GMB Insights Reveal Pandemic Search Trends for Multi-Location Brands

Given the dominance of Google as a tool for local search, and given the fact that Google provides a richer set of search and engagement metrics for each of its business profiles than any other publisher, we thought it would be worthwhile to examine Google My Business data as an indicator of consumer search trends during the time of the pandemic.

The verticals that are booming in the pandemic period, with major gains in overall GMB activity, include pharmacies, banking and finance, hardware and home improvement, general retail, gas and convenience, and grocery. Those whose struggles are borne out by significant GMB activity decreases include restaurants and eateries, branded retail, and hotels and accommodations.

Location Weekly: Google Highlights Curbside Pickup

In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association hosts Jed Schneiderman, EVP of growth and marketing for EQ Works.

The team also covers Pedigree getting behind Zoom-based dog adoption in Nashville, Chantel Jeffries throwing a virtual DoorDash dinner party with Chili’s, and Google highlighting businesses with curbside pick-up in local search results.

How First-Party Data Can Drive a Comeback for Local Travel

Long live the road trip. Experts predict that people will largely look to visit domestic and drivable destinations because of new health and economic concerns. We’ll see more three- and four-day trips because of finances, work pressures, safety concerns, and changing school schedules. That said, travel companies, hotels, and CVBs are now considering reinvesting in marketing to local audiences. It’s time to hit the gas at this first sign of recovery.

Marketers have to think about geo-optimization because there may be pockets of travel in certain regions and an opportunity to be more fine-tuned. Larger brands that do national advertising may miss an opportunity to be more targeted on a regional basis.

The Impact of Covid-19 on Marketing and the Best Ways to Deal with It

What is the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on marketing, and what are the best ways to deal with these newfound challenges and sustain your business? Read on to learn the best possible ways to sustain your business and build strong communities during these troubled times.

Top 5 CRO Tools That Will Increase Conversions for Your Small Business

CRO is the process of setting up a website in a way that leads site visitors to take action and purchase products. As a result, they are converted into customers of the business. 

If you have a site that has high traffic, that is naturally a good sign. But it doesn’t mean much unless that traffic leads to conversions. Based on current research, we’ve compiled the top 5 CRO tools that you can use to increase conversions and bring in greater profit.

Using Zoom During Covid-19 Lockdown Exposes Users To New Data and Privacy Cyberattacks

Phishing attempts, coronavirus-themed fraud, and cyberattacks are increasing exponentially as fraudsters pummel organizations of all sizes in their attempts to gain access to sensitive information. They know just where to find that sensitive information, thanks to the inexperienced remote workforce that has been forced to work from home at this time. 

In light of the pandemic, the usage of applications that enable virtual meetings has skyrocketed. One of the worst-hit platforms has been Zoom. Relatively unknown up until a few months ago, its use has soared in ways that the developers did not foresee before the pandemic struck. 

Fortunately, there are steps people can take to keep their information secure.

Location Weekly: Verve, AppLift, and PubNative Join Forces as Verve Group

In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association hosts Tanner Gatlin, the senior live content creator of NFL Media.

The team also covers Spotify and Chiquita Bananas teaming for prizes and playlists, PubNative and Applift joining with Verve to form Verve Group, and Coors Light’s #CouldUseABeer campaign.

Advertising Rebound: CPMs Tell Us Now is the Time to Take the Ball and Run

While some countries are slowly easing their lockdown mandates, for many, uncertainty still remains for when business will return to “normal.” And a big question hovers: “When is the right time to take our foot off the break and apply the gas?” When you look at advertising costs as an indicator of economic recovery, it’s clear that now is the time, and social advertising is the vehicle. 

The Value of Audience Intelligence Extends Beyond Media—and That’s a Good Thing for Agencies

The trend toward brand in-housing of media operations has been a growing challenge for agencies for more than a decade now. As of this time last year, 91% of brands reported having moved at least a part of their digital marketing operations in-house. Many agencies have had to address the question: How do we stay relevant in an age of direct-to-consumer strategies and increasing automation of media execution? 

As we enter the next era of audience intelligence, today’s agencies have a new opportunity to refine their value proposition to clients and reclaim their roles as strategic advisors, all by leveraging the same strengths and tools that once defined their roles as invaluable media partners. Let’s look at how agencies can help brands extend the promise of audience intelligence beyond optimizing their media plans. 

Contactless Commerce Is Suddenly Mission-Critical in Every Retail Category

The phrase “by any means necessary” is fast becoming retail’s new mantra. The same industry that is typically viewed as cautious and conservative is moving really quickly. More quickly than I have seen in my 35 years in the industry. And where is the industry moving most quickly? Toward something we now call “contactless commerce.”

Shoppers around the world are afraid. They’re guarded, and they are wary of any contact with any strangers. They don’t want you to come near them. In response, retailers in every category are absolutely scrambling to remove human contact from the shopping journey. 

Augmented Reality for Ecommerce: the Why and the How

According to Gartner, in 2020 100 million customers will shop in augmented reality, both online and in-store. With these numbers in mind, it’s about time to jump on the AR bandwagon and start reaping the benefits of stellar customer engagement, improved conversion rates, and wider reach.

Playing the Long-Game with Today’s Low CPMs

As companies try to strike the right advertising tone given the global pandemic, it is apparent consumers are getting hit with the same messaging over and over — albeit from completely different brands: ‘Now more than ever’… ‘In these uncertain times’…. ‘The safety and comfort of home’… ‘We’re here to help’… ‘We’ll get through this together’… 

It seems the same playbook for how to engage customers during this time leaked to every team. So how can brands break away from the ‘hipster conundrum’ (trying to be genuine and unique while everyone else floods the market with the same message and approach)? 

Affiliate Marketing Strategies to Help You Through Covid-19

In the affiliate marketing ecosystem, brands partner with bloggers, influencers, publishers, even other brands to promote their products or services. By only paying for sales, leads, or new customers that their partners deliver, affiliate marketing allows brands to efficiently scale while optimizing their return on ad spend and cost per action (CPA).

Brands with creative and agile affiliate programs are the ones who will have loyal customers and partners long after this global crisis is over. With that in mind, here are some ways brands are adjusting their affiliate marketing strategies in the time of Covid-19.

Location Weekly: Reveal Mobile Raises Fresh Funding

In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association hosts two new guests: Denise McKenzie, director of the Benchmark Initiative at Geovation, and Walter Geer III, SVP, Group Creative Director, at TBWA/WorldHealth.

The team also covers Reveal Mobile being awarded a patent and raising fresh funding as well as EQ Works partnering with Opta Information to use location data for the insurance industry.

Can Local Commerce and Tech Work From Home?

I’ve worked from a home office since 2002. Forced into it — and initially opposed due to unfamiliarity — I didn’t like the isolation. But after acclimating, I became more productive, happier, and healthier than in any previous office job. Now, 18 years later, I may never go back.

One question is if that same realization will sink into corporate ranks now forced to #WFH. Could adjusting to working from home be a silver lining for some industries? In being forced to try new ways of doing business, could we discover habits that work better than older conventions? How might this principle play out in local businesses?

Adapting to Covid-19 Using Location Data

My personal experience getting sick during the pandemic also got me thinking about how easy it is to spread the virus just by moving around and how important it is to abide by government guidance to stay at home or at least limit your movements. As someone who works in the location data industry, I have an appreciation for the mass movement of people, and staying at home and limiting contact with other people is the right thing to do right now.

I also had the chance to think about how location data could be used to help hospitals, governments, and businesses combat the spread of the virus. 

Social Distancing and Gen-Z

Social distancing and self-quarantining have changed the world in a matter of weeks. How is Gen-Z responding? They are flocking to apps like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat to pass time and interact with family and friends. Facebook and WhatsApp have lost their reign over the competition during lockdown.  

To get a better understanding of Gen-Zers’ habits, routine, and lives during the pandemic, Brainly, the world’s largest peer-to-peer learning community, surveyed over 1,700 of them. 

The Affiliate Maturity Curve: Graduating from Banners to Lifetime Value

Let’s face it: Affiliate marketing gets a bad wrap. Once considered a channel fraught with black-hat players, fraud, weak strategy, and an overall lack of transparency, affiliate marketing suffered from a reputation for opacity that did not imbue confidence and trust in partners. Most importantly, there wasn’t a sufficient level of confidence that the channel could deliver desired results and outcomes. 

The reality is that the last-click-only perception of affiliate marketing is a thing of yesteryear. Looking back, coupon and loyalty dominated the category because of this reliance on the last-click model embraced by brands. That model stymied the channel’s advancement and progression. However, affiliate is no longer relegated to rudimentary tactics like banner advertising on coupon sites. 

The Cookie’s Collapse is No More Consequential than the Shift to Mobile

The cookie is on its last days, enjoying an extended farewell tour, thanks to Google’s decision to view third-party cookies as obsolete within Chrome by 2022. While many have painted the cookie’s waning days as the potential end of digital advertising, the truth is that this move is really no more consequential than the gradual shift from the desktop web to the mobile device.

Similar to the shift to mobile, the loss of the cookie will change the way that digital media is bought and sold and the way that many companies approach third-party data. It will likely put several companies out of business if they fail to adapt. But this change will merely be a paradigm shift — one that is long overdue — and not the nuclear fallout that many are expecting.

Location Weekly: Nextdoor and Walmart Team Up to Help Neighbors Assist Neighbors

In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association’s Asif Khan chats with Cami Zimmer, chief business officec of Glympse, and Ron Cariker speaks with Shannon Wilkerson, marketing director of Cajun Harley Davidson. The team also discusses Nextdoor and Walmart helping neighbors help neighbors and 7Eleven opening a pop-up store letting hospital workers pay with their badges.