Marketing Biz: Future Shock (Is Already Here)

It’s one of those weeks where those digital marketing ideas that used to feel so cutting edge are now a reality. Google+ is over a year old. Twitter has a suite of advertising offerings. Foursquare is connecting loyal customers to businesses. E-signatures are poised to become ubiquitous. The future of marketing is already here if […]

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It’s one of those weeks where those digital marketing ideas that used to feel so cutting edge are now a reality. Google+ is over a year old. Twitter has a suite of advertising offerings. Foursquare is connecting loyal customers to businesses. E-signatures are poised to become ubiquitous.

The future of marketing is already here if you know where to look.

Kiip Raises $11 Million To Erase Advertisers’ Frowns

By rethinking ads as “rewards” that show up at opportune moments in the midst of ordinary app usage—leveling up in a game, going for a run, reading a news article—Wong thinks Kiip can fix what’s broken about mobile advertising for app developers, marketers, and users.

This is an interesting idea but I worry about user burnout. The initial metrics are impressive but they usually are when a new advertising product is introduced. The question will be whether Kiip can deliver relevant ads and mange ad reward frequency.

More third party tools to help manage your Google+ page

We’re getting a lot of positive feedback from these developers, the businesses they work with, and the Google+ community at large. So over the next several weeks we’ll be opening up these management APIs to hundreds more tool providers.

Will more social management tools help Google+ to gain more traction with brands? Probably. As Google+ usage continues to rise it’s a good time for Google to add fuel to fire for brands waiting on the sidelines.

Introducing Local Updates from businesses


Starting today, you’ll start seeing updates in your friends tab from the places where you’re a loyal customer. It’s an easy way to keep up with news from places you frequent, including things like new specials, pictures of the latest shipment of shoes, or a serendipitous food truck appearance. The best part is there’s no extra work for you to do: we already know you care about a place if you’ve checked in often or liked it, and will show you updates from it when you’re in the same city. If you change your mind and don’t want updates from a business any more, you can turn them off with one tap.

Businesses in my friends tab? While I think the idea of communication between business and customer is valuable I’m not sure we’re BFFs. I’ll give Foursquare the benefit of the doubt though because their new UX has been impressive.

New targeting adds greater relevance to your Promoted Tweets

What if you want to make an offer just to New York Twitter users? Until today, it’s been impractical to send these kinds of highly tailored Tweets, since there was no way to reach people in New York without also reaching followers in Norway, Nebraska and Nigeria who can’t take advantage of your offer.
Today we’re introducing targeted Tweets, an enhancement that enables brands to reach specific audiences on Twitter without first sending a Tweet to all followers.

It feels like there’s someone with a gigantic whip at Twitter making sure that they churn out another advertising enhancement each week. In advertising, ‘list’ is always the most important part of the equation and Twitter just improved list quality.

SAY Welcomes New InvestorsSAY Media

As we look to the future, we will continue the work we are doing with amazing creators with strong point of view while delivering beautiful editorial experiences that connect with and engage audiences for advertisers. Supported by the work of our dedicated and truly talented team, SAY is on a path to achieve its goals and create a ‘once-in-a-generation’ media company.

SAY already owns properties such as ReadWriteWeb, Catster and Serious Eats. The $27 million round will go toward new acquisitions and advertising platform opportunities. Now, I don’t know if it’ll be a ‘once-in-a-generation’ media company, but the SAY seems well-positioned as ad dollars shift online.

PayPal Acquires

The employees at will be joining the PayPal global product team in San Jose to help us create new experiences to make it even easier for consumers and merchants to use the PayPal digital wallet.

Mobile payments are right around the corner and PayPal is doing everything it can to keep up with powerful competitors.

Outright Acquired by GoDaddy

We believe you will benefit because of the range of GoDaddy products, services, and support designed explicitly for small business owners. Joining GoDaddy feels like a move that was just meant to be. We are combining forces with a company that has built a billion dollar business with the simple idea of providing great products and a brand of service that delights customers, like you.

Looks like the GoDaddy makeover is beginning in earnest. The strategy? Small business services integration. It’s not the worst idea but it’s certainly not unique. I’d also argue GoDaddy built that billion dollar business on sex and dark pattern user experience.

We’re Rolling In New FundsAdRoll Logo

The new funds will be invested heavily into our platform, data infrastructure and team. In the coming months, you can expect more super-friendly solutions to challenging real-time advertising problems. We’ve learned that our advertisers are sitting on top of their very own gold mines of first party intent data. To this end, you’ll see us further exploring new ways to close the loop of “collect data, analyze data and act on data.” We’ll also be rolling out new high performance products in mobile, video and social.

AdRoll, a leading retargeting ad platform, snags an additional $15 million. Despite it being called creepy and an invasion of privacy, retargeting is here to stay and you’d be wise to have it in your marketing mix.

E-Signature Company DocuSign Raises $47.5M

“By the second half of this decade, the vast majority of signatures are going to be electronic,” Krach says. “Every person is a potential customer.”

This quote is absolutely positively true. In some ways DocuSign was ahead of its time, but the times have finally caught up to their vision.

LookSmart Announces Display Capabilities

By leveraging performance data from its search network, LookSmart’s display offering will enable advertisers to extend the reach of their performance campaigns, and achieve higher ROI than typical display campaigns that do not benefit from deep conversion data.

I’m rooting for LookSmart. They’ve gone through so many ups and downs. They may not be the biggest or splashiest of search networks but they continue to push forward, carving out a solid little chunk of the market.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

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.

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