Street Fight Happenings

December Focus: The Connected Consumer

When looking at several interlocking tech trends — wearables, IoT, smart devices, autonomous vehicles — one common thread emerges: our escalating connectivity as humans. All these technologies are increasingly melded with our senses as the computing “abstraction layer” diminishes.

In other words, device interfaces continue to get more intuitive and automatic. That can be seen in the progression of personal computing from UI milestones like the mouse to mobile-centric touch controls. Now, we have biometric tracking on the Apple Watch and ambient alerts to AirPods.

The “connected consumer” will be Street Fight’s editorial focus for the month of December.

Street Fight Unveils Innovator Award Winners

Street Fight’s charter is to educate the world on the innovation and best practices in local media, advertising, and commerce. And a key corollary to that mission is to recognize and award the innovators driving these sectors.

With that backdrop, today we officially announce the winners of the Street Fight Innovator Awards. Spanning 12 categories that represent the top battlegrounds in local commerce, winners embody the best of innovation and achievement in these areas (full list below).

November Focus: The Holiday Blitz is Here

This year’s holiday shopping season is not new (by definition), but there will be salient differences and revelations this season. The past year has seen lots of retail innovation as the industry looks to counteract the cautionary tales of late-adopting counterparts in the “retailpocolypse” graveyard.

It’s those innovations and integrations that will be exposed when put to the stress test of the holiday shopping blitz. After reading and writing about them in the pages of Street Fight all year, we’ll now get a look at how a lot of these implementations perform (good or bad) with greater shopping scale.

Theme of the Month

Leveraging Voice: A Path for Brand Marketers

It’s important that companies can see who their customers are and what transactions are associated with each customer via voice assistants. This sort of knowledge is necessary for brands to make the channel a valuable part of an overarching loyalty strategy.

Given that voice is currently owned by just a few select companies, it’s important for brands to figure out how they will leverage voice differently from company to company or device to device. Will retail brands keep the same strategy with Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, or will they find unique ways to take advantage of these platforms across differences?

What Does Customer Experience Mean in a Voice-First World?

The trend of moving customer experience beyond the screen has been dubbed “conversational customer care.” It’s still unclear just how many channels are included under this umbrella or how the future of conversational customer care will look. Brands that are dealing with demanding customers can’t afford to sit back and wait for this to play out. Screen-free customer experiences could be the future. They could be just a single touchpoint in the broader context of customer experience strategy. Or, they could just be a passing fad.

But the chances that voice-first customer experiences are a fad seem to be shrinking.

5 Ways to Reduce Errors in Voice Ordering

Restaurant chains like Wingstop, Domino’s, Panera, and Round Table have created their own skills to make it easier for people to place orders through voice assistants like Amazon’s Echo and Google Home. But before voice ordering can truly disrupt the restaurant industry, restaurants have to find ways to reduce the friction and eliminate the kinds of errors that lead to the wrong orders being delivered.

Here’s how some of the country’s top restaurant chains are overcoming the challenges associated with voice ordering and developing more frictionless customer experiences.

Latest Posts

Google Disables Reviews and Q&A, Yelp Announces New Features Amid Outbreak

Important announcements were posted Friday by Google and Yelp as part of the effort to contend with coronavirus and its impact on businesses.

Google has published a new help page titled “Limited Google My Business functionality due to COVID-19.” Before diving into the details in the announcement, I’ll mention the most important headline. Due to a rapid reorganization of priorities, Google has determined that at this time, they will disable the ability to leave new reviews, reply to reviews, and post new Question and Answer content.

These Chatbots Are Helping Brands Respond to Covid-19 Queries

Chatbots could help fill the gap in business-to-customer communication capacity during the Covid-19 outbreak. Although there will always be a need for human customer service agents, even when chatbots with AI are deployed, the coronavirus outbreak is demonstrating just how valuable this automated technology can be for brands working in a time of crisis. Already, chatbot companies like LivePerson say they’re seeing significant increases in volume on their platforms. As the pandemic widens, even more companies are likely to start integrating chatbots into their customer service systems.

Here are six chatbot solutions that brands can start using right away.

Location Weekly: Google Partners with Burberry on AR Shopping, Amazon Delivers Covid-19 Tests

In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association covers Amazon delivering Covid-19 test kits to residents in Seattle, Wirecard partnering with Klarna, Signify releasing “snap-in” IoT sensors for luminaries, Burberry partnering with Google for AR shopping, Cibo Express bringing Amazon cashierless tech to airports, and Wingstop shifting OOH budget to hoodies.

Local Advertising in the Time of Social Distancing

Many of us are facing a reality in which #QuarantineLife is the new normal — at least for the foreseeable future. Even with offices temporarily shutting their doors and the worldwide workforce moving to a remote-based culture, the tools provided by local social advertising can help businesses, perhaps especially those dealing with store closures, drive their goals forward.

Heard on the Street, Episode 47: Header Bidding and Rapid Growth, with Freestar

As ad tech continues to advance and programmatic becomes de rigueur, you’d think managing advertising would be easier for publishers. But in some ways, it’s gotten more difficult for publishers to monetize content and optimize ad placement through complex tech stacks while focusing on their primary function: content.

This is where Freestar comes in. As we heard from company president Kurt Donnell on the latest episode of Street Fight’s Heard on the Street podcast (listen above), Freestar frees up publishers to do what they do best while it takes care of ad monetization, especially through its speciality, header bidding.

Treat the Economic Symptoms of Coronavirus with Proactive Brand Management

In the midst of this uncertainty, your business’s online visibility probably isn’t top of mind—rightfully so. 

Nevertheless, communication is key to your brand management strategy in times like these. It’s important to make your customers aware of any changes in your business operations. Below are three tactics you can use to bolster your brand management as the coronavirus sends shockwaves through the global economy.

Tech Companies Respond as Workers, SMBs Face Covid-19 Pressure

Google’s sister site Verily launched a site, albeit with logistical difficulties, to help Bay Area residents find testing options, and Verily isn’t the only tech company facing or alleviating coronavirus concerns. As a possible recession looms, consumer spending dips, and employees are sent home for public safety, some vendors are stepping in to help workers weather the storm. Others are boosting small businesses, hiring and increasing pay for workers, and suspending precarious services.

Do Your Data Relationships Have a Real Future?

Brands and publishers seem to be getting the short end of the stick amid recent cookie and privacy regulation changes. In the absence of cookies, brands may feel undue pressure to go to walled gardens for scale. Meanwhile publishers will have to bet on first-party data collection and monetization, along with its inherent scalability challenges and slim view of the customer. What’s happening with our data relationships? 

Computers Without Boundaries: A Deep Dive Into Ambient Computing

“Ambient computing” is actually a catch-all term for several new technologies. These include Internet of Things (IoT) devices, AI-driven devices, and cloud storage solutions that allow previously impossible amounts of data to be stored and processed.

The advantage of looking at these technologies under one term, though, is that it allows us to see the future of marketing more holistically. And that’s what we’ll look at in this article. 

Social Selling Helps Boost Sales

I define social selling as the process of researching, connecting, and interacting with prospects and customers on social media networks. It focuses on nurturing leads, building brand authenticity and building trust with your prospects. 

Leading firms have taken advantage of social selling and have begun reaping the benefits it offers. Research has shown that 70% of sales professionals are active on LinkedIn for business purposes, 89% believe social networking platforms such as LinkedIn are important in closing deals, and 64% of sales reps who invest time in social media are hitting their sales quota.