Measuring the Impact of McDonald’s Push Into Automation, Personalization

With the right personalization and automation technology in place, McDonald’s is said to have plans to learn about customers through their ordering behaviors. More specifically, McDonald’s is planning to use Dynamic Yield’s technology to create a drive-thru menu that can be tailored based on factors like weather, restaurant traffic, and trending menu items. For example, when the temperature tops 100 degrees, milkshakes and ice cream sundaes might move into a prominent spot on the drive-thru menu board. When it starts raining outside, coffee and hot chocolate might take top billing.

6 Customer Data Platforms for Brands

Customer data platforms dominated the conversation at the MarTech Conference in California earlier this month, as marketers shared how they’ve been able to pull data from multiple sources, combine that data into single customer profiles, and then make that data available to other marketing systems.

With so much hype surrounding customer data platforms right now, we decided to dig into the market and learn about some of the hottest players in the space. Here’s what we found.

Report: Education of SMB Marketers a Glaring Hole in Vendor Approaches

The disconnect between how vendors think they are supporting and educating their clients, and how those clients actually feel they are being supported, can be alarming. BrandMuscle’s report found that local marketers are hungry for marketing knowledge, and yet 18% believe they get “little to no support” from the agencies or marketing teams with which they work. Twenty-eight percent say they get “check-the-box support,” which is still insufficient.

6 Pure-Play Online-to-Offline Attribution Platforms

In a pure-play model, vendors focus exclusively on a certain number of core competencies. Not only does this help those companies to differentiate themselves from firms with broader offerings, but it also gives brands confidence that the vendor is an expert in the market. As online-to-offline attribution takes off, pure-play vendors are taking the lead in innovation, finding new ways to connect digital campaigns to foot traffic and in-store sales. Here are six vendors making a difference in the space right now.

5 Self-Serve Online-to-Offline Attribution Platforms

Marketers with limited budgets are turning to a bevy of self-serve online-to-offline attribution solutions to correlate visitation rates and purchase data with digital campaigns. Utilizing a variety of testing methods for mapping campaign performance and purchases, these platforms are giving marketers the answers they need to justify online ad spend. Here are five examples of online-to-offline attribution platforms that marketers are using right now.

online privacy

During Privacy Battle, Brands Adjust Location Targeting Strategy

Can privacy and personalization ever be compatible? It’s not a question consumers regularly ask, even though concerns over targeting and apps that continuously log location data grow greater by the day. For marketers, however, the answer to whether privacy and personalization can coexist, and what happens to location data in the wake of tightening restrictions, has important ramifications. Industry experts weigh in.

As Visual Search Takes Off, Brands Adapt to Shifting Demands

Visual search and image recognition are capturing the attention of investors, retail insiders, and everyday consumers. To find out more about where visual search is heading, and what marketers can do to adapt their strategies with the latest trends in mind, we checked in with Apu Gupta, CEO of Curalate, a social commerce company that turns images and videos into storefronts.

The Future of Location in Retail: Beyond Ad Targeting

Location data is serving as the conduit to connect consumer-facing marketing initiatives with behind-the-scenes merchandising and logistics. According to a survey by Blis, WBR Insights, and Future Stores, the majority of retail marketers (71%) have some type of location strategy in place, with the primary goal being to drive foot traffic and trigger location-based mobile advertising. That’s not a particular surprise, given how popular the latest location-based marketing tactics have become. More surprising, however, is how common it has become for retailers to use location data for local product and inventory search (60%) and localized online customer service (51%).

Amazon’s Dash Buttons Have Met Their End. Does Their Demise Truly Signal Failure?

Dash buttons were met with detractors right from the get go. Some called out the “hideous” design, while others lambasted Amazon for creating $5 buttons that would inevitably end up in landfills. But at Amazon, the Dash button initiative isn’t considered a failure. Rather, the project was designed to get consumers more comfortable with the “connected home” concept and the idea of shopping through devices other than desktop computers and smartphones.

These 6 Location Data Providers Are Changing the Way Brands Target Consumers

Location data providers power the vast majority of mobile targeting strategies we’re seeing brand marketers implement today. An incredible 80% of marketers say they plan to boost their use of location data over the next two years, and in the U.S. alone, it’s expected that location-based advertising spend will reach $38.7BN by 2022. In order to achieve those goals, marketers will have to work closely with top location data providers. Here are six companies they’ll be working with.

Poor Data Quality Is Hurting Location-Based Campaigns—Here’s How to Fix It

“Location data offers the ability to turn universal ads into local ads. Same as local TV. The issue is how location targeting is being executed,” says location-based ad veteran Warren Zenna. “People don’t look at ads on their phones when they are out doing things like shopping and driving around. They look at them, sometimes, when they are inactive. Mobile ad creative needs to be better — more engaging and more contextual — and presented when someone is in a contextually relevant mindset.”

How Marketers Are Making In-Store Metrics More Reliable

In-store marketing platforms are designed to spit out all different types of metrics. Return-on-ad-spend (ROAS), customer acquisition costs (CAC), cost per visit (CPV), and customer lifetime value (CLV) are just a few of the metrics that marketers regularly track. But how reliable are these metrics, and what do they mean for big-picture business growth? The ad tech company S4M is aiming to answer that question. The company recently released a new feature as part of its FUSIO drive-to-store platform.

In Age of Social Media, Brands Must Stay On Top of Reputations Capable of Changing on a Dime

A single video posted to YouTube was all it took for Chuck E. Cheese’s online reputation to go up in flames this month, at least temporarily, when an internet celebrity posted his theory about the pizza chain’s misshapen pies. As viral conspiracy theories on social media become increasingly common, brands are finding that their initial response can set the tone and create a carry-on effect that impacts customer sentiment across dozens of multimedia channels.

5 Platforms Using AI to Analyze Customer Reviews

Beyond the star ratings lies a wealth of information. Sentiment and opinions can be used to shape the way brands develop their highest-selling products. Given the volume of reviews posted each day, however, it would be impossible for most major brands to analyze every customer reaction individually. Instead, a growing number of brands are utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) technology to extract and analyze the sentiment from product reviews. Here are five examples of platforms that offer this type of AI technology for analyzing customer feedback posted online.

How Brands Are Using AR to Generate Buzz, Promote Loyalty

The push into AR can be seen as a way for brand retailers to differentiate themselves from Amazon, bringing the in-store experience into the online world. It’s also a way for retailers to jumpstart word-of-mouth marketing, with the hope that using innovative technologies is new ways will have a viral effect and get people talking.

Adjust Leverages AI to Neutralize Ad Fraud

Advertisers and brands are expected to lose an estimated $50 billion as a result of ad fraud by 2025, with one of the most problematic types of ad fraud involving bots designed to mimic human behaviors. Using bots, fraudsters can imitate clicks and engagement KPIs on ad campaigns, wreaking havoc for mobile ad vendors and the advertisers that work with them. So what’s the solution? Firms like Unbotify are pioneering a new approach to bot detection and digital fraud prevention using artificial intelligence and machine learning. Unbotify’s solution analyzes human behavior patterns within websites’ and mobile apps’ user flows in order to differentiate between bots and humans.

How 5 Retail Brands Are Maximizing the Power of User-Generated Content

Photos and videos that shoppers post on social media convey sentiment about brands, giving fellow consumers—and brands themselves—an uncensored look at how people really feel about their products and services. How brands harness this feedback is evolving, as brand marketers find new ways to glean insights from the unstructured consumer feedback being posted on social media and elsewhere online. Here are five examples of brands that are engaging shoppers across social channels and taking full advantage of the content that customers post on their own online accounts.

How Online Grocers Are Using AI to Cut Food Prices

The distinction between real-world supermarkets and online-only grocers has come down to price. The introduction of a new technology to lower prices for consumers may be what the industry needs to finally push it past the tipping point.

6 Next-Gen Review Marketing Platforms for Retail Brands

Determined not to fall even further behind their online-only competitors, retailers are investing more heavily in a new breed of review platform. These next-generation solutions integrate written reviews with pictures and videos to create more cohesive omni-channel shopping experiences. Here are six next-gen review platforms that brands are using right now.

How Brands Are Using AI to Fight Back Against Dark Marketing

According to some estimates, as many as 85% of Facebook ads and 60% of YouTube ads are hidden from public view. The practice is even more common on Twitter, where an estimated 90% of ads are hidden. What does that mean, exactly? Rather than posting their messages publicly, major brands are creating social media posts or sponsored content that is only shown to targeted audiences. Unlike organic or boosted posts, these targeted ads don’t show up on the company’s timelines or all of their followers’ feeds.