The saying used to be that “all politics is local.” A more appropriate term for the 2016 election cycle might be “all politics is data.” In fact, with their emphasis on audience and local targeting and their growing adoption of programmatic buying, political campaigns have begun to increasingly resemble marketing campaigns.
Implementing technology in retail environments as means of “saving” brick-and-mortar stores has been a consistent theme in recent years. But consumers have sent a clear message that the connected store can’t be about technology for technology’s sake. Smartphones’ increasingly central role in the shopping process, from research to purchase, makes them the logical link between connected shoppers and connected stores.
Booker CEO Josh McCarter opened his Street Fight Summit keynote address with a question that’s on the minds of many small business solutions providers: “How do you take a system that’s designed for one vertical and take it across more categories?” Factoring in the differing needs of various service-based businesses makes that question even more complex. But given the size of what McCarter termed the “local service commerce” opportunity, answering it could be tremendously lucrative.
In a wide-ranging Street Fight Summit fireside chat, Ajay Kapoor, who oversees global business solutions for Procter & Gamble, covered everything from the wealth of market research sources P&G has at its disposal to channel marketing strategies to on-the-ground local initiatives in emerging markets like India.
In a panel at the annual Street Fight Summit, two experienced venture capitalists active in the local space shared their outlook on funding trends, pitches they frequently hear, and the growing internationalization of startup culture.
Dennis Crowley started Foursquare in 2009 from his kitchen in Manhattan with a lofty vision: Amass enough data to map out specific areas, build a location-based recommendation engine, and create navigation software. But when the company introduced gaming dynamics to encourage check-ins, that’s what it became known for. Today, Foursquare’s ambitions and vision lie well beyond the check-in.
Of all the changes mobile has wrought, on-demand arguably has made the biggest splash. The emergence of companies offering products and services immediately, with only a tap or two of a phone or tablet screen, is pushing incumbents to change their business models to stay on top of their industries. Three of these young-gun threats — Button, Urgent.ly, and Pager — made an appearance at the Street Fight Summit, speaking on a panel about on-demand in local commerce.
The Street Fight Summit played host to a wide-ranging conversation between BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith and investor Ted Leonsis. The fireside chat touched on Leonsis’s decades of local economy expertise, stemming from his many investments in and experiences with media ventures, professional sports teams, and ecommerce ventures, including Groupon.
Mobile has become an automatic, subconscious extension of our digital lives, and technologies that leverage the versatility of smartphones are maturing rapidly. But the apps vs. web debate continues to rage. And where does search, which has existed since the early days of the internet, fit into the picture?
Small businesses have a lot of options when it comes to choosing tools that keep things running smoothly. In fact, they have a lot of options even when partnering with a single vendor because companies within the connected local economy are transforming into marketing one-stop shops for advertising, point-of-sale (POS), and other solutions critical to the daily operations of SMBs.