Marketing Biz: Foursquare Ratings, Universal Analytics & Death Of A Salesman

AJ Kohn on
  • Categories: Channel: CMO Zone
  • This week was full of news that will have an impact on marketers today and well into the future.

    Foursquare rolled out ratings aimed at undermining Yelp’s star platform, Twitter continued to promote Twitter Cards, integrated Good Relations vocabulary, Google introduced Universal Analytics and Federated Media shut down their direct sales business.

    Marketing services companies also continues to receive funding with both Kenshoo and HubSpot securing funds to accelerate growth.

    This week I’m also experimenting with a new section of this column. The ‘And Then …’ section will contain industry news that I couldn’t comment on but still think is worth sharing. Let me know what you think of the new format.

    This is … Marketing Biz.

    Foursquare Explore now has ratings powered by where people actually like to go, not just star ratings

    Instead of other sites where every place gets 3.5 stars, we come up with our scores using the same Foursquare magic that powers Explore. We look at signals like tips, likes, dislikes, popularity, loyalty, local expertise, and nearly 3 billion check-ins from over 25 million people worldwide. And, with every check-in and Explore search, our scores will get smarter and better.

    I admit, I’m a big fan of Foursquare. Oddly, it’s less for their product and more for their marketing. Sure, I use Foursquare in an OCD like manner but here we’re seeing a laser focused attempt to undermine Yelp’s review platform. Not only does the message resonate with me, I admire that they’re relatively transparent with their goals.

    Sequoia-Backed Search And Social Marketing Company Kenshoo Raises Another $12M

    According to the funding press release, Kenshoo will use the new cash to fund continued growth, to expand in “key geographic markets,” and to create new products that address “the entire purchase funnel.”

    While the enterprise marketing vertical is pretty crowded I think there’s room for a number of players in the near future. Why? There are simply too many companies in too many countries who are moving massive amounts of their marketing budgets online.

    Tips and Tricks for better Twitter Cards

    After reviewing most of these 2000 submissions for technical correctness, I have to agree, the potential of #awesomeness with Twitter Cards is still to be fully realized. Here’s a few suggestions to make the most of Cards and stand out in the timelines, with a few of our favourite existing cards as examples to get you started. Put your thinking cap on!

    Have you been waiting on implementing Twitter Cards? Don’t wait much longer. The drum beat of posts and tools to increase the variety, quality and number of Twitter Cards makes it clear that Twitter has been plans in the future.

    Federated Media Shutters Standard Direct Sales Business

    In what could presage a foundational shift in the online advertising landscape, Federated Media Publishing will shut down its direct sales business, i.e. the division charged with selling standard display ads.

    On Thursday afternoon (Nov. 8) the company began informing employees that it would cut that business in favor of its programmatic buying and native advertising businesses.

    This is pretty stunning in many ways. Scrapping direct sales and replacing it with programmatic buying. Offline and online these premium buys are often done with high-touch (i.e. – wine and dine) interactions. Could the ‘advertising sales guy’ be on the endangered species list?

    Groupon Misses Q3, Stock Now $3.32

    Groupon is currently (and quickly) trying to diversify its revenues into payments, POS tools for SMBs and online scheduling. My guess is that it will push further into SMB marketing services before it’s done.

    I agree with Greg Sterling. There seems little doubt that Groupon wants (or perhaps needs) to become a SMB marketing services company where deals are just one part of the offering.

    Good Relations and

    Today, we are pleased to announce that we are integrating e-commerce schemas from the GoodRelations project into The addition of these widely adopted schemas into will make it more easy for Web publishers to express structured data about products, offers, companies, stores and related facts.

    This is excellent news for eCommerce sites who may have been waiting or struggling with structured data and mark-up. What retailers need to realize is that there are numerous ways that this type of implementation can and will help them in the future.

    In my view implementation is like adding the right connector to your site much like your laptop connecting to a projector.

    Universal Analytics: The Next Generation of Google Analytics

    The cornerstone change in Universal Analytics is that Google Analytics is becoming user or customer centric rather than visit centric. This paradigm, sometimes called customer centricity, more closely aligns with how businesses traditionally measure their performance.

    Without a doubt, this could be one of the biggest and most important changes for marketers. Not only is Google thinking about moving from a visits to a vistor focus but they’re looking to make this a true multi-channel experience. Integration of POS, direct mail, mobile and in-store interactions would finally give marketers the attribution model they’ve been lusting after.

    HubSpot raises a $35M mezzanine round and adds board expertise

    HubSpot is a multi-faceted platform designed to eradicate “interruptive marketing” by replacing it with compelling content. The company has long offered a suite of lead generation, lead management, marketing analytics, blogging, social media publishing, and email campaign management tools. The recently launched HubSpot 3 took this existing functionality and added social segmentation, landing pages A/B testing, an app and service marketplace, and a mobile app, among other features.

    It’s pretty amazing to see how far HubSpot has come in a relatively short amount of time. While I may quibble with the terminology they’ve used to introduce their product suite it’s clear that HubSpot has helped businesses realize that there are better ways to market online.

    And Then…

    (Other news and headlines from the marketing world.)

    ExactTarget buys e-marketing firms iGoDigital and Pardot

    Bazaarvoice Gets a New CEO and Acquires Longboard Media

    With Hints For An IPO, Mobile Analytics Startup Flurry Raises $25M From Crosslink

    Searchmetrics wins Best SEO Software Award 


    About The Author

    AJ Kohn
    AJ Kohn 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.