AR Impacts Local Commerce, Disrupting Home Services and Retail

AR is emerging at a time when the physical retail world is undergoing significant transformation. Things like Amazon Go stores and the counteractive “retail as a service” movement have raised awareness and hunger for retail evolution. So AR’s retail shopping use cases fall on fertile soil.

But retail is just one way that AR intersects with local commerce. AR comes into play in another key local commerce category: home services. Innovators like Streem are bringing remote assistance to traditional service calls (think: busted pipe).

Listen to Podcast: Heard on the Street

Heard on the Street, Episode 27: Location & Brand Evolution with Factual, Part 2

Factual, one of many companies in the location intelligence space, emphasizes offline foot traffic and “visitation insights.” Tracking the elusive online-to-offline buying journey is the name of the game, and Factual touts the advantage of a 300-million device observation graph. Factual VP Ocean Fine breaks down her company’s approach to location on our latest podcast.

June Focus: Pursuing Privacy

The privacy movement will have ripple effects throughout the media and advertising worlds that Street Fight covers. In fact, you could argue that privacy issues are most sensitive whenever we’re talking about content or ads that are targeted based on the user’s location. So how is the location-based media world dealing with these shifts? This is the question we’ll strive to answer throughout the month.

Heard on the Street, Episode 26: The Art of Digital Persuasion, with Jeff Hasen

Amid accelerated disruption in digital media, consumer touch points continue to fragment. That includes a growing list of interfaces and delivery channels for content—everything from smartphones to watches to headphones and speakers. So what’s a marketer to do?

This is the topic of Jeff Hasen’s third and most recent book, The Art of Digital Persuasion, which we discuss with the author on the latest episode of the Heard on the Street Podcast. In addition to lots of marketing tactics, Hasen has also learned a lot in a career that includes work as both a journalist and an ad agency exec.

Visual Search and Local: A Match Made in Mountain View

Though visual search challengers such as Snapchat and Pinterest could shine in niche use cases such as fashion items, Google will rule as the best all-around utility for visual search. It has the deepest tech stack, and the substance (knowledge graph) to be useful beyond just a flashy novelty for identifying things visually.

The name of the game now is to get users to adopt it. Google Lens won’t be a silver bullet and will shine in a few areas where Google is directing users, such as pets and flowers. But it will really shine in product search, which happens to be where monetization will eventually come into the picture.

Heard on the Street, Episode 25: Location, Brand Evolution, and Career Lessons, with Factual

Brands want to engage consumers. Though that’s an obvious statement and a universal truth, how it happens is a moving target that shifts with consumer technology. Success in the ad tech world requires intellectual curiosity about emerging tech and a desire to dig into the details.

Factual VP of Agency & Strategic Partnerships Ocean Fine considers that curiosity essential to her success and the victories of any company in ad tech. The latest guest on Street Fight’s Heard on the Street Podcast, she’s inspired by the smartphone’s transformation and advises marketing execs to be attack-ready for all emerging tech.

Heard on the Street, Episode 24: Lowering Friction for Video Ads Part 2, with Waymark

Video has always been a coveted ad medium for local businesses. It carries a certain vanity factor and a high perceived ROI (and real ROI, depending on other factors). But one barrier has always been the creative production, which often results in low quality. We’ve all seen those cheesy auto-dealer ads.

Fortunately, technical barriers are lowering, says Waymark CEO Nathan Labenz in the latest episode of Street Fight’s Heard on the Street Podcast. In this episode, we feature part II of our interview with Labenz and pick up where we left off in discussing distribution strategies. If half the battle in video ads is creation, the other half is distribution.

Is Google Building an “Internet of Places?”

Use cases will materialize over time, but it’s already clear that visual search can carry lots of commercial intent. Point your phone at a store or restaurant to get business details. Point your phone at a pair of shoes on the street to find out prices, reviews, and purchase info. This proximity between the searcher and the subject indicates high intent, which means higher conversions and more money for Google. Moreover, visual search has the magic combination of frequency and utility, which could make it the first scalable AR use case: making the real world clickable.

Heard on the Street, Episode 23: Google, AI, 5G and Marketing Champagne

What do Google’s AI-fueled search results, 5G, and marketing champagne all have in common? They’re the central topics of a roundtable discussion on the latest episode of Street Fight’s podcast, Heard on the Street.

As we do quarterly, this is a bonus episode that puts aside our typical interview format and instead invites the leading thinkers from the Street Fight newsroom and executive ranks to discuss news and insights that are top of mind.

Listen to Podcast: Heard on the Street

Heard on the Street, Episode 22: The Art and Science of Customer Data Platforms

As data science continues to collide with digital marketing, customer behavior metrics are reaching new levels of actionable insight. But counteracting that advantage is the growing fragmentation of devices and platforms used in the path to purchase, making it harder to get a single view of the customer.

This is the world of customer data platforms (CDPs), and it is where Amperity hangs its hat. With a technological edge and specialization in identity, VP of strategic services Matthew Biboud-Lubeck explains to us on the latest episode of Heard on the Street how the company helps brands get the insights they need to better serve their customers.

How Will 5G Unlock Location Targeting?

5G goes far beyond just a speed boost. The quantitative advantages are joined by qualitative factors that will enable all kinds of new consumer use cases and content delivery strategies. This notably includes more precise location tracking/targeting and even some indoor use cases (think: retail). 5G-enabled phones will phase in over the next three years. Then, it’s off to the races.

Heard on the Street, Episode 21: Lowering Friction for Video Ads, with Waymark

Video has always been a coveted ad medium for local businesses. It carries a certain vanity factor and a high perceived ROI (and real ROI, depending on other factors). But one barrier has always been the creative production, which often results in low quality. We’ve all seen those cheesy auto-dealer ads. Fortunately, technical barriers are lowering, says Waymark CEO Nathan Labenz in the latest episode of Street Fight’s Heard on the Street Podcast.

AR in Local Commerce: Google Shows the Way

Mike Boland: A recent and relatively understated development from Google could portend the future of augmented reality. Its previously teased “VPS” was released into the wild for a small set of users. For those unfamiliar, VPS (visual positioning service) guides users with 3D overlays on upheld smartphone screens. Sort of a cousin of AR, this type of experience could represent the sector’s eventual killer apps. Though we’ve seen the most AR success so far in gaming (Pokemon Go) and social (Snapchat AR lenses), it could be more mundane utilities like navigation that engender high-frequency use cases.

Heard on the Street, Episode 20: Local Reviews Tactics from a Travel Giant

Even in a hyper technology-driven world, one of the most influential forms of local marketing remains word of mouth. But of course that universal principle has taken on new digital formats, including social influence and good-old local business reviews. Reviews optimization is the name of today’s game. We spoke to TripAdvisor Restaurant Division Lead Mark Goloboy on the latest episode of Street Fight’s Heard on the Street podcast to find out how his company is innovating in reputation and identify best practices for businesses.

Superbowl Ad Roundup: The Local Edition

Several Superbowl ads touched on key themes in local such as multi-location brand advertisers (Burger King) and locally relevant technology like voice search (Amazon Alexa). And of course, there were lots of car commercials—an inherently local product category given the offline shopping component. 

Building the Location Layer: A Conversation with Foursquare

Last week, location technology company Foursquare announced its new Pinpoint audience segments product. Building from its large corpus of data on places, spatial movements and behavioral patterns, Pinpoint represents the latest in Foursquare’s evolution as the “location layer,” for the internet. We got the chance to sit down with Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck in San Francisco to find out more. Here is the full interview. 

Heard on the Street, Episode 19: Fusing the Best of Online and Offline Shopping, with Trevor Sumner

We’ve been hearing a lot about “retailpocolypse,” which raises the question of what 2019 has in store for retail (excuse the pun). This question threaded the many topics we batted around with Perch Interactive CEO Trevor Sumner on the latest episode of Street Fight’s Heard on the Street podcast.

Google and Amazon Escalate Voice ‘Platform Wars’

Mike Boland: Any entity competing for local commerce—publishers, brands, ad-tech players—has a looming platform choice for voice. Like the platform wars between iOS and Android, it’s a matter of deciding where to apply finite resources and development muscle. Maybe the answer is “both” Google and Amazon. But for now, Google appears to have the lead.