As 2014 winds down, here’s a look back at some of the Street Fight stories that really piqued your interest this year (at least as far as page views go). Apple, Patch, Pinterest, YP, and LivingSocial were among those with news of great interest —- and our pieces on ecommerce’s struggle with brick-and-mortar and marketing automation were insights you could use.
We look forward to bringing you more great content, research, and events about sustainable hyperlocal business models in the new year!
1. Why Ecommerce Companies Are Eyeing Brick-and-Mortar Retail
Steven Jacobs, January 23rd: Over the past year, a string of ecommerce firms have invested in brick-and-mortar locations in an attempt to cash in on local markets that still account for over 90% of retail spending in the U.S. Manish Chandra, the founder the online fashion marketplace Poshmark, says physical locations will play an important part in ecommerce strategies moving forward.
2. New Patch Owner Hale Running Company in ‘Lean, Entrepreneurial Mode’
Tom Grubisich, March 6th: “There are lots of potential models, and there’s no reason to be ideological about finding the right match between models and communities,” says Hale. “The best thing for hyperlocal journalism is a sustainable business model.”
3. Apple Will Beef Up Privacy in iOS 8 — Here’s What It Means for Local
Steven Jacobs, July 29th: When Apple unveiled iOS 8 last month, only brief mentions were made of iBeacon, the company’s much-hyped proximity messaging protocol. But early versions of the software released to developers in July suggest that the forthcoming operating system could include changes with implications for stakeholders across the commerce, advertising, and retail technology industries.
4. Pinterest’s Plan to Win Over Small Businesses
Steven Jacobs, September 9th: Four year-old scrapbooking site Pinterest has managed to succeed where many other social media — from Path to Google — have failed. In an interview with Street Fight, Joel Meek, who heads up the company’s small business efforts, discusses the role be believes the company can play an local discovery engine, and why its uniquely positioned to help small businesses reach users in the earliest stages of the purchase process.
5. After Bust, LivingSocial Looks to Boom Again
Steven Jacobs, March 31st: LivingSocial isn’t quite the rocketship it was a few years ago. But, after a year of pulling back, and with a change in leadership in the works, the company is looking for a second wind. Street Fight recently caught up with Doug Miller, chief revenue officer at LivingSocial, to talk about where the company went wrong, how it plans to get back on track, and what wave it looks to ride next.
6. 6 Marketing Automation Tools for Small Businesses
Stephanie Miles, July 8th: Small business owners have enough on their plates, without having to manually manage repetitive marketing tasks. Here are six marketing automation systems that local merchants can use to build smarter local marketing campaigns.
7. Two Years After Private Equity Carve-Out, What’s Next for YP?
Steven Jacobs, May 6th: Two years ago, AT&T shed its local marketing business, selling a majority stake in its print and digital yellow pages assets to Cerberus Capital for $950 million in cash and debt. During a conversation with Street Fight, the company’s CEO David Krantz said the company is well-ahead of where its private equity parent expected it would be, and discussed how YP planned reprise its role as a leading consumer brand.
8. In Run-Up to IPO, Yodle Makes Its Bet on Local Marketing Automation
Steven Jacobs, April 16th: The Wall Street Journal has reported that local marketing firm Yodle was shopping for banks to underwrite a potential public offering. In an interview with Street Fight, Court Cunningham, chief executive at Yodle, declined to comment on the reports, but talked about the the evolution of the small business marketing space, the rise of local marketing automation, and the subsequent push by these companies to bundle services into an integrated product.
9. It’s Official: The Newspaper Industry Has Given Up on Newspapers
Josh Fenton, August 11th: In the past couple of weeks, three of the major legacy media companies announced they were splitting their companies into separate-but-unequal broadcast and print ventures. The decisions by Gannett, E.W. Scripps and Tribune to divide their once “synergistic business models” into separate and very distinct businesses indicate that we are now at the beginning of the end-of-the-end for this industry…
10. At Westfield Labs, Rethinking Retail One Mall at a Time
Steven Jacobs, May 20th: In 2012, the Westfield Group, one of the largest owners of indoor malls in the world, opened Westfield Labs, a division tasked with developing technology to improve the retail experience. Street Fight recently caught up with Nicholas Cabrera, the division’s SVP of product development, to talk about the role of technology in the physical shopping experience.