This AI-centric battle is being waged by heavier contenders than any before it, including Apple (Siri), Amazon (Alexa), and Google (Assistant). They’re each basing battle plans on their current positioning and biggest assets, and the winner will sway the next era of local commerce.
No matter how good the targeting, creative, and “right person, right place,” the vast majority of our time contains urgencies that render us immune to push-based mobile ads. It’s basically a question of how often we’re actually idle, and therefore impressionable to being rerouted from a deliberate course.
Apple is co-promoting Square’s NFC reader for SMBs. and selling the readers in Apple Stores. The $49 reader accepts Apple Pay, which significantly lowers the barrier for SMBs to get in the game. The move should boost Apple Pay, but there also may be much bigger ambitions to lock in market share in new areas.
In a year of overblown topics, the grand prize goes to mobile ad blockers. The backlash is not only disproportionate to real impact but also has fueled the wrong conversation. Instead of fighting ad blockers — or fueling them in the case of biased reports — the ad industry should ask itself how it got in this position to begin with.
A year into the on-demand revolution, the question persists: Where’s it going next? So far, it’s gone into nearly every local vertical, but there are still areas with the right conditions for on-demand models to take root, some of which remain underdeveloped. These include higher-end professional services like lawyers and doctors, project-based work like design and writing, and, of course, SMBs, especially when it comes to local marketing and advertising.
Facebook is known universally for its social networking features, but the company has quietly but consistently been rolling out a set of tools to make it the go-to platform for SMBs. From social buy buttons, call functionality, and Pages to messaging and free beacons, Facebook is staking its claim to online, offline, and online-to-offline marketing and commerce for SMBs.
One of the coolest things to come out Apple’s September product event was 3D Touch, which lets users indicate levels of intent based on how hard they press apps and links. Beyond the gadgetry of 3D Touch, one thing hasn’t been said: This is essentially deep linking, an area that will be a key battleground in local. 3D Touch could preempt the deep linking dilemma by peeking deep within other apps — a lighter and more elegant solution I’m calling “deep previewing.”