Street Fight Daily: Sprint Eyes Small Business, PayPal Tracks In-Store Visits

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

sprint-logo-1Sprint Turns to Digital Campaign to Make Case to Small Businesses (AdAge)
With the big competitors like Time Warner and Verizon vying for the national attention of small businesses through TV spots, Sprint opted to reach potential customers where they are: online. DigitasLBi created digital spots to help generate awareness for Sprint’s Small Business Solutions group, which offers mobile point-of-sale solutions, asset tracking, mobile products and cloud services for small-business owners.

With Partnerships, YP’s Consumer Product Takes a Back Seat (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: Last week, YP announced a deal with Yelp in which the Yellow Pages spin-off will sell Yelp’s core advertising product to the company’s small business clients. For YP, and its owner Cerberus Capital, the agreement is the culmination of a deeper strategic push and a tacit acknowledgment that its role as leading consumer brand, which defined its print past, might be waning.

PayPal to Connect Mobile Ads to In-Store Visits (AdAge)
PayPal has linked up with mobile location tracking firm Placed to connect the ads served through the PayPal ad network to real-world store visits. Placed has a panel of around 125,000 app users who agree to have their mobile location data tracked in exchange for gift cards, contest entries and other goodies.

5 Tools to Collect Customer Data Using Checkout Technology (Street Fight)
Ecommerce retailers have always had a leg up on brick-and-mortar businesses when it comes to collecting data about their customers’ shopping behaviors and buying habits, but now a group of hyperlocal vendors is providing offline merchants with similar sets of tools. These vendors are using data from a merchant’s POS system to build detailed customer profiles, even in an offline environment.

Does Foursquare Offer Enough to Woo Advertisers Long Term? (AdWeek)
Foursquare’s location data stands out in a retail universe where digital intel increasingly melds with brick and mortar. But ultimately, therein lies the rub on 5-year-old Foursquare. Are its data points—6 million check-ins a day, as one example (see more data on the right)—enough to attract merchants long term?

Money is the Bug That Crashes Local Digital News Efforts (Crain’s Business)
The story behind why boutique and hyperlocal digital journalism efforts fail is simple: The money is never enough, and it runs out. That’s what happened to, which announced last week it would lay off its entire staff April 4 as it seeks new investors — a development that comes on the heels of in January idling most of its staff around the country.

Why Cash Is King Again (Wall Street Journal)
Following the data breaches of credit- and debit-card information at major retailers, some shoppers say they are putting aside their cards and going back to spending cash—like in olden times. This past week a survey of shoppers conducted by Harris Poll found that 40% of those who were aware of data breaches said they were using cash more, and plastic less, as a result.

Indian Start-ups Tap Into Mobile Payments Technology (Financial Times)
A handful of Indian start-ups, aided by a growing number of global investors, are hoping to change that by rolling out types of mobile technology first popularised by Silicon Valley start-up Square. International enthusiasm for the sector was underlined last week when American Express took a minority stake in Bangalore-based Ezetap, barely a month after the company raised $8m in its latest round of financing.

Will In-Store Bluetooth Beacons Marginalize QR Codes? (MarketingLand)
Despite some statistics showing that as many as 38 percent US adults under 35 have at some point scanned QR codes, most smartphone owners don’t engage with them in any regular or meaningful way. And while they’re quite versatile, core QR codes use cases are now threatened by newer technologies such as iBeacon.

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