A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
Google Offers Heading to Google+ (PCMag)
Google on Friday announced an expansion of its Offers service to Google+, meaning you’ll now be able to see, save, and share promotions right from your social media stream. The Web giant is initially testing the new functionality with a select group of brands including Zagat, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Adafruit Industries, as well as the aforementioned Hello Kitty and Art.com.
Yelp VP Ghaffary: We Are ‘the Local Layer of the Internet’ (Street Fight)
Mike Ghaffary, a grad school friend of CEO Jeremy Stoppelman who helped to write one of Yelp’s first advertiser contracts, now serves as the company’s vice president of business development (and will give a keynote address at Street Fight Summit West in San Francisco next month). Street Fight caught up with Ghaffary recently to discuss the relationship between content and data in local discovery, and why competitors will have a hard time “killing Yelp.”
Grubless? Online Takeout Giants GrubHub And Seamless In Talks To Merge (TechCrunch)
Rumor has it that “arch rivals” GrubHub and Seamless are in talks which could see them join forces as part of a merger. While our sources tell us that the talks are serious, the terms of the merger are not yet clear and, of course, any potential deal could fall through.
In Push to Profitability, Patch Trims Staff and Promotes Kalin to CEO (Street Fight)
AOL’s Patch network of community news sites made significant staff cuts on Friday among its regional news teams and promoted Steven Kalin to CEO, in what looks to be its biggest move yet toward reaching its long-promised goal of profitability by the end of 2013.
LivingSocial Relying on Events to Make Up for Weaker Daily Deals Business (Washington Post)
LivingSocial is leaning heavily on its business creating and promoting concerts, festivals, races and other events as the District-based company looks to compensate for its flagging daily deals business and establish an identity independent of discounts. Doug Miller, senior vice president of new business initiatives, characterized the newfound emphasis on events as part of an ongoing shift that, though largely void of discounts, doesn’t depart from the firm’s mission of connecting people with experiences in their community.
5 Tools Brands Can Use to Create Socially Targeted Ads (Street Fight)
In a single day, a tech-savvy twenty-something might tweet about a yoga class, check-in at Target, ask friends on Facebook to recommend a local cafe, and post photos on Instagram from inside Whole Foods. Individually, these social media updates might not mean much. But collectively, they can be a useful tool for advertisers trying to get a deeper look inside the minds of their local customers. Here are five tools that merchants can use to create socially targeted ads.
Google Updates AdWords Express Sign-Up Process, Ad Copy Preview And Dashboard (The Next Web)
Google on Thursday announced a redesign of its AdWords Express product, featuring clearer stats and graphs, a faster signup process, and a new real-time ad preview box. The redesigned dashboard now lets you quickly glance to see how many views, clicks, and calls your ad generated.
Local Search Battle Heats Up: Can Yelp Fight Off Facebook & Foursquare? (SearchEngineWatch)
Michael Boland: In an effort to continue courting SMBs – the lifeblood of local search – Facebook has rolled out Yelp-like SMB mobile profile pages. The obligatory “Yelp killer” rubric has since echoed throughout the blogosphere, bringing up an interesting question: Is Facebook – and to a lesser extent Foursquare– becoming more Yelp-like, and thus a threat?
‘Geo-Conquesting’ Drives Higher Mobile Click Rates (MediaPost)
The practice of conquesting — running advertising for a brand or product near editorial content about a competitor’s offerings online or in print — is nothing new in the world of marketing. A more recent twist is the extension of the tactic to mobile location targeting by advertising around the physical premises of competing businesses.
Retailers Turn ‘Showrooming’ Into Innovation Opportunity (Mashable)
“Brands and companies such as Best Buy, Target, Walmart and other large national and global retail brands are taking it very seriously,” says Brian Gillespie, principal at service design firm Continuum. “It has pushed them to innovate their cross-channel marketing strategies and in turn, it has spawned a slew of new digital marketing services that are engaging shoppers in new ways and enticing them to stores.”