Street Fight Daily: Expedia Buys Travelocity, Private Equity Eyes Digital First

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

390238_10151114271367680_1342184606_nExpedia Buys Travelocity, Merging Two of the Web’s Biggest Travel Sites (Wired)
On Friday, Expedia said it would acquire Travelocity from its parent company, Sabre, expanding its broad portfolio of travel sites, amid increased competition in the market. The deal brings together two of the market’s largest travel services, but in a way, they were already together.

Why Instacart’s $2 Billion Valuation Doesn’t Spell Bubble (Street Fight)
No story has rekindled concerns about valuations like the ascent of Instacart, a local logistics firm whose recently raised $220 million at a $2 billion dollar valuation. We caught up with Instacart’s Nilam Ganenthiran to talk about how a delivery network could reshape the competitive landscape of local retail.

Cerberus, Apollo Bidding for Digital First Media (Capital New York)
After one cost-cutting private equity company has spent close to half a decade wielding the knife at Digital First Media, how many new “efficiencies” might a second P.E. buyer find? Two big private equity companies are participating in the penultimate rounds of bidding for D.F.M.’s papers.

Sponsored: Local Marketing a Rising Priority for National Brands (Street Fight)
New research commissioned by Balihoo and Gatepoint Research found that national brands across a variety of industries understand that driving consumers to locations or local agents is critical to their overall marketing strategy — and that local marketing efforts outperform national campaigns.

For Digital, SMBs Need Somebody — And Money — To Lean On (eMarketer)
Three-quarters of small and medium-sized businesses in North America said digital marketing was effective for attracting customers, according to a new study, and 37% planned to spend more on digital in the next 12 months. However, a lack of skill sets, budget and time could prevent advancements from happening.

6 Ways SMBs Can Use Mobile to Reach Targeted Audiences (Street Fight)
Whether or not a mobile campaign proves successful for a small business hinges less on the content of the campaign than on whether the right audience is being targeted. In many cases, it’s up to hyperlocal vendors to educate SMB clients about the possibilities in mobile audience targeting.

Mobile-First Isn’t Enough — It’s Time for a Mobile-Only Digital Strategy (AdAge)
Brian Solis: The mobile-first approach seems to be more of an ideology than it is a standard in digital design. Recent research shows that marketers still invest in mobile as an afterthought or as a bolt-on to more mainstream digital programs.

KFC Serves Up Plan To Drive Mobile Payments In-stores (The Drum)
KFC customers can now purchase food from their smartphones without having to touch, tap or scan at the counter in the restaurant’s latest attempt to blend mobile into its in-store experience. The latest addition to its mobile offering is being touted as having more of an impact in-stores.

News Aggregator SmartNews Shows Rapid Growth, Adds Local Channels (Search Engine Land)
SmartNews, one of the leading news aggregation apps in the US Market, has added local news channels to its many existing content sources. Despite the revenue and circulation declines of newspapers, Pew Research Center data show consumers continue to have a large appetite for news in digital form.

Shout Offers a New Take on Location-Based Social Networking By Ditching Anonymity (TechCrunch)
A new application called Shout is offering a twist on location-based mobile social networking, with a newly launched app that lets you post messages shared with those in your immediate vicinity, or even citywide.

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