Google, Intuit and Missouri Partner Up to Get SMBs Online

There was a time when all a local business needed was a phone and an ad in the Yellow Pages in order to bring in customers. Today, 97% of Americans go online to find local services but only 63% of small businesses have a web presence. Why? Because as hard as it may be for anyone who reads MarketingPilgrim to believe, not everyone knows how to build a website.

Then there’s this: “the nation’s 27.5M small businesses comprise half the US GDP and create two-thirds of all new jobs.” SMBs truly are the backbone of our economy and they’re also the ones who struggle the most to remain afloat.

The State of Missouri wants to help, so they’ve partnered with Google and Intuit for the “Missouri Get Your Business Online” campaign.

Most B2Bs Spend Under 5% of Revenue on Marketing

Everyone knows you have to spend money to make money, but in the B2B world, that spend is only around 5% of the make.

According to numbers from eMarketer, the majority of B2B marketers say their spend is equal to 5% or less of their company’s revenue. But even though the numbers are tied together, 35% of marketers said they didn’t report their financial contributions to senior management. 33% said they don’t even track their return on investment.

If we talk strictly about smaller B2B companies, it’s easy to see why they aren’t tracking and reporting — because it takes too much time and time is an even tighter commodity than money. There are plenty of tools online to help you gather stats but connecting those stats to income is the tricky part.

The Majority of All eReader Owners Now Female

The tech industry may be the world’s biggest boy’s club but women are racing to the top on the consumer side. According to new numbers from Nielsen, women are now the majority users of eReaders with 61%, that’s way up from where they were less than a year ago.

See the pretty-colored chart? Women like color and I say that’s one of the main reasons we’ve been slower in adopting new tech. Think back on all of the computers and phones you’ve bought in the past five years. Black, grungy white, silver, black — seriously guys, what’s with the fear of color!

It’s only been in the past few years that manufacturers like HP began offering a variety of skins for their tech and thank heavens for those colorful Kindle protectors. Mine is lime green. But I digress.

Missouri Teachers Can Be Facebook Friends Again. . . For Now

Earlier this month, the State of Missouri passed a law making it illegal for a teacher to be friends with a student on Facebook or any social media site. They did this because they felt that social media could lead to inappropriate contact and many people agreed.

The Missouri State Teachers Association did not agree. They fought and won a temporary stay, saying the law is unconstitutional because it denies free speech. The judge who overturned the ruling  gave the teacher’s union 180 days to test out the concept, at which time, presumably, a final decision will be made.

Google+ Expands Third Party Widget

It really feels like a horse race now. Google has added new functionality that makes sharing links to Google+ faster and more targeted.

With the new third party widget, you can add a comment before posting to Google+ (just like Facebook) but you can also choose which circle of friends will see the post (better than Facebook).

This new functionality gave me a whole new outlook on Gooogle+ and their circle system. Before this, I only saw the circles as a way of categorizing the relationship. People I work with, family members, friends, people I’d like to work with.

Now, I see new possibilities. Movie Fans, TV Fans, Scrapbookers. Having said that, I still don’t like Google+’s search function. Is it me, or is there no way to search for people who have the same interests so I can put them in my interest circles?

Nearly Half of All Marketers Are Willing to Pay for a Post

Word of mouth is one of the best means of marketing a product, but sometimes the process needs a little help to get started. Help in the form of cold, hard cash. For a long time, the Pay-for-Posts business was considered only slightly less shady than buying watches from a guy who carries his stock in his coat.

A few years ago, I wrote a paid post for one of my blogs and Google promptly slapped me with a drop in my page rank (does anyone care about page rank anymore?) and placement in the search returns.

Now, paying for posts, Tweets, Facebook shoutouts or video mentions is not only acceptable, it’s good business.

My [Music] Space Gets Ready to Relaunch

MySpace has 70 million active global users but you wouldn’t know it to look a the site. In the past few years, they’ve gone from being a hub of personalized social activity, to a billboard for big entertainment brands to. . . the laughing stock of the internet world.

But MySpace’s new owners could be laughing all the way to the bank and sooner than you think.

Talking to AdAge, Al Dejewski, the new senior VP-global marketing says that MySpace started out on a clear path but lost its way as it grew. Now, the new owners are ready to clear away the brush and strike out all over again – with music as their one and only map.