Human Judgment, Automation, and the Future of Ad Tech

For now, I propose two major concerns—two challenges, even, for further thought—surrounding AI for the ad tech industry. The first is that the datafication of human experience that has allowed for precise ad targeting needs to be radically reconsidered, not just in terms of what can be done to obtain the consent of consumers for data collection, as the rising privacy movement has called tech companies to consider, but also in terms of what is lost and what is truly gained when the attributes of real people are transformed into consumer data. The second is that the human-machine hybrid decision-making model, while surely the best available in a hypothetical set that also includes human-only and machine-only models, will have to grapple with the bias and poor decisions of the humans who program the machines that will take on the task of regulating large platforms at scale. 

mobile data

Why Conversion Mapping and SEO Go Hand in Hand

Terry Cane: Search engine optimization isn’t just about on-page technical elements. Not anymore. These days, it’s as much about user experience as it is how well you can appeal to search engine robots. And a big part of that is conversion mapping—understanding the route your leads take from their first click to their purchase.

LBMA Vidcast: Cedars Sinai Goes Alexa, Fred Perry + Raf Simons Launch Virtual Map Shopping

On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: Cedars Sinai goes Alexa, Fred Perry + Raf Simons launch virtual map shopping, Kontakt.io new SMB play, ESRI acquires Indoo.rs, Ford integrates What3Words, Walgreens accepts Alipay in the U.S.

AI Technology is Getting within Reach for Small Restaurants

Rodion Yeroshek: The majority of restaurant businesses, especially the small ones, remain slow adopters and non-adopters of AI technology. People may think that the introduction of AI in small restaurant operations is nothing more than jumping on the bandwagon. However, research on the impact of AI on the world economy by McKinsey Global Institute warns the naysayers. The research predicts that by 2030 active adopters of AI technologies could double their cash flow, while non-adopters could lose up to 20% of theirs. This is a hint for restaurant managers who plan to stay in business for the next 10-15 years that it’s time they embrace AI tools or prepare to lose a big part of their market share for good.

Four Targeting Myths That Devalue the Real Power of Location Data

Jake Moskowitz, head of the Emodo Institute, debunks some myths about location data. Here’s the first shocking one: Location data can’t find you 60 million devices that visited a Hyundai dealership within the last month or two… or three, because that’s impossible. Throughout all of 2017, across the entire US, there were only about 17 million cars sold in total. That includes Hyundai, Honda, Ford—indeed, all brands. In data stores, users run across super-sized segments all the time. It’s not uncommon for vendors to claim that their single-brand auto dealership visitor segments include tens of millions of consumers. Location data is powerful, but it can’t make up shoppers.

3 Advantages of Private-Label or In-House Affiliate Marketing

The affiliate space continues to become more innovative each year. As a result, clients are looking for ways to enhance their affiliate programs. This could include anything from cross-device tracking to multi-channel attribution. And one of the fastest-growing affiliate marketing trends is private or “in-house” programs that are powered by white-label network or technology solutions. […]

What’s the Relative Impact of Google My Business vs. Websites on Conversion?

Blumenthal to Mihm: The consumer is on a journey and is close to making a decision when they are seeing you on Google. Whether they make it at the Business Profile on Google or at the website, it is imperative that your profile at Google has enough information to confer trust. Otherwise, the end user will just move on to the next profile and never make it to your site.

The Inside Story on the GMB App Rebuild

Damian Rollison: Google’s Curtis Galloway, software engineering manager from the Google My Business app team, offered a fascinating peek into that team’s development process this week in a presentation at LSA19 in Dana Point, California. Galloway’s presentation revealed aspects of Google’s user-oriented focus when revising the app as well as its customer-centric orientation.

LBMA Vidcast: LG Builds Amazon Dash into All Appliances, Tide Launches 24/7 Delivery

On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: 180byTwo’s eCHO, Outdoorsy the AirBnB for RVs, Outer, Tide launches 24/7 laundry service, LG builds Amazon Dash into all appliances, Baidu builds AI cat shelters. New research from Blis.

AR in Local Commerce: Google Shows the Way

Mike Boland: A recent and relatively understated development from Google could portend the future of augmented reality. Its previously teased “VPS” was released into the wild for a small set of users. For those unfamiliar, VPS (visual positioning service) guides users with 3D overlays on upheld smartphone screens. Sort of a cousin of AR, this type of experience could represent the sector’s eventual killer apps. Though we’ve seen the most AR success so far in gaming (Pokemon Go) and social (Snapchat AR lenses), it could be more mundane utilities like navigation that engender high-frequency use cases.

The Future of AI Is Here: Reflections on IBM Think

Damian Rollison: Among hundreds of sessions, exhibits, and demos, one theme came through clearly at IBM Think this month in San Francisco: for large enterprises especially, the AI-driven future for which we’ve been told to prepare is already here. In fact, enterprise companies are using IBM’s Watson technologies today to address a myriad of challenges inherent in the scale of those businesses.

Identity Crisis: Optimizing a Brand While Pursuing Omnichannel

Andrew Witkin: When viewed as a way to raise brand awareness and impressions, a clicks-to-bricks move can still net an overall gain—if the traffic from the retail space driven to the website costs less than what it would to purchase those impressions through online advertising. The end goal of an omnichannel strategy is not only to engage customers with an experience that isn’t available online but also to use this unique experience and brand awareness to boost online sales.

LBMA Vidcast: Coachella and Amazon Lockers, DoorDash Raises $500M

On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: Coachella + Amazon Lockers, Colruyt uses Google Assistant, DoorDash raises $500M, Kroger launches mobile pay app, Crate & Barrel + Handy. Special co-host: Carsten Szameitat.

How Mobile and OOH Can Defy a Dip in Traffic to Coffee Shops During the Otherwise Hot Winter Season

With AAA reporting that 91% of the 112.5 million people in the US who travel during the holiday season take a road trip during that time span, it’s intuitive to dovetail mobile creative with digital out-of-home creative, targeting all these travelers who are undoubtedly moving about the country … and outside their usual stop-for-coffee routines. Below are some strategies to bear in mind when trying to reel in the customer at year’s end.

Google Posts: Less Visible but Still Valuable

Mihm to Blumenthal: Google has been making a serious effort to get more business owners more engaged with Google My Business over the past 12-18 months. The irony is, though, that deprecating the success business owners can see from easy, compelling offerings like Posts makes them less likely to remain engaged. It’s a little bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. That said, and despite my initial skepticism about Posts, I have become a long-term believer.

How to Craft a Successful Content Marketing Strategy

Andrew Witkin: One of the main reasons businesses miss the mark with content marketing is that the goals and execution of effective content marketing are at odds with those of traditional marketing methods. While traditional marketing principles dictate that products and services should be the main focus of any advertising initiative, a successful content marketing strategy views a company’s products and services as secondary or supplemental to providing the audience with information that is useful to them and interesting to read or view.

LBMA Vidcast: Toyota & GroundTruth, GOAT Sneakers AR Campaign

On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: GOAT Sneakers AR campaign, Swatch goes contactless, BevMo tests voice, Solving homelessness in London with ClearChannel, Nextdoor monetizes data, Toyota dealers + GroundTruth.

How Mom-and-Pop Shops Can Attract Customers Year Long, Not Just on Small Business Saturday

Dan Silver: Why should small businesses be limited to one great day of sales a year? Now more than ever, owners have an arsenal of tools at their disposal to help them drive more visits and generate revenue. Here are a few sustainable solutions for local businesses.

LBMA Vidcast: TikTok & GrubHub, Domino’s Builds Loyalty, Uber Takes to the Skys

On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: TikTok + GrubHub, Bluetooth goes 5.1 accurate, NumberAI, Vistar Media + PlaceIQ & Others, Domino’s builds loyalty with Super Bowl, Uber to launch flying taxis.

Superbowl Ad Roundup: The Local Edition

Several Superbowl ads touched on key themes in local such as multi-location brand advertisers (Burger King) and locally relevant technology like voice search (Amazon Alexa). And of course, there were lots of car commercials—an inherently local product category given the offline shopping component.