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!

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.

Google to Surfers: Let’s Get Small

This week’s “seriously?!?” moment, goes to the folks at Google who obviously spent some of their downtime listening to the classic Steve Martin stand-up skit, “Let’s Get Small.” That’s the only explanation I can find for this maneuver.

Google has purchased and will soon bring online g.co. Yes, g.co. In the near future, when you type g.co, you will be taken to a Google page. No one knows what page, but it will be a page in the Google family, so you know that you’ll be well taken care of.

Why? Because Google.com is too hard for people to remember. It has too many letters, not to mention that pesky “m” at the end. It’s going to be much easier for people to remember to type g.co (because unlearning to type an “m” after co is so simple) and then from there, they can navigate to where ever they really want to be.

Half of All Marketers Say Mobile is an Integral Part of the Plan

Mobile advertising isn’t a slam dunk yet, but according to a new survey commissioned by IAB, it’s already become an integral part of the plan for 51% of brand marketers.

The study, “Marketer Perspectives on Mobile Advertising” was conducted by Ovum and the results were presented at the “Mobile in the Mainstream…and as the New Main Screen” conference yesterday in NY.

Of the marketers who weren’t completely on the mobile bandwagon yet, 35% said they were “experimenting” with the medium, while 14% are still wandering through the landscape.

Top reasons for going mobile:

  • Immediacy (considered of high importance by 57% of respondents)
  • Cost-effectiveness (54%)
  • Increased engagement (52%)

The downside to mobile advertising:

  • Device fragmentation (cited by 72% of respondents as a challenge of medium or high importance)

Facebook Places Tests Multiple Locations Feature

One of the benefits of owning a franchise is the use of a well-known name. If I’m looking for lunch in a new neighborhood, I know what I’m going to get at a Subway, where Joe’s Sub Shack could be a hit or a miss. Now, Facebook is going to help you solidify that connection with their new Parent-Child update inside Facebook Places.

According to Inside Facebook, the company is testing an app which will allow parent companies to easily connect to the Places pages for all of their local locations. On the user side, these “child” companies will show up on a Locations tab on the parent site. Geo-location markers will automatically list the nearest locations, or users will able to submit a zip code for different results. Child pages will be auto linked to the parent page.