Street Fight Daily: Patch Staffs Top Sites Only, BrandNetworks Acquires Optimal

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

PatchPatch Will Staff Outlets In Top-Performing Areas Only, Memo Says (Poynter)
Patch will fully staff outlets in 14 designated market areas “with the highest traffic and revenue” only, a note Wednesday morning from new CEO Bud Rosenthal tells employees. Those unstaffed Patches “will continue to receive daily posts from our central publishing team, and users will be able to contribute comments, events and blogs, as well as converse through our boards on the sites,” Rosenthal writes.

RetailNext CEO: Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Are Not Under Threat (Street Fight)
Online retailers have traditionally had a big advantage in terms of data, but in-store retail analytics company RetailNext has built a model that allows owners of brick-and-mortar stores to collect, analyze, and visualize in-store customer engagement data. The San Jose-based company, which has raised over $24 million, aggregates the data that is collected from customers and makes it actionable for retailers such as American Apparel, Bloomingdale’s, Verizon Wireless, and Family Dollar.

Social Ad Companies Team Up As Brand Networks Acquires Optimal For $35M (TechCrunch)
Social media marketing company Brand Networks is announcing that it’s acquiring Optimal for $35 million in cash and stock. Brand Networks co-founder and CEO Jamie Tedford said he sees the two companies as largely complementary. While Brand Networks is trying to address all of a company’s social marketing needs, Optimal has been “laser-focused on ad optimization and insights.”

How a Hyperlocal Editor-Publisher Team Scored Big in Suburban Nashville (Street Fight)
One of the highest revenue producers on a recent list of independent hyperlocal sites is BrentWord Communications, which publishes four-year-old Brentwood Home Page in suburban Nashville, Tenn. Founders Kelly Gilfillan and Susan Leathers launched a second suburban site, Franklin Home Page, a year ago and a third, Nolensville Home Page, this summer. Total revenue for the sites is $251,000-$500,000 annually, a range attained by few hyperlocals, whether independents or part of corporate networks. Here’s how Gilfillan and Leathers did it.

In-Store Analytics Firm Nomi Raises $10 Million, Looks Beyond Retail (Mashable)
The in-store analytics space is heating up. Nomi, a real-time marketing optimization platform founded by Salesforce alumni last year, announced on Wednesday that it raised an additional $10 million to finance its expansion beyond retail. CEO and co-founder Marc Ferrentino says the company recognized awhile ago that Nomi’s capabilities — which can track how long and how often shoppers are in a store on average, the type of mobile devices they’re using, and the percentage of shoppers that passed by a store window and stepped inside — can be useful to more than just clothing retailers.

The Biggest Thing Brands Get Wrong About Location-Based Marketing (Adage)
Location-based marketing is a huge opportunity for brands looking to reach customers via mobile. But many marketers are letting “the future be the enemy of the now,” said Jason Spero, director of global acquisition solutions for Google, and neglecting to do even the basic things that can make a big difference today.

In A Connected World, What’s The Role Of The Physical Store? (GigaOm)
Retailers like Sephora are already using connected technologies to help shoppers do things like choose makeup shades. Banks let users deposit checks from home. And your phone can already communicate with some of the devices in your kitchen. But what is required to move to the next level? And what will the role of the physical store or bank be in that world?

Mondelez Planning ‘Smart Shelves’ in Stores by 2015 (Mashable)
Picture this: You’re waiting in line when a video display in the checkout aisle begins showing an ad tailored just for you. Or rather, it’s targeted at your particular age and sex. That’s the vision behind “smart shelves” that Mondelēz International (née Kraft), maker of Oreo, Ritz crackers, Wheat Thins and other snacks, has in mind for 2015. The shelves, which would be placed in the checkout aisle and near snacks, employ sensors to get a read on basic demographic information about the shopper.

IndoorAtlas Aims to Use Magnetic Fields to Map the Insides of Buildings (AllThingsD)
Signals from GPS satellites don’t easily penetrate inside buildings — the signals are about as strong as a dim light bulb — and help from Wi-Fi will only get you so far. Now there are numerous outfits that are aiming to fix that. This week, we had a chat with Janne Haverinen, the CEO of IndoorAtlas, a startup that has spun out of Finland’s University of Oulu.

Constant Contact to Hold SMB Marketing Seminars in Microsoft Stores (Screenwerk)
Earlier today Constant Contact announced a partnership with Microsoft to hold marketing seminars in local Microsoft Stores around the US. These joint sessions, which have been going on more informally for the past couple of years, are intended to teach small businesses best practices about online marketing.

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