Endurance International Group, which operates a stable of small business-oriented services, has acquired email marketing giant Constant Contact, in a transaction valued at $1.1. billion. Constant Contact will become the largest brand under the Endurance umbrella. “It’s taking our mission further by getting broader distribution. That’s the number-one rationale for the acquisition,” said Constant Contact CEO Gail Goodman.
Booker CEO Josh McCarter opened his Street Fight Summit keynote address with a question that’s on the minds of many small business solutions providers: “How do you take a system that’s designed for one vertical and take it across more categories?” Factoring in the differing needs of various service-based businesses makes that question even more complex. But given the size of what McCarter termed the “local service commerce” opportunity, answering it could be tremendously lucrative.
In a wide-ranging Street Fight Summit fireside chat, Ajay Kapoor, who oversees global business solutions for Procter & Gamble, covered everything from the wealth of market research sources P&G has at its disposal to channel marketing strategies to on-the-ground local initiatives in emerging markets like India.
In a panel at the annual Street Fight Summit, two experienced venture capitalists active in the local space shared their outlook on funding trends, pitches they frequently hear, and the growing internationalization of startup culture.
Speculation over the best model for providing and marketing SMB solutions — do-it-yourself (DIY), do-it-for-me (DIFM), or the middle-ground option, do-it-with-me (DIFM) — has been swirling for years. Columns from two Street Fight contributors indicate that while technology is part of the current problem, it’s undoubtedly part of the solution as well.
With the volume and velocity of messaging in the digital economy increasing seemingly exponentially, brands everywhere need to weigh not only what information and content they share but also how much and the delivery channel they use. When it comes to highly connected millennials who use location-based apps, a new study indicates brands and retailers stand a good chance of cutting through the clutter with push notifications.
The annual Street Fight Summit assembled more than 350 marketers, solutions providers, technologists, and media executives to discuss pressing issues and developments in the connected local economy. Here are five key takeaways from the day’s keynotes, panel discussions, and fireside chats.
The 2015 Street Fight Summit in New York saw the presentation of the first annual Local Visionary Awards, an eight-category competition designed to honor the very best campaigns, companies, ideas, and individuals in local marketing and commerce. The Innovator of the Year award went to Yext CEO Howard Lerman.
The annual Street Fight Summit New York kicks off next week on October 20th with a star-studded lineup of speakers. Here are just 11 of the many experts you won’t want to miss. Buy your tickets today!
“We have about just under 70 full-time salaried editors. Compared to the old Patch, which had a newsroom the size of the New York Times, that may sound small, but when I talk to other digital publishers and I tell them we’ve got 70 full-time salaried reporters in the field, that sounds like a lot to them. Our goal is to add more as we grow. As we get revenue, we put it immediately into expanding because we need to be national to really fully realize Patch’s potential,” said editor-in-chief Warren St. John.
On-demand is a convenient rubric for speaking about a certain type of currently faddish platform, but not every underlying service or product is the same. Transportation is not the same as home services or restaurants. By extension, not everything Uber does will work equally well outside of its particular niche. Demand-based pricing is a prime example.
“One of the challenges is a lot of the tools around the ecosystem have not really been built to scale for the small business owner, and they still require a lot of sophistication in understanding how to buy and sell media. The opportunity is in looking at how some of these platforms are evolving. I think programmatic will become a very strong opportunity for the small business owner,” said NinthDecimal president David Staas about shifting trends in location-based marketing and audience targeting.
Fast-growing Yext is broadening its suite of location-based targeting products with the launch this week of Xone, a beacon-based program for businesses to engage in-store consumers with relevant content. Xone’s central feature is Tips, which enables businesses to customize and deliver messages to smartphone users who pass within range of an in-store Xone Beacon.
The path to purchase ceased being linear some time ago, probably as soon as online-to-offline became a standard part of the marketing lexicon. But as mobile has begun to wield increasing influence over the shopping process — at home, on the go, and in-store — the path has grown even more convoluted. The latest evidence comes from a new study conducted by International Data Corporation (IDC) on behalf of YP.
The venerable apps vs. mobile web debate continues to rage on but it is largely a distraction for local merchants. Business owners do need to understand the changing media landscape to make the most effective possible use of their limited marketing budgets, but their time and their dollars are better spent on marketing fundamentals rather than investing in the increasingly difficult and crowded race to acquire, retain, and monetize app users.
Consumers are more impatient and time-starved than ever. At least that’s the impression one could derive from the seemingly unending string of same-day delivery announcements from major retailers, restaurants, convenience-store chains, startup enablers, and technology companies. The driving force behind their renewed focus on ever-shorter delivery windows: conquering the elusive last mile of commerce.
If there is a specifically local business implication to the new products and services, it lies in this deeper level of integration with a more mobile world, where the nimbleness of apps (think computing lite) gives everyone the ability to customize and communicate on the fly.
“The great challenge of winning the local market boils down to balancing sufficient reach and scale with specificity,” writes Noah Elkin, who is joining Street Fight today as managing editor. “It turns out thinking globally and acting locally isn’t always easy — as a consumer or a marketer.”