Last week, Salesforce.com announced another acquisition from within its AppExchange network. Kieden which was founded in January 2006 – yes, 2006! – is now Salesforce for Google Ad Words. More power to the four guys that founded the company! They built an app that allows users to create, manage, and measure search engine marketing campaigns within their Salesforce application. The app integrates directly with Google and results are tracked within Salesforce. Salesforce is currently pitching a free 30-day trial offer and plans to offer the service at $300 monthly.
The Forrester Brand Monitoring Wave is well underway and we are entering the final stages of the process. The hard work from all of the participating vendors is over (i.e. demonstrations and related preparation) - now I get to sit down and put things into the written research format and figure out what it means.
In a related development, yesterday WPP Group announced a partnership with Visible Technologies - a brand monitoring firm focused specifically on the consumer-generated media space. This is definitely a sign of things to come in the brand monitoring market...
Look for the final evaluation to publish in the middle to end of September.
Disney announced earnings earlier this week. There wasn't a lot said about their MVNO businesses, but they did say that ESPN Mobile had not met the expectations put forth at the time of launch.
My earlier blog covers most of what I have to say on this topic - the audience for video, music, mobile content (more broadly) and news is bigger than it is for an entertainment-first wireless service provider.
The Disney MVNO will be interesting to watch. Parents are still buying on value best provided by the carriers, but are motivated by knowing that their children are safe. I think it will be a question of: are voice and SMS enough for me to communicated with my children and know where they are? Is knowing where they are enough to give me peace of mind? Is it the children or the parents that have the real need here?
A little over a month ago VC firm Greylock Partners led a funding round raising $15 million for Constant Contact, an email marketing vendor that targets small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Huh? Why would Greylock invest a sizable chunk of change in a space that is becoming increasingly commoditized and has low switching costs and barriers to entry? Greylock is an extremely smart VC, right? I mean they successfully invested in Doubleclick, Epsilon, and Red Hat among others.
My theory is this - Greylock invested in Constant Contact because - • Small business is a hugely underserved market and small businesses are traditionally technology adoption laggards. • Sinking disproportionate amounts of money in a market that traditionally grows organically allows them to “buy” accounts and build “value” rapidly. • Email is just the first in a whole slew of services that the $15 million can build, package and provide small businesses. • Once Constant Contact gains sufficient momentum it becomes a great merger or acquisition target yielding a nice return on investment for the VCs (Greylock!) who backed it.
Google and MySpace announced a eye-popping $900 million deal yesterday providing definitive proof of Google's diversification strategy (was there ever really any doubt?) and sending a new tremor down the spines of Microsoft and Yahoo!. But this deal is not just about Google bolstering its lead in the online search marketing race. It means:
Marketers keep hearing about the need to gain credibility within their organizations. Recently, Michael Palmer of the ANA wrote about the need for marketing to regain its street cred. I couldn’t agree more. While some chief marketing officers have been very successful at earning a seat at the strategy table, many marketers are still marginalized within their organizations. Through our research for a recent best practices report for Forrester’s CMO Group, we uncovered six key areas that CMOs need to focus on for the marketing of Marketing. At a high-level, these practice areas are:
• Define your role and responsibilities • Educate your peers AND yourself. • Proactively collaborate. • Develop a strong team. • Actively pursue accountability. • Engage in two-way communication.