Marketing Biz: Patent Infringement, PayPal “Here” Payment System & No Idea Is A Good Idea

Two contrary forces were at work this week with many companies living in the past while others sought to claim the future.

Experian Hitwise Launches AudienceView

Using AudienceView, retailers can track and trend the online behavior of existing and potential consumers to better optimize online media planning and target their messages to reach and retain the most profitable and relevant segments. AudienceView combines anonymous data from the Hitwise online sample of 10 million users in the United States with the offline Experian Marketing Services ConsumerView database, which provides insights from 235 million U.S. consumers and 113 million households, with more than 1,000 different behavioral attributes.

The vast and powerful stores of offline data are being merged with online data. Traditional direct marketing stalwarts like Experian have been slow to make this leap, due to a combination of inertia and caution around privacy. Marketers should be excited by this new level of detail that will cut down on inefficient ad spend.

BrightEdge Raises $12.6 Million to Fund Market and Company Expansion

BrightEdge, the leading site, search and social management platform for global enterprises, announced today that it has raised $12.6 Million in a series C round led by Intel Capital and joined by existing investors, Battery Ventures, Altos Ventures and Illuminate Ventures.

On the heels of a very strong year BrightEdge raised a Series C round of funding to help accelerate growth and expand operations. Enterprise SEO is a hot space and everyone is placing bets on which of the major services will wind up being the market leader.

Vringo and Innovate/Protect Sign Definitive Merger Agreement

Innovate/Protect is the owner of patent assets acquired from Lycos, one of the largest search engine websites of its kind in the mid-late 1990s, with technologies that remain critical to current search platforms.  Innovate/Protect’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer, Andrew K. Lang, is the former Chief Technology Officer of Lycos and led the development of the patented technologies.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard of Vringo before and after looking at their product offering I can only think this is all about the patent assets and the potential gain from the current patent infringement lawsuit against Google, AOL, IAC and others. It’s a bit depressing to watch these things unfold.

Yahoo Sues Facebook for Patent Infringement, Which Social Network Calls “Puzzling”

“Facebook’s entire social network model, which allows users to create profiles for and connect with, among other things, persons and businesses, is based on Yahoo’s patented social networking technology,” Yahoo’s lawsuit reads, in part.

Staying on the theme of patent infringement, it looks like embattled Yahoo is reverting to this unsavory strategy. I’m no expert on patent law but at some point shouldn’t it be what you do with that innovation rather than just having the idea. Regardless of how you feel, this is further indication that Yahoo continues to live in the past. See also our Marketing Land coverage: Yahoo Sues Facebook For Patent Infringement, How Much Will Facebook Wind Up Paying?

Welcoming the Posterous team to the flock

Today we are welcoming a very talented group from Posterous to Twitter. This team has built an innovative product that makes sharing across the web and mobile devices simple—a goal we share. Posterous engineers, product managers and others will join our teams working on several key initiatives that will make Twitter even better.

Twitter seems to be running in multiple directions at once. A new and major effort on advertising (long over due) and now the also-ran acquisition of Posterous. I know they’re trying to rouse themselves from a self-induced business coma but are they just chasing tail lights? See also our Marketing Land brief: Twitter Buys Posterous, Will Keep It Alive For Now.

Apply to Y Combinator without an Idea

Why are we doing this? Partly because we realized we already were. A lot of the startups we accept change their ideas completely, and some of those do really well. Reddit was originally going to be a way to order food on your cellphone. (This is aviable idea now, but it wasn’t before smartphones.) Scribd was originally going to be a ridesharing service.

One of the things you hear many VCs say is that they invest in people. Most of the time it’s because they have a track record but sometimes it’s simply knowing that the founders will pull a Tim Gunn and ‘make it work’. Y Combinator is acknowledging this investment philosophy by looking for founders and entrepreneurs even if they don’t have a specific idea. I like the idea. Do you?

PayPal Goes In-Store, Launches Global Platform For Smaller Businesses

PayPal’s new in-store dongle is literally the triangle to Square’s, well, Square. Just like the rest, the triangular add-on just plugs into the headphone jack on your smartphone. Merchants can then accept payments by swiping cards with the thumb-sized card reader, or — and this is a highlight — simply use the smartphone’s camera to scan credit cards (powered by, scan checks, etc. This saves merchants from having to type in credit card numbers at the point of sale.

It was bound to happen sooner or later. PayPal is going mobile. They’re also pushing their consumer app which uses geolocation to match consumers to merchants. This allows PayPal to bypass other mobile payment technologies, particularly NFC. The question is which type of mobile payment method will consumers prefer. For my money, the one with the least friction will be the winner.

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

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Marketing Biz


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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