April Focus: Automating Local

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Our new year’s resolution at Street Fight is to better optimize and structure our publishing and content output. So we’ve launched monthly themes—an editorial focus that zeroes in on key subtopics in location tech and commerce. This thematic approach joins ongoing daily reporting.

We’ve already started with themes for January (Beyond the Screen), February (Word of Mouth), and March (Targeting Location). We now roll into April with Automating Local: a look at how AI is impacting local commerce and marketing. How is it empowering local marketers, and who’s doing what?

How are sub-sectors like “retail-as-a-service” bringing AI into retail to transform shopping experiences and empower retailers with new functionality and customer data? For example, cashier-less stores are rising through Amazon Go, and the capability is being democratized by startups like b8ta and Standard Cognition.

Meanwhile, companies like Perch Interactive are transforming the point of purchase, as we discussed in a recent podcast episode with the company’s leadership. Emerging consumer technologies like augmented reality and visual search will empower shoppers with all kinds of new in-aisle product info.

Beyond retail, there are also classic local sub-sectors like search and listings management for multi-location brands. There, too, AI is having an impact in areas like voice search. But how should brands view these evolving consumer touch points in order to maintain an effective digital presence? How will voice search affect SEO?

Marketing automation is also increasingly boosting capabilities in these fields, exemplified by automated improvements in customer relationships through technologies like chatbots and voice intelligence. These areas will continue to develop in a multitude of directions, and successful execution will start with an informed position.

Beyond a monthly thematic focus, we’ll still cover the entire location technology and media sectors that you’ve come to expect on a daily basis. We’ll continue to publish daily articles on the most important and impactful happenings in local, as well as Street Fight Daily, our biweekly podcast, and white papers.

Each month will continue to carry a different theme that we’ve laid out in our editorial calendar. Look out for that editorial calendar soon, as it will represent an opportunity for you to plan any contributions or participation in Street Fight’s ongoing coverage, thought leadership, and published narratives.

Meanwhile, expect lots of coverage this month concerning the state of the art of automating local and where it’s going next. You can view all the articles within this theme anytime here. Look forward to lots more structural developments at Street Fight and contact us with any questions or opportunities to participate.

Mike Boland has been a tech & media analyst for the past two decades, specifically covering mobile, local, and emerging technologies. He has written for Street Fight since 2011. More can be seen at Localogy.com