Transparency and Brand Purpose Dominated Cannes

The big topic of the week was industry change, driven largely by transparency. Agencies are evaluating opportunities and challenges to their business model as buyers demand more oversight of media, fees, and attribution. Increasing interest in ad tech in-housing has also stoked soul-searching.

Every brand also talked about reflecting an authentic, real world in its marketing—from the people in front of and behind the cameras, to creative and targeting strategies. The campaigns that seemed the most likely to succeed were all “purpose-centric,” with the brand rallying around a specific and common cause.

Studying the Relationship Between Phone Price and Income

The results of our study show that the more expensive your phone is, the more likely you are to come from a higher income bracket. Our model predicts that, for every dollar that the average price for a cell phone in a given zip code increases, the median income for that zip code will also increase by $122.70 — in other words, by a fairly significant amount.

In the Wake of Spam Reports, Google Focuses on Brand and Small Business Engagement

Google’s calculated risk in creating a low bar for verification works out fine in a world where most business owners simply want to gain legitimate access to their own listings, and most businesses do operate within those ethical boundaries. But as we’ve seen elsewhere at this stage in the evolution of social networks, fraud and deceptive manipulation have become a kind of ghost in the machine, dominating darker sectors of the local marketplace and creating an atmosphere of distrust that may eventually prove more broadly contagious. 

All of this is only possible when lots of activity is consolidated on a few platforms. Just as fake accounts attempting to engineer the 2016 election thrived in the vast and complex Facebook ecosystem, so too has Google’s dominance in local attracted its own horde of opportunists, drawn like moths to its flame. Indeed, fraud in local listings is just the latest in a long history of attempts, from link farms to keyword spam, to manipulate loopholes in Google’s regulations and algorithms.

LBMA Vidcast: Facebook’s Libra, Carrefour Tests Facial Recognition

On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, L.L. Bean and Uber for Backyard Campsite, Carrefour tests facial recognition, 7Eleven delivers Cheetos AR experience, Kyruus + Brandify partner, PromoRepublic raises 2 million Euros.

The Retailpocalypse Doesn’t Have to Be Scary for Local Businesses

Headlines about retail closures suggest it’s Amazon’s world and we’re all just living in it, but there’s more to the story. For local businesses, in particular, there’s ample reason to be optimistic that the retail apocalypse doesn’t have to spell end times. In fact, exactly the opposite could be true. Let’s walk through a few of the reasons for optimism. 

Alexa, Podcasts, and the Role of Voice in Today’s Marketing

The increasing popularity of smart speakers, digital assistants, and podcasts means we need to begin thinking differently about voice and marketing. That includes tailoring online content to users and how they engage with it, making voice functionality a part of the sales funnel, and creating podcasts or partnering with influencers to reach audiences in a new way. With the right approach, a creative brand could get a considerable head start in this new but quickly developing marketing landscape.

Google’s Fake Listings Problem Gets More Attention—and May Spur Regulation

Blumenthal to Mihm: It seems to me that Google could take the fake listings issue off the table by seriously investing in cleaning up the fake listing and fake review issue. I just don’t think that they think that way.

At a minimum, as the company that has the monopoly in the local space, Google faces the expectation and responsibility to provide a service that truly serves the public and businesses. And they seem to forget that.

Cannes Roundup: A Triad of Innovation is Capturing Advertisers’ Attention and Spend Right Now

This year, we saw the rise of three elements of technology-driven outcomes that, I’d suggest, represent a triad of innovation — and those elements are agility, speed, and the product-development capabilities to allow early-adopting brands to actually access emerging marketplaces (such as audio, as we saw this year). The first two terms are interconnected, and each fuels the drive for innovative products that big-name brands are beta-testing already. 

LBMA Vidcast: Square Adds DoorDash and Postmates

On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: AppNexus rebrands to Xandr Invest with AT&T data, Cerebro Platform hyperlocal DOOH, Welcome travel itinerary app, McDonald’s McNugget experience in the UK, Square adds DoorDash & Postmates, iOS 13 to be much more location-sharing friendly.

Why Startups Should Aim to Partner with Larger Companies

If not to scale up quickly and earn unicorn status, what should startups be aiming to achieve? In essence, the answer is sustainable growth, and in recent years we have seen founders look to corporate partnerships as a viable way of achieving this. Corporate-startup partnerships are collaborations where an established company enters into a mutually beneficial relationship with an agile startup.

Brand Safety is a Brand Authenticity Problem

Marketers know that in a world of globalized competition, consumers are one click away from choosing a different product or service. Taking a stand can help brands appear righteous and earn consumer loyalty, which is why brand safety scandals necessitate a massive and speedy PR response. However, responding to or apologizing for such scandals can only be perceived as authentic the first time around—not the second time, and definitely not the third. The endless cycle of brand safety scandals reveals one of two things about today’s brands—they’re either lemmings, or they don’t really care about brand values.

Outsourced or In-House Delivery? We Did the Math

Local delivery is rapidly becoming a must-have for all kinds of businesses—people have become accustomed to online ordering and speedy delivery. According to a Go People survey, 65% of retailers will offer same-day delivery by the end of 2019, and according to Technomic, food delivery volume will grow by 12% year-over-year from 2019 to 2023. The question isn’t whether your business should offer delivery, but how.

How to Use Facebook’s Simplified Campaign Structure to Your Advantage

It’s a brave new advertising world. The algorithms are taking over, whether human advertising managers like it or not. Our best bet is to understand how the algorithms work and to give them the freedom, the data, the budgets, and the creative assets they need for optimal performance.  The Facebook algorithm will take away budget lever from humans when Campaign Budget Optimization becomes mandatory in September 2019.

LBMA Vidcast: Amazon’s StyleSnap, Coca Cola’s Summer Wrist Bands

On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: Wrangler Jeans + Old Town Road, The North Face + Spotify, SingleCut Beersmiths plays trivia, Amazon’s StyleSnap, Coca-Cola’s summer wrist bands, ProYo + InMarket. Special: 2019 LBMA Global Location Trends Report.

Fostering Brand-Customer Relationships in the Age of Social Checkout and Chatbots

Currently, 74% of consumers visit the social media pages of brands to inspire future purchases. And as evidenced by the popularity of Instagram Checkout, sales tools like Apple Business Chat, and new ad products like Google‘s Shoppable Ads, the industry is rapidly moving towards commerce that removes the friction between inspiration and an actual purchase.

But when the path to purchase is shortened, so is the opportunity for brand and customer to interact, which is probably what attracted your customers in the first place. Especially in the world of social media, brand persona is an enduring element that differentiates your brand and creates fans out of customers.

The good news is, you don’t have to sacrifice brand voice for a social commerce strategy. In fact, with the right tools, you can enhance it.

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).

Google Antitrust: Is It Enough for Yelp?

Mihm to Blumenthal: I’m not averse to the idea of the government regulating Google’s practices in Maps or local search, but it feels like rewarding Yelp in particular is not going to bring consumers any particular benefit, nor will it meaningfully benefit small businesses, as Elizabeth Warren seems to indicate is a primary goal of her plan.

If anything, Google has gone out of its way to help small businesses compete in its search results with the introduction of the local pack and the Venice update, whereas small businesses continue to rate Yelp as poorly as any company in tech.

LBMA Vidcast: Foursquare’s Big Acquisition, Wendy’s Teams with GasBuddy

On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: Eleven-X + Skyhook, NCR Digital + SAFE Credit Union, Albert Heijn tries dynamic pricing, Foursquare buys Placed from Snap, GrandVisual + NCMEC finding missing persons, Wendy’s partners with GasBuddy for Memorial Day campaign.

The Genesis Story: Why It’s a Key Part of an Effective Marketing Strategy

The cornerstone of a company’s brand narrative and storytelling efforts will all spring from the brand’s genesis story. The story of the creation of the brand, the who, the why, and the what of it, are the threads that weave the brand’s story together. A genesis story tells the consumer not only what the brand is and how it was created, but also about the brand’s values, what kind of company they are, and what kinds of people work there. Think of the brand genesis story as the brand legend.

5 Questions Brands Must Ask Their Agency About Location Data

Advertisers are unknowingly wasting 30 to 50%, and as much as 80%, of their location-based targeting spend on inaccurate, poor-quality data, some of which is fraudulent. They are being told by their partners that “everything is fine,” but the answers to a few questions could reveal a very different story.

Here are five questions brand managers should be asking their agency partners about location data. The answers will help vet the quality of the data you are purchasing.