Street Fight Daily: Groupon Embraces Self-Serve, PlaceIQ Raises $15M More

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

groupon_pic1Now You Can Finally Launch a Groupon Deal Without Ever Talking to a Human (Recode)
Five years after its launch, daily deals company Groupon is finally giving business owners an automated way to launch discount promotions. With the introduction of this self-serve option, Groupon is looking to vastly increase the number of deals on its website as it attempts to move away from a reliance on email marketing and toward a giant marketplace of deals that shoppers will visit regularly.

How Online Reviews and Product Information Are Fundamentally Changing Local Marketing (Street Fight)
In a new book, “Absolute Value: What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information.” Stanford professor Itamar Simonson and co-author Emanuel Rosen take a look at the impact that access to perfect information has on the way consumers make purchase decisions. The big finding is that more and more, the value of brand, and the type of awareness marketing aimed at keeping the brand top of mind, is quickly eroding.

Location-Focused Ad Startup PlaceIQ Raises $15M More (TechCrunch)
PlaceIQ, a startup that uses location data for mobile advertising, is announcing that it has raised $15 million in Series C funding. CEO Duncan McCall told TechCrunch that PlaceIQ’s approach is more about “a proprietary understanding of the world,” where location data is used to build a broader profile of user behavior, which in turn can be used for targeting ads and tracking their success.

With New API, Connects Content and Commerce (Street Fight), a New York-based online ordering site, has released a new framework, or API, through which developers can allow users to order from the firm’s network of restaurants — all without leaving the confines of a website, mobile app, gaming system or Google Glass. The API helps to automate the work of a business development team, allowing the company to bring the type of integrations already available on Yelp to the cornucopia of smaller, locally-focused properties.

Datalogix Buys Shopper-Marketing Firm Spire to Extend Data and Market Reach (AdAge)
Datalogix, an analytics firm perhaps best known for examining the offline sales impact from ads on Facebook and Twitter, is buying shopper-marketing firm Spire Marketing. Spire handles shopper analytics for 24 regional supermarket retailers who have a combined 30 million households in their loyalty-card database, or roughly a third of U.S. households.

6 Strategies for SMBs Using Data Visualization Tools (Street Fight)
Hyperlocal marketing platforms are producing mountains of data for small business owners, but many local merchants aren’t quite sure of what to do with all the information they collect. Here are six strategies for local merchants who are thinking about using data visualization tools for the first time.

What Does the Yahoo-Yelp Partnership Mean for Foursquare? (Fortune)
It’s not clear why the Yahoo chose Yelp over Foursquare, though a person familiar with Foursquare says the startup walked away because Yahoo was not interested in the strategic investment part of the deal. And the Foursquare – Microsoft data partnership is not exclusive, so Foursquare could theoretically revisit the topic with Yahoo. Still, this partnership seemed like an easy layup for Foursquare.

SPONSORED CONTENT: Are Digital Agencies a Bad Idea for Media? (Street Fight)
Gordon Borrell: I’ve gotten a number of calls and emails lately that leave me wondering whether local media’s rush to create freestanding digital agencies is a lemming jump. With big companies like LIN Media, Gannett, Yellow Media, GateHouse, The Dallas Morning News and dozens of others entering the space, it couldn’t possibly be a bad idea. Or could it?

Alibaba Seeks Control of AutoNavi, a Chinese Mapping Company (New York Times)
Alibaba, the Chinese Internet giant, offered on Monday to buy the 72 percent of AutoNavi Holdings that it did not already own, in an all-cash bid that values AutoNavi, a mapping software company, at about $1.58 billion. Already a behemoth in e-commerce, Alibaba is seeking to move into the fast-growing mapping industry, one where the company is facing growing pressure from rivals like Baidu and Tencent, as all three try to expand their presence on smartphones.

Getting Physical: How Digital Companies are Embracing Brick-and-Mortar Stores (TheNextWeb)
While the absence of bricks-and-mortar stores help companies keep their overheads down, it also means consumers often pay much less for a product than they otherwise would from a city-center outlet. Coupled with the fact that e-commerce equates to 24-hour opening hours, well, there shouldn’t be a lot to complain about.

Products, Prices & Proximity Are Most Important Info On Local Business Websites (SearchEngineLand)
In January of this year, BrightLocal surveyed over 3,000+ consumers based in US and Canada to learn more about their attitudes and expectations toward local business websites. One of the key findings was that by just having a website, a business makes itself more appealing to 32% of potential customers, while have a smart, professional site gives them added credibility on top.

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