A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
Newspaper Ad Sales Skid for Seventh Straight Year (Reflections of a Newsosaur)
Advertising sales, the predominant revenue stream for the newspaper industry, dropped for the seventh year in a row in 2012, falling to less than half the record $49.4 billion achieved as recently as 2005. In less than a dozen years, Google has built a $46 billion advertising business that was twice as large last year as the combined print and digital ad sales of all of the 1,382 daily newspapers in the land.
When Will The Last Yellow Pages Book be Printed? (Street Fight)
With the rise of local search sites, social media, and mobile directories, the physical Yellow Pages books delivered to consumers’ doors — long a staple of local marketing — are quickly becoming obsolete. We asked a few folks from around the industry what date they would envision for the directories’ final print run.
Why ZocDoc is Winning: Dissenting Employees, Unlimited Vacation, & Diet Coke (VentureBeat)
ZocDoc’s appointment booking service (and extras like online check-in) is in more than 35 major metropolitan areas, and it covers 40 percent of the U.S. population. It doesn’t reveal its number of bookings or the number of doctors using the service, but a cursory look at listings in cities like Chicago or Boston shows hundreds of medical professionals, who each pay $300 a month to use ZocDoc.
6 Platforms That SMBs Can Use to Monitor Local Competitors (Street Fight)
Today’s top competitive intelligence platforms give SMBs a way to go far beyond tracking keywords and mentions. These hyperlocal tools give merchants and service providers a way to identify the most important players in their local markets and analyze which of those businesses’ marketing strategies is producing the greatest returns.
Brands Buy Real-Time Mobile Ads Based on the Weather (AdWeek)
This past winter, Ace Hardware tested location-based mobile ads before and after snowstorms to pitch items like shovels and de-icers. Buoyed by the results—and underscoring how brands have begun using the weather to target on-the-go consumers—it now plans to buy mobile ads when the temperature is optimal for green thumbs to get planting, hoping they’ll need the retailer’s fertilizers and other garden products.
Newspaper “Marketing Services” Revenue Up 91% (Washington Post)
The NAA is bullish on the trend among newspapers toward “new revenue sources” like “digital agency and marketing,” wherein newspapers “help local businesses market their products, particularly digitally, in social and mobile. Revenue from digital agency and marketing services from those nine companies [which reported revenue in this area] rose 91% during the year.
10 Things SEOs & SMBs Should Know About New Google Places Dashboard (SearchEngineLand)
Whatever the opinion, the truth is that these changes signify a big development in the way Google handles ‘Local.’ The new ‘Places for Business’ dashboard is all about making life easier and clearer for SMBs to manage their data and promotion within Google’s local products (Maps/Mobile/+Local), and they have really put some thought into solving the backend issues and providing a helpful, consolidated interface.
Practice Fusion Launches Doctors Appointment And Reviews Site Patient Fusion (TechCrunch)
Top electronic medical records startup Practice Fusion has launched Patient Fusion, a site where you can compare reviews of nearby physicians and book appointments as soon as within an hour. You could call it Yelp meets Uber for doctors, but with a big data angle that could ensure you’re seen regularly so you don’t get sick in the first place.