A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Facebook Continues to Experiment in Local — But Its Focus Is Long-Term (Street Fight)
Damian Rollison: Facebook isn’t trying to build a unified local search portal at all. Instead, it’s launching trial balloons, turning developers loose to experiment with its local data in order to surface features and nuances that might eventually be useful as subtle additions to the Newsfeed.
How Target’s Bet on Digital Helped Its Turnaround (Digiday)
Target CEO Brian Cornell called digital “a critical enabler of the shopping experience in all of our channels,” visible in the company’s 30 percent digital-sales growth in the second quarter of 2015 and 20 percent in third quarter. How did Target get its mojo back? By acting more Amazonian, creating in-store experiences, making the mobile leap, and providing utility through an app ecosystem.
How the Rise of ‘Mobility as a Service’ Will Impact Local Marketing (Street Fight)
Lokesh Kumar: A technological shift in the near future might completely redefine car ownership, with dramatic impact on local shopping behaviors and, by extension, marketing techniques. I’m referring to what is becoming known as Mobility as a Service (MaaS) — in short, the average consumer will start buying MaaS rather than owning a vehicle.
Inside AT&T’s Plans to Be Everywhere You Are (AdAge)
AT&T Mobility CMO David Christopher said that the company is focused on investing “where the puck is going…we view our smartphone base as the catalyst that allows us to invest in all sorts of areas, including the Internet of Things, connected homes, cars, and smart cities.”
Ad Tech Growth Hits a Speed Bump (Wall Street Journal)
Many companies offering tech to automate ad sales or offer more sophisticated ad-targeting have come onto the market in recent years, contributing to an unwieldy digital advertising ecosystem. Venture funding is harder to come by, and many more established firms are feeling the pressure from investors to find an exit.
Activist Investor Starboard Sent Another Blistering Letter to Yahoo Lambasting Its Management (Business Insider)
Starboard, the activist hedge fund and Yahoo shareholder, has delivered yet another letter to the digital media company’s board of directors. In summary, Starboard says “it is time for the board to accept that significant changes are needed” to Yahoo’s management, board composition, strategy, and execution. Read the letter in full here.
Toast, a Point of Sale Service for Restaurants, Raises $30M (TechCrunch)
“Our vision is to enable a world where restaurants of all different sizes deliver the best customer experience,” said Chris Comparato of Toast, which just raised $30 million. “That means providing a better experience for [creating] orders much more nimbly, or a better guest experience for customer and patron, and we feel tech can be an enabler.”
Influencers Have Become Measurable Media Channels (eMarketer)
TapInfluence has created an influencer marketplace and platform that automates the process of identifying, distributing, and measuring influencer marketing campaigns. Co-founder and chief product officer Rustin Banks spoke about the evolution of influencer marketing into a media channel with audience targeting and offline attribution.
MasterCard Pushes Into the Refrigerator (Fortune)
MasterCard has teamed up with Samsung to let people buy groceries directly from their fridge. Users can add an item to a cart, much like when ordering groceries online, and MasterCard plans to automatically suggest items based on shopping histories and grocery lists. Eventually the app will include recipes and video tutorials, and will expand to grocers in different regions.
BlueShift Raises $8 Million to Make B2C Marketing Automation More Personal (VentureBeat)
BlueShift, a B2C marketing automation vendor, has raised $8 million in series A funding. Most marketing automation solutions address the B2B market, but B2C marketers increasingly desire similar automation capabilities. To address this, BlueShift was founded in 2013 by a team of data scientists and marketers previously at WalmartLabs and Groupon. The company’s solution is used primarily by ecommerce companies.