Radio Shack Wants You To Check-in Somewhere Else

Radio Shack is running an interesting new Foursquare promotion that asks you to check-in some place other than your local Radio Shack. How odd is that? The badge you’re looking for is called Holiday Heroes and when you earn it you get a coupon good for 20% off your purchase.

To get the badge, Radio Shack is asking you to check into “Hero Hotspots,” which include MidTown Comics and the Golden Gate Bridge. The write up also mentions a gym and a coffee shop because all heroes need to stay in shape and then get a jolt of caffeine.  After you check-in at two of these places, you visit your local Radio Shack and the badge and discount is yours.

Yahoo! Clues Offers an Inside Look at Trending Search Patterns

Yahoo! is coming on strong this week with several announcements that prove they are well and truly still in the game. Today, they’ve unveiled the beta test of Yahoo! Clues and I could play in this one all day.

Yahoo! Clues is designed to help you data-mine trending search terms. When you research a term, you’re presented with a graph that shows the highs and lows of the trend over the past week or month. It then breaks down the search into gender, age, income and location and it offers additional search terms along with actual search paths that people have taken.

Facebook Messaging Sounds Good. . . In Theory

Bang the gong. Facebook has an announcement. They’ve taken the wraps off their new messaging system which has been referred to as the “Gmail Killer.” Gmail can send the bodyguards home, they’re not in danger. . . not yet.

I spent some time watching the videos and reading the articles and I’ve come to the conclusion that my Facebook messaging preferred punctuation is not the exclamation mark or even the question mark but the ellipsis (. . . ). I chose this mark because the new roll-out sounds great. . . in theory, but in practice, I’m not so sure.

Are Deal Sites Making Consumers Jaded?

If you visit Whole Foods in the next few weeks, you could earn yourself a refreshing Tazo tea just for checking-in at the checkout counter. The promotion is being run by Foursquare competitor Gowalla and it includes opportunities to earn a $25 Whole Foods gift certificate or other related “goodies.”

This is another great example of using location-based apps to promote a product so I was surprised to see a writer for Daily Finance taking the program to task.

“Um, wonderful. So I’m going to check in at Whole Foods and enter a contest to win a whopping $25 gift card and maybe some special team items that aren’t even mentioned in this promo. I’m sorry, Gowalla. A contest for a $25 gift card simply isn’t going to cut it in an era of total Groupon frenzy with 75% discounts on hot restaurants”

AdSense Unveils Cleaner, Clearer Interface

AdSense has finally rolled out their new interface to all users and it’s a welcome sight. The new dashboard is clearer, easier to use and much more intuitive than what was there before.

The new AdSense interface is designed to get you want you need with fewer clicks and gives you more control over the ads that run on your sites. It all begins with an overview screen with a sense of humor. I like that. As soon as you hit the page you can easily see your current earnings and whether you have any messages or alerts. Payments are front and center as they should be, because let’s face it, we’re all in this to earn some cash, right?

Tweeting Your Way to Success

This morning, as I skimmed through my newsfeeds and email messages, I found three posts that had to do with finding a way to excel on Twitter. Since the bird seems to be in the collective consciousness today, I thought I’d take a moment to add my two cents to the communal pot.

Let’s start with Business News Daily. For some strange reason, they have two, very similar articles running today that deal with Twitter success. First, there’s 9 Steps to a Successful Twitter Strategy.

The title alone will stop many people in their tracks. Strategy? I just post whatever comes to mind when I have minute, right? Is that a strategy? No, Newman, it’s not. The article lists nine steps to setting up a plan but basically it breaks down to this, list your marketing goals, listen to your customers, create a plan to regularly engage and respond to your customers, set up metrics to measure your success in regard to the marketing goals.

Super Bowl Ads and the Evolution of Online Marketing

Do you remember Pets.com? Back in 2000, the internet company made a big splash with a clever Super Bowl ad that had pet owners rushing to the site to buy dog food. Actually, not the second part. Like a lot of companies during the dot.com boom, the Super Bowl ad was the first and final hurrah for Pets.com.

While you won’t see the return of the dot.com dandies this Super Bowl, Advertising Age is predicting a big run on ads that are digitally and socially enhanced. Go read the article. I’ll wait.

(Insert “The Girl from Ipanema” here.)

Back? Great. Pete Blackshaw makes a reference to a POEM framework: paid media, owned media and earned media. It’s his contention, and I totally agree, that the successful brands will find a way to balance the golden POEM triangle in order to get the very most out of every ad dollar.