The week in marketing was all about trends and innovation, from TripleLift’s trending image ad units to Discover.ly’s social enterprise app. Marketers must accept the acceleration of change. Those who jump into the water will be rewarded while those toe-dipping may be left behind.

This is … Marketing Biz.

With $2.1M FromTrue Ventures (And Others), TripleLift Builds Ads From A Brand’s Trending Images

“The web is increasingly dominated by images, and images are quickly becoming the primary currency with which brands communicate with their potential customers,” CEO Eric Berry told me in an email. “TripleLift identifies how consumers engage with brands across the web and uses that data to create more relevant and effective advertising. “

It’s a bit shocking that it’s taken this long for something like this to surface. Dynamically changing ad units to reflect popular images is smart and reflects the way in which more and more people are interacting with brands.

AdStage Launches Its Cross-Network Ad Creator, Raises $1.4M

AdStage

The company offers a single, self-serve dashboard for creating ads that run across Google, Bing, Facebook and LinkedIn. Every feature seems designed to create an optimized campaign with as little work as possible. Most notably, AdStage provides recommendations throughout the process based on data from similar and competitive companies.

I haven’t been able to test drive this yet but it’s a winner if it works as advertised. SMBs are continually frustrated by ad interfaces and either abandon the channel or wind up paying someone to manage the programs which all but wipes out any incremental revenue and profit.

Discoverly Nabs $750K From Salesforce, Bessemer, And Others For Stealthy Social Enterprise AppDiscover.ly

“The role of the employee in a company is changing to be more of a company ambassador. Employees who were traditionally only doing communication work that was company-facing are now taking on public roles on social media, whether it’s a rank-and-file staffer answering a Tweet about a product or an engineer answering a question on Quora,” Summe said.

“Employees at all levels now evangelize, help recruit, retain new customers — essentially, they act more like company owners. Discoverly helps companies employ the social data they have access to [and in turn] make them more successful.”

There is a sea change in the dynamic between employee and employer. Discover.ly seems to understand this and instead of fighting against it is working to give employers a better way to monitor, manage and leverage the new value employees can bring to a company. This dovetails nicely into Google’s Authorship efforts and the potential for Author Rank.

Tumblr to Introduce Mobile Advertising to Help Achieve Profit

In the first half of this year, companies will be able to promote their posts and blogs to bigger audiences on Tumblr’s mobile application, similar to the way the Web version works, Vice President Derek Gottfrid said in an interview yesterday. Closely held Tumblr has already tested the product internally and is looking to sign up advertisers to debut it, he said.

In six years Tumblr has (relatively) silently built up a massive platform and is now poised to become profitable as they unlock mobile advertising. The problem most marketers face is that it’s difficult to quantify the impact of going viral on Tumblr. I think of it as the place where memes are born or at least raised, which makes it incredibly valuable.

Local Discovery App Spindle Debuts Google Now-Like “Search Alerts” Which Match Nearby Happenings To Your Personal InterestsSpindle

The way Spindle recommends businesses to users is different, as well. The app considers signals which other local discovery applications may not, including things like time of day, and most importantly, terms and phrases businesses are using in their tweets and Facebook updates. Spindle’s emphasis on social is its standout feature, in fact, and the key way it differentiates itself from the competition. Instead of relying on check-in data (as Foursquare does – and still needs, apparently), Spindle uses these social updates to figure out what’s trending right now.

Spindle does two things which make it powerful. It provides push recommendations (Google Now-Like) and is able to take all the unstructured data from local businesses and make sense of it. They reduce friction on both sides of the equation, for the business and consumer.

Yodle Acquires Lighthouse Practice Management Group

“We are one of the leading pioneers in helping small businesses acquire new customers through online marketing, and now look forward to supporting them in nurturing and growing their own customer relationships.  Traditionally marketers have siloed acquisition and relationship marketing; Yodle is now breaking down that wall as a result of acquiring Lighthouse and will be the first in the industry to optimize SMB lead generation based on actual transactions.”

Too many SMBs focus all their efforts on acquisition and don’t invest in retention. This move addresses that pain point and should help to deliver more value over-time.

Sophia Closes Series A FinancingSophia

Sophia’s solutions are used in some of the world’s largest advertising and publishing houses to automatically understand the meaning of content users are consuming and to intelligently leverage this insight to deliver the information and services they need. Advertisers can achieve up to three times higher click through rates by providing more relevant ad content without using cookies.

This announcement caught my eye because of that last phrase: ‘without using cookies’. While I personally think that cookies will survive and flourish there are those who foresee a cookie catastrophe which would make non-cookie based insights very valuable. So for the paranoid out there, this might be your hedge bet.

Twitter Ads Get DVR-Like Buying Platform

TBG Digital’s Calendar Live presents buyers with a programming grid akin to a TV guide that lists the 35 or so channels’ shows by air dates and times. Advertisers can then select the shows they’d like run Promoted Tweets against, including the time zone. So, a brand like Nestlé would be able to pick out cooking shows or Pep Boys could select NASCAR races. Advertisers also could choose to run Promoted Tweets during TV shows that they’re advertising on or during programs they can’t afford to buy ads on.

Late last year I argued that Twitter would win the social brand advertising race. Innovations like this make me believe that Twitter is further ahead than expected, becoming a secondary but necessary piece to any television ad buy.

Outbrain acquires Visual RevenueOutbrain

By merging the two companies, we combine the leader in online editorial decision support and optimization with the largest player in paid content recommendations. This will offer publishers an unmatched end-to-end solution for optimizing content on all of their pages across any channel, screen size and device, with both editorially-controlled and automated solutions.

What more is there to say? Outbrain is making a lot of moves to improve the quality of their platform and service and this acquisition continues that tradition.

And Then …

Hybris Raises $30M Led By Meritech And Greylock To Take Its Multi-Platform “OmniCommerce” Solution Global

Unified Helps Facebook Marketers Turbocharge Their News Feeds

Silverpop Launches Advanced Mobile Messaging Capabilities

Meltwater Upgrades Social Media Marketing Suite to Deliver Real Social ROI

Introducing the BuzzBar: Qualify Link Prospects at Warp Speed

GinzaMetrics Adds Automated Keyword Management

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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