A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Google Files Suit Against SEO Firm Accused of Robocalling, Launches Complaint Center for Users (Search Engine Land)
After years of near-inaction, Google is stepping up to take on robocallers that claim affiliation with the company in order to prey on small businesses. In addition to launching a new page for users to report call scams, the company has filed suit against an SEO firm for making robocalls.
Apple Acquires Mapsense, a Mapping Visualization Startup (Recode)
Apple’s steady stealth campaign to rival Google in maps continues apace — the company has acquired Mapsense, a San Francisco startup that builds tools for analyzing and visualizing location data.
Getting Real: What SMBs Can Realistically Expect from Social Media (Street Fight)
Small business owners don’t sign up with digital agencies for mediocre results. When SMBs pay for hyperlocal services like social media management, they expect to be wowed. For hyperlocal vendors working with SMB clients, failing to set clear expectations is a recipe for disaster.
Amazon’s Prime Now Expands to L.A., Ramps Up for SoCal Grocery Deliveries (TechCrunch)
Amazon announced its one-hour delivery service is going live in Los Angeles and Orange County. What’s particularly notable about this expansion is the accompanying news that Amazon has established four Prime Now hubs in southern California that will allow it to deliver tens of thousands of items on demand.
Locable Zeroes in on Marketing Solutions for Digitally Challenged Merchants (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: There are 28 million small businesses in America, and Locable considers all of them candidates for its expanded “Main Street for the 21st Century” marketing services. Now Locable is reaching out to those millions of small businesses through its IMPACT Marketing Suite. We caught up with Locable founder and CEO Brian Ostrovsky to talk about his new initiative.
From Two-Day Shipping to News: A Cheaper Washington Post Now an Amazon Prime Benefit (Nieman Lab)
Joshua Benton: That Bezos synergy has finally kicked in. How much will it help the Post’s quest to shift from a local newspaper to a national and global news powerhouse? Since buying the Post, Bezos’ strategic moves have largely been about recapturing that national market. His partnership deals with local newspapers have sold the Post as a membership benefit to subscribers around the country.
Sponsored Content: With Banks, There’s a Brand Battle on Every Corner (Street Fight)
This month’s Brand Battle, in conjunction with Brandify, compares the local-social engagement strategies of two of the country’s largest banks: Bank of America and Chase. The contest was close on several counts, but Chase emerged as the winner, with social engagement the determining factor in this matchup.
Walmart Built the Fastest-Growing Retail App by Focusing on One Key Shopper Habit (Quartz)
Walmart has managed to do something very few retailers have accomplished: Convince millions of people its mobile app is useful enough to snag a prime spot on their phones’ home screen. That precious real estate has proven elusive for most, but Walmart’s success stems from having figured out how to tap into its shoppers’ offline habits to drive more engagement online.
Five Things Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Told Marc Benioff at Dreamforce (Forbes)
In an hour-long sit-down chat with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick talked about his company’s early history, Uber’s delivery plans, and a theme of “reliability.”
News Corp to Buy Video Ad-Tech Platform Unruly for Reported $90 Million (Marketing Land)
Video ad platform Unruly announced today it is being acquired by News Corp. In a statement, News Corp CEO Robert Thomson said Unruly will complement News Corp’s traditional editorial and commercial expertise with insight into how people read, watch, buy, and sell in the digital era.
Retail and Ad-Tech Team Up to Compete with Google for Brick-And-Mortar Business (AdExchanger)
The realm of brick-and-mortar retail data has been steadily absorbed by digital technology in recent years, and that trend has taken another step forward with the launch of the Cross-Device Marketplace by Placed, an in-store attribution firm.
San Diego’s HouseCall Raises $6 Million (San Diego Union-Tribune)
HouseCall, a San Diego mobile startup that’s akin to Uber for home repairs, has raised $6 million in a new round of venture capital funding. The company recently changed its business model, shifting its focus to selling software to home services firms to run the back office of their businesses – including estimates, scheduling, dispatching employees, invoicing, follow-up marketing, and more.
Airbnb Launches Charm Offensive, with Brooklyn as Test Case (Crain’s New York Business)
Airbnb is partnering with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce to bring hosts and small business owners together to devise ways to boost tourism spending in far-flung neighborhoods and burnish its reputation citywide.