Some keen observers may have noticed that Street Fight got a new look this week. We widened the page, added a topical top nav, and put a lot more content on the homepage. In essence, we brought to the surface all of the areas of disruption in local that we’ve been tracking for the past four years.
What we really did, in a subtle and visually pleasing way, was to provide a better way to understand the scope of our coverage, and a better way to get quickly to the specific content you’re seeking. Our five areas of innovation, plus two client segments, reflect where we think local is today in its continued to disruption of an industry and a discipline once dominated solely by local media, yellow pages and coupons.
At a high level, we define the hyperlocal industry as the collection of companies using digital channels to help connect consumers with nearby sellers and sellers with nearby consumers.
Our mission is to support the emergence of sustainable business models in this area. It’s an ongoing battle, and many of the chips have yet to fall. As such, our top nav will be subject to change from time to time, as major developments in the industry take place. If we had taken a topical approach to our website when we launched in 2011, you would have seen daily deals, hyperlocal publishing and location-based services dominating the nav. Today, “mobile” is a platform and a strategy, and it is an important segment in shaping local. But over time, it may go the way of “desktop,” which is not a platform, but a location. When that happens, it may be time to cede that spot to another area of disruption in local.
Steven Jacobs, our deputy editor, led the redesign effort, overseeing its execution, and developing a strategy for organizing the content. In the end, we pinpointed these areas to be those that best define the scope of effort and innovation in local tech:
- Local Search — Perhaps the oldest and with the most direct lineage to the legacy dominance of local marketing, yellow pages, local search continues to lead and undergo the most transformation taking place. It is fundamental to organization of content, which increasingly means location and other contextual information. Local search will only get ever smarter as it continues to pack an unimaginable trove of data at a rapid pace.
- Ad Tech — There is a very dynamic pace of innovation and range of technologies that are driving change in the way marketers and agencies conduct business and deliver messages to consumers, from programmatic to attribution and more. This is an iceberg whose tip has just peeked above the waves.
- Mobile — Today, mobile stands on its own as a key platform undergoing hardware iterations that provide a multitude of opportunities for targeting and building relationships with local consumers.
- Commerce — Merchants’ point-of-sale systems, transaction-based marketing, and the way consumers purchase goods are all undergoing radical change. Marketing is increasingly a function of commerce, and commerce-centric systems play a key role in maintaining connections between businesses and consumers.
- Media — Publishing has faced an identity crisis over the last several years as companies have steadily shifted their budgets from print to a variety of digital options. We will continue to track their evolution toward new digital business models.
- Brands & Small Business — We single these out as groups whose moves and budgets are of interest to, well just about everyone. We have covered them through our Case Studies and Interviews since our launch, and we will continue to track and highlight effective campaigns here.
We’re not done with the changes, though. In addition to our 3500 articles featuring analysis, news, and tools, we spend a great deal of time creating conferences and producing white papers and webinars, all intended to provide the necessary information and networking that emerging businesses need to grow. Our site will continue to feature more of these other resources, as well.
Ultimately, it’s about what we can do to be the source of the newest and best ideas in local. If there’s anything you’d like to see more/less of, we’d love to hear from you.
– The Street Fight team