Welcome to the latest Tidings Agency Insider: my bi-weekly analysis of key stories in the SMB digital marketplace.

Yelp increasingly cracking down on ‘review solicitation’ across the internet


Evidently Jeremy Stoppelman & team have never heard the advice “when you’re in a hole, stop digging.” Already the brand with the second-lowest Net Promoter Score among small business owners, Yelp has doubled down on its asinine review solicitation policy and is now threatening to penalize companies who ask for reviews on Yelp’s much bigger competitors like Google, Facebook, and TripAdvisor.

I fail to see how this helps them gain share-of-mind, let alone share-of-wallet, from business owners who are already flocking to Google and Facebook.

2017 Assembled: The Recap


Our first-ever Assembled is in the books! It was a fantastic event that I hope to be able to repeat at least annually, if not quarterly.

Agency Insiders may be interested to see the breakdown of attendee demand–the areas in which Portland small business owners said they needed the most help. It’s a small sample size but nonetheless validates my intuition about where the market opportunity is for agencies and consultants moving forward.

On the Various Challenges Facing European Publishers (and Some Solutions)


I’m grateful for the opportunity to attend last month’s SIINDA conference. Mike Blumenthal and I give you our perspective on the state of play in Europe vis a vis Facebook and Google in this latest StreetFight conversation. (Teaser: there’s at least one European IYP that’s light-years ahead of its American cohort.)

Borrell Sizes Up What’s Behind Local Ad Media Choices


Loved this quote from Gordon Borrell:

“I don’t know of any advertiser dying to put a message in front of people who read local news. The industry needs to get away from this news-centric mentality when talking about ways to generate the funding to support local news sites. They’re going to need to become first-class marketers.”

Food for thought: where are advertisers dying to put a message in front of people these days?

Snap’s ‘shockingly low’ internal data reveals why its Spectacles glasses flopped


Although most of my 2017 predictions have been spot-on, I swung and completely missed on Snap, and Spectacles in particular.

CEO Evan Spiegel’s announcement to Wall Street yesterday that they were beginning a product overhaul to increase discoverability (and permanence?) heads them in the right direction, though. Their engaged audience, no matter how slow it’s growing, is still a tremendous asset.

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