Marketing Biz: Yahoo Organic Search Ads, Sinistar & Lots Of Smartphone Screencaps
This week in marketing was rife with smartphone-related features from Twitter filters to Google Maps on the iPhone to Google’s new confirmed clicks feature to defeat fat finger ad clicks.
But to me it was Yahoo’s new cost-per-lead format in organic search results and Delivery Agent’s $5 million round of funding from Samsung Ventures that raised eyebrows.
This is … Marketing Biz.
At Yahoo!, we want to see our advertisers build the relationships of their dreams, so we’re introducing a new ad format that makes it easier than ever to capture attention and leads via organic search results.
Cost-Per-Lead (CPL) for Search Ads lets you add a contact form to your listings—increasing searcher engagement and encouraging users to provide valuable information, like demographics, email addresses, and even their “digits.” And the best part is, you pay only when users complete your form.
The emphasis here is mine and it’s the reason why my jaw is still on the floor. Many in the search industry were sad to see Yahoo’s Paid Inclusion product go but the ethos of putting ads in organic search still seems to live on at Yahoo. It makes me wonder what Marissa Mayer is thinking about the future of Yahoo search.
Starting today, you’ll be able to edit and refine your photos, right from Twitter. The latest versions of Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for Android introduce a few new ways to enhance the images you tweet. We’re grateful to our partner, Aviary, for powering our filters and effects.
Photos and images are like the milk of the Internet. Twitter clearly wants more control over this raft of rich content. I can’t blame them and do think Twitter is in the catbird’s seat. That said, they’re racking up an impressive list of ‘enemies’ including LinkedIn, Tumblr and Instagram.
At the heart of this app is our constantly improving map of the world that includes detailed information for more than 80 million businesses and points of interest. Preview where you want to go with Street View and see inside places with Business Photos to decide on a table or see if it’s better at the bar. To get you there, you’ve got voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation, live traffic conditions to avoid the jams and if you want to use public transportation, find information for more than one million public transit stops.
It took a bit longer than many expected but Google Maps has re-arrived on the iPhone. It’ll be interesting to see how many switch or whether inertia keeps people on Apple Maps despite some of the well-publicized problems.
San Francisco-based startup Koozoo wants to help its users answers questions like ‘how big is the lineup at my favorite restaurant?’ or ‘how crowded is the beach?’ by crowdsourcing live video feeds of the world’s public places.
I still think we’re a bit away from video being the dominant medium online but I see a lot of promise in this concept. I see opportunities from a business perspective. Creep factor aside, imagine knowing when the lines were short at the Post Office or at certain rides at Disney Land!
Canopy’s overall aim is to take the customer-modeling tools that large enterprises often build for themselves and offer a self-serve version that’s affordable for slightly smaller companies. Canopy takes existing customer data (such as emails, voicemails, and call-center recordings), then applies a statistical model to help businesses prioritize their most valuable customers or customize their marketing toward different segments. In an early campaign, the company reports that it increased sales conversions by 200 percent.
There are a slew of companies trying to attack the enterprise big data analytics space. So Canopy Labs might have a really interesting market strategy in unlocking data – in a highly actionable way – for a larger set of businesses. As an aside, the trend for appending ‘Labs’ to your startup name is getting out of hand.
Today, we’re introducing confirmed clicks into all in-app image ad banners on smartphones, which reduces accidental clicks by prompting the user to confirm that they intended to click on the ad.
We find that most accidental clicks on in-app image ads happen at the outer edge of the ad unit, likely when you’re trying to click or scroll to nearby content. Now if you click on the outer border of the ad, we’ll prompt you to verify that you actually meant to click on the ad to learn more.
This is obviously good for users. But what’s vastly more important is that Google is working to ensure advertisers trust the efficacy of mobile advertising.
The funding will be used to aggressively expand and manage the deployment of commerce applications tied to entertainment content across all connected devices including Smart TVs and mobile.
See the number of smartphone screenshots in this column? Multi-screen marketing and commerce is coming like Sinistar.
“RKG is a digital marketing leader. A combination of proprietary technology and some of the smartest analysts in the field gives them a deep understanding of real customer intent and the ability to create marketing programs that drive ROI,” said Gallate. “A lot of agencies talk about the intersection of search and social and using data to inform marketing. RKG is doing it.”
It’s nice to see this group of smart and genuinely nice people flourish. RKG might not be the flashiest of agencies (minus Adam Audette’s video closing) but they are ‘doing it’.
There are about 269 active start-ups in the mobile payments space, according to Jon Squire, the CEO of Cardfree, but he says what differentiates his company from the rest is the team.
Cardfree is a little vague on what its approach will be to the market. Squire says everything is on the table, including near field communication, barcodes, one-time authorization or PayPal’s approach involving entering a mobile number and PIN. For now, the company sounds a lot like a consultancy, with many of the brands requiring a lot of hand-holding to figure out what they need or want.
Mobile payments is going to be massive, so massive that it looks like you can raise money to become a pilot fish to the industry.
One Kings Lane expects this to be the last round to get the company to profitability, says Mack. That $200 million in expected 2012 revenue is about double last year’s revenue. The company, which has only been around for about three years, started off not offering many high ticket items. But the company realized that people are willing to buy area rugs, sofas and high end vintage items online and started offering more of them, Mack says. About 10% of all home decor is sold online now, he says.
Strike while the iron’s hot, right? The fact is, there’s still a huge amount of upside to eCommerce as more and more become comfortable buying a larger assortment of items online.
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