Brands Push Forward with Automation, But Privacy and Creepiness Concerns Remain

“Marketing automation is all the rage. Everyone feels like they need to ‘do it’ or they’ll be left behind. That rush to do the latest ‘new thing’ without thoughtful planning often leads to failure,” says Winston Lord, co-founder of Venga, a guest management platform that uses automation to enhance customer experiences. “It’s critical to build a 360 degree view of your client and your strategy before implementing marketing automation.”

Case Study: Hospitality Group Uses CRM to Understand Customer Patterns

At Philadelphia-based Garces — which has more than a dozen restaurants spread across the East Coast — getting inside the minds of consumers and more strategically managing guest feedback has become a top priority.

5 Platforms Brands Can Use for Smarter Customer Communications

By repurposing customer data from connected platforms, like point-of-sale and customer-relationship-management systems, marketers are able to generate more personalized digital content. Here are five marketing platforms that use predictive technology to improve communication and increase engagement.

6 Customer Analytics Solutions for Restaurants

The restaurant industry may be better positioned to take advantage of big data than almost any other vertical. Here are six examples of data platforms that restaurants can use for both sales and service optimization.

Case Study: Restaurant Group Takes a Data-Driven Approach to Email Marketing

Data is changing the way large restaurant groups cater to their highest-value customers. Richard Sandoval Restaurants, the upmarket restaurant group with more than 35 locations worldwide, is looking for more strategic ways to use data for customer retention and acquisition. It has started harnessing its email database to make more data-driven decisions using tools like customer analytics and marketing platform Venga.

6 Strategies for Improving Email Pitches to SMBs

Email is the go-to channel for pitching within the hyperlocal community, but with 81 percent of small business owners now being contacted by between one and five sales reps each week, according to a survey by Street Fight and Thrive Analytics, it’s becoming harder for digital marketing vendors to stand out from the pack. Here are six strategies vendors say they’ve successfully used to break through the clutter in local merchants’ inboxes.

Street Fight Daily: AOL Unloads Patch, Handybook Buys Exec

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology.…. AOL Unloads Most of Patch Local-News Site (Wall Street Journal)… Handybook Buys Exec in a Deal for the On-Demand World (New York Times)… Jack Dorsey Says The Receipt Is Untapped “Canvas” And “Publishing Medium” (BuzzFeed)…

5 Strategies for Finding Funding as an Early-Stage Startup

Although it’s a given that the founders of most early-stage hyperlocals need funding to bring their ideas to life, many entrepreneurs are still unsure of where to turn for financing during the earliest days. To answer that question, we reached out to executives who’ve founded hyperlocal companies and asked what worked for them…

6 Tools Restaurants Can Use for Better Guest Intelligence

By the time a guest walks through the front doors at Ping Pong Dim Sum in Washington D.C., marketing manager Myca Ferrer can already be fairly certain what he or she will order. Ferrer isn’t psychic, but he is using a guest intelligence platform to gain a deeper understanding of his most frequent customers. By tracking preferences and payment histories, Ping Pong Dim Sum is better able to offer VIP service to its most loyal diners…

Street Fight Daily: Hyperlocal Targeting Faces Scrutiny, New CEO at CityGrid

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.‘Hyperlocal’ Consumer Targeting Faces Scrutiny; Senator Questions Euclid (Wall Street Journal)… Ron LaPierre CEO of CityGrid Media (Screenwerk)… Yahoo Acquires Location-based Mobile Gaming Company Loki Studios (TheNextWeb)…

Local Retail Won’t Disappear — Mobile Will Transform the In-Store Experience

“The changes in the next five years in retail will be more profound and transformational than the last 100 years in retail have been because largely because of mobile,” said Cyriac Roeding, CEO of Shopkick. “I don’t think people will go [to stores] because they need something. I don’t even think they’ll go because they want something. I think they’ll go because they want to feel better.”

8 Strategies for Generating Buzz Around a New Hyperlocal Platform

Entrepreneurs need more than just a great idea to launch a successful hyperlocal business — they need a way to promote it. Here are eight strategies for generating PR and promoting a new hyperlocal platform, delivered by executives who’ve been in that very same position…

Street Fight Daily: Location Gains in Mobile, TD Bank Gets Hyperlocal

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.Real-Time Location Data Gets a Bigger Slice of Mobile Targeting (eMarketer)… TD Bank Breaks Social Marketing Mold and Invests in Google+ Local Content (AdAge)… The Next Big Thing in Local: Kids (PandoDaily)…

Case Study: New Loyalty Program Connects ’Wichcraft With Customers

After years of using paper punch cards to promote loyalty at its 16 locations, ’Wichcraft is going digital with a mobile loyalty program. By tying customer phone numbers to ‘Wichcraft’s POS system, director of marketing Ellen Kim hopes to send targeted promotions based on individual purchase histories and build more intimate relationships with the most frequent customers…

6 Mobile Tools for Managing Customer Complaints

Rather than hiring additional employees to answer customer queries, manage complaints, check inventory, and process returns, local retailers are increasingly looking for mobile solutions. Here are six platforms that merchants can use to interact with customers and resolve issues without taking their focus off the people currently inside their stores…

Case Study: Restaurant Uses Customer Data to Measure Marketing Success

At Ping Pong Dim Sum in Washington, D.C., Myca Ferrer works hard to make sure every dollar spent on marketing is measured and tracked. By tying Venga’s loyalty platform into his restaurant’s POS system and email marketing database, Ferrer is able to track customer spending patterns and email click-through rates. He’s found that loyalty club members spend between 30% and 40% more per visit than non-loyalty club members…

Who’s Coming and Going at Groupon,, LocalVox, YP & more

Big changes at with several new members of the management team; a new head of marketing at LocalVox; Groupon brings on an executive to focus on accounting from the C-level; and lots of jobs on offer in sales, marketing and business development at Foursquare, Patch, LocalVox, Factual, Apple and more.

8 Strategies for Promoting Small Business Loyalty Programs

While big businesses have long managed customer loyalty programs with ease, the same can’t always be said for their small business counterparts. To find out how small business owners should launch their loyalty programs and encourage continued engagement, we spoke to eight experts in the field and asked what merchants need to do to get their programs off the ground…

5 Mobile Tools SMBs Can Use to Collect Guest Feedback

The customer feedback cards that restaurants once placed on tabletops are are being replaced with digital platforms designed to solicit feedback from guests and find resolutions to problems — before they result in negative online reviews. Here are five tools that merchants can use to collect feedback from guests on their mobile devices…