As 2015 draws to a close, here’s a look back at some of the Street Fight stories that captured your interest this year. Developments at local platforms like Yelp and Nextdoor, the burgeoning on-demand economy, the progressive shift of ad tech to mobile devices, the evolving battle between tech giants like Apple and Google, and the continued struggles (and succeses) of traditional media companies making the transition to the digital world were among the topics that engaged our readers. Our pieces on the complex SMB ecosystem and emerging delivery services provided insights and resources you could use.
We look forward to bringing you more great content, research, and events focused on the connected local economy in 2016!
1) CEO Says Yelp Is at ‘Peak Desktop’ — Is It Also Nearing Peak Growth?
Steven Jacobs, February 5: Yelp posted its first-ever annual profit Thursday, but sluggish user growth sent shares of the reviews company tumbling in after-hours trading. As much as Yelp may want to rid itself of its dependency on Google, the search giant has provided a critical platform for it to grow its user base.
2) DoorDash Sets Its Sights on GrubHub in the Battle for Local Delivery
Annie Melton, April 20: Local delivery is a good space to be in right now — just ask DoorDash, an on-demand logistics company offering an ordering and delivery platform for dine-in restaurants without those services. DoorDash recently raised $40 million in venture capital and is expanding to new locations across the country to take on Grubhub and a host of other competitors.
3) GrubHub Has Made Its Biggest Move Since the Seamless Merger
Steven Jacobs, February 5: In the most important move since its merger with Seamless, GrubHub has acquired two delivery companies in an effort to build its own delivery network. The move marks a transition in strategy.
4) 7 On-Demand Liquor Delivery Services
Stephanie Miles, May 27: As the on-demand economy matures, vendors are narrowing their focus with more niche products and services. One of the hottest subgroups of on-demand services right now involves liquor delivery.
5) How Gannett’s Cost-Cutting and Breakthrough Video Ads Helped Land Journal Media Group
Tom Grubisich, October 19: In less than six months, the newly constituted Journal Media Group did a 180-degree about-face, shifting from a strategy focused on acquisitions to being acquired by Gannett. The USA Today publisher brought two things that JMG couldn’t match: The proven ability to consistently wring substantial cost savings out of expansion and a digital ad strategy that holds the promise of making everybody — advertisers, audiences, and stockholders — happy.
6) INFOGRAPHIC: The Complex SMB Marketing Ecosystem
Lorren Elkins, August 24: As the head of digital strategy for a broadcaster operating local TV stations, I’ve been challenged to clearly understand the digital marketing space from an SMB perspective. So I’ve developed a chart, to both enhance my understanding and assist SMBs in identifying potential suppliers.
7) With iOS 9 Release, Local Businesses Should Care ‘Deeply’ About Apple Maps
Mark Sullivan, September 14: Most local businesses and search marketers have focused primarily on their visibility within Google Maps. With Apple’s iOS 9 now available, it’s time they focused their attention on Apple Maps as well. Businesses that don’t may soon fall behind competitors.
8) Nextdoor Sports a Valuation Over $1B — But How Will It Make Money?
Todd Wasserman, March 19: For Nextdoor, a transactional model might explain some of the investors’ faith, and may provide a clear path to revenue growth than trying to untangle the knot that is local advertising.
9) How Hyperlocal Tech Is Reviving Brick-and-Mortar Sales
Allan Haims, January 28: Retailers have a plethora of customer data and technologies at their disposal, which can be effectively combined to personalize the brick-and-mortar shopping experience. By tapping into the rich analytics and capabilities of these cross-functional offerings, they can be well positioned to regain market share.
10) Why Cross-Device Matching Will Transform the Mobile Advertising Industry
Liz Taurasi, June 2: Soon, the mobile ad industry will face one of the realities of maturity — integrating with the rest of the digital advertising world. One of the drivers leading that convergence is cross-device matching, where a company can identify multiple devices owned by a single person.