Three Ways Indoor Maps Do More for Complex Retail Buildings

Once a venue’s maps have been digitized for wayfinding purposes, there are many ways to drive additional ROI from that same set of indoor maps. When location technologies are designed with interoperability in mind, it becomes possible to blend different technologies together to create smart solutions that provide value not only to business operations but also to consumers. By integrating digitized, layer-based indoor maps with other solutions such as the indoor equivalent of GPS, known as Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS), asset tracking and business intelligence, great things become possible. 

Here is a shortlist of the top use cases that malls can implement to generate further ROI from their indoor mapping investments.

LBMA Vidcast: Snapchat Using OOH & AR; Gig Economy Under Fire

On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: Snapchat using OOH + AR, Zippin has store at Sacramento Kings stadium, Gig Economy under fire in California, Michael’s Stores + UPS, Wirecard partners with SES-imagotag, UPS gets drone fleet approval in U.S.

Adapting to New iOS13 and Android Q Location Sharing Permission Changes: What to Expect

This month, both Apple and Google released significant updates to their operating systems (OS) that will have a big impact on the way location data is shared and collected. It is just one of many ways the tech industry is trying to self-regulate and protect consumers’ information in the absence of federal-level privacy regulations.

These new location-sharing permission changes impact an app’s ability to gather the necessary data they need to build location-based app features, and while it’s too early to understand the significance of the impact, these changes give a clear indication of how the tech industry must evolve to be more transparent with consumers and provide clearer, opt-in consent through any data exchange.

Adapting and adjusting to these changes first and foremost require a high-level understanding of what specifically these updates include, and how they impact the interaction between an app and its users. 

Retail as a Service: Amazon Tips its Hand

Amazon has a knack for moving into new vertical segments and then applying its logistical mastery and economies of scale to carve out margins and undercut incumbents. Then, it doubles down by scaling things up to its signature high-volume/low-margin approach. As Jeff Bezos ruthlessly admits, “Your margin is my opportunity.”

The latest place for this to unfold is retail. No, we’re not talking about Whole Foods, though that’s part it (more on that in a bit). We’re talking about Amazon’s transformation of the in-store experience — upending and streamlining logistics just like it’s done in shipping and cloud computing.

Here are some predictions for how Amazon’s disruption of retail via licensing of its Go technology will upend the industry.

Turning a Unique Vanity Phone Number into Many

Just over half of Americans now use their personal mobile phone numbers as their only phone numbers. A majority of Americans also no longer have landline phones in their homes, and that’s convenient because anyone, anywhere in the world, can now reach you with just that one number. But the opposite is true in the business world, where brands can leverage new technologies to create multiple vanity numbers in order to engage their customers across local, regional, and national marketing campaigns. 

That statistic I cited above isn’t just an interesting bit of trivia. It highlights how the phone, an ancient communications medium compared to social media platforms, chatbots, messaging apps, and email, remains important to a brand’s marketing efforts.

Will Images Drive a New Local Search Paradigm?

Blumenthal to Mihm: Obviously AI/ML vis-à-vis image recognition is going to play a huge role going forward in terms of discovery and conversion. But I would have to add that it is also critically important to Google as a way to engage the user in “immersive search” behaviors. That is, drawing the user deeper and deeper into Google so that they never feel the need or desire to go someplace else. This will further seal off the walled garden of local discovery search. 

You can see this in the new search by photos feature where the user is led into a grid of visual business choices and ultimately served up the Local Finder via the View list link or, if they click on an image, a business profile. But to get to the phone number, the user had to totally commit to diving deeper into Google.

Using Location Intelligence as Marketing Pixels for the Real World

Without pixels, marketing in the digital world would be a guessing game. However, with 90% of all commerce still taking place in the physical world, oftentimes marketers find themselves in the dark, not knowing how their customers are interacting with their brands offline. Enter location intelligence, or as we like to call it, pixels for the real world. 

Take a moment to reflect on the past few weeks. Did you stop at a coffee shop on the way to work? Did you work out on specific days of the week at a nearby gym? Are there restaurants you frequent when you are too lazy to cook at home? In a study, published in Nature Human Behaviour, researchers found that people frequent up to 25 places at any given time period. Similar to marketing pixels placed on websites, the ability to understand physical, real-world behavior such as path-to-purchase, visitation patterns, day-of-week preferences, and daily activities fuels more strategic decision making. 

LBMA Vidcast: Amazon to Roll Out Hand Recognition Payment at Whole Foods

On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: Skoda announces in-car voice assistant Laura, Philadelphia bans stores that don’t accept cash, Kochava teams with CubeIQ, GOAT let’s you try on exclusive sneakers in AR, Olo powering restaurant orders from Google search and maps, Amazon to roll-out hand recognition payment at Whole Foods.

Last-Minute Shoppers Help Small Retailers Compete with Amazon for Holiday Sales

During the holiday shopping season, it’s Amazon’s world — or is it?

Outside the digital sphere, brick-and-mortar holiday sales at big-box shops like Walmart and Best Buy continue to be buoyed by bullish shoppers willing to hit the streets in search of timely deals during consumer-focused quasi-holidays like Black Friday. As a result, shoppers are spending more during the holidays than ever before. 

And then there’s the independent, local retailer. How is a small shop supposed to compete with the ease of mobile e-commerce or the allure of big-box doorbuster deals? Turns out, they have an ace in the hole: last-minute shoppers. 

Technology Planning: What Retailers Should Do Now to Prep for the Holiday Rush

Retailers will need to think differently when it comes to technology planning. With the holiday season looming, now is the best moment to develop a long-term technology strategy geared toward capturing more holiday sales in addition to driving revenue growth all year long.

Understanding a few key areas can help get the planning process started. This includes: exceeding consumers’ holiday shopping expectations, making holiday shopping more convenient, and enabling a holistic holiday shopping journey. 

Facebook Marketing Partner Summit 2019: What’s All the Hype about Messaging?

Facebook led the Summit with this very interesting statistic: “There are now more messaging users than social users globally.” While the semantics of “messaging” vs. “social app” draw a fine distinction, on raw user count alone, WhatsApp and Messenger account for 2.9 billion users, and Facebook alone sits at 2.4 billion.

With these numbers in mind, Facebook’s contention is that conversation should be a larger part of the consumer journey when it comes to advertising, even noting that consumers are increasingly expecting to be as well, creating a virtuous cycle of sorts.

LBMA Vidcast: Verizon Media Turns to AR; Uber Testing Essential Grocery Delivery Down Under

On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: Verizon Media goes AR, Pared app for restaurants, Veeve re-invents the shopping cart, Uber testing milk/bread delivery in Australia, Albert Heijn piloting their own Amazon GO, Apple quietly adds UWB to iPhone 11.

3 Ways DTC Brands Impact Legacy CPG Playbooks

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands have forced legacy CPG brands into a major strategy shift. The rumblings of the digital transformation signaled change was coming, and the rise of DTC brands has led CPGs to rethink consumer engagement and the marketing tactics necessary to achieve that goal. And, in today’s digital-first marketplace, CPG margins are tightening because of the competition from DTCs as well as Amazon’s white-label product lines.

The result of these challenges sees the CPG playbook evolving to meet the digital-first ecosystem through tactics including investing in acquisitions, moving advertising budgets into digital, and including emerging marketing channels such as experiential marketing to create brand awareness and make direct consumer connections.

Physical Stores May Resemble Our Newsfeeds in the Near Future

We’re currently living in a time of unprecedented change in the marketing and advertising industries. One of the most interesting emerging trends is the incorporation of new advertising opportunities within physical stores, in ways that will remind you of your social media newsfeeds.

If you’re a member of Generation X, or even an older Millennial, you probably remember walking through the aisles in grocery stores and grabbing coupons out of plastic dispensers. What we will see occurring in the future is the 21st Century’s version of the coupon machine — the personalized newsfeed-ification of physical stores.

Employees Are Connecting On Facebook: Here’s Why They Shouldn’t

When they aren’t connecting in the office, 87% of employees are connecting on Facebook. With more than 1.5 billion daily active users, it’s no surprise that employees flock to the platform to connect with colleagues. Facebook is easy and familiar, and many employees have used it for years. When employees want to connect personally with someone they know professionally, Facebook is the natural first step. 

But Facebook isn’t the best place for making personal connections with coworkers, mainly because of the amount of personal content employees post. They express their political opinions and might post jokes and language that could easily offend in a professional setting. When you introduce professional contacts to a personal platform, the lines of what’s appropriate are blurred. People might begin to censor themselves, which isn’t always healthy. Or employees might feel uncomfortable with a coworker based on something they’ve seen online.

Retail is Not Dead, But Small Businesses Need Help

Card-Linked Offer (CLO) technology is leveling the playing field for all merchants. If you haven’t heard of CLOs, you’re not alone. According to the Cardlinx Association, CLO marketing is the fastest growing segment of digital marketing, with a majority of  large companies expecting to double their CLO budgets from last year, and the number of consumer transactions doubling from last year. Despite this rapid growth, most of the 25 million small businesses in the US have never heard of CLO marketing or know that it is available to them.

Google Maps: The Under-Appreciated Discovery Channel

Blumenthal: Google Maps is/has become the primary discovery tool in many categories. That is a significant shift of which agencies and owners need to be aware.

Mihm: Yep. I’m not sure I would even have had our ThriveHive data science team look for this data point specifically had you not tipped me off. But sure enough, across our dataset of nearly 20,000 GMB Profiles, we found that Maps impressions outweigh Search impressions by nearly 3:1 (72% to 28% over the last 18 months).

LBMA Vidcast: NYY Turn to Postmates, Uncle Ben’s Goes Google Lens

On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: New York Yankees using Postmates, Uncle Ben’s goes Google Lens with Innit, Toy R’ Us back with Candytopia, Heineken teams with Grab in SE Asia, Walgreens delivers with Wing drones, Starbucks  Japan let’s you pay with a pen.

5 Predictions for Mobile Technology After the Mass Adoption of 5G

The new 5G standard for phones is just starting to make a splash. There’s a lot to do in the development department and lots of equipment installations necessary before everyone can enjoy 5G hyper speeds.

While there are some predictions on the transition from the current 4G LTE dominance to 5G, nobody really knows how long it will take. But what happens once it does and 5G is the new standard? 

Here are five most likely to happen scenarios that await us in the near future.

The Privacy Movement Is Not (Just) About Privacy

Privacy has been slipping away from us since before then-CEO of Sun Microsystems Scott McNealy said we had none of it in January 1999. Americans still do not understand how companies use their data. While that is a transparency issue incumbent upon businesses to fix — and legislation will to some degree remedy it — I think it more likely than not that Americans will continue to hand over their data to Amazon for two-day delivery and Google for the sleekness of search. What we typically conceive of as privacy itself — concern about how much of our information companies possess — is not the factor that will turn the tides on company practices and legal standards.