Street Fight Daily: Phone Firms Sell Data, A Day in Court for Yelp

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.

mobile phone userPhone Firms Sell Data on Customers (Wall Street Journal)
Big phone companies have begun to sell the vast troves of data they gather about their subscribers’ locations, travels and Web-browsing habits. The product, which Verizon launched in October 2012 after trial runs, offers businesses like malls, stadiums and billboard owners statistics about the activities and backgrounds of cellphone users in particular locations.

Why Local Media Should Build Search Products to Take on the PurePlays (Street Fight)
Terry Heaton: In order to appear competitive, most local media companies have formed digital divisions that offer services for local businesses that are available only through deals with pure-play companies like Google, Facebook and Yahoo, which guarantees that a certain portion of the business we generate will always end up in their hands. There simply has to be a better way.

Another Day in Court for Yelp (New York Times)
What happens when you combine a plain-spoken small claims court judge, an aggrieved law firm and local search site Yelp? In San Diego this April, the result was a $2,700 judgment against the site, and a re-airing of allegations — rejected by a U.S. District judge in late 2011 — that businesses are pressured to advertise with Yelp at the threat of lowered visibility on its site. Yelp fought — and won — a potential class action lawsuit over similar claims beginning in 2010.

Forget ‘Showrooming’: 77% of Mobile Retail Shoppers Buy In-Store (Street Fight)
According to a new study from xAd and Telmetrics, mobile now accounts for one third of all retail activity online with 98 million shoppers using a smartphone in their retail experience. And the vast majority of those mobile shoppers end up making purchases in-store – not on Amazon.

Hyperlocal: Not A Behavioral Disease (Medium)
Jeff Morris Jr.: The most exciting companies of the next 20 years will focus on connecting neighborhoods and introducing you to people who will help you live a better life. The technology industry wants to create a hyperlocal lifestyle for you -and someone is going to create a $50 billion company when they figure it out.

5 Mobile Marketing ‘Musts’ for SMBs (Street Fight)
As more consumers look to their smartphones to engage with business locally, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) need to lay out a concise mobile marketing strategy. In a Street Fight webinar Tuesday sponsored by YP, Asif Khan of the Location-based Marketing Association, and YP’s David Williams discussed the trends that make mobile a must for SMBs, and highlighted a handful of first steps that local businesses can take to keep up with their smartphone-wielding customers.

New Google Maps UI Calls For Shifts In SEO Tactics (SearchEngineLand)
Last week at the Google I/O developer conference, a newly redesigned Google Maps design was introduced. While a number of online commentators have virtually gushed about the new interfacing from an end user perspective, there may be a less-than-rosy view for many local businesses.

Facebook Promotions See Pushback From Small Businesses (Huffington Post)
Small business owners have been raising a stink over promoted Facebook posts, saying the social network is curbing their ability to do organic marketing and quashing their content’s visibility. Facebook called the financial concerns of small business owners “completely understandable” but reiterated that the company’s services offer both organic and promoted posts.

Brightpearl Raises $8 Million Series B For Its Cloud Software To Help Retailers Manage Sales Across Multiple Channels (TechCrunch)
In what is effectively a follow-on round, Brightpearl, the cloud software provider for multichannel retailers, has raised $8 million in Series B funding from previous backers. Brightpearl provides cloud software for small to medium-sized retailers, which integrates orders, inventory and customer data across multiple retail channels — both online and bricks ‘n’ mortar.

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