Salesforce Delivers Social.com
Salesforce.com has aggressively expanded their social advertising offering with their acquisition of Buddy Media last year but have stepped up their game with their unified platform offering via Social.com. The new platform offers an integration solution that allows marketers to scale up their social ads (Twitter/Facebook), linked in with CRM data and track and optimise the campaign powered by social listening (Radian6).
The idea is pretty damn powerful if you have to scale your social marketing campaigns and will likely scare some agencies that are still doing this whole process manually.
Yahoo! introduce Stream Ads
Yahoo has rolled out a new beta product for large advertisers which is marketed as “native” and “performance based” which will be built into the homepage and designed to compliment the news feed. The platform seems similar to Twitter & Facebook ad products which are based on users interested and matched contextually to the content they are viewing.
Yahoo.com is the best placed for this type of advertising model due to the huge reach and the premium that it will be able to charge advertisers, but it might not be something SMEs can play with anytime soon.
Visa & Fandango Location Targeting
While it’s not massive news and the partnership first started back in July 2009 it’s certainly a sign that payment providers such as Visa, AMEX, and Square are getting serious about smarter use of mobile location-based targeting in exchange for their members linking their accounts.
Fandango’s impressive annual growth of 171% from mobile sales has also shown how a mobile strategy can be successful if there is a deep integration with external platforms such as Facebook and Apple Passbook.
Bing Webmaster Tools Updates
Bing has finally caught up to Google Webmaster Tools with the addition of it’s new Malware tool which enables you to track any reports of malware but also a formal process for re-evaluation requests which were previously quite painful according to posts like this.
The launch of the malware tool should also counter some of the bad PR for Bing that AV-Test generated last month with their study that stated Bing delivers 5 times more malware than Google. The coolest update for Bing Webmaster Tools is that Geo-targeting is now available and it’s far more advanced than GWT as it offers targeting to the following (domain,subdomain,directory & page level)
Facebook Buys Parse
In a smart move Facebook has acquired Parse which is a cloud based platform that already offers scalable cross-platform tools and services for mobile developers. The benefit to Facebook is that companies will be building mobile apps with better user experience but eventually will be better into Facebook functionality such as (user management, notification and data storage).
The advantage to developers is that they could eventually offer to build Facebook certified mobile applications for their customers and closer integration with the developer community will slow the growth of competing services such as Google+ single sign-in feature.
Google AdSense gets new larger 970×90 ad size
In a move that is likely to make IAB happy Google has accepted the standard size for the new “super leader-board ads” which is well suited towards tablet devices and wide screen monitors. The current inventory is mostly text ads but once advertisers start to realize they are using IAB standard ad sizes you can expect more image and rich media inventory will start to flow in.
Twitter Advertising Opens to All U.S. Users
In a move that will likely impact on platforms that have been selling Twitter followers, I’ve tested it and it’s actually a fairly easy platform to use. The only current issue is that it’s locked down to US based advertisers targeting US audiences which is really really annoying! But if you are based in the US I would suggest you give it a try and put a few dollars towards a sponsored Tweet campaign.
Google Analytics Real Time Conversions
This item just broke in the last few days and no official announcement on the Google Analytics blog but it’s now possible to track conversions in real-time within your Google Analytics account. This is helpful if you are testing real-time marketing activities or have made a change or have an issue and want to see it’s impact on conversions you can now do it without having to wait 24-72 hours. The other great item to note is that real-time analytics will now obey your profile filters you have setup.
Google Display Re-marketing from Search
Google has finally opened up from a closed beta program to DoubleClick Search customers globally the ability for advertisers to use insights from AdWords clicks in your re-marketing campaigns across Google Display Network (AdSense).
The cool new feature now allows you to milk much more value from your AdWords clicks that don’t instantly result in a conversion or sale and stalk them until they buy or convert. The likely impact is that advertisers with scale will start driving up the CPC on search terms that enable them to get large pools of audiences for re-targeting.