Yelp Gives Its Reviews a Location Twist

The review site Yelp has been interesting to watch over time. It gets a lot of interest from different businesses like Google who was interested buying it. Then it gets more investment from VC’s when those deals don’t pan out. It has been vilified for business practices and then has worked to make the service more ‘balanced’ as well. Regardless of your point of view of the service it certainly has established itself as the leader in the small business online review space. This month’s Inc. magazine’s cover story is on the service (take note of the what not to do story that opens the piece ….. creepy.)

Now Yelp is looking to make the service even more interesting by adding a location based feature that allows reviewers to show how many times they have “checked in” to a location that they have reviewed. Mashable tells us more

C Level Social Media Action from Ted Rubin

I have been talking more to the people who are doing the work of social media so the readers of Marketing Pilgrim can step back from the news and the theory to get some feet on the street perspective. More and more those feet on the street are C level executives who are embracing social media to brand themselves and their companies. Kent Huffman of Bearcom Wireless has put together a list of these socially active CMOs on Twitter.

One of these folks, Ted Rubin (@tedrubin), exemplifies the energy and effort that is required to make a place for oneself in the social web for business. I interviewed Ted by e-mail recently to learn about the who, what, where, why and how of his social media efforts as the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of the Eyes Lips Face (e.l.f.) Cosmetics line. I challenge you to find a more active C-level marketer out there.

AdWords Adds Targeting for Mobiles with Full Browsers

While Google has been trying long and hard to corner the mobile search market as much as it has the landline one, they still have a lot to learn about mobile search advertising. Just yesterday, they added the option for AdWords advertisers to target only mobile users with full browsers, such as the iPhone and Android offer.

Advertisers will also be able to segment by specific phones and phone OSes, so if they’re selling a product specific to a single type of device, they won’t waste money on clicks from other device owners.

They’re also adding a feature to automatically segment your ads if you’re running a campaign for an application. Apps for iPhones, for example, need only include the URL for the Apple Store followed by the app’s name in the visible URL for the ad. Then, instead of a display URL showing on the ad, users will see a download link. This will also work for Android apps.

Gmail: Now Serving Ads Based on Other Emails

If you’ve used Gmail, you’ve probably noticed the ads running along the right-hand side of the screen when viewing an email. And you’ve probably noticed that these ads . . . well, sometimes they’re not to relevant to you, the email, or . . . pretty much anything else.

Gmail is admitting their shortcoming—and they’re working to make this better. Now, instead of serving only marginally relevant ads beside your emails, they’ll go back and look at the last email you viewed and use those ads again. (Because they worked so well the first time, when you were actually thinking about that topic?)

On the Gmail blog, Google explains:

84% of Marketers to Shift Portion of Direct Marketing Budgets to Social Media

According to its 7th annual survey, Alterian suggests that 66% of marketers plan to invest in social media over the next 12 months, but only 36% plan to monitor and analyze the success–or failure–of their efforts.

In fact, when you look at the breakdown, 40% of the 1,000 marketers surveyed plan to steal 20% or more of their traditional direct marketing budget to feed their new found social media marketing habit.

Considering Alterian recently acquired Techrigy, I’m sure they share my surprise–and maybe concern–that compared to the amount of spending planned for social media marketing, more is not being allocated towards actually monitoring and measuring that ROI.

This chart shows best the disparity between spend on each:

Twitter…The Final Frontier for Star Trek Online’s Marketing Campaign

Twitter…the final frontier. These are the voyages of game-maker Atari. Its 2-month mission: to explore strange new social networks, to seek out new geeks and new game players, to boldly go where no ad campaign has gone before!

[Cue intro]

If you’re a Trekkie, you’re probably already well aware of the pending February 2nd launch of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) "Star Trek Online." Well, according to ClickZ, its creator, Atari Inc., has decided to reach those that don’t quite go as far as greeting each other with "Live Long and Prosper," by launching a number of social media initiatives to promote the game.

YouTube, Facebook, and secret access codes on game sites, have all been part of Atari’s marketing efforts, but my favorite has to be its Twitter strategy:

New Software for Facebook Pointed at Hackers and Spammers

The complaints pile up daily about the amount of spam and malware that proliferates the social media world. It even reaches the highest levels such as the recent takeover of the FCC chairman’s Facebook account that resulted in e-mails going out to all of his “friends”. While I know I shouldn’t, I have to laugh at that one. Maybe that’s part of the reason why the government is turning its attention to Facebook? Who knows but it sure be inspiration to look a little closer.

In an attempt to capitalize on this brave new world for spammers and hackers Websense is offering a new product called Defensio (how much time was spent on that name?). The Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog reports: