Insurance is typically viewed as an old-school industry that’s not very sexy. But Cambridge Mobile Telematics VP Ryan McMahon thinks insurance gets a bad wrap in that respect. As the latest guest on Street Fight’s Heard on the Street podcast, his company is innovating actuarial work and safer roads.
McMahon’s firm accomplishes that by capitalizing on the powerful computer we all carry around (and drive around) in our pockets. Given all its sensors like GPS and accelerometers, the modern smartphone packs ample situational awareness. One of the things it can do is detect signals that indicate driving quality.
As much as we love computing, the best technology is that which disappears. Most components of computing are an abstraction layer that stands between you and a given task or experience. That’s the case with layers of the typical consumer tech stack including operating systems, inputs, and apps.
App fatigue is the problem that Mobile Posse, the latest guest on Street Fight’s Heard on the Street podcast, is endeavoring to reform. The company’s Firstly Mobile platform replaces the app-heavy paradigm with a more curated, personal, and ‘appnostic’ front end to reduce the distance between users and quality content.
One of the most consequential topics to emerge in local commerce in 2019 (and our upcoming editorial focus for the month of January) is the location-based ad industry’s looming privacy winter. Due to regulations like CCPA, as well as privacy restrictions at the mobile OS level, the bar will be raised for collecting location and movement data.
That could likewise raise barriers to entry in location-intelligence and even lead to a market shakeout, considering the abundance of companies that have entered the space in the past few years. One of the longstanding players that will vie for market share is London-based Blis.
The location intelligence sector has gotten crowded in the past five years, making it harder and harder to stand out from the crowd. Making matters more difficult, there are looming restrictions such as location tracking in iOS13 and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). These factors could raise barriers to entry and cause an industry shakeout where only the strongest survive.
On the list of longstanding industry players with extensive networks and location intelligence chops is GroundTruth. As we discuss with CEO Sunil Kumar on the latest episode of Heard on the Street, succeeding in location requires concrete and verifiable data for foot traffic.
The word “platform” is thrown around a lot these days. It’s sometimes invoked for the sake of PR positioning, sometimes to make something sound more sophisticated than it is, but often the technology being described is really more of an application. A true platform is a central point in an ecosystem of apps that can be launched and managed from one place.
This is the definition that Sparkfly embodies. As I discussed with founder and CEO Catherine Tabor on the latest episode of Heard on the Street, the company integrates several local merchant functions through the single jumping-off point of its local merchant platform.
Location intelligence has become an important but crowded sub-sector of local media and commerce. When it comes to value for retail brands, marketing tactics are all about driving (and measuring) foot traffic. This is where Paris-based location marketing and analytics company Teemo continues to innovate.
As we discussed with CEO Benoit Grouchko on the latest episode of Heard on the Street, the company works with multi-location brands like JoAnn Stores to boost return on ad spend by growing physical foot traffic.
Responsible location intelligence involves practices like “stop data,” to measure users’ location dwell times, and the scale Foursquare achieves in its network of app publishers. Placed is one of the first location data players and a leader in attribution since 2011.
Now that the two companies have come together via acquisition, how does that position Foursquare for interstellar domination of the location intelligence market? It’s about greater capability and scale, say Foursquare’s Josh Cohen and David Shim, our guests on the latest episode of Heard on the Street.
Conversational commerce, brands’ ability to interact with customers through messaging, continues to evolve. According to Quiq CEO Mike Myer, our latest guest on Heard on the Street, this is a function of the technology but also cultural factors that deter consumers from traditional channels like email and phone.
“Waiting for email to come back is like watching paint dry,” he told us. “So, if you’re in the purchase process, you’re going to go somewhere else to buy if you’re on a brand’s website and you have to interact with them on email. And making a phone call: There’s a whole generation of people who aren’t very fond of phone calls.”
As data science continues to collide with digital marketing, customer behavior metrics are reaching new levels of actionable insight. But counteracting that advantage is the growing fragmentation of devices and platforms used in the path to purchase, making it harder to get a single view of the customer.
This is the world of customer data platforms (CDPs), and it is where Optimove hangs its hat. Founder & CEO Pini Yakuel explains to us on the latest episode of Heard on the Street how the company helps brands and multi-location retailers get the insights they need to better serve their customers.
Amid accelerated disruption in digital media, consumer touch points continue to fragment. That includes a growing list of interfaces and delivery channels for content—everything from smartphones to watches to headphones and speakers. So what’s a marketer to do?
This is the topic of Jeff Hasen’s third and most recent book, The Art of Digital Persuasion, which we discuss with the author on the latest episode of the Heard on the Street Podcast. In addition to marketing tactics, Hasen brings other sorts of savoir-faire to the table as a journalist and ad agency exec.
Airship has been innovating around push notifications for more than a decade, a lifetime in internet years. Airship SVP of Marketing Mike Stone, the latest guest on Street Fight’s Heard on the Street podcast, broke down the company’s approach to the mobile marketing business.
“There are two dimensions. One is the proliferation of devices and the channels that are attached to them, but there’s also that much more difficult thing of what consumers are willing to do,” said Stone. “The devices are one thing, but it’s also, once they’re there, where’s that line of creepy versus helpful.”
According to Gimbal’s SVP of location platforms Adrian Tompsett, the key to the location business is having a long-term and holistic view of customer value. That means using location intelligence to go beyond just triggering promotions to increase the customers’ basket size, instead using the technology in ways that will provide additional value in the long term.
Factual, one of many companies in the location intelligence space, emphasizes offline foot traffic and “visitation insights.” Tracking the elusive online-to-offline buying journey is the name of the game, and Factual touts the advantage of a 300-million device observation graph. Factual VP Ocean Fine breaks down her company’s approach to location on our latest podcast.