Marketing Biz: Spreadsheets On Steroids, Color-Coded Optimization & Trust

This week in marketing was a strange mix of partnerships and acquisitions along with new tools and companies that could help marketers become more effective and efficient.

This is … Marketing Biz.

Yahoo in Talks to Buy Stake in Video Site Dailymotion

Dailymotion, which is similar to Google’s YouTube site but is smaller in scale, would immediately make Yahoo a bigger player in Web video outside the U.S., where the company is looking to grow. More than 70% of Yahoo’s $5 billion in annual revenue comes from the Americas region, and the vast majority of that is from the U.S.

This isn’t the worst idea in the world if Yahoo is serious about trying to be a real media platform. But there are a lot of mixed signals from Mayer-led Yahoo so it’s tough to know exactly what Yahoo wants to be now that they’ve returned from their backpack, youth hostel-like trek.

Dropbox acquires email app Mailbox

Dropbox + Mailbox

One reason Dropbox may have been interested in Mailbox is because people often use Dropbox instead of attaching large files to emails. Gmail recently rolled out a feature that lets users attach files to emails seamlessly using Google Drive, which arguably reduces the usefulness of Dropbox since you have to visit another site to access your files. While there are no signs that Dropbox will announce its own email service, receiving Dropbox attachments inside messages from Mailbox users could be both smart and easy marketing.

Not only is this interesting because of the product which is pretty nifty but because of Mailbox’s story. If you want Exhibit A for how to pivot a product and succeed this is it. Agile marketing FTW!

YC-Backed Fivetran Launches A Smart Online Spreadsheet For Data Analysis


Fivetran, a new Y Combinator-backed startup that is launching today, wants to bring spreadsheets into the modern age and make it easier for users to work with messy data and analyze large amounts of information. Most people, for better or worse, use their spreadsheets as databases, and Fivetran acknowledges this by combining SQL-like queries with standard spreadsheet functions and statistical tools that will look familiar to users of more advanced tools like Matlab.

For an Excel nerd who also geeks out on SQL queries this sounds really, really interesting. If you’re a data driven marketer (and you should be) then this might be worth checking out. I know I will.

Experian Marketing Services and Research Now Alliance to Deliver Unique On-Demand Survey Capability Tied to Online Behavior

The goal of the team is to apply this innovative approach to provide actionable insights such as understanding customers’ path to purchase by tying online behaviors to surveys that capture offline activities, influences, motivations and purchases. These insights show where consumers in a brand’s category begin the shopping process, the offers and exposure events that trigger a purchase, the competing products and brands consumers are considering at each phase of the purchase process, and more. By understanding the consumer purchase journey, marketers and their agencies can optimize their engagement and targeting of in-market consumers throughout their purchase journey.

The big hulking offline data and marketing providers are beginning to absorb online data like the Borg cube on Star Trek TNG. Marketers will be better off for their efforts and insights.

Pricing Engine Launches the First Solution for Small Businesses to Create, Manage and Optimize Online Advertising from a Single Platform

“The vast majority of small business owners are either too busy running their operations to effectively manage their online advertising campaigns, or can’t afford optimization platforms used by the Fortune 500 – or both,” said Kagan. “Because of this, we saw a clear need in the marketplace for a solution that allows small businesses to improve their ad performance in a simple, efficient and unified manner. Pricing Engine gives small business owners a decided edge in terms of their ability to get more sales and leads through digital advertising.”

I’m not sure Pricing Engine is the first solution to do this but it certainly addresses a major pain point for small businesses. I expect that there will be a lot of companies trying to tackle this opportunity and it’s the one with the best UX that will wind up winning.

VendAsta Raises $8.25 Million in Funding from Vanedge Capital and BDC Venture Capital

“For any business, digital fragmentation creates acute challenges in managing local brand reputation. The various channels that businesses must monitor and engage are seemingly endless. VendAsta’s platform closes the loop for businesses, supplying them with tools to succeed in the digital world,” says Jed Williams, Senior Analyst at BIA/Kelsey.

Reputation management is becoming more and more important as the Internet has become more social and the ability to produce content (both text and visual) becomes easier. It makes sense for any marketer to use tools to help stay on top of the sprawling mentions of their company or brand.

Transparent Ad Platform Human Demand Closes $900K Series AHuman Demand

For background, the company initially offered a platform that made it easier for indie developers to optimize ad campaigns by introducing transparent metrics which showed exactly what the acquisition price per user is on each app. Human Demand also offered a toolkit for these developers which included something called a “power level” – a simple, color-coded system that allows developers to target or block apps via color codes instead of having to calculate actual dollars and cents.

I hadn’t heard of this mobile media buying platform but was struck by their authentic voice and smart approach. Using color codes to show performance reduces the friction of analysis and action, which leads to better performance.

Facebook Hires Co-Founders Of Trustworthiness Verification Startup Legit


Legit, a startup working on a universal reputation system that could help sharing economy services verify whether users are trustworthy, has announced its team will join Facebook. Specifically, co-founders Jeremy Barton and Rob Boyle will now work for the world’s top social network.

Seems legit. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. But in all seriousness, this is an interesting move by Facebook that may point to a greater emphasis on identifying expertise and influencers within their ecosystem.

And Then …

TapInfluence, Formerly BlogFrog, releases cloud-based software to automate and scale influencer marketing

2013 Top 10 Bloggers and Blogs

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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