CityGrid Lays Off Most Of Staff, Vows To “Streamline”

CityGrid CityGrid is IAC's main local property (along with HomeAdvisor, the former ServiceMagic). IAC says CityGrid has 1.5 million local advertisers (most through third-party partners), 15 million local business profiles and more than 350 Web and mobile publisher and ad network partners. The division also houses Urbanspoon, InsiderPages and pay-per-call platform Felix (acquired from Yext). Today, the company announced that two-thirds of the headcount associated with CityGrid were laid off. Urbanspoon and Insiderpages were not part of the layoffs. The company offered the following statement, putting [...]

Nielsen Study Reveals 4 Out Of 5 Yelp Users Stop By Yelp Before Making Local Purchases

yelp icon According to a Nielsen survey commissioned by Yelp, four out of five Yelp users visit before spending money, and 93 percent say that visiting Yelp leads to a local purchase. When asked why they use Yelp, 82 percent said they typically visit Yelp because they intend to buy a product or service. Of the participants identified as Yelp users, 89 percent said they typically make a purchase within a week from the businesses they find on Yelp. The 93 percent who said Yelp leads to a local purchase included participants who responded always, frequently, or occasionally. When asked [...]

Geo-Targeted Ads Could Be Coming To A Twitter Feed Near You Before The End Of This Year

twitter-map-geotarget-featured While Twitter already offers ads targeting by gender, device, keywords, as well as TV shows, AdAge reports that the social network may be offering ads based on designated latitudes and longitudes, possibly as early as the end of this year. Using the new geo-targeted ad options, brands could drive more in-store traffic by posting tweets to users who are within close range of a specific location via their Twitter mobile app. An end of the year launch could mean new ad possibilities for retailers wanting to push foot-traffic during the holiday shopping season. According to the report on AdAge, [...]

Yelp Advertisers Now Able To Promote Transactions Directly From Yelp Business Listings

yelp-logo Yelp announced a new Call to Action feature today that allows business owners to promote specific transactions directly on their Yelp business listing. In an attempt to increase potential revenue for advertisers, the new Call to Action feature enables a link within an advertiser's business listing that will take consumers to the website where the transaction can be completed. The sample below shows a 'Reserve Now' Call to Action button, but advertisers can choose whatever transaction they prefer. According to the announcement, Ticketmaster was one of the first Yelp advertisers to tak [...]

Foursquare Testing Promoted Listings With Select NYC Small Businesses

FourSquare Foursquare has opened the door for a "handful" of small businesses in New York City to begin testing promoted listings -- advertisements that don't first require a consumer to check-in at the business' location. Small businesses have traditionally been limited to advertising and promotion on Foursquare via discounts and other specials that only trigger after a check-in. But, as AdAge reports today, the new test gives a select group of SMBs the chance to promote themselves when consumers are nearby. Some merchants can now lure in nearby consumers by promoting a photo of a dish, a glowing re [...]

Location-Based Listening & Analytics

One of the five predictions in my recent 2013 mobile predictions post was that mobile analytics and measurement would get a seat at the "adult table" this year. In particular, one of the areas in which I am seeing tremendous growth is location-based listening and analytics. As more and more companies adapt a listening strategy -- in many cases, using advanced tools like Sysomos and Radian6 (now part of's MarketingCloud) -- some are starting to look at the possibilities of going deeper. During a recent interview with colleague and co-author of Digital Marketing Analytic [...]

Foursquare Set To Sell Check-In Data For Ad Retargeting

Foursquare Logo As reported earlier this month, Foursquare has been working to woo agencies and big brand advertisers. Now, a leaked presentation deck picked up by Valleywag shows how the profit-challenged company is pitching two new advertising products that leverage its location-based data. The first product, set to launch in May, is Check-In Retargeting, which would allow advertisers to target users outside of the Foursquare app for the first time. Users' Foursquare check-in data will be aggregated and sold to ad exchanges for retargeting on external platforms including Facebook's FBX. Using demographic [...]

Foursquare Packs More Information Into Redesigned Business Profile Pages

Foursquare Logo On the same day that Facebook introduced a new mobile Pages layout, rival Foursquare is changing the look and organization of its local business pages (on the PC though not in mobile). The new design is intended to provide more useful information at a glance. Among the features of the new page design are the following, according to Foursquare: Places are easier to scan and find all the useful information you need, like the address, phone number, hours, the menu, and upcoming events. View beautiful photos, tips, and the rating from the Foursquare community. We highlight the things peop [...]

Foursquare Wants To Be “The Location Layer For The Internet”

Foursquare Logo Foursquare has reportedly decided to make its data available to third parties for ad targeting purposes. This news follows last week's announcement that the company received access to $41 million more in new funding. This announcement came as something of a surprise to many who believed that Foursquare had essentially stalled. AdAge reported that Foursquare location and behavioral data (e.g., Check-ins) would be made available to ad exchanges and third-party ad networks for additional "context" and ad-targeting purposes. The article quotes CEO Dennis Crowley saying that the company is se [...]

Foursquare Checks In Additional Funding, Promises Continued Innovation

foursquare-icon Yesterday, Foursquare rolled out version 6.0 of its popular app loaded with new features. Today, founder Dennis Crowley announced that Foursquare has secured $41 million so the company can continue to innovate in the local/social/mobile space. According to Crowley, the funding comes in the form of  new investment from the Silver Lake Waterman growth debt fund and convertible debt from previous investors (Andreessen Horowitz, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, Spark Capital, and Union Square Ventures). In the update, Crowley compared Foursquare (real-world search) to Google (Internet s [...]

Yelp Offers Local Businesses New “Revenue Estimate” Tool

yelp icon Today must be the day of ROI calculators. Google just introduced one for mobile, and Yelp, last night, debuted its "revenue estimator" for small businesses. The tool is free to all businesses that have claimed their Yelp profiles. The Yelp revenue estimator is the same for advertisers and non-advertisers. In the future, Yelp might add some additional features for advertisers, but that remains to be determined. Right now, the company just wants to see how businesses react to and use it. The tool is relatively simple, it multiplies customer leads in a given month by an average revenue-p [...]

Samsung Introduces Galaxy S4 With Nary A Mention Of Android Or Google

samsung-galaxy-s4-featured At a Broadway-style premiere this evening at New York's Radio City Musical Hall, Samsung unveiled its heavily anticipated Galaxy S4 handset. The event had the hype and production values of an Apple product launch. But, what barely seemed in attendance was any idea that the S4 is an Android phone or contains Google services. Samsung obviously spent a great deal of money on the show. Parts of it were awkward and many of the scripted jokes fell flat. But, the phone is sure to be a hit. The new S4 looks very much like the Galaxy S III (I watched the live stream and haven't held it in my hand [...]

Google Breaks Up Mapping And Commerce Unit, Sends Jeff Huber To Google X

Google has decided to break up the unit that formerly combined mapping and commerce in a mini-reorganization coinciding with the transfer of Android to the leadership of Chrome SVP Sundar Pichai. Jeff Huber who formerly ran the combined commerce + local group is now becoming part of Sergey Brin's "Google X" team. According to the Wall Street Journal: The mapping unit will become part of the Google search team, led by Alan Eustace, and the commerce unit will be tucked into the advertising group, led by Susan Wojcicki.  The change may have been prompted by some tension in the combination o [...]

10 Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Marketing Via Foursquare

foursquare-featured Nearly two years ago, my co-author Mike Schneider and I published a book called Location-Based Marketing for Dummies. At the time, location-based marketing was just getting off the ground in large part thanks to the launch of two services: foursquare and Gowalla. Over the last couple of years, many of the original location-based services have been acquired or have gone out of business. But foursquare still stands in spite of the fact that it still hasn't caught fire like many of us hoped it would. While foursquare has stalled out around 25 million users, it is still a force to be reckone [...]

Yelp Starts Selling Display Ads In Its Mobile App

yelp icon Yelp is now selling display ads in its mobile apps, with two advertisers -- Taco Bell and InterContinental Hotels Groups (IHG) as the first two advertisers to give it a try. According to Ad Age, those two companies will have exclusivity for the month of March in their respective categories -- Taco Bell for restaurant-related searches and IHG for travel-related searches. The IHG ads are reportedly showing today, but I'm not seeing them yet in my searches. AdAge says the Taco Bell ads are expected to begin showing on Thursday. Their article included this screenshot showing a Taco Bell disp [...]

Foursquare Expands Credit Card Partnerships With Visa & MasterCard Integration

BK_duo At the 2011 SXSW, Foursquare brokered a deal with American Express to offer special discounts to users who made purchases as specific locations using an AMEX card. This week Foursquare as partnered up with the two largest credit card providers, Visa & MasterCard to create a similar partnership. To kick it all of off, Foursquare also announced a major deal across all 6,500 Burger King locations. In order to sync your Foursquare account with your credit card to redeem deals, simply head to the card connect within the settings section on Foursquare. Savings will then automatically occur i [...]

New Facebook Offers Unit Gives Power To The People With ‘Remind’ And ‘Share’ Ability

Rosetta-Stone-FB-Offer A new, more robust, version of Facebook Offers that  has been spotted in the wild. This new Offer unit gives Facebook users two choices in the offer at hand, "Shop Now," or "Remind Me." The unit spotted is substantially larger with an image that takes up more square pixel footage than previous offers. The new version also sports a light grey banner atop the offer: The "Remind" feature is a great offering for both users and marketers. Many times, a user may be quickly browsing with a limited time-frame and giving the user the ability to be reminded before the offer ends should be a big [...]

The Scoop On Proximity Services Like Sonar

Screen Shot 2013-02-07 at 8.14.53 AM Every year at SXSW Interactive (one of the largest interactive conferences in the world), the question always comes around to which new technology or mobile app will make a big splash. In the past, Twitter (2006) and foursquare (2009) have dominated conversations at the event where more than 100,000 of the world's most social digerati descend upon Austin, TX. Last year, the belles of the ball were three companies -- Sonar, Highlight and banjo -- which introduced the concept of something called a proximity service. The value proposition with this type of service is that if you connect the [...]

Yelp Reports 65 Percent Revenue Growth But Bigger Than Expected Loss

Yelp revenues Yelp earnings this afternoon were a mixed bag (as they say), with strong revenue growth but a larger-than-expected loss. Revenue was $41.2 million in Q4, a 65 percent increase vs. a year ago. The company also posted a loss of $5.3 million in the fourth quarter. Revenue for the full year was $137.6 million, which represented an increase of 65 percent vs. $83.3 million last year.  Shares are down slightly in after-hours trading after rising throughout the day. Below are some additional data and highlights released by the company: 25 percent of local ads were shown on mobile device [...]

Most Popular App In The US? It’s Facebook (Thanks To Apple)

mobile-apps-200px Facebook can thank Apple for helping making it the top overall mobile app in the U.S. in 2012, according to new numbers out today from the comScore Mobile Metrix service. ComScore says Facebook ended the year with more than 85 million unique adult visitors -- that's on both Android and iOS. It's about 11 million more unique visitors than Google Maps. After Facebook, Google apps hold down the next five spots. Facebook and Google Maps were pretty much neck-and-neck for several months last year, but comScore says Google Maps usage saw a significant decline after Apple dumped it from iOS [...]

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