Microsoft’s Loses $728 Million Online in Q4

We concentrate on the online space most of the time here at Marketing Pilgrim. With that in mind, we just had to point out that despite all the relative calm about Microsoft’s Q4 reporting (meeting expectations, profitable etc), we can’t keep our eyes off the staggering $728 million loss on $668 million in revenue for the online piece of the tech giant.

If you are keeping track that means that the online loss for the fiscal year totals $2.56 billion (yup, with a b) on revenues of $2.53 billion. Here’s a picture of Microsoft’s online track record thus far from SAI.

Is there any hope for turning this continuing trend around? What do they have to show for it thus far? A few percentage points gained here and there in search share against a competitor, Google, who may have finally broken their social networking glass ceiling with Google+?

Introducing the Google Adwords Card; Buy Now, Regret it Later

Google is always looking for ways to make life easier for the small business owner. They know that the cost of running a major Adwords campaign can be prohibitive for the mom and pop shop but they have a solution.

Introducing the Google Adwords Mastercard! No monthly fee, low finance rate, high credit line and only one restriction – you can only use it to buy ads on Google.

In theory, it’s a good idea. Most people need to advertise when they can least afford it, which is prior to their big season. With the Adwords credit card, you can place your ad during the low income month of August and reap the rewards when the holiday shopper money starts rolling in.

4 Twitter Product Managers Have Left the Building

Twitter is in the news for two different, but possibly related stories. First, sources are reporting that the network is close to “completing an $800 million funding deal that will include a second part in which around $400 million of the total will be used to cash out current investors and also employees.”

Second, TechCrunch is reporting that four of the companies key product managers have been let go. TechCrunch sees it as the final stage of cleaning out those loyal to the old regime, but it does seem like an odd time to give that many top people the boot.

In recent months, Twitter has been on an upswing with new advertising programs and a new design. Kicking out the key people who made it so, just before a round of new funding feels weird. Is Twitter planning some radical change in the near future, like upping the character count to an even 200!

Google Closing Labs

I am getting the sense that Google is about to get real serious about getting beyond search. Why? Because it looks like the company is starting to truly focus. Part of that focus is shutting down Google Labs. Thanks for the heads up from @btabke. Here’s Google’s position from their official blog.

Last week we explained that we’re prioritizing our product efforts. As part of that process, we’ve decided to wind down Google Labs. While we’ve learned a huge amount by launching very early prototypes in Labs, we believe that greater focus is crucial if we’re to make the most of the extraordinary opportunities ahead.

Is Content Marketing Better Than Advertising?

The social media marketing movement has the marketing world reconsidering everything and that’s a good thing. While progress is usually a good thing, it can create some friction that didn’t exist previously thus giving marketers fits.

One area where that has truly taken hold is content marketing. The idea alone is not new but the development of the discipline is. As a result, many marketers are recognizing the importance of content marketing as a whole. In fact, Econsultancy and Adobe’s first Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing (NOTE: No money to MP if purchased) points that out.

Foursquare Pushes Notifications and Blackberry Update

I just got an email from Foursquare telling me that I am member #4,688,605. They say it’s something I can brag about to my grandkids as they cruise by on their hoverboards. Points for a sense of humor. I like that.

They then go on to tell me about some new features, which I am here to tell you about. First, for all you Blackberry fans, Foursquare 3.0 is now available. It comes with a slicker interface and includes the new Explore feature. Explore is now the best thing about Foursquare. By tapping an activity such as drinks or shops, the app automatically offers up the best choices in your area based on your prior check-ins and those of your friends.

The Blackberry update also includes access to daily deal sites and a leaderboard.

Google+ Wants to Makes Stars a Star!

In Hollywood, it’s all about who you know and Google+ wants in. According to CNN, they’re working on a “celebrity acquisition plan” to help boost the star power of their new social network.

If you or I were to talk about “celebrity acquisition,” we’d probably run afoul of California’s anti-stalking laws. But when Google does it, that’s news. The tricky part, as we’ve seen from Twitter, is verifying the real celebs and keeping the fake ones out of the loop.

In order to verify that a celeb is who they say they are, CNN says they might ask folks to fax a copy of their driver’s license. Though Google will undoubtedly promise that the process is secure, it’s a potential privacy nightmare waiting to happen.