Microsoft has narrowed its search for a CEO, per Bloomberg. The frontrunners are likely Ford CEO Alan Mulally and current Microsoft Executive Vice President Satya Nadella. They are not the only candidates, but a source tells Bloomberg that the two seem the most likely. The search continues. The board will attempt to make a decision this year, although the announcement could come in 2014.
Data from the U.S. Patent & Trademark office suggests Google has been working to secure lots of patents. In fact, about 10 patents daily -- up from four in 2003, per Antonio Regalado. They range from automated cars to balloon-based data networks. The company could close 2013 with 1,800 new patents for the year. Google founders Sergey Brin's and Larry Page's names are among them.
Jeff Stevens explains how marketers should categorize landing page changes in two categories to focus on creative alignment with ad text and search content, and driving for conversions. When thinking about text and content, remind consumers about time-sensitive promotions such as holiday or year-end deals. Be sure to keep the navigation path to conversion easy and clean. He also reminds marketers to use seasonal color themes and enable social sharing, and to not forget about mobile-optimized sites. Read the article here.
A rumor puts YouTube at the center of a subscription-based music streaming service. Jeremiah Rice points to a teardown of YouTube 5.3 that describes offline features and ad-free options, although all would require royalties paid to artists. The teardown -- a string of code -- identifies the ability to add playlists to offline in a service called Music Pass. He highlights pieces in the string that identify the features.
Some 73% of CEOs think that marketing overall lacks business credibility, according to a survey from Fournaise Group. About 80% don't trust marketers at all, while 91% do trust CIOs and CFOs. The challenges to get the CEO on board range from a disconnect and misunderstanding about marketing's role to a lack of imagination and innovation, according to Danyl Bosomworth. He takes us through a series of steps to change this perception and prove the value of marketing. Read the article here.
Cassie Oumedian tells us how to set up Yahoo in-stream ads, a form of paid-search text ad that serves up in the user's organic content stream. Some refer to it as a native ad. Yahoo released the format earlier this year. Oumedian provides screen shots to demonstrate how they work. The algorithm analyzes bid, click-through rate, location targeting and competition in the auction to determine when and where your ad serves up. Read the article here.
Google has added custom dimensions to its Universal Analytics feature. Jeff Baum provides two examples on how to view secondary and custom dimensions data. He points to an example from Google -- User Tier -- used to show what a custom dimension looks like. The feature allows Google Analytics to provide marketers with the ability to connect what's happening at the top of the sales funnel vs. the bottom of the sales funnel. Read the article here.
YouTube has more than 1 billion unique user visits monthly, and site visitors view more than 6 billion hours of video. Some 70% of traffic comes from outside the U.S. Optimizing the videos for international marketers can be challenging. Christian Arno provides tips on setting up channels, optimizing content, considering multiple languages and cultural differences, and suggestions on considering other platforms in Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Read the article here.
Creating "desirable" content means appealing to masses on an individual level. It requires brands to step away from being a "me-to player" and stand out in the crowd. Beauty brands do it well. Many use video to make the message "feeling"-based rather than product-based. They focus on making the viewer feel rather than think about the product features -- what does it feel like to use the product, rather than how will the features improve the experience. Read the article here.
Tim Ash references how the brain filters information to explain the best way to market products and services. He suggests using action words, stimulating with visual puzzles, and attracting with novelties. While the brain can process complex instructions, marketers will find the most success by keeping the search ad or piece of content simple. Read the article here.