Techniques for measuring DOOH exposure and mapping to give cross-device measurement more meaning are being utilized by larger brand marketers, but smaller companies are also getting into the game and finding innovative ways to layer maps onto their local strategies.
Here are five ways that marketers can use mapping technology in their local campaigns.
KickCOVID.us is one part business directory, one part safety monitor. The hyperlocal mobile website allows consumers to read and rate the relative safety of businesses based on the precautions they are taking around Covid-19.
Look up Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant, for example, and you’ll see that social distancing is being enforced and some masks are being worn, but no temperature checks are taking place. At Matchbox, a restaurant in Ashburn, Virginia, most people are wearing masks and no-contact delivery is currently available.
A foundational element of local marketing strategy could be changing. Rumors began circulating last week that Apple would be giving users the ability to add ratings and photos to local business listings on Apple Maps when iOS 14 releases this fall. That could mean big changes are in store for brand marketers who’ve grown accustomed to monitoring reviews and ratings on a core group of third-party platforms.
Apple’s move into the ratings and review space isn’t totally unexpected, but it’s still causing the local marketing community to question how the update will impact local search and discovery.
Communicating with brands on social media has become the norm for consumers. Surveys show that roughly half of all consumers who engage with brands on social media are reaching out about customer care concerns, and more than 65% of social media users across all platforms expect brands to respond, regardless of whether the initial outreach was via private messages or public posts.
Those expectations have only heightened over the past six months, and many brands have had to pivot their customer support and engagement priorities on the fly.
Local businesses have been forced out of their comfort zone this summer as the economic impact of Covid-19 lingers and uncertainty persists into the final weeks of summer. With so many questions unanswered, businesses are searching for resources to help guide their decisions in marketing and general operations.
A number of martech firms are looking to fill the information void by launching their own Covid-19 resource centers and consumer data projects. The location-powered advertising and analytics firm Blis launched its own consumer sentiment tracker, with data from consumers in the United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and Australia.
Brick-and-mortar merchants are moving their stores online or developing combination solutions that encompass both website sales and curbside pickup to keep pace with customer demand. Many of those businesses that haven’t made the switch are weighing their options and looking for the right technology. Plug-and-play e-commerce platforms tend to be the most popular route for merchants looking to quickly pivot to online sales, but features like scalability, flexibility, and integration with inventory management software are also important to SMBs.
Here are six e-commerce solutions that brick-and-mortar merchants will want to check out.
More than half of Americans say they’re concerned about touching cash during the Covid pandemic, and 60% say they plan to use so-called touchless payments in the future. Google’s Waze is leaning into the shift with a new integration and partnership that will enable contactless payments at the gas pump for drivers all across the country.
The same mobile chat-based technologies that brands like Jagermeister and Snapchat have used to access focus groups on demand are now being used to help small to mid-size businesses access the same research capabilities. Using mobile chat-based applications, SMBs can generate authentic consumer insights in real-time, which makes it easier to foster community engagement during a time when businesses are struggling to reach their customers.
According to a report by Dragontail Systems, 53% of people say they prefer carry-out and delivery during the pandemic. To keep pace with that demand, restaurants are investing more heavily in technology platforms that enhance end-to-end kitchen operations.
Here are seven platforms that restaurants can use to manage online orders and streamline their takeout operations during Covid-19.
More than half (51%) of Americans are now using some form of contactless payment. Consumers are most likely to use contactless cards for buying essentials at grocery stores and pharmacies, where 50% of consumers say they worry about the cleanliness of signature touchpads.
Consumers in the U.S. have historically been slower to adopt contactless payments, and that’s something that is tied to a lack of merchant adoption, says Rob Fagnani, vice president of strategy at Formation.ai.
Household targeting was possible before the pandemic, but it has become even more necessary for brands since shelter-in-place orders began this spring. With more people living together, and spending more time together inside their homes, having the ability to target multiple members of the same household has become more valuable for marketers.
“The pandemic has caused people to spend a lot more time at home. That means more time spent with shared devices,” Tapad COO Mark Connon says. ”Brands need to have a better understanding of who is using what device and when, despite these shifting behaviors, in order to make their engagements count.”
Savvy brand marketers are finding ways to take advantage of location-targeted advertising to inform consumers about shifting variables such as store hours of operation and social distancing requirements. Despite some apprehension among advertisers worried about seeming to capitalize on a catastrophe, surveys show that consumers are OK with being targeted with ads right now. More than 90% of people surveyed say they think brands should continue advertising during the crisis.
Here are five examples of ways that brands can start using location-targeted advertising to more effectively connect with consumers during the pandemic.
The old way of doing business isn’t working anymore. As restaurants, retailers, and other businesses work to keep customers updated about shifting hours of operation and in-store social distancing requirements, they are opening up to outside-the-box ideas and becoming more comfortable trying location-targeted marketing platforms.
Data show that digital adoption among businesses and consumers jumped forward at least five years in the first eight weeks of the pandemic. Small restaurants and retailers are eagerly adopting the same tools now that they were hesitant to try back in 2019. That push is leading technology providers to expand their offerings and develop new tools for a growing market.
Different industries are looking to manage the spread in different ways. For retailers, that might mean using artificial intelligence to make sure customers are following social distancing rules inside their stores. It might also mean using location data, beacons, and other mobile technologies to track where consumers are going during shutdowns or monitor employee compliance with local Covid regulations.
It’s worth noting that this is a sector that is evolving at breakneck speed. These are just a few of the ways the martech community is using its technology for Covid compliance right now.
With consumer behavior changing quickly, and so much about the future in flux, retailers are working harder to get a complete understanding of their shoppers as they go about their journeys between the digital and physical worlds, says Ubimo Co-Founder Ran Ben-Yair. Strategies specifically designed to target high-intent shoppers are moving into the forefront, as large retail brands come to terms with the unprecedented challenges of this new reality.
During a time when many other types of advertising have faltered, out-of-home (OOH) advertising is having a moment. Despite a nationwide pandemic, OOH activations are on the rise. Political spending on OOH media is up 75% compared to the same period in 2018, and direct-to-consumer brands are seeing increases in both aided and unaided brand awareness.
What’s driving the push? According to Quan CEO Brian Rappaport, there’s been a distinct change in consumer traffic patterns since the pandemic began. Brands that are capitalizing on those changes are reaching targeted groups of consumers at “firesale” prices.
Regardless of which retailer comes out on top, there’s no doubt that many will see Walmart’s decision to launch a digital-first membership program as a turning point in brick-and-mortar retail and a concession on Walmart’s part that e-commerce is the way of the future, displacing rather than complementing old-school retail.
Marcel Hollerbach contends that Walmart’s decision to launch a membership program points to just how well positioned retailers with physical locations are in the current climate, with the ability to quickly facilitate things like in-store returns and same-day deliveries of items that take much longer to ship by mail.