Microsoft recently announced that Bing turned its first profit since being launched in 2009. The company continues to extend its reach, grow its share of the search market, and add features that make it a stronger commerce tool. The question businesses should be asking is not whether Bing will catch up to Google, but whether they view Bing as a critical publisher to improve the reach of their location data.
TAPinto.net has taken its New Jersey-centered franchise model for community news to adjacent and competitive Westchester and Putnam Counties in New York State’s heavily suburban Lower Hudson Valley. In this Q&A, founder and CEO Mike Shapiro explains how he’s been able to scale his seven-year-old community network through franchising, and do it largely through self-financing.
On the show: Lowe’s is opening a hardware store in space; eeGeo launches global 3D mapping platform; MLB used Snapchat Geofilters for World Series; Taggalo blends beacons with facial recognition; Sochat, which allows you to text anyone nearby, just raised $2 million. Plus, news from Sears; IBM + Weather Channel; Thinknear; and Facebook.
Like other dailies, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has taken big hits in advertising and distribution revenue on the print side, but it’s still profitable. To find out how the Journal Sentinel uses quality journalism to stay in the black, Street Fight spoke with editor and senior vice president George Stanley.
On the show: Google unveils Shopping Insights tool; Uniqlo’s UMood monitors shoppers’ brainwaves to help them pick the perfect t-shirt; Zikit’s “Now or Never” coupons; paying with sounds; Short Edition short story vending machine; Unmapped; Pixie tags; GPS-based metering in New York City. Plus, news from UNICEF and Target; and MapQuest.
Local search takes place across services that are proprietary and dedicated, even if indirectly, toward earning revenue for the companies that run them. But that doesn’t preclude us from thinking of local search as a kind of public utility whose objective is to provide accurate and consistent information. That means treating local listings primarily as a public good, not a business.
The future of SMB marketing solutions isn’t do-it-yourself, do-it-for-me, or even do-it-with-me. Rather, it lies in a new go-to-market model called “do nothing” that combines context, content, software, and automation into solutions that are low-cost, have next to no barriers to entry, and require little in the way of learning or doing from customers.
Speculation over the best model for providing and marketing SMB solutions — do-it-yourself (DIY), do-it-for-me (DIFM), or the middle-ground option, do-it-with-me (DIFM) — has been swirling for years. Columns from two Street Fight contributors indicate that while technology is part of the current problem, it’s undoubtedly part of the solution as well.
The question of whether or when SMBs are going to self-provision online marketing has been a topic of intense debate for at least a decade. Signs now point to the emergence of solutions simple enough to make self-service viable within three to five years. Ultimately, rather than a do-it-yourself vs. do-it-for-me dichotomy, we’re likely to see an increasingly stratified local market that looks a lot like a three-cabin airplane seating chart.
Ever since a 2014 Google study documented that 52 percent of ad impressions actually were not seen by users, viewability has been a front-burner issue for marketers and publishers alike. The digital platforms of local newspapers serve up billions of ad impressions monthly, putting these publishers right in the middle of the issue. To find out how they’re responding, Street Fight spoke with Tobias Bennett, the Local Media Consortium’s advertising expert.