Zenreach Attract Connects Online Ads to In-Store Results

Online metrics, like click-through rates and return-on-ad-spend, can quickly show ecommerce retailers how well their digital advertising campaigns are working. But what happens in the real world? The KPIs used in ecommerce mean almost nothing to brick-and-mortar merchants. In fact, digital approximations can actually cause merchants with physical locations to overspend on certain audience segments, while undervaluing others.

That’s something Zenreach is trying to change.

San Francisco Partially Bans Facial Recognition, Putting Technology’s Future in Doubt

Civil rights and privacy activists asked, and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors delivered.

The city banned the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement and other municipal agencies on Tuesday, becoming the first in the country to do so. Other bills in the works in Massachusetts and even on Capitol Hill suggest that additional restrictions on the technology may be forthcoming. 

Local Social Network Nextdoor Raises $123 Million

The digital advertising proposition for Nextdoor is obvious—what better way to drive customers into nearby brick-and-mortar stores than to generate buzz on a social platform centered on users’ physical location? Venture capitalists see the value proposition, as Chris Varelas, co-founder and managing partner at Riverwood, proclaimed Nextdoor as the “future of local community and commerce.”

6 Influencer Marketing Platforms for Brands

As some of the most visual social channels, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest have become important tools for brand marketers. These are also the channels most likely to be used by so-called “influencers,” the social media stars who frequently partner with brands to promote products to their online followers. Influencer marketing has become a big business, with 31% of retailers now working with brand advocates to become influencers and 28% using paid celebrity influencers to spread the word about their products and services.

Here are six popular influencer marketing platforms being used by retailers and brands right now.

Retailers Use Visual Channels to Attract Last-Minute Mother’s Day Shoppers

Spending on Mother’s Day is expected to reach $25 billion this year, with consumers flocking to department stores and florists in search of the perfect gifts for Mom. The bulk of that spending will happen in the next few days, as foot traffic data from the location platform GroundTruth reveals that Americans tend to wait until the very last minute to shop for Mother’s Day gifts.

What are retailers around the country doing to prepare for the onslaught of last-minute shoppers? More than ever before, retailers are leaning on visual marketing opportunities to drive last-minute sales.

Report: Websites and GMB Profiles Both Essential for Local Businesses

A whopping 64% of respondents indicated relying on Google My Business to find contact information for local business, suggesting it’s an indispensable platform. Yet consumers still trust local business websites most of all, and only 8% say they never consult a business’ website when making shopping decisions.

Brands Push Forward with Automation, But Privacy and Creepiness Concerns Remain

“Marketing automation is all the rage. Everyone feels like they need to ‘do it’ or they’ll be left behind. That rush to do the latest ‘new thing’ without thoughtful planning often leads to failure,” says Winston Lord, co-founder of Venga, a guest management platform that uses automation to enhance customer experiences. “It’s critical to build a 360 degree view of your client and your strategy before implementing marketing automation.”

Programmatic OOH Is Real. Why Isn’t Your Agency Using It More?

The ad tech industry’s state of flux and disarray spurs confusion and buyer skepticism of real innovation. This is particularly prevalent in rapidly evolving areas like programmatic that also contend with existing legacy trust issues. I come across this every day, as there seems to be a persistent rumor that programmatic Out of Home (OOH) is “fake,” and that, when looking under the hood, programmatic OOH is merely an automated process for reserving and purchasing inventory. This misconception results in missed opportunities for marketers.

Factual Partners with Airship and Braze to Power Location-Based Mobile Marketing

The partnership will enhance Airship and Braze’s efforts to furnish clients with precise mobile messaging based on the location of the customers they want to reach. Airship and Braze help brands engage their customers, retaining their business and ideally driving them back in-store. Airship rebranded, dropping the Urban from its name, last month.

Foursquare’s Location-Based Loyalty Metrics Point to Best Practices for Casual Restaurants

Brushing aside customer surveys and other imprecise measures of customer loyalty, location intelligence firm Foursquare released a location-based report this morning that evaluates best practices and practitioners in loyalty among casual restaurant chains. 

Most importantly for future considerations, the report suggests that brands can improve loyalty in all four of the areas that contributed to its index.

Report: Consumer Expectations for Brands Higher than Ever in Age of Convenience

With the omnichannel age upon us, the impact of bad customer experiences is unprecedented. The main fear for businesses should no longer be a standoff between the worker behind the customer service desk and the angry customer who failed to get his discount; it should be the rant that hits social and is shared or liked a slew of times, dragging digital reputations through the mud.

Walmart Tests Out the “Future of Retail” in Long Island Store

There’s no time for the future of retail like the present. That is the motto at Walmart’s Intelligent Retail Lab, a live experiment in AI-driven shopping experiences that is now open to the public at a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Levittown, NY. 

Facebook Expects Record-Setting FTC Fine for Privacy Violations

Five billion would be a record for FTC punishment of a tech company and would signal harsher scrutiny to come for an industry that has accrued unparalleled wealth and power with little regulatory oversight. Facebook’s fine comes after a saga of instances in which it failed to protect user data. Most damningly, the company vowed to shore up its data protection practices in 2011 and can now be accused of failing to uphold that promise.

How Forward-Thinking Brands Are Leveraging Automation

Global brands—the kind that can afford huge teams of in-house marketers—are increasingly relying on marketing automation tools to manage triggered email campaigns, prioritize leads for sales, and leverage mobile campaigns across their customers’ journeys.

Here is how five top global brands are deploying automation to improve the way they interact with customers.

Report: Upon Unlocking Phones, People Flock to Social, Messaging

Anyone with a smartphone unimmune to our pervasive cultural addiction with digital communication will be unsurprised: It’s WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Facebook that currently capture most of the attention when we mindlessly unlock our mobile devices.

That’s according to media measurement company Verto Analytics, which released a report just this morning on the earliest part of the mobile journey: what happens right when we unlock our phones some 50 times per day.

Borrell Associates Names Jim Brown President

Borrell Associates, a firm that provides cutting-edge insight for the location marketing industry, announced a leadership change on Tuesday. Jim Brown, previously vice president of sales, will take on the role of president, partnering with Corey Elliott, newly minted senior VP of local market intelligence, to help steer Borrell into the future.

5 CRM Platforms for the Cannabis Industry

Growers and dispensaries in certain states are required to submit reports that include information about their customers and sales to governing bodies. How easy, or difficult, these reports are to generate depends on the CRM platform that the business is using, and those platforms designed for marijuana businesses specifically tend to make the process as efficient as possible.

Here are five examples of CRM platforms designed for businesses in the cannabis industry, along with details about what makes each of these platforms unique.

Brands See Risk and Reward When Automating Reputation Management

With the reviews and other content being posted online about brands coming from an increasingly wide swath of sources, manual techniques for reputation management are no longer viable on a large scale. At the same time, the volume of online opinions bombarding potential customers is making it more important than ever for brands to constantly monitor what’s being said about them online. How are brands coping with the challenge?

Freckle IoT Announces Attribution Backed by Fully Compliant First-Party Data

With privacy top of mind for marketers, offline measurement firm Freckle IoT is hitting the market this morning with an expanded attribution product backed by just about the most compliant consumer data on the market. Its compliance is secure because it comes from Killi, a consent management company also founded and headed up by Freckle Founder and CEO Neil Sweeney.

Urban Airship Rebrands as Airship, Offers Broad Suite of Mobile Customer Engagement Solutions

In a bid to expand its solutions well beyond push notifications, marketing firm Urban Airship is dropping the qualifier Urban from its name and launching a new identity as Airship, a customer engagement company that works with brands to target and coordinate customer interactions across apps, websites, SMS, email, mobile wallets, and other emerging channels.