At I/O, Google Offers a New Vision for Local Search

The notion of “helping you get things done,” emphasized by Sundar Pichai in his I/O keynote, provides a through-line for many of the event’s announcements. It struck me watching the presentations how thoroughly Google has become a consumer electronics company, a marketer of devices where search is more a central feature than a standalone product. Google, in other words, has become thoroughly dedicated to marketing its famous search capabilities in the context of devices that help you perform daily tasks. In the process, it is transforming local search and how we relate to the world with electronic devices.

LBMA Vidcast: Factual, Walgreens, Burger King

On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: Factual partners with Airship & Braze, Class action against all 4 U.S. mobile operators, Decathalon opens first U.S. store, Burger King delivers in Mexico City traffic jams, Para’Kito goes AR with Georgia Pacific, Walgreens teams with Narvar.

Twitter Time: Responsible Writing in Today’s Media Landscape

If criticism of Twitter and the news media is ubiquitous, it is largely because content on those platforms so often fails to rise to the challenge of responsibility. It aims to produce outrage and push partisan narratives without interrogating its assumptions and all the facts in play. It lacks thought at a time when the endless and rapid reproduction of content in digital space demands we be more thoughtful than ever because we never know where and in how many places our words will reappear.

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.

Chrome Cookie Changes to Affect All—Not Just the Top Line

Google’s latest Chrome changes may sound abstract to those of us who are on the ground doing digital ad work, but they will soon come to dominate our industry. If you work in display advertising at a brand and read the announcement, I’m sure you know at some point the dynamics of the ecosystem will change. But this is going to be big — your entire set of knowledge will soon be different. You’ll need to learn how first-party data looks, is captured, and how to connect first-party data that represents intent to first-party stable identifiers like email.

Visual Search and Local: A Match Made in Mountain View

Though visual search challengers such as Snapchat and Pinterest could shine in niche use cases such as fashion items, Google will rule as the best all-around utility for visual search. It has the deepest tech stack, and the substance (knowledge graph) to be useful beyond just a flashy novelty for identifying things visually.

The name of the game now is to get users to adopt it. Google Lens won’t be a silver bullet and will shine in a few areas where Google is directing users, such as pets and flowers. But it will really shine in product search, which happens to be where monetization will eventually come into the picture.

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. 

Single-Use Coupons: A Multi-Pronged Strategy for Each Phase of the Customer Journey

A savvy marketer can select a solution that enables her to launch personalized promotions that perfectly suit a target customer for a given phase. For example, an offer designed to acquire new customers should differ from the one that goes out with a view to retaining lapsed customers or further engaging the loyal customer. This is where single-use coupons provide immense potential to deliver personalized promotions, allowing marketers to segment their customers into the appropriate marketing phase—acquisition, engagement, or retention.

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.”

The 10 Commandments of Location Intelligence Marketing

The amount of location data can be overwhelming, making it difficult to understand when to use what information. Even the most experienced marketer can lose sight of the basic principles that guide successful use of location intelligence tools.

Based on our 11 years of experience helping mobile apps leverage the context of their users, we offer the following 10 commandments that every marketer working with location intelligence should keep top of mind to drive a successful marketing strategy.

Beyond SEO: How to Reframe the Local Marketing Conversation

“I am looking for a language framework that helps business understand that the idea of ranking only makes sense in the context of not just getting more customers but also keeping them. While businesses might want a floodgate of leads, there are many things that they could be doing that would be cost-effective and productive,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm in their latest Street Fight discussion.

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.

LBMA Vidcast: Kroger, UberEats, MoviePass

On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: MoviePass goes PreShow, Sainsbury test cashierless stores, Let’s Bab for social recommendations, Kroger’s QFC launches DogSpots, UberEats tests food delivery at Toronto Pearson Airport.

Restaurant POS System Trends to Look Out for in 2019

2019 is all about connectivity when it comes to POS systems. The role of the POS system, used primarily for billing, has evolved into an operations hub that connects all your online order sources, guest-facing technology, and your kitchen (via Kitchen Display Systems). It’s the foundation of a technical system that helps you manage your restaurant operations better on the whole. Here are the cutting-edge trends.

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.

Heard on the Street, Episode 25: Location, Brand Evolution, and Career Lessons, with Factual

Brands want to engage consumers. Though that’s an obvious statement and a universal truth, how it happens is a moving target that shifts with consumer technology. Success in the ad tech world requires intellectual curiosity about emerging tech and a desire to dig into the details.

Factual VP of Agency & Strategic Partnerships Ocean Fine considers that curiosity essential to her success and the victories of any company in ad tech. The latest guest on Street Fight’s Heard on the Street Podcast, she’s inspired by the smartphone’s transformation and advises marketing execs to be attack-ready for all emerging tech.

The Promise of XR and 5G

As we approach the 5G era, the dramatic quantum leap of 5G service enhances many creative capabilities in XR, providing richer user experiences and giving marketers and developers a larger digital playground to expand their creative talents.

Still, there’s confusion in the market over how these innovations work and, critically, how they can work together. Let’s take a closer look.

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.