Street Fight Daily: Google’s Home Services Features Are Live, How Effective Are Digital Coupons?

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

Google Plunges Into Home Services Market (Wall Street Journal)
Google is now pairing prescreened local home-service providers with clients, a long-awaited addition to its sponsored results. Customers can review the service operator, place a call directly, and send multiple requests straight from Google’s results page. (Subscription required.)

Will Social Media Give TV a Run for Its Money in the 2016 Election? (Street Fight)
“Politicians already know that an election can hinge on specific regions, and using social media to listen and engage in those areas can have a significant impact on the voting outcome,” says Phil Harris, CEO of Geofeedia.

Pitt Study Finds Location-Based Marketing a Mixed Bag (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Sending digital coupons to any consumer within a 100-foot radius doesn’t necessarily lead to more sales or foot traffic, according to a new study. An analysis of data collected from 14 million venues over seven months through Foursquare revealed a 50-50 split between the number of businesses that saw an increase in check-ins during the time deals were offered and those that saw no increase.

Our Marketplace Obsession and Bubble (TechCrunch)
Sam Madden: The marketplace model, specifically the home services space, has lately been a Silicon Valley darling, a popular way for VCs to efficiently tap into local economies at scale. But when you dig deep across all these types of platforms, you see a pattern in their behavior: Just as fast as they rise, they fall.

Where Do My Friends Fit Into My Local Search? (Street Fight)
Michael Boland: The social graph alone won’t be a silver bullet for local. It’s just not big enough, and its value to local is overstated. My friends are great for party pics and snappy news feed dialogue — they don’t yet excel at plumber reviews.

Apple’s Ad Blockers Rile Publishers (Wall Street Journal)
The next version of Apple’s mobile-operating system will let users install apps that prevent ads from appearing in its Safari browser. Putting ad blockers within reach of hundreds of millions of people threatens to disrupt the $70 billion annual mobile-marketing business; the move also is a competitive weapon against rival Google. (Subscription required.)

Why In-Store Pickup is Gaining Popularity (Christian Science Monitor)
While it’s been revealed that in-store pickup isn’t any more efficient than just buying in-store, that hasn’t stopped brick-and-mortar shops from adopting and promoting this service — nor has it dissuaded customers from using it. Shopping at a retailer that offers more than one option for delivery can be reassuring for customers.

Yahoo: The Decline of the Mobile Browser Is a Threat to Search (Marketing Land)
According to Simon Khalaf, Yahoo’s SVP of Publishing Products, “the browser has been sidelined on mobile. If mobile users aren’t using browsers, the media industry will have to look for new approaches to content discovery and traffic acquisition.”

Retail Is About to Be Reinvented, Driven by Digital Technologies (AdAge)
Charles Fulford: A brand is a galaxy, and all channels and touchpoints — social, websites, and branded content — are planets. While a physical store is a planet, it’s one with many circling satellites; an ecosystem with its own set of orbital forces. Digital agencies are already keeping brand touchpoints in sync, but the retail store of the future will become the nexus of all user data, informing the physical brand experience.

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