Reflections on 2020 in Local: Innovation by Necessity

From a big-picture perspective, innovative tech providers are recognizing that SMBs don’t need all the bells and whistles that may come with an enterprise solution. They need tech that solves critical everyday problems that are common across the local landscape. 

Can Immersive Marketing Boost Local Businesses?

One of the emerging technologies driving innovation amid Covid is AR. For example, its ability to add real-life interactivity to e-commerce gained traction in 2020. This could extend to a post-Covid world of “touchless” retail for in-aisle virtual product interaction.

3 Ways Local Content Drives Customer Connections

Social distancing is here for the long haul, but consumers are still craving social connection. Brands can fill in the gaps by maximizing their digital presence on the key search and social platforms, such as Facebook, Google My Business, and Yelp, where consumers are spending increased time online.

Post-Third-Party Cookie Advertising and Experiences

Companies will still need to provide an equivalent user experience to the unknown visitors or risk driving them away. They will need to find incentives to drive authentication and opt-ins; additionally, they will need to create a brand experience that is broadly accessible in lieu of today’s personalized approaches that rely on third-party data insights.

How Privacy Will Upend Advertising in 2021

Of course, if mobile numbers are adopted as a universal ID, Apple, Google, and Facebook won’t get their way. They will not go down quickly and will likely continue to bury email IDs as a viable solution. We’ll see the entire industry disrupted as each of the powerhouses marches forward with their plans to own the future of privacy, ensuring they monetize the very thing they are touting to protect.

3 Changes in CTV That Will Endure in 2021

While this year has seen so much change in TV, I expect even more next year, especially given that there is so much uncertainty related to Covid-19. With that in mind, here are three CTV predictions for 2021 and the ways they stand to impact the industry. 

Contactless Pay Is the Next Big Pivot in Retail CX

Remember when Amazon launched Prime? The entire retail customer experience (CX) changed overnight — for everyone. The bookseller-turned-everything-seller suddenly offered low prices and fast and free delivery, leading traditional retailers to pivot drastically to keep up with their mega-competitor.  

But sometimes, unexpected CX overhauls are a good thing — especially when competitors have to pivot, too.  

5 Predictions for Mobile in 2021

Emerging mobile commerce data shows retail’s future hinges on our phones. While our industry was well aware of this trend before the pandemic, the acceleration stats are striking.

How SMBs Capitalize on Customer Data

Small businesses have had to squeeze every bit of value out of their operations in the past year and are quickly realizing the importance of knowing their customers. Luckily, collecting and taking action on data doesn’t have to mean learning an entirely new skill set. 

Rather, it can be as simple as using the information that you already have, or could easily access, to improve the things that you’re already doing.

Email Security for Small Businesses

A secure company email account is just as important for small and medium-sized businesses as it is for large enterprises. More often than not, it’s email-based breaches at Fortune 500 companies making the news, but SMBs are targeted by email threats just as often, if not more.

2021 Holds a Bright Future for Advertising. Yes, Really

While 2021 holds a lot of uncertainty when it comes to the pandemic, there are absolutely things that marketers and publishers can and should plan for. That entails making identity, data quality, and privacy a key part of their strategy for the year. 

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New Ad Targeting Group: Cannabis Consumers

According to a new commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting among marketing leaders in the US, most brands (>75%) are already interested in cannabis consumer data to better understand and reach new and existing customers. 

They recognize that sustainable, long-term growth requires keeping pace with their customers’ interests, like cannabis, as they evolve over time. They also see the value of this massive audience that possesses ideal attributes for campaign activation up and down the funnel. 

Location-Based Marketing Association’s 2021 Predictions

In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association reflects on the year that was and speculates on the year ahead. Check out their predictions for 2021 on the latest episode.

Ads in 2021: IDFA, Universal ID 2.0, and DTC Inspiration

In search of a new identity solution, publishers will prioritize first-party assets, including email, in concert with any Universal ID adoption. This is just one of many changes advertisers will make in the new year to respond to a shifting ecosystem.

Voice Growth Will Further Amazon and Google’s E-Commerce Dominance

For most people, e-commerce starts with a Google or Amazon search on our computer or phone. We read reviews, compare prices, and analyze how something will look or fit in our lives. We don’t know where we will end up, but we browse options from our favorite retailers until we find exactly what we are looking for. 

What happens when we stop using visual cues and start searching with our voice? And what happens when the results that our voice triggers are controlled by the device interpreting those questions or commands? 

How to Start an Online Store From Scratch

Encouraged by the pandemic, consumers have also openly embraced online shopping. In fact, more of them plan to continue shopping online even after the pandemic is over.

Therefore, it’s an ideal time to start an online store, and this detailed guide can help you get started.

Covid is Changing Search. Here’s How to Respond

Advertisers, brands, and agencies are scrambling to deliver the highly tailored, localized search experiences that Covid-era consumers are increasingly looking for. In fact, 61% of marketers in a recent Forrester study said that improving the efficacy of their local marketing is a high priority for 2021.

So, how can advertisers and marketers navigate this evolving, more localized search landscape and get it right? Here are a few key items to keep in mind.

AWS Launches a Google Maps Rival

In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association covers AWS launching Location Service, a Google Maps competitor, Mood Media being acquired by Vector Capital, Starbucks partnering with Pokemon Go in Asia, Bayern Munich using AR to connect with fans, and Gimbal being sued for patent infringement.

Customer Experience is Your Best Marketing Tool

Providing an outstanding customer experience can be your most powerful and cost-efficient marketing strategy. In a business world where dozens of other companies sell the same products and services as you do, creating an environment where customers enjoy dealing with your company will help your brand stand out from the rest. 

Respecting Data Privacy while Boosting Business

The concept of being relevant while not being intrusive is not mutually exclusive. Certain brands have been able to master this delicate balance. One such brand is Apple. Apple knows that I have an iPhone 12, but they aren’t chasing me on all corners of the internet trying to sell me accessories, or worse, another iPhone. However, when I go to the Apple Store app, it has all my devices connected to my Apple ID, creating a curated list of relevant products. This is a masterclass in being relevant without being intrusive.