A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Google My Business Tests a Messaging Feature to Enable Business-Customer Communication (Search Engine Land)
Google My Business has posted in its help documents about a new pilot program through which some businesses can chat with their customers directly via the local knowledge graph panel.
Using Chatbots to Improve the Customer Experience (Street Fight)
Although automated messaging has been around for years, today’s chatbots combine machine learning with artificial intelligence to create enhanced user experiences. Chatbots are also giving brands a chance to flex their creative muscles, utilizing technology in innovative ways.
Mobile Smartphone Shoppers Struggle with Navigation (MediaPost)
Mobile devices could be even more influential, says the report, if some user experience problems were taken care of. Recent research from Monetate indicates that only around half of e-commerce site visits come from mobile devices. Mobile’s smaller share of actual sales is a result of lower conversion rates relative to desktop and smartphones, as mobile users struggle with navigation, difficulty with checkouts, and security concerns.
How Brands Can Get More Out of Their Brick-and-Mortar Marketing (Street Fight)
Marketers that fail to see local storefronts as a critical channel are missing out on a rich sales opportunity. Brands invest $70 billion in local markets each year, but a significant portion of that spend often goes to waste because they fail to work collaboratively with their local partners.
E-Commerce Won Black Friday Weekend. Now Walmart Really Has to Compete on Amazon’s Turf (Recode)
If it wasn’t already clear, this Thanksgiving weekend proves it: Walmart’s future runs through Amazon.com. For the first time ever, millions more shoppers shopped online than in stores during Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend, signaling a tipping of the scales that’s unlikely to reverse course anytime soon.
Nada Stirratt Is Out As Verve CEO, Founder Tom Kenney To Run Day-To-Day Operations (GeoMarketing)
Staffers at Verve were given some surprising news as they returned to their offices following the the holiday weekend: Nada Stirratt, the widely respected digital ad veteran who was chosen to reinvent the company in April 2015 as CEO, is no longer with the company.
GroupM Builds a House for Tech and Data Expertise (AdExchanger)
“The collective mission of [m]Platform revolves around technology, data and expertise,” Gleason told AdExchanger. “The mission is how to take each of those elements and put them together to provide addressability and accountability across all media.” And by “all media,” Gleason means everything from search to linear TV.
For Most Small Businesses, Social is Top Marketing Tactic (eMarketer)
Social media is a key online marketing tool for small businesses. According to a recent poll, more than half of small business owners in the US said social media is their primary digital marketing tactic, far more than those who cited websites or online advertisements.