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This week we saw the smartphone wars heat up and got more data on just why everyone is so crazed to get in on the action. Looking past the small screen there were acquisitions a funding news along with more Twitter changes and further indications for Facebook’s social commerce strategy.

Introducing the Save to Wallet APIs for Payment Cards and Offers

Google Wallet aspires to hold all the things you put in your physical wallet: credit and debit cards, coupons, loyalty cards, tickets, boarding passes, and more.

That didn’t take long. On the heels of Apple’s Passbook announcement Google Wallet has firmly stated that it too intends to be more than a simple payment platform. Both Google and Apple are using a smart strategy to increase usage by starting with less threatening items from your wallet.

Smartphones Influence 5.1% of In-Store Sales

This influence translates into $159 billion in forecasted sales for 2012. That influence will rise as high as 20.6% in 2016, to reach $689 billion.

The numbers here are pretty staggering and underscore why the competition around the smartphone market is so fierce. This study also reveals that smartphones are being used close to the time of purchase, that they’re active and not passive shopping devices. Marketers should take note and target accordingly.

Amazon Said To Plan Smartphone To Vie With Apple IPhoneAmazon Logo

A smartphone would give Amazon a wider range of low-priced hardware devices that bolster its strategy of making money from digital books, songs and movies. It would help Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos – who made a foray into tablets with the Kindle Fire — carve out a slice of the market for advanced wireless handsets.

Jeff Bezos, one very savvy marketer, seems to have taken notice of the impact smartphones have on retail sales. What better way to ensure that some of those billions wind up at Amazon instead?

Apple Wins Order Barring Sales of Samsung Galaxy Nexus Phone

U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh ruled that Apple is likely to be able to prove at trial that the Galaxy Nexus infringes on four Apple patents, though the injunction is based specifically on one particular patent, the so-called ’604 patent, which covers core voice and search functionality.

I hope Apple has something innovative on the horizon because this isn’t a particularly good move otherwise. Google will probably get around this via the courts or through some minor changes to their interface. In the interim, Apple just looks like the petulant yet fragile rich kid who got their comeuppance in nearly every 80s movie.

Nielsen Bolsters Ad Effectiveness Capabilities with Vizu Acquisition

Through its Brand Effect suite, Nielsen will now offer real-time reporting of online advertising performance broken out by media plan participant, frequency of ad exposure, advertising execution and targeting strategy. Real-time data will improve advertising efficiency by enabling in-flight optimization by advertisers and media companies.

I am very happy for my former colleagues at Vizu. They built something very powerful that will now help even more marketers to better understand and optimize their online media campaigns.

Rally Raises $7.9 Million Online

We, as a company, are only as successful as the success of our causes.  Whether it’s Reverend Oliver White receiving donations from all over the world to save his Minnesota church from foreclosure or Alvaro Salas raising money in Costa Rica so he can attend Cornell University — we are focused on empowering individuals and causes to solve problems and build awareness on a scale never before seen.

I can’t say that I’m that familiar with Rally but upon looking at them I see the opportunity for a type of micro-payment platform. Even if they don’t go there, fundraising on this personal level is extremely powerful.

Online ad player Rocket Fuel gains $50M funding boost

“In an age where artificial intelligence can win at chess and Jeopardy, we’re betting on AI to solve the biggest challenge in advertising today: how to deliver exactly the right ad, to exactly the right person, at exactly the right time, continuously, and automatically, to generate amazing results for the agencies and advertisers we work with,” Rocket Fuel chief executive George John tells VentureBeat.

Yet another application of big data and algorithms to turn all of that data into actionable and profitable information. If you thought the online advertising vertical was confusing now, just wait another few years.

Chrome ‘exceptionally profitable’ for GoogleChrome Logo

Search is an integral part of Google revenue. That’s the biggest area. But it is more. When users have been using Chrome, it tends to drive Web usage up, so it’s display ads too, not just search ads. And it’s a driver of Google Apps. Google Docs offline works in Chrome. Both Chrome and Android bring together a lot of our services, so they have a huge business value for us.

We have barely scratched the surface of the impact of doing Chrome on mobile. Using Chrome increases how much you use the Web.

This is what I think many people miss about Google’s strategy with Chrome. Having monetized nearly every part of the web experience, it all comes down to increasing usage. I could draw parallels to Coke’s defunct ‘share of stomach’ strategy in terms of media consumption.

Rumor: Twitter To Acquire Sense Networks To Better Target Local Ads

Sense Networks was founded in 2003 and in 2006 launched MacroSense, which the company says “turns massive amounts of mobile location data into actionable, predictive behavioral data.” What that means is Sense not only collects location data from mobile devices when shared but also takes that data and creates a unique behavioral user profile to serve ads that users would find useful.

In other words, Twitter may soon have a way to really monetize its targeted local ads. And users will finally get relevant local ads.

I have long thought that hyper-local advertising would be the wave of the future. Yet it’s been difficult for anyone to get this to scale. As Twitter rapidly evolves they just might be able to pull it off.

“Search & discovery in @twitter set to change forever after tmrw.” says Twitter engineer

Discovery and search are two crucial aspects of the service, which has seen its popularity grow tremendously in recent times. The service is used by all manner of Internet users, but is yet to really hit upon the right approach to provide a fully engaging and personal discovery experience.

I’m not sure exactly what this will entail but the ‘fully engaging’ bit, along with other recent rumblings, make me believe that Twitter will become far more visual. #deathto140characters

Here’s What Facebook’s ‘Want’ Button Will Probably Look Like

Facebook Want Button

“The button has been updated since last week, so it’s definitely been worked on,” Waddington said. “This shows that it’s still under active development, rather than being a ditched project.”

Christmas is going to come early to Internet users as Facebook seems hell-bent on getting a feature out this year that will allow people to create wish wantlists. It’s a feature and idea that is long overdue but just in time for some post-IPO sizzle.

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

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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