moves I’ve seen this year.

Buzzfeed aims for more viral ads with purchase of Kingfish Labs

Social news site Buzzfeed has acquired Kingfish Labs, a New York startup that processes natural language on Facebook to determine user interests. Buzzfeed said it plans to apply Kingfish’s technology to optimize ad targeting for its brand clients on social networks.

That’s right, natural language processing isn’t just for search. I’m continually impressed with the innovative ways that Buzzfeed pushes the envelope. Priming the pump for viral content sounds pretty smart.

Conductor Announces Monumental New Version of SearchlightConductor

Conductor Searchlight allows SEO professionals and brand marketers to gather in-depth search and business data in real-time to make informed decisions quickly that will positively impact the bottom line. 

There’s a lot to like here once you get past the hyperbolic language (‘monumental’ and ‘game-changing’). Real-time reporting and KPI-Based Goal Management should appeal to enterprise marketers looking to satisfy HIPPOs and attain C-Level buy-in.

Square goes big: raises $200M at $3.25B valuation

Square, which was founded in 2009, has grown tremendously as a mobile payment acceptance tool for merchants, who are able to take credit card payments using a smartphone or tablet. The company has also been pushing hard on its own mobile payment service Pay with Square, which allows people to pay with a mobile app. Over the last year, a number of big players including PayPal, NCR and VeriFone have rolled out Square competitors, seeking to eat into Square’s growth. The new money should help Square fend off these attacks and position it to move up market as it appeals to larger merchants and retailers.

The mobile payment space just keeps gets hotter as venture capitalists place their bets on who will take the biggest piece of lucrative market. Are you prepared to take advantage of this new frictionless marketplace?

How Brands Can Involve Their Audience and “Operationalize” Social Engagement

Today we’re unveiling the Mass Relevance Product Studio. Product Studio is part of the overall Mass Relevance social engagement platform and the first capability of its kind. Mass Relevance has been known for our ability to discover, filter, and moderate real-time content at scale. Now, with Product Studio, brands can visualize and integrate from a palette of over 30 social engagement experiences anywhere.

The new suite of features is certainly interesting though maybe not completely unique. That may not matter since the marketing mind that propelled BazaarVoice’s rise to the top (Sam Decker) is at the helm.

(Stock image via Shutterstock.com. Used under license.)

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

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Marketing Biz

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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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