A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
The Voice Shopping Future (MediaPost)
According to Keith Anderson, SVP Strategy and Insight, Profitero, “Over the last 15 years… there’ve been at least a dozen technologies described as potential game changers, but… voice has clearly emerged as a truly game-changing technology… you now increasingly hear retailers, and especially brands, talk about mobile first, voice second.”
Truffl Revamps Pink Dot’s Services and Brand to Court Social-Native Consumers (Street Fight)
“Creating a share-worthy experience is really important — something that can live online even if it’s offline and turn customers into advocates,” says Truffl founder Raphael Farasat about how legacy brands can compete in the golden age of tech startups and social media.
Even Amazon Is Surprised By How Much Customers Use Alexa (Quartz)
People are using Alexa’s voice-activated capabilities more to shop, to listen to music (“3x higher this holiday season”), and to stream video on Amazon’s Fire TV (“up 9x year-over-year”). Companies are increasingly integrating Alexa “skills” into their products, which CFO Brian Olsavsky said is “helping to accelerate the adoption of Alexa with customers.” WSJ: Is Google losing to Amazon?
The ABC’s of AR: Always Be Closing (Street Fight)
Mike Boland: In these early days of augmented reality (AR), we’re learning a lot about consumer behavior and preferences — the same learning curve defined the early days of smartphone apps. One lesson so far is that consumer AR use cases will be fairly limited. It’s not a silver bullet and it’s not for everyone.
Unicorns Gorge As Investors Dish Out Bigger Rounds, More Capital (TechCrunch)
Is there a point when investors will turn off the spigots for giant unicorn funding rounds? If so, we haven’t reached that threshold yet.
How Can Brands Converge Ad Tech and Mar Tech? (AdExchanger)
Tony Ralph: As a technologist working within and between these two worlds, I can say definitively that it is the exception when we find solutions that gracefully blend the data and performance advantages of each, not the rule.
Can VR Survive in a Cutthroat Attention Economy? (Wired)
Tim Wu: Today the greatest challenge for VR—as both an industry and medium—is no longer the tech or the content but the problem of time and attention. How, exactly, will or does VR fit into the collective human schedule?
Drivers Don’t Trust Uber. This Is How It’s Trying to Win Them Back (Recode)
To many ‘driver partners,’ after years of undercutting fares, raising commissions and refusing to listen to their demands, Uber was seen as less a partner and more a shadowy, money-hungry entity that fettered them to the company because of its hold on the market.