A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Google Maps Will Feature Local Search Ads for Businesses (AdWeek)
Local ads are coming to Google Maps. Now that nearly one third of all mobile searches are related to location, Google is looking for more ways to connect marketers with users walking, biking, driving and otherwise commuting around any given city. In a blog post published today, Google said it’s investing more in “branded, customized experiences” for businesses to help increase store visits.
PlaceIQ Releases Location Data Accuracy Study, Debuts ‘Dynamic Distancing’ Tech (Street Fight)
The company has released the results of an independent, third-party analysis of location data accuracy in 150 locations across five U.S. cities and also announced the launch of its Dynamic Distancing technology, which it says offers comprehensive, “reality-based” data for use by brands and marketers.
Foursquare Just Quietly Released a Bot for Finding Restaurants (Business Insider)
Foursquare is dipping its toes into the world of bots. The location discovery company has a new app called Marsbot, which bills itself as “your trusted friend that can recommend places to you by learning from your preferences and the places you go every day.”
Yelp’s Richard: ‘Local Will See a Tendency Toward Collaboration and Sharing’ (Street Fight)
Like many other companies with location at their core, Yelp is in the process of morphing its fundamental offering into something more. The company is hoping its user reviews are just the groundwork for a more holistic service for merchants and customers alike.
Google Has Measured Over One Billion Store Visits from AdWords Ads Since December 2014 (Search Engine Land)
To help close the online-to-offline attribution gap, Google introduced store visits tracking and measurement in AdWords in December, 2014. Since that time, the company says, it has measured more than 1 billion store visits globally in its effort to show the impact of online advertising on in-store traffic.
Toyota Will Invest in Uber, Team Up On Auto-Leasing Program (Bloomberg)
Toyota said it’s making a strategic investment in Uber as automakers race to align themselves with the fast-growing ride-hailing industry. The companies will also work together on offering auto leases to Uber drivers.
How Beacon Data Helps Marketers Target Consumers Beyond Store Walls (eMarketer)
Beacons are most often thought of as a means to target ads to consumers on a hyperlocal level, but data gathered by beacons can also help to serve them better ads wherever they go. eMarketer’s Cathy Boyle discussed this advancement with Andrew Dubatowka, director of product strategy and marketing at Opera Mediaworks, and Thomas Walle, CEO and co-founder of proximity network Unacast.
Gett Raises $300 Million from Volkswagen to Better Challenge Uber, Lyft (Skift)
Gett, a taxi-ordering application that competes with Uber, raised $300 million in a strategic investment from German carmaker Volkswagen AG to fund its growth in Europe and New York City. Gett, based in Tel Aviv, Israel, has offered rides for as low as $1 and expanded its services to include deliveries of goods.
Groupon is Spending Millions on TV Ads to Remind Consumers It Still Exists (Recode)
The one-time darling of daily deals launched a multi-million-dollar TV ad campaign yesterday with a spot during NBC’s “The Voice.” The goal, according to CEO Rich Williams, is to explain to potential new customers how the company thinks it has changed since its early days and perhaps attract a younger set of customers along the way.
Apple Will Open Siri to Developers and Launch Echo-Like Smart Speakers (Mashable)
Apple has big plans for Siri that will make the company’s famous assistant a lot more useful, according to a new report in The Information. The company will soon open up Siri to developers with new software tools that will allow Siri to tap into more third-party services. Apple is also working on a new piece of hardware, an Amazon Echo rival that will work with Apple’s smart home platform.