How to Thrive on Amazon around the Holidays: Tips and Tricks to Prep this Season

Figuring out how best to fit Amazon into your holiday marketing strategies can be tricky, especially when it comes to balancing the investment between physical locations and the online experience. Some retailers are doing this well and thriving without Amazon (think Glossier, shoe companies Rothy’s and Koio, as well as any number of DTC brands), but many more rely heavily on the site to augment both digital and real-world strategies. So if you’re looking to leverage Amazon to your advantage this holiday season, here are a few tips and best practices for retail success.

4 Lesser-Known Social Platforms Effective For Marketing

Ask someone to name a social media platform, and you’ll probably get the same answers: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on. But it’s easy to forget that there are other powerful social platforms out there carving out a niche for themselves.

For marketers, these present an untapped opportunity. Read on to discover four lesser-known social platforms that will be great for connecting with prospective customers in 2020.

Retail Q5: Secrets to Maximizing Holiday Social Advertising Campaign Impact

The heightened emphasis on shopping during the holidays is a boon for retailers and advertisers, as brands flood all of our social feeds and airwaves with hot deals—not to mention the ever present cadre of e-commerce offerings also trying to break through. Spending on digital ads is also expected to increase as more advertisers shift their efforts to social media over television and print.

Naturally, much of this social media spending will go to Facebook. It can seem difficult, especially for SMB retailers, to break through the noise. But there is hope if you know how to game the system to be able to maximize the impact of your Facebook ads. There is this concept of “Q5,” which refers to the ~15 day period during just before and after the holidays where the lead time on ground shipping makes shopping online difficult. You’ll hear differing definitions on the exact time frame, and there is a regional element, too, as not everyone lives within one- or two-day shipping distances. 

It’s Neural Matching: Google Explains the November Ranking Shakeup

A tweet on Monday from Google search liaison Danny Sullivan provides an explanation for the rankings shakeup that has perplexed the local search community since the beginning of November. Google began using neural matching to generate local search results.

Local search has just undertaken a huge evolutionary step. No longer are local results being matched to user queries solely on the basis of identifiable ranking factors, such as proximity to searcher, keywords in business names, primary category of the listing, review count, and so on. That isn’t to say such factors are now unimportant, but they have been augmented by a broader and more general sense of relevance delivered by neural matching.

Carriers, It’s Time to Weld the Lid Shut on Customers’ Data

Personalization and privacy seem inherently at odds. After all, media companies such as Facebook act like vacuum hoses for data – collecting much more than they need. That’s problematic in a world where data breaches dominate headlines nearly every week. However, where Facebook and others go low, mobile carriers can go high. In fact, mobile carriers that aim to be media companies have a huge opportunity to respect privacy while providing great personalization in their original content.  

So, how can carriers take this high road — that is, deliver personalized content experiences without storing consumers’ personal information? By focusing on the device itself – leveraging local storage and client-side execution (rather than requiring server interaction) to help carriers deliver a personalized experience that is incredibly safe. This allows carriers to implement the industry-changing trend of device-centric discovery (DCD), which makes it easy for subscribers to find news/sports/entertainment/games without having to wade through multiple apps and searches. With DCD, carriers can create personalized content experiences that don’t expose subscribers’ personal data to external privacy risks, and in the process, become mobile media leaders.

LBMA Vidcast: PayPal to Acquire Honey; Apple Teams with PlayNetwork

On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: Mobivity launching omnichannel offer platform with Subway, Apple teaming with PlayNetwork for retail music, PayPal to acquire Honey for $4B, Tesco’s One Stop launches AR game, JCPenney opening new store with barbershop and styling, and CVS + Weather Channel team-up on AI flu predictions.

5 Pointers for Driving Performance with Brand-to-Brand Partnerships

Leading brands are realizing that it is no longer sustainable to rely on the old paradigm of large, brand-to-brand collaborations. To elevate their business and up their partnerships game, brands need to expand their understanding of who a partner is, how more relationships can be managed efficiently at scale, and why performance-based compensation is the future of partner marketing. 

Here are five pointers brands need to consider when looking to grow through mutually beneficial brand partnerships.

New Brandify Survey Reveals Consumer Habits in Local Search

For Brandify’s local search consumer survey, consumers were asked to name the tools they’ve used in the last 30 days to find information about businesses nearby. Though a vast majority of 77% named Google Maps over any other tool, there was a significant “second tier” group including Facebook at 38%, Yelp at 35%, and business websites at 32%.

The study also asked consumers about the frequency of searches, the range of businesses for which they searched, preferred devices, and the likelihood of visiting a business after searching.

The Path to Agency Scale: Product, Sales, or Both?

David: I’ve been thinking quite a bit about our product mix at ThriveHive recently. And in particular the segmentation of the various offerings of our newly combined GateHouse/Gannett company by customer budget.

It has surprised me, frankly, that so few agencies seem to go to market with the essential digital marketing bundle for local businesses you and I proposed exactly two years ago. In re-reading that article, I’d still give the same advice today and with even more urgency based on the rollout of Local Service Ads.

What’s Ahead for Last-Mile Delivery in 2020

Delivery is emerging as a competitive advantage for local retailers. In fact, in September 2019, Onfleet surveyed 1,000 US consumers to gather their impressions on online versus local store shopping and delivery expectations. Seventy-six percent said they would be more inclined to order from local stores rather than from Amazon if they could get same-day delivery.

With that in mind, here are some delivery trends we’re expecting for 2020.

LBMA Vidcast: Quotient Technology to Acquire Ubimo; UPS and CVS Team Up on Drone Delivery

On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: Quotient Technology to acquire Ubimo, Fortnite and Royal Canadian Legion, Pepsi to pay it forward for the holidays, Groundlevel Insights + Gathr Lab, UPS and CVS team up on drone delivery of prescription drugs, and Wirecard buys the majority stake in AllScore.

Should Small Businesses Participate in Black Friday?

The total amount spent by shoppers on Black Friday in 2018 was $715.5 billion, according to The Balance. What’s even more noteworthy is the average amount spent per shopper, at $1,007.24. This represents an increase of approximately 4.3% over Black Friday 2017 sales. The numbers show that shoppers are ready and willing to spend on Black Friday. So, rather than leaving it to large-scale retailers, if you’re a small business owner, why not consider joining in?

The truth is, you still might be wondering whether the additional time and investment are worth it. Below, we present some pros and cons of participating in Black Friday you may not have considered.

The Rise of First-Party Data: Why Quality Matters Over Quantity

For years, digital marketers have paid hand over fist in the digital gold rush for data. Instead of a tangible product, tech companies earn millions in revenue from the data they collect on previous, current, and future digital consumers. But digital marketers seeking to gobble up as much data as they can for their campaigns — while not stopping to consider the source of or methods used to collect it — are taking the wrong approach. The age-old mantra of “quality over quantity” has never been more relevant in online advertising, and marketers must quickly and fully embrace first-party data or risk their digital campaigns (and bottom lines) falling flat.

GDPR Implementation Spurs New Industry Offering Compliance Services

A year and a half after GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was passed into EU law, Kantar has found there is a vibrant industry in the United States dedicated to helping US companies comply with the new rules, as evidenced by paid search advertising activity throughout 2019.

Kantar analyzed US Google desktop and mobile text ad clicks on ads displaying for 10 GDPR-related keywords from January through September 2019, including gdpr, gdpr compliance, gdpr requirements, and what is gdpr. During the nine-month period, we found 283 advertisers in a wide range of industries sponsoring GDPR keywords, including IT companies, online security firms, software manufacturers, and business consultancies.

Are Google’s Many Broken Features Reflections of Google’s Style?

Mike to David: To some extent, the Google “method” of release quickly, break often, iterate, and finally reject or accept a change collides very directly when it interfaces with the much slower-moving real world. 

David: This speaks to our ongoing antitrust discussion and whether business harm is a justifiable prong on which to spear Google. Volatility is one thing, but a broken utility is another. And realistically, because of Google’s market position, small businesses have nowhere to turn when that utility is flat-out failing on fundamental levels.

Finding New Audiences: How To Win with the Next Generation of Consumers

The youngest generation of consumers is not only ad-averse, but also prefers to consume content when and where they want. With 71% of Gen Z claiming to prefer streaming services over traditional TV, the formula for successful content platforms is simple — provide consumers the content they want to see on the devices they use outside of the house. 

It’s equally important for platforms to cut through the noise and remove commercials and ads if they want to secure Gen Z support moving forward. While we all have specific tastes in what shows we watch, older generations of consumers were perfectly content sitting through commercials and ads. Gen Z is not of this mindset.

Is Uber Local Advertising’s Duopoly Killer?

While Amazon is challenging the duopoly, when zeroing in on local advertising and commerce — Street Fight’s hallmark — as opposed to driving eCommerce, another challenger may loom: Uber. In fact, we have a longstanding prediction that it will blitz local advertising by strategically building from the Trojan Horse that is “in-ride mode.”

This theory is based on the fact that Uber has your captive attention during rides, given in-app utilities like mapping and ETA. Furthermore, it knows where you’re going (think destination-based promotions). In the aggregate, it has lots of behavioral data for a richer mosaic of audience-targeting gold.

Revamping Your Strategy and Audiences for the Latest “Safe & Civil” Facebook Advertising Update

Your social advertising strategy and audiences may need a bit of an overhaul to align with updates to Facebook’s “Safe & Civil” Advertising Policies, especially if they fall within particular categories.

If your customer is running a campaign that does fall within one of the three categories upended by recent Facebook policy changes, it’s best to launch your campaign with a Special Ads Category applied prior to publishing. This will save you time and a headache resolving errors during the length of your campaign.

Believe the Hype: The Pragmatic Value of Location-Based Analytics, Audiences, and Attribution

After 25 years of framing technologies by level of maturity and adoption, the Gartner Hype Cycle has finally placed location intelligence for marketing where it belongs — in the trough of disillusionment. Sounds like a lousy place to be, but it’s actually the opposite. Why? The trough of disillusionment is the stage right before the slope of enlightenment. Let me back up and explain.

Combating Ad Fraud with Cutting-Edge Tech

It’s no secret that ad fraud is a major hurdle for digital advertisers, sapping billions annually from marketing budgets. As digital advertising continues to receive higher cuts of marketing budgets, the pressure on ad platforms to deliver legitimate and high-quality campaigns to their customers has never been greater. At the same time, marketers must be increasingly aware and choosy in how and where they run their digital campaigns in order to avoid the perils of ad fraud.

There are plenty of ad traps out there, but savvy marketers and publishers alike can implement a number of digital checkpoints to not only keep ad fraud at bay, but also optimize what is working and maximize profits for both parties.