Amazon Pursuing Mobile Video Ads, Strengthening Its Viability as Duopoly Alternative

Video advertising has been the hot thing for long enough that it’s now passé to refer to the pivot to video. It’s about time, then, that the Big Tech company hoping to break into the digital ad market dominated by Google and Facebook added video to its inventory. 

Google Finds Itself Beneath EU Regulatory Hammer Once More

Google has been fined $1.7 billion for violating Europe’s antitrust policies. Specifically, the company stands accused of compelling companies that deploy its search capabilities on their own platforms to display a disproportionately high humber of text ads that will line Google’s pockets.

Apple Strikes a Foreboding Tone with Big Ad on Privacy

Apple’s privacy-first policies should prove beneficial for the company and for the hundreds of millions of people who use its products. Still, the iPhone maker’s ad, light in tone as its soundtrack may be, strikes a decisively dark note representative of broader national anxiety about Silicon Valley and the danger of its increasingly unavoidable products. Beneath the ad’s veneer of levity, thinly constructed in the form of a small guard dog and man wary of using a urinal too close to his neighbor, the video sends a clear warning to smartphone users entrusting their private information to rival phone makers: The intimate details of your lives may already be compromised. Lean into your worries about your data’s theft and monetization, and fork over 10 Benjamins at the nearest Apple store for the sake of your own security.

Location Data Verification Firm Location Sciences Expands to Americas

As the location data and marketing industries experience heightened calls for privacy and quality control, location data verification solution Location Sciences is expanding to the Americas. The London-based firm also announced on Tuesday morning its appointment of digital marketing veteran Warren Zenna to take the helm on this side of the Atlantic.

WeQ Launches Influencer Agency, Backing up Influencers with Analytics

Global mobile advertising firm WeQ announced on Tuesday that it’s launching an agency dedicated to influencers, aiming to pair the analytical power of a broader ad tech firm with the new possibilities for branding offered by the influencer sector of the digital marketing industry.

Human Judgment, Automation, and the Future of Ad Tech

For now, I propose two major concerns—two challenges, even, for further thought—surrounding AI for the ad tech industry. The first is that the datafication of human experience that has allowed for precise ad targeting needs to be radically reconsidered, not just in terms of what can be done to obtain the consent of consumers for data collection, as the rising privacy movement has called tech companies to consider, but also in terms of what is lost and what is truly gained when the attributes of real people are transformed into consumer data. The second is that the human-machine hybrid decision-making model, while surely the best available in a hypothetical set that also includes human-only and machine-only models, will have to grapple with the bias and poor decisions of the humans who program the machines that will take on the task of regulating large platforms at scale. 

Foursquare Launches Hypertrending, A Next-Gen View of the Hot Spots in Town

Foursquare announced on Friday, coinciding with the ten-year anniversary of its launch at SXSW, a new feature called Hypertrending that shows users the most popular places where people are meeting up around them.

At Retail Conference, Google Dangles Shiny New Visual Ad Format

The visual-first ads are here. Google announced at the retail conference Shoptalk on Wednesday that it is launching shoppable ads in image search, propelling the search giant into the center of the visual zeitgeist that has made Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat hot targets for advertisers.

Native Ad Industry Booms, Capitalizing on Hunger for Ads That Don’t Look Like Advertising

Native ad firm AdYouLike is staking its reputation on the assumption that the ads you like may not look like ads. That bet appears to be paying off, as a report from the firm shows the native ad industry set to grow to $400 billion by 2025, a 372% jump from the projected size of the market in 2020.

Voice is Rising as Medium for Local Discovery

Voice is not only booming as a search tool but also seems to be cannibalizing search volume from the medium that last revolutionized the practice of digital discovery: mobile. That’s the headline from Stone Temple Consulting’s third annual survey of consumers regarding their use of voice-enabled devices.

Local Search Association Crowns the Best Solutions in Local

At its annual conference in Dana Point, CA, this week, the Local Search Association recognized the best solutions in location-based search and advertising with its annual Ad-to-Action awards. Award winners, who competed in a field of over 80 entries and were selected by judges representing companies such as Google, Amazon, and Walmart, included Brandify, PlaceIQ, and Vendasta.

Communicating on GMB Poses Some Challenges, but the Local Ecosystem Has Answers

Google has been hard at work on local in 2018 and 2019, taking strides toward making its Google My Business app the one-stop-shop for local businesses hoping to connect with customers through digital means. Nevertheless, local is a tricky, 24-7 business, and when it comes to connecting brick-and-mortars with customers nearby, Alphabet’s core business has some room for improvement.

DoorDash Will Put an End to Old-School Delivery—And Smaller Rivals

What does the big money for DoorDash mean for the crowded on-demand delivery space? The market is growing as a whole, but there isn’t all that much growth share to go around. DoorDash CEO and founder Tony Xu has said as much.  “If you look at where the U.S. is, there’s two players gaining share. It’s DoorDash and Uber. And DoorDash is growing 65% faster,” Xu said in a conversation with Recode editor-at-large and co-founder Kara Swisher earlier this year.

Alexa Has the Confidence of SMB Marketers. Should It?

Forty-eight percent of marketers surveyed by Uberall said they trust the e-commerce giant over its competition when it comes to marketing applications of voice technology in these early days of the medium. Google Assistant had the vote of 29% of the market, with Apple’s Siri scoring a surprisingly high 17% given the widespread consensus that voice is really a two-way race at the moment.

Data Science as a Solution: conDati Opens Doors for Digital Retailers

The pitch is that today’s marketers with omnichannel inspirations need a machine learning-driven platform that will not only assess the success of campaigns across several media but also point them toward paths for future success. That’s an expensive technical infrastructure to create in-house, and conDati’s betting its solution is worth the spend.

Want to Know How Long the Wait For that Hot New Restaurant Is? There’s a Google Integration for That

Building on the Reserve with Google offerings that have made the tech giant’s SERPs the new homepage of local businesses, Google seems to be adding a feature that allows people searching for local restaurants to sign up for a waitlist. Busy folks with a penchant for busy eateries rejoice. 

Shirking the Tech Giants’ Mobile Wallets, Kroger Unveils One of Its Own

Kroger is flexing on Apple and Google this week, passing on the opportunity to accept Apple Pay or Google Pay at its stores and choosing instead to launch its own mobile wallet that doubles as a loyalty card, WCPO reported in Columbus.

Local Search Association Announces New President, Bill Dinan

The Local Search Association, which brings together over 300 companies intent on connecting enterprises and small businesses alike with consumers, announced on Wednesday morning Bill Dinan as its new president. The announcement follows the retirement of its previous president Neg Norton, who held the role for 15 years.

Walmart Mulls a Run at the Digital Ad Business

With reports percolating about Amazon’s increasingly clear emergence as a third party to Google and Facebook’s dominance of the digital ad market, the e-commerce behemoth’s old-school counterpart is reportedly taking a look at the action itself.

Marin Q4 Advertising Report Shows eCommerce Ads Skyrocketing, Instagram and Search Growth Strong

Digital marketing software firm Marin Software has released its Q4 advertising report, which points to major trends in social, search, and e-commerce. Instagram is taking on an increasingly central role in Facebook’s main business, e-commerce ads are booming YOY, and search remains fundamental to digital advertising, the report shows.