The results of Street Fight’s second annual State of Hyperlocal vendor executive survey show that social media, data and analytics, and mobile—especially geotargeting—are the hot technology investments for marketing and commerce. The investment in data and analytics is in part driven by the biggest overall industry challenge, online-to-offline attribution measurement, and one of the most difficult issues facing individual companies, proving ROI to customers.
Street Fight regularly checks in on what’s on the minds of companies selling technology and services into the hyperlocal media and commerce marketplace via executive survey. Eighty-two executives from tech companies, publishers, and digital agencies, most of whom said they were VP or C-level, completed this year’s survey. Readers can use our analysis to get a directional view of the technologies vendors are prioritizing, and what they think are near-term challenges and opportunities in the market. We presented our initial interpretation of the results at Street Fight Summit, and we’ve just posted our State of Hyperlocal 2017 report.
To assess what technologies were getting the most attention, we asked execs in which three technologies and digital tactics their companies were investing the most over the next 12 to 18 months. We offered different but overlapping options for marketing and advertising, and for commerce and transactions.
As shown above, social media marketing, data and analytics, and geotargeting were the top digital advertising and marketing investment targets for the vendors, with mobile advertising not far behind. As a group, more agencies (64%) were focused on social media marketing than any of the other segments, but overall their priorities were similar to the rest. Publishers zeroed in on content marketing and social. The biggest investors in data and analytics were, naturally, data and analytics suppliers, but more tech companies in general were investing there than publishers (36%) or agencies (29%). Agencies may be short-changing their customers here, while the data companies probably feel they’ve done their social media investments previously. Over half of them are investing in dashboards.
Compared with last year, the top five marketing and ad tech investments were pretty similar. This year, social is outpacing mobile, but geotargeting is almost twice as popular as it was. Streaming audio and video is up somewhat as well, driven primarily by publishers. Programmatic advertising is up, too.
On the local commerce tech and tactics side, data and analytics pops to the top, with three times as many vendors investing compared with last year. Social media in support of commerce is high, which likely reflects ratings and reviews rather than Facebook or Twitter, as well as websites overall. Site development and management tops the list for agencies, with over half (54%) investing there. Almost a third of publishers, seeing the positive examples of companies like Vox and the former Gawker Media, are investing in e-commerce.
Vendors may be underestimating mobile payments, traditional media, and voice search. Relatively few are investing in mobile payments, and they claim they don’t see their customers increasing spending there, or on traditional media. In fact, big brands and retailers that market locally are still heavily invested in traditional media, so they might be missing some cross-channel campaign opportunity. And Street Fight believes cutting edge technologies like mobile payments and voice search – that is largely out of favor in this survey – will play critical roles online-to-offline attribution and local discovery, respectively.
David Card is Street Fight’s director of research.
Download the Street Fight report, The State of Hyperlocal 2017, here.