Commentary | Street Fight - Part 2

For Apple Pay to Thrive, Small Businesses Must Adopt

Jason Richelson

For Apple Pay to Thrive, Small Businesses Must Adopt

For a mobile wallet to really impact consumer behavior, its acceptance has to be ubiquitous — not just in the Targets and Macy’s of this world, but in our local bodegas, mom-and-pop shops, independent coffee shops and food trucks. You might think these businesses are a less important slice of the pie than the big-box retailers, but you’d be wrong…

Selling to SMBs: ‘Layering the Question’ to Get the Answers You Need

Geoff Michener

Selling to SMBs: ‘Layering the Question’ to Get the Answers You Need

Sales reps should always want as much additional information about the decision-making process as they can get, because they can use that information to show value to other customers. By asking the client questions, you can obtain information about the client’s pain points, which will help you to highlight relevant benefits offered by your company…

Mobile Payments Still Facing the Same Big Obstacles

Nick Hughes

Mobile Payments Still Facing the Same Big Obstacles

This year has been a turning point in mobile payments, as Square, Paypal, along with Apple and others like SoftCard (formerly ISIS) have all made strides in their digital payment offerings. But three years after starting a now-defunct mobile payments company, I’ve identified three big reasons why we will not be paying with our phone in everyday retail stores for a long time to come…

The Benefit of Beacons Is in the Past and the Future — Not in the Present

Andrew Dubatowka

The Benefit of Beacons Is in the Past and the Future — Not in the Present

The discussion around bluetooth beacons and other proximity messaging technologies has largely centered on real-time advertising. But the benefit of beacons extends well beyond the “here and now” scenario; the devices create new opportunities for marketers to build deeper audience segmentations and more advanced location targeting that we’ve barely begun to explore…

Why Entrepreneurial Publishing is Catching Fire in Local Digital

Tom Grubisich

Why Entrepreneurial Publishing is Catching Fire in Local Digital

Traditional journalistic publishing models are collapsing right before our eyes as entrepreneurs — often with no standard journalistic background — are starting highly innovative and financially promising community news websites in many metro markets. In this Q & A, the University of Florida’s Randy Bennett explains how and why this new model of publishing is starting to replace the old models exemplified by the corporate businesses of “legacy” newspapers and broadcasters…

Should Local Advertising be Bracing Itself for On-Demand?

Andy Vogel

Should Local Advertising be Bracing Itself for On-Demand?

For the local advertising industry, which is still withstanding ripples with its shift from print to digital, why not look ahead to on-demand? Just because expectations among SMB owners have been conditioned towards moderate turnaround doesn’t mean an SMB wouldn’t be absolutely thrilled to have their newly purchased website and SEM package running tomorrow instead of next month…

How to Maintain a Rational Social Marketing Strategy in a Confusing Landscape

Damian Rollison

How to Maintain a Rational Social Marketing Strategy in a Confusing Landscape

Small business owners may find themselves perplexed by the variety of opportunities to engage socially with consumers. Of course, it would be premature to suggest that any SMB needs an Ello marketing strategy. But there’s an advantage to be gained in keeping your marketing strategy attuned to the groups actively pursuing interests relevant to your business…

Is Apple Pay Fixing a Problem Consumers Don’t Have?

Mike Boland

Is Apple Pay Fixing a Problem Consumers Don’t Have?

Paying with a credit card isn’t broken. So mobile payments have to offer something greater than reducing my wallet by the atomic weight of a credit card. We’re talking tangible benefits like skipping store lines, saving time, or monetary rewards. Without these benefits, I don’t see how the masses will be compelled to change such an entrenched habit…

Will Local Media Consortium Save Lee From Knife’s Edge?

Tom Grubisich

Will Local Media Consortium Save Lee From Knife’s Edge?

Lee Enterprises is meeting its Chapter 11 debt obligations, recently stretched out debt payments at lower interest, and has cut expenses by $285 million — albeit at cost to editorial quality at the local and community levels. But with the company likely having done much of the cost cutting available, the pressure is on to keep increasing digital ad revenues…

Selling to Small Businesses: Getting Your Pitch Past the Gatekeepers

Geoff Michener

Selling to Small Businesses: Getting Your Pitch Past the Gatekeepers

Having better conversations with gatekeepers is one way to improve the sales process. Most inquiring sales reps tend to ask a gatekeeper when the decision maker will be available and then quickly end the sales call. This is a waste of a great opportunity to gather valuable intel. A gatekeeper can be your unwitting scout, giving you the information you need to better serve your prospective client…

It’s Official: The Newspaper Industry Has Given Up on Newspapers

Josh Fenton

It’s Official: The Newspaper Industry Has Given Up on Newspapers

In the past couple of weeks, three of the major legacy media companies announced they were splitting their companies into separate-but-unequal broadcast and print ventures. The decisions by Gannett, E.W. Scripps and Tribune to divide their once “synergistic business models” into separate and very distinct businesses indicate that we are now at the beginning of the end-of-the-end for this industry…

Mobile Local Apps: To Bundle or Not to Bundle

Mike Boland

Mobile Local Apps: To Bundle or Not to Bundle

Facebook last week made the contentious move to force its iPhone and Android app users to “fast switch” to the Messenger app for all future messaging. The outcome will be worth watching for anyone developing mobile apps. Local media players are increasingly faced with decisions about app functionality. That includes whether to unbundle features to specialized apps (think gas prices), or to federate within one…

The Impact of Google’s Local Update Is Still a Developing Story

Damian Rollison

The Impact of Google’s Local Update Is Still a Developing Story

Google seems to be experimenting with driving more traffic to its local competition, meaning that it’s more important than ever for a business to secure its presence across a broad base of directories. The value proposition of local SEO does not change in a fundamental way, given that Google has long used citation consistency as a prominent local ranking signal…

How Retailers Can Bridge the Gap With Beacons

Greg McAllister

How Retailers Can Bridge the Gap With Beacons

Using beacons, content can be delivered to a consumers’ mobile device that augments the shopping experience and bolsters the relevancy of the merchant’s real-time communications based on the consumer’s location and real-time behavior. As a result, the messaging can be perceived by the consumer less as “marketing” and more as “helpful.”

Attention and Timing Are the New ‘Clicks,’ Chartbeat Says

Tom Grubisich

Attention and Timing Are the New ‘Clicks,’ Chartbeat Says

The analytics firm digs deep into how users behave at their computer, smartphone, and tablet. Then it flows the data points (including visitor frequency, top pages, referrers, and traffic sources) to the client’s dashboard, where editors, in real time, can see how their users are behaving and take steps to increase traffic and engagement…

Mobile’s Increasingly Strong Influence in Consumer Purchase Decisions

Bill Dinan

Mobile’s Increasingly Strong Influence in Consumer Purchase Decisions

The third annual installment of the xAd/Telmetrics Mobile Path-to-Purchase study shows that mobile is a powerful force throughout the consumer purchase cycle. Consumers are spending more research time on their mobile devices than on their PCs, and more than one-third of mobile users use their devices exclusively to research purchases…

Up Close and Personal: Ex-Patcher Tells How He Went Independent

Tom Grubisich

Up Close and Personal: Ex-Patcher Tells How He Went Independent

Michael Dinan was senior regional editor for Patch in suburban Connecticut when he — along with hundreds of other editorial staffers — was terminated in January as part of Aol’s deal to sell most of the community news network to Hale Global. After the blow fell, he turned around and set up the independent site New Canaanite within days — and expanded it to a collaborative network in suburban Connecticut shortly thereafter…