Street Fight Daily: Yelp-Google Rivalry Heats Up, A Hard Sell Gone South

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

yelp-co-founder-jeremy-stoppelman-on-innovating-and-staying-relevantGoogle’s Local Business Is “Really Struggling,” in “Constant Chaos,” Yelp CEO Tells Charlie Rose (AllThingsD)
During an interview, Charlie Rose asked Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman whether Google’s purchase of Zagat could pose a threat to Yelp. In short, Stoppelman’s answer was no. But the longer answer is much more interesting, and a sign that Stoppelman, at the very least, still thinks about Google quite often.

Infographic: Breaking Down The Local Stack (Street Fight)
A stack of technologies has emerged to quietly reinvent the way business and consumers interact locally. One by one, technology firms have recreated the way we find, buy and retrieve goods and services locally as well as the way businesses reward, and retain, past customers. Siloed early on, these industries are starting to coalesce, working together to form layers in a coordinated Local Stack.

Yelp: When the Hard Sell Goes South (Blumenthals)
Mike Blumenthal: It seems to me that the intrinsic contradiction of selling low value, high priced ads against reviews that many businesses dislike, creates an inevitable conflict and distrust. But when you add high pressure, hard sell techniques to the mix it becomes a scenario for explosive disaster.

In Local Sales Effort, Foursquare Looks to Strike a Balance (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: Foursquare is trying to find a new path for local sales. The embattled check-in-turned-local-discovery startup has started to build out its local sales organization, focusing on a combination of technology and customer service rather than door knocking and hand-holding. This summer, the company began the challenging processes of developing a local sales effort that can reach mom-and-pop shops from New York to New Delhi.

Smartphone Users Prefer Print Ads for Back to School Shopping (Screenwerk)
A recent study by Placed found that smartphone owners preferred to receive back-to-school promotions in print vs electronic form. It’s not clear whether mobile was a separate choice and ranked low or wasn’t offered as an option, but survey respondents did indicated they’d be using their smartphones as an integral part of back to school shopping.

BlockAvenue Pivots From Utility to Media, Becomes CO Everywhere (Street Fight)
Tony Longo and Dan Adams, the founders of Block Avenue, are doubling down on media. Two years after launching the service as a tool to rate locations, the company has rebranded as Co Everywhere, and released a mobile app to help people explore the world around them. Users can pick a featured place, or outline a geography on a map, and peruse content from Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Foursquare and a other sources that come from within the area.

Navigating The App-Data Explosion: Localytics’ Raj Aggarwal (ReadWrite)
Raj Aggarwal co-founded Boston-based mobile analytics company Localytics the same year the AppStore launched to build the tools developers and marketers would later need to make sense of how people use apps. By providing an analytics engine for the mobile era, companies like Localytics and its rival Flurry laid down the infrastructure that help developers refine their work and produce new innovations.

Grasping for a New Way Forward at Local Media Conferences (Street Fight)
Patrick Kitano: At several recent conferences, the overriding, anxiety-producing theme has been the development of new revenue models for media — whether from foundations to support nonprofit news services, or from advertising, or from something else. But the disquieting fact is that a cure-all response to what ails local media can’t be identified.

How One Brand Switched A Million URLs & Lived To Tell About It: 5 Questions With (SearchEngineLand)
Last year, home improvement company underwent a monumental rebranding effort that included switching more than 10 million URLS from their previous company name to their new brand. With over $200 million in revenue at risk and thirteen years worth of online brand equity,’s CEO Chris Terrill and CTO Brandon Ridenour understood switching the site’s URL would be a major undertaking, but necessary to establish the best foundation for building a stronger online brand presence.

Boxed Is More Than An Costco Delivery App — It’s A Mobile Commerce Platform Built By Mobile Gaming Experts (PandoDaily)
The original idea was to bring the $25 billion club-shopping market to mobile phones. Plenty of potential customers don’t have access to these clubs, like college kids, or people living in cities, or people in remote areas. But while Boxed was building its commerce app, its founder realized that the existing mobile commerce tech out there wasn’t very good.

End of Silos: Leaf Ties SMB Processing, Marketing and Back Office Ops (LocalOnliner)
Leaf CEO Aron Schwarzkopf says that tying marketing and operations together is the natural cause-and-effect of the rise of big data and also, unexpectedly, the availability of all-in-one tablets. Instead of just being a commodity payment processor, “we are building an experience,” he says.