Street Fight Daily: Google’s New Call Unit, Main Street Hub Raises $20M

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

googlePay-Per-Call: Google Introduces “Call-Only” AdWords Units (Local Search Insider)
Recognizing the importance of calls to local and many national merchants, Google is allowing AdWords advertisers now to bid on “Call Only” ads. The new product is probably intended to boost the pricing of those ads by getting marketers to use call value as the bid calculus.

Study: Franchises Spend ‘Nearly Half’ of Marketing Budgets on Digital (Street Fight)
Franchises, equipped with the resources of a large brand but the flexibility of a small business, could help provide a critical stepping stone for vendors looking to reach SMBs. New data shows they are substantially more digitally advanced than their independent counterparts.

Main Street Hub Lands $20M To Bring Social Media Marketing To Small Business (TechCrunch)
Main Street Hub, a company that helps mom and pop businesses run social media marketing, customer relationship management and marketing automation recently announced it has received $20M in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank. For a monthly fee, the company will do all the heavy lifting for small businesses.

How Local Found Itself on a Mound of Big Data (Street Fight)
There is no question the hyperlocal era has brought with it a heady onslaught of data about consumer behavior and the way local businesses interact with their customers. But it’s not an easy road. There are real issues around sourcing and parsing the data; around finding the best strategies to put it to use.

Digital First — What Then? (Medium)
Jeff Jarvis: The solutions for media companies may not be obvious, but the arithmetic of sustainability is: Start by reducing costs to their most essential and efficient level — assuredly a fraction of what they were for an old, vertically integrated monopoly. The alternative is just to milk the old print cow until she keels over.

For Facebook (And Others), Small Businesses Aren’t the Focus (Street Fight)
Scott Barnett: Facebook’s decision to throttle organic reach has drawn ire among the small business community, and led some in the technology industry to question its future. The company is making very clear that the consumer is its real focus.

Postmates Picks Up $35M In Series C From Spark Capital (TechCrunch)
Postmates, the on-demand delivery service that operates in nearly 60 markets, has raised $35 million in Series C exclusively from existing investor Spark Capital, according to our sources. The company lets users order anything from local stores and have it delivered directly to their home for a small delivery fee.

Yellow Pages Wants in on Content, Too (Digiday)
If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t thumbed through a phone book lately. To stay relevant with young consumers, the Yellow Pages renamed itself YP in 2012 and prioritized its digital properties. Now, it’s taking a familiar page from the brand playbook and launching a content strategy.

It’s Never Been Better To Be a Marketer — If You Embrace Mobile and All Its Benefits (VentureBeat)
Steven Rosenblatt: If you’re in the restaurant, spirits, automotive, packaged goods, grocery, consumer electronics, and any number of other industries, the opportunity to understand the consumer journey has never been better. The next frontier for marketers will help bridge the digital and physical worlds together.

Restaurant Tech Restocked For Tomorrow And Beyond (TechCrunch)
John Serrao: Solutions to the uniquely complex problems facing the restaurant and food industries will require still more innovation than what has taken place. But no matter what dimension of this industry you look at, it’s hard not to see the seeds of change blowing in this venture capital-fueled wind.

Apple Pay Could Replace Paper Coupons With WalletAds, If Vibes Has Its Way (VentureBeat)
Mobile marketing firm Vibes wants to turn banner ads into coupons for your digital wallet. The company is launching a new product called WalletAds, which will allow advertisers to make their traditional mobile advertisements into clickable deals and discounts that you can store in Apple Passbook or Google Wallet.

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