A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Groupon to Cut 1,100 Jobs, Pull Out of 7 Countries (Chicago Tribune)
Groupon announced 1,100 layoffs Tuesday and is pulling back its global footprint. The flagging ecommerce company pioneered a daily deals business in 2008 but is distancing itself from that model in favor of building a marketplace of goods and local services.
The Resurrection of LivingSocial (DCInno)
Meanwhile, Groupon competitor LivingSocial is rebounding from a failed expansion plan, and new CEO Gautam Thakar — who previously spent almost a decade at eBay — has outlined a plan that prioritizes building out the company’s product and technology teams, with a particular focus on mobile and data analytics.
How to Manage Local Content Marketing (Street Fight)
Content marketing is on the rise: 69 percent of B2C marketers are creating more content now than they did a year ago. Using blogs, videos, infographics, and other content to attract the interest of customers can be an effective option for small or local businesses. But time and resource constraints mean local businesses need to approach content marketing in a smart and strategic way.
The Commoditization of Ad Tech — How the Cross-Device Landscape is Going to Get Worse Before It Gets Better (Medium)
Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan: Last year I wrote a piece that predicted, among other things, that “the year(s) of mobile” had passed, and that 2015 would be the year of cross-device. Perhaps I should have predicted that 2015 would be the year of cross-device commoditization; the value is high and the barriers to entry are low.
Better Use of Data Could Dramatically Alter Local Digital Sales (Street Fight)
Greg Sterling: Data is a core principle of digital marketing today, yet when it comes to local, big data has not penetrated very deeply into marketing, particularly where the sales process is concerned. All of that is about to change with the appearance of multiple companies trying to put data at the center of the way digital marketing is presented and sold to local businesses.
Facebook’s Ad Chief Announces ‘Click to Message a Business’ Ads (TechCrunch)
Facebook ad chief Andrew Bosworth said messaging via Pages has doubled, and some companies have told Facebook that it’s now the primary place for them to receive customer service requests. He said the company is working on “click-to-message” ads, letting businesses create an ad that would entice customers to start a conversation.
Local Search Voted Most Powerful Channel for Local Businesses (Search Engine Land)
Myles Anderson: Achieving prominent and long-lasting visibility in both local and organic search takes time and money, but it’s clear why business owners are investing: The results are worth it.
Understanding What Audiences Want from Local News (Columbia Journalism Review)
Philip Napoli: One of the most common recommendations local news organizations hear today, as they search for a viable business model, is to build stronger connections with their communities. Building these connections, though, is easier said than done.
‘Payments Is a Really Hard Business:’ The Cover App Edition (Recode)
Cover, a payments app, is accepted in 350 restaurants in four cities. It has processed more than $10 million in transactions since the beginning of the year. But it will record, at most, just $150,000 in revenue in 2015 after passing on a big cut of its fees to other financial institutions. So go the economics of a young payments business.
Websites Attract Bigger Audiences, but Users Spend More Time in Apps (Wall Street Journal)
Here’s a paradox of modern digital life: Users spend a growing majority of their time in mobile apps, but websites attract bigger audiences. Mobile phones now account for 62 percent of all time spent online, and mobile users spend more than 70 percent of their time in smartphone apps.