A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology
Google Expands Digital Wallet Offering (Wall Street Journal)
Google is rolling out an update of its digital wallet app to allow its use on more Android smartphones – a move that could make the search giant more competitive with PayPal and other digital payments companies. The update to Google Wallet will eliminate a requirement that the smartphone be enabled for tap-and-go payments using a technology known as near-field communication, or NFC, which today is on fewer than 15 Android handsets.
Calculating the ROI of Local Search Campaigns (Street Fight)
Damian Rollison: Though we can point to numerous indicators to demonstrate the importance of local search optimization for local businesses, as an industry we have not yet settled on a standard method for measuring the return on investment (ROI) for these efforts. For many business owners, it’s that type of dollars and cents calculation that will drive them to decide whether or not to move forward with a campaign.
Jack Dorsey: Square IPO Will Happen ‘Eventually’ (Mashable)
In an interview, Jack Dorsey spoke about his “other company,” Square, and said he is not currently focused on bringing it to the public markets. When asked when Square will go public, the CEO said, the company would get there “eventually,” and that the firm was “ahead of a lot of companies in that regard because we’re building a financial company.”
Marketing to the ‘Happy’ Majority of SMBs (Street Fight)
Manprett Singh: The local search industry needs to offer more responsive solutions for the average small business owner. The industry can’t simply drive more leads — it has to drive more, better-qualified, and better-paying leads at profit margins that incentivize buy-in from a business consumer that demands all or nothing. Only by catering to the “disconnected and contented majority” can the industry push itself to the highest standard of usability and convenience.
With Webvan’s Implosion as Cautionary Tale, Instacart Slowly Begins to Expand, Starting With Chicago (AllThingsD)
When same-day grocery-delivery startup Instacart raised its recent $8.5 million Series A round, it named Sequoia Capital’s Michael Moritz to its board. The fact that Moritz was once a board member at Webvan, the poster child for what can go wrong when grocery-delivery businesses expand too quickly, is not a coincidence.
Postmortem of a Venture-backed Startup (Medium)
Brett Martin: For those unfamiliar, Sonar was a mobile app that buzzed in your pocket when friends were near and ushered in a new wave of “Ambient Social Networking” companies. Downloaded by millions of people all over the world, Sonar was promoted by Apple and Google in 100+ countries, won numerous awards. And yet, we failed. Here’s why.
How “Location” Evolved Into “Audiences” For Mobile Ad Targeting (MarketingLand)
Greg Sterling: In order to find scale, companies and networks such as Skyhook Wireless, PlaceIQ, JiWire, Verve, Placed, xAd, Jumptap and Factual began to translate location into audience profiles and segments. Based on where the phone “lives” and other observed movements these networks were able to draw inferences about locations and the types of people who frequent them, and bucket them into recognizable demographic, psychographic and other audience segments.
Living A (Data) Rich Life In The Age Of Context (Fast Company)
Whether you’ve heard of it or not, you are already feeling the effects of the “age of context.” Each year, placing you in the right context becomes more and more important to brands who are trying to sell you something, insurance companies who are trying to find out what kind of driver you are so they can raise or lower your premiums, and health care providers who are now incentivized to keep you out of their offices.
Recreating The Essence of Coupons In A Coupon-less World (PandoDaily)
Remember when coupons were a thing? Every Sunday you would comb through the endless coupons in the newspaper, cut out the best deals, and the next day go on a discounted shopping spree. Well, some ‘people’ have decided that physical ‘coupons’ are just too ‘burdensome.’ So new, more technologically savvy coupons have arisen, and today we’re seeing a rise in card-linked offers from companies like Edo.
Loophole In iBeacon Could Let iPhones Guard Your Likes Instead Of Bombard You With Coupons (GigaOm)
Many people are excited about iBeacons in iOS7 that let your iPhone receive notifications based on its proximity to a transmitter. But ReelyActive, a company that’s building out physical infrastructure to let devices communicate with their surroundings, has discovered a nifty trick in the iOS 7 code that lets its engineers flip the iBeacon model.
Placed Intros Real-World Audience Targeting (Screenwerk)
Placed has announced the launch of Placed Targeting an offline audience targeting solution for mobile marketers and networks. Like others doing this Placed has translated locations and location history into audiences, however, in order to create broader reach than its panel of opt-in smartphone users, the company has modeled lookalike audiences.
European OpenTable Competitor Restalo Raises $10M Series B Led By Seaya Ventures (TechCrunch)
Barcelona-based Restalo, an online restaurant reservation service similar to OpenTable, has raised a $10 million Series B round from Seaya Ventures, and existing investor Active Venture Partners. Claiming to be the leader in Italy and Spain where OpenTable has yet to operate, Restalo says it plans to use the new capital to consolidate its position in Southern Europe and to expand to new markets.