Cup of Joe: There Are Zombies On The Horizon!

ZombieThat’s right there are zombies on the horizon, and no I’m not talking about Sears or this week’s episode of Community. These zombies will be homegrown from soon to be launched blekko.

blekko is a new search engine that is expected to make its public debut on Monday, November 1, and it is sure to foster its own army of zombie followers. What’s that? You are scared? You don’t want search engine obsessed zombies on the Internet? Well don’t worry I’m not actually talking about real brain eating zombies but rather the marketing equivalent.

Advertising Creep Takes Hold of Chicago Airport

When it comes to advertising, there’s nothing like a captive audience, like, for example, the people stuck in the security queue at the airport, or the person in the public bathroom stall. They can’t go anywhere, use a fast forward button or turn down the sound, so why not hit them with advertising!

The city of Chicago is doing just that. The Chicago Sun Times says that O’Hare airport will soon be plastered with ads on everything from the bathroom mirrors, to the escalator handrails, to the bins you put your shoes in when going through the metal detector. It’s part of the new “municipal marketing” plan and could bring in $750,000 in revenue next year.

To keep people from balking at idea of being force-fed advertising, airport officials say that the ads actually serve a dual-purpose.

Facebook Ad Patent Targets Blank Profile Users

When you see an ad on Facebook, it’s likely that it’s being served to you because of something you wrote in your profile. But what if you didn’t fill out your favorite movies, your hometown or the quote that inspires you? Facebook has an app for that.

As noted by CNET, Facebook has applied for a patent on a new type of ad-targeting system that will better serve ads to those who don’t fill in the blanks.

The system, which they refer to as inferential, assumes that a good portion of your Facebook friends are into the same things you are. So an ad that the systems deems appropriate for you, would also be served to your friends.

Microsoft Earnings: Everything is Great! Just Don’t Look at Bing’s Income Loss

Microsoft released it’s 2010 end-of-year financials and everything is just tickety-boo!

Revenues are up! Income is up! Growth is up! Even Bing is up! Something that is carefully worded in Microsoft’s announcement…

Next I’ll move on to the Online Services Division, which grew 8%. The Online advertising component of the division grew 13%, primarily driven by our search business, which again outperformed the market leader. Yesterday, Bing reached a significant milestone with the Yahoo! partnership. Through diligent efforts on behalf of both companies, Bing is now powering Yahoo!’s algorithmic and paid search results in the US and Canada.

Yay! Everything looks soooo good. Let’s just report on that good news and be done, shall we?

SMB’s and Social Play Together Better But Need Help

A recent study performed by American Express OPEN’s Fall 2010 “Small Business Monitor” shows that social media is on the increase with the SMB’s (small and medium business) of the world. What types of social media are used and some of the challenges faced by the SMB in the social web are interesting to note. For us bloggers in the crowd it should come as little or no surprise that the smallest percentage of adoption goes to the one that requires more work.

From eMarketer we hear

While just one in 10 business owners reported using social networking for marketing last year, 39% indicated they did in September 2010. The impetus is driving sales by connecting with consumers. Facebook was the clear leader among small-business owners, with 27% using the site to attract new customers, vs. 9% using LinkedIn, 8% using Twitter and 5% maintaining a blog.

Are Google’s Local Moves Part of Their Social Future?

Welcome to the total speculation and conjecture section of Marketing Pilgrim. In other words, I have not read what I am looking at in this post anywhere else (mainly because I haven’t really looked :-) ) and I am just trying to connect dots based on some things that have happened in the recent past regarding Google search, Google local and Google Latitude.

Yesterday, the Google mobile blog reported how their new Place Page updates and improvements were being rolled out to Android users.

Lately, we’ve been working on giving you even better ways to find nearby places with Google Maps for Android, such as the Places icon and rich Place pages. Today, we are launching Google Maps 4.6 with a new design for Place page reviews, more options to filter search results, and a Google Latitude real-time updating option.

Foursquare’s Crowley Gets Undeserved Ribbing

Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley took a lot of ribbing yesterday for a comment he made to a blogger at an NYU panel discussion. The panel was called “The Case for Media Optimism,” and Crowley stated that he thought referral fees would be the next big thing in social media marketing.

For example, if someone Tweets about a new movie and 500 of his friends follow a link to buy a ticket for the movie, then the original referrer gets a kickback for each ticket. When asked if Foursquare was working on this idea, Crowley said it was on a long list of ideas under consideration.

Here’s where it gets sticky. Jeff Bercovici from Forbes.com asked Crowley how he would get around the FTC ruling that required full disclosure when an endorsement was offered on social media in return for payment of some kind (cash, product or service.)