Street Fight Daily: Groupon Nears Big Deal, SMBs Balk at Social

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

KKR Investor Group Nears Deal for Ticket Monster (Wall Street Journal)
A consortium of investors including private-equity firm KKR & Co. is close to signing a deal to buy a controlling stake in South Korea’s Ticket Monster from Groupon Inc., valuing the country’s No. 2 mobile-commerce company at nearly $800 million, according to people familiar with the situation. (Subscription required)

xAd CEO: Forget Mobile — Location Is the New Category for Marketers
(Street Fight)
New York-based xAd has doubled its annual revenue in each of the past two years. We recently caught up with Dipanshu “D” Sharma, chief executive at xAd, to talk about mobile, data and why location is becoming the new category.

Small Businesses Are So-So About Social (eMarketer)
Facebook and other social media sites ranked as the second most effective marketing method among US small and medium-sized businesses surveyed in January 2015 by Thrive Analytics, but that doesn’t mean more are using it. Recent polling found that small businesses generally hadn’t increased their social presence over the past year.

5 Ways You’re Doing Mobile Wrong (Street Fight)
Michael Baer: For consumers, it’s basically a mobile-first world. And as more and more money and activity moves into the mobile advertising ecosystem, marketers must move beyond the old models and start to think like consumers – mobile-first.

Linking Digital Ads To In-Store Visits Continues To Spread: Tapad, Placed Ink Deal (MediaPost)
Tapad, a cross-screen marketing technology provider, is the latest to offer marketers a way to measure the impact digital advertising has on in-store sales — a trend that was thrust into the spotlight late last year when Oracle shelled out an estimated “high hundreds of millions” to acquire Datalogix.

TripAdvisor CEO Wants Europe to Crack Down on Google’s Anti-Competitive Behavior (Skift)
TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer says he’s disappointed that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission didn’t take action against Google’s “anti-competitive behavior” when it dropped its probe despite a staff recommendation to the contrary a couple of years ago, and he’s hopeful the European Commission won’t take the same tack.

Clickthroughs Continue to Muddle Mobile Performance for Location-based Ads (Geomarketing)
Mobile marketers have been inveighing against the industry’s reliance on clickthrough rates for years. As location-based advertising increasingly becomes one of the primary drivers behind mobile ad spending, the arguments against CTR are only going to get louder, says Shuli Lowy, marketing director at Ping Mobile.

Is The Snak Pak the Future of Mobile Local Packs? (Blumenthals)
Mike Blumenthal: Last week, the Local Stack (aka Snak Pak) was, like the desktop version, only showing on entertainment, recreation, travel and food searches in all browsers and apps where I looked. Now I am seeing it for general search results in Google Now.

This Startup Plans to Sell Advertising in Uber and Lyft Cars (AdWeek)
As ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft gain national traction, many have speculated about how brands will tap into the transportation companies’ advertising potential. Now, Viewswagen is gearing up for a national launch on May 1, when it will begin reaching out to Lyft, Uber and Sidecar drivers to install tablets in their cars.

Groupon Doesn’t Need Deals—it Needs Focus (Crain’s)
John Plentz: There’s a lot of talk about how much money Groupon might get from selling off various pieces of its business — from a stake in Ticket Monster to its Breadcrumb unit, which sells cash registers and services. What Groupon needs is to show consistent profitability and growth in its core business: local deals.

Digital Payments on the Up, but Cash Is Still King (Financial Times)
Spending on mobile devices in UK shops will reach £54bn a year within the next decade, but the rise of digital payments does not signal the end of cash. Concerns that cash will soon be displaced by digital devices as a form of payment are exaggerated, analysts say.

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