A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Useful for Social and Marketing, Instagram Now Helps Brands with Customer Service, Too (Digiday)
Instagram has rolled out a “contact” button for businesses, letting customers reach out with their queries directly on the platform. Several brands — including Nordstrom, Benefit, Delta and Denny’s — have already jumped on board. Customers with a question can tap the button, after which they are prompted to call, text or email the brand. eMarketer: Consumers demand more multichannel customer service.
2 Billion Consumers Projected to Use AI-Powered Assistants By 2021 (MediaPost)
Consumer adoption of artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistants will increase, but some brands don’t see the capabilities fully replacing humans. The number of active users of virtual assistants will grow to 2 billion consumers in 2021, up from 390 million last year, according to new research from Tractica.
How Dashboards Are Shaping the Way Marketers Manage Local Campaigns (Street Fight)
Vendors are pulling out all the stops to help small and mid-size businesses acquire and retain a higher percentage of their customers. And as merchants increase the number of platforms they use for local promotions, they’re relying more heavily on dashboards to correlate their digital efforts with financial successes.
Facebook Is Getting Into Ad Tech’s Biggest Trend: Header Bidding (Business Insider)
It looks as though Facebook’s latest attempt to challenge Google in the online display ad market will be to get on board with the newest trend in ad tech — header bidding.
Digital Media Specialist Warns Against the Hazards of ‘Over-Targeting’ (GeoMarketing)
“What we try to do is take a look at a [mobile] campaign from the perspective of what unique business objective each campaign has. We try to let the data speak for the targeting. Basically, you want to take a look at those objectives before you do your targeting — and let the data speak for itself,” said Rachel Clayton, VP of Insights and Analytics at Gamut.
A Promising New Start on News Collaboration, But There’s Another Non-Starter As Well (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: Next week, the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University in suburban North Jersey will launch a local/national partnership project that could promote collaboration between news organizations. Meanwhile, a newspaper in Milwaukee could benefit from this kind of collaboration.
NuTonomy Debuts Self-Driving Cabs, Beating the Likes of Uber and Google to the Punch (Wall Street Journal)
Singapore became the first country in the world to launch a self-driving taxi service on Thursday, beating ride-hailing giant Uber by mere days to public road tests of a technology that could revolutionize the transport industry. The trial, although small, illustrates how intense the global race to develop autonomous driving vehicles has become.
Survey Finds Newsrooms Are Monitoring Metrics, Not Acting on Them (MediaShift)
“Almost everyone is doing monitoring,” said Talia Stroud, director of the Engaging News Project. But in many newsrooms, that’s where analytics work stops. Few news editors and directors report using the data they collect to actually help solve newsrooms problems — around audience engagement, page design or revenue development, for example.