At least for now, Alexa and Google are thinking of AI-powered local search in the traditional sense of providing the user with a range of relevant options — even when organic search is trending toward the single best answer.
Machine learning and predictive analytics need to meld seamlessly with core app functionality. The technology needs to “just work,” without steep learning curves or frustrating dead ends. So I’d expect any company who experiments with machine learning for local search to start with a simple set of problems and hone the user experience.
The series demonstrates the real complexity of cross-platform digital marketing and the importance of a data-driven strategy in identifying meaningful objectives and tracking performance. This commentary explains how Brand Battles are constructed and how their subject areas fits into the bigger picture of local marketing for national brands.
Google has many paths for sourcing local content, from user edits to third party licensed data, but none provides as comprehensive or accurate a source of truth as data that comes directly from businesses, so there’s every reason to remove friction from that path wherever possible.
I’m impressed by the level of detail and by some key differentiators that make Maps.me seem like a fresh approach to mobile navigation. Indeed, I can see the app eventually finding favor in the U.S. marketplace. Even before that happens, local marketers should take note.
The first phase of mobile software relied on us to express a desire and thereby to enable a service. Our actions initiated services that capitalized on the phone’s ability to maximize proximity. Now we’re entering a second phase where, for many of us, connectivity and location awareness will be active for longer stretches of our days.
The reduction of local search real estate represents a huge challenge to marketers, who must work even harder to ensure their clients’ listings can compete in a shrinking field. It also suggests that a strategy combining organic and paid efforts is becoming ever more important.
So far, digital services, even those focused on local, have done more to atomize local communities than unite them, training us to rely on anonymous resources for the information and recommendations we used to get from our friends and neighbors.
Are bots the future of the internet? Maybe, maybe not; like the buzz around Google Glass in 2013, we’re in the midst of a moment when it’s hard to tell the difference between hype and technological breakthrough.
According to the funnel metaphor, customers travel in stages from awareness to purchase, the funnel getting narrower at each stage as some customers drop off and do not move to the next stage.