Foursquare’s New Audio Assistant is a Peek into the Future of Local Tech

Dubbed Marsbot for Airpods, Foursquare’s virtual assistant will whisper insights to users about their surroundings, unprompted, as they move throughout the world. This may be a recommendation for a local coffee shop or a fun fact about a landmark.

For brick-and-mortar businesses and the technology providers that help them connect with customers, the marketing possibilities are tantalizing.

Connecting the Dots on Google’s Visual Road Map

Google continues to double down on visual search and navigation. Its latest move came last week with updates to its Live View visual navigation to help users identify and qualify local businesses. This follows soon after its Earth Cloud Anchors that will let users create digital content on physical places.

Both developments tell us something about what may well be the future of local search: augmented reality-enhanced visuals.

How Brands Can Rise, Retain, and Return Stronger Than Ever this Holiday Season

Prior to Covid-19, traditional demographics still directed many brands’ targeting strategies. However, the pandemic has laid bare just how flawed this method can be. We believe that the best measure of what someone will purchase in the future is looking at what they’ve purchased in the past. This holds true even in an uncertain market and is invaluable for retailers as the holidays approach. 

Crucial Attribution and Targeting Tools

The lines in the traditional funnel have blurred. Consumers may enter and pursue a non-linear route before making a purchase or moving on. The path from awareness to decision is no longer predictable in an omni-channel environment. A progression that works for one type of consumer may have no relevance for another. These changes necessite another look at attribution models.

Why Creative is Paramount for This Year’s Holiday Ads

When marketers are all using the same platforms and automation tools to bid and compete against each other this holiday season (like with Facebook Automated App Ads and Google App Campaigns), the key differentiator will be ad creative. Preparing an arsenal of high-performing creative will be critical to advertisers in order to keep costs down and be effective this year.

How Small Businesses Can Conquer E-Commerce for the Holidays

As the pandemic continues, consumers are shifting their expectations of brands as well. They don’t just want coupons in their email anymore, they expect an intuitive browsing and checkout process, accurate inventory and out-of-stock notifications, curbside delivery, and fast shipping.

E-commerce is already a must-have, and small businesses who understand this and take steps to offer their customers a way to buy online will create a memorable experience, more long-term loyalty, and ultimately more sales this holiday season.

Mobile Ad Network Vungle Acquires Mobile Ad Platform AlgoLift

Vungle helps mobile app developers monetize their apps through advertising and connects advertisers with mobile app media. The AlgoLift purchase will help Vungle’s advertisers better solve for attribution and optimize in-app ad spend.

CCPA’s Impact: Businesses Prepare for Fall Surge in Data Subject Requests

In a customer set with more than 16 million consumer records — with consumer records being defined as a single, individual record associated with a unique email address within a database — DataGrail found that people are largely taking action to control their privacy by exercising rights provided by the CCPA.

Consumers opt-out of their personal information being sold “most” of the time, and deletion requests make up 31% of all data subject requests. Twenty-one percent of consumers have accessed their data thanks to the new regulations.

Self-Serve Restaurant Ordering in a Post-Covid World

We expect to see a continued rise in touchless retail shopping and contactless transactions à la Amazon Go Stores.

But one of the less-discussed technologies in the Covid-advantaged bucket is self-serve mobile restaurant ordering. The idea is that ordering and paying from your table can reduce server interaction — which has Covid and non-Covid benefits considering it can save diners’ lives and their time.

Putting Context Over Coordinates with New Location Encoding Standard

Context over coordinates. That’s the premise behind a new standard universal location ID called Placekey, which launches publicly today.

By offering a standard for identifying any physical place, the team behind Placekey is betting that advertisers and other data scientists will have an easier time joining disparate datasets and unlocking deeper insights. The platform was developed by SafeGraph, and it’s already been endorsed by heavy-hitters such as Esri, CARTO, Billups, Skyhook, and Nielsen.

How Marketers Should Prepare for an Abnormal Holiday Season

Marketers overuse the word “unique,” but the adjective actually applies to this year’s holiday season. Consumer-facing brands and retailers have not faced such an adverse economic environment for more than a decade, and they have never grappled with a Q4 in which driving customers to their stores came with daily, life-or-death stakes.

I spoke to Michele Marzan, chief strategy officer at MainAd, about these holidays’ unprecedented challenges and unexpected opportunities.

GroundTruth Uses Location Data to Reach ‘Pick-Up Loyalists’

GroundTruth has mapped more than 2,900 Walmart Online Grocery Pick-Up zones within Walmart parking lots, which means brands using GroundTruth’s technology can now build accurate custom audience segments comprised of these specific shoppers.

Expanding on that concept, brands should be able to send different mobile marketing pitches to consumers who are picking up groceries via Walmart+’s curbside program and consumers who are getting out of their cars and shopping in-store. GroundTruth’s technology turns location data on Walmart+ shoppers into useful consumer insights for brands.

Power of Influencers May Be Growing amid Pandemic

As many as 21% of consumers have made their first-ever influencer-driven purchase since the Covid-19 outbreak struck the US, according to new research by martech firm Valassis.

The firm speculates that this apparent increase in the power of influencers may be related to a boost in social media usage among consumers stuck at home.

Holiday Sales Are Starting Earlier Than Ever. Here’s Why

“Retailers are responding to social distancing guidelines [this] year and preparing for potential decreases in spending by kicking off promotions earlier than we’ve ever seen,” says Dosh CEO Ryan Wuerch.

Wuerch says Covid-19 safety protocols require a more elongated approach to holiday marketing. Kohl’s, L Brands, and Macy’s have all referenced pulling forward holiday promotions, and Amazon’s Prime Day later this month seems perfectly timed to pull in early holiday shoppers.

Street Fight’s October Theme: Home for the Holidays

Entering Q4 means many things, but to us it points to the media and commerce world’s annual culmination. That’s right — in this time warp of a year, we’re entering the holidays. Considering the oddities of 2020, what will this year’s holiday season look like? We know for sure it will not be normal.

Answering that question will be Street Fight’s October editorial focus. Branded with the cheeky title “Home for the Holidays,” (title credit: Damian Rollison), this month’s focus will be defining the holiday shopping dynamics of a socially distanced and sheltered-in-place world. What will be different?

Interactive Maps Help Bring Back Shoppers After Covid Hiatus

As the pandemic has worn on, marketers have begun to ask what’s next. How do you keep open and click-through rates high, even as consumers shift back from e-commerce to in-person shopping? The answer, for many, involves maps.

Just look at Torrid, the women’s retail chain formerly owned by Hot Topic, with more than 600 stores across the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Canada.

Plain Sight Pivots to Help Local Businesses Drive Foot Traffic

Founded by James Chapman and backed by Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert, Plain Sight originally started as a way for people to explore professional connections based on location.

With local businesses closing by the thousands, Chapman says he’s envisioning the Plain Sight app as a tool for businesses to promote themselves and increase foot traffic. Businesses can use the platform to develop stronger customer loyalty by engaging with consumers directly. In addition to sharing information about how they are keeping customers safe, restaurants and other businesses can also accept free and paid reservations through the platform.

How Political Campaigns Leverage Location Data in an Era of Virtual Events

Political ad spending is expected to reach record highs this cycle, topping $6.89 billion in the 2019/2020 election period. This cycle’s spending is 63% higher than spending in the 2015/2016 season. Tapping into location data to make that advertising more relevant has taken a bit more creativity than usual.

How Much Is Your Data Worth? A New Tool Will Help You Find Out

Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter, Pinterest, and countless other technology giants have expanded their collection of consumer identity data, even as privacy regulations like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have gone into effect. A new tool from Killi serves as an educational resource, giving people a way to calculate the value of their personal data based on the platforms they use every day.

Killi’s new tool asks consumers to enter their email addresses and select the platforms they currently use. The tool references public quarterly revenues and daily/monthly active users, as well as data aggregators like Statista, to arrive at the value amount of each consumer’s personal data.

Why Contextual Ads Are Generating More Interest

Increased attention to consumer privacy is shifting the way advertisers do business. One of these shifts is the increased embrace of contextual advertising, which shows Internet users ads based on the content of the sites they’re searching, not based on their previous digital activity.

I checked in with John Clavadetscher, president and chief commercial officer at Cooler Screens, for more on why brands are taking up contextual ads and what benefits the format offers.