ZenReach’s Big Bet on SMB WiFi Access

Online to Offline (O2O) marketing hasn’t grown as quickly as expected, in part, because registering for it is too hard. Now, former eBayLocal head Jack Abraham is introducing ZenReach, a simpler O2O service with minimal “friction.” ZenReach is based on plain vanilla WiFi access that a network of SMBs will provide to consumers in exchange […]

New Directions for The New Hyperlocal: Mobile, Big Data Opens Up The Doors

Hyperlocal has been widely seen as a failure in the wake of AOL’s huge loss from its investment in Patch. But new life has been breathed into hyperlocal via mobile-based geotargeting and the contemporary grab bag of Big Data resources. NextDoor, Everyblock, and LocalBlox are among the leaders of a new generation of mobile-oriented hyperlocal […]

Recent ‘Greatest Hits’ at NextWaveSMB

Lots of good stuff on NextWaveSMB, our sister site. Valuable SMB-centric articles are posted 2X a week. Here are excerpts from a selection of recent posts (Click on the title for direct access.) 1. SMBs’ Stake in The Internet of Things: A Discussion with Chuck Martin Internet marketing has rapidly, unpredictably evolved in recent years. […]

LocalOnliner Bookshelf: The 2016 Innovation Mission Report Focuses on ‘Culture’

The local media companies have been shrinking and becoming increasingly irrelevant. Yet, they drive on as business entities, raising their circulation prices and reducing their days of operation to cover ad shortfalls. (I mostly stopped writing about traditional local media companies several years ago.) Can they work towards becoming relevant again? Outside of companies that […]

The Evolution of Content Farms (and New Ways to ‘Feed to Beast’)

“Content farms” like Demand Media, Associated Content, Examiner.com and Merchant Circle were once the big bet for filling out blogs. They’d “feed the beast.” Most of the content, however, turned out to be overly-generic and unenlightening. Sites that focused on verticals and required specialization were especially out of luck. But there’s light at the end […]

SFSW16: Loyalty Must Emulate ‘Cheers,’ Not ‘Minority Report’

Loyalty products ride the crest of big data. They drive engagement and upsells based on customer behavior, and provide the analytics to steer future marketing efforts. But for SMBs, they are also an extra marketing expense and their value is still being established. After five years or more in the market, we’d conservatively estimate there […]