Google said it would be using artificial intelligence and machine learning to build a self-updating Maps product that predicts when business hours are likely to be wrong and updates listings automatically using AI-generated predictions.
When you haven’t stepped foot inside a store for months, navigating crowded aisles can be disconcerting. With products moving to new locations, and sales associates in scarce supply, major retailers are doubling down on visual search experiences to keep customers in the loop.
In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association covers AWS launching Location Service, a Google Maps competitor, Mood Media being acquired by Vector Capital, Starbucks partnering with Pokemon Go in Asia, Bayern Munich using AR to connect with fans, and Gimbal being sued for patent infringement.
Techniques for measuring DOOH exposure and mapping to give cross-device measurement more meaning are being utilized by larger brand marketers, but smaller companies are also getting into the game and finding innovative ways to layer maps onto their local strategies.
Here are five ways that marketers can use mapping technology in their local campaigns.
In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association covers Colorado artists selling their wares in refurbished vending machines, Google Maps enabling parking payments with Passport, Reveal Mobile looking at average CPMs for location-based audiences, and Amazon going big on AR with Room Decorator.
What does “Mapping the Future” entail? As a primary tool for consumer local search and discovery, mapping continues to undergo UX innovations and structural changes. We’ll examine these areas as well as mapping’s interplay with local search and SEO strategies.
Though mapping is more of a Street Fight staple than a trending topic, market signals indicate that the timing is right. In fact, we already got started last month with a look at Snapchat’s moves into local mapping — not just UX upgrades to Snap Map but also self-serve advertising for local businesses.
In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association covers the FCC proposing hefty fines on mobile operators for selling location data, Apple turning your photo into a car key, Adidas tapping WhatsApp to reach consumers, KFC Canada integrating Google Maps and Assistant, Uber offering car-top signage for new driver revenue, and JCDecaux leveraging facial recognition for Yoplait in Australia.
The Location-Based Marketing Association covers Home Depot piloting kiosks from Slyce to locate products in store, Google updating Maps with tips, transit, and AR, Air Canada enabling customers to use PayPal, NextNav raising $120M for 3D geolocation services in U.S., Korea’s Lotte going hi-tech to steal customers from e-commerce, and India’s NavIC possibly one day replacing GPS.
As SinglePlatform’s name suggests, the acquisition is a sign of changing and challenging times for search-related internet businesses. Facing pressure from a Google juggernaut that is increasingly mapping out any imaginable search experience on its own properties, digital services that connect consumers with restaurants or places to visit when traveling are consolidating, aiming to offer holistic information that keeps searchers coming back.
For Brandify’s local search consumer survey, consumers were asked to name the tools they’ve used in the last 30 days to find information about businesses nearby. Though a vast majority of 77% named Google Maps over any other tool, there was a significant “second tier” group including Facebook at 38%, Yelp at 35%, and business websites at 32%.
The study also asked consumers about the frequency of searches, the range of businesses for which they searched, preferred devices, and the likelihood of visiting a business after searching.
Blumenthal: Google Maps is/has become the primary discovery tool in many categories. That is a significant shift of which agencies and owners need to be aware.
Mihm: Yep. I’m not sure I would even have had our ThriveHive data science team look for this data point specifically had you not tipped me off. But sure enough, across our dataset of nearly 20,000 GMB Profiles, we found that Maps impressions outweigh Search impressions by nearly 3:1 (72% to 28% over the last 18 months).
As Google and Apple lead the way, we are getting closer to ubiquitous visual mapping. If that happens, there will be significant implications for entities that currently use search and mapping for marketing or online presence. They’ll need to make sure they are optimized in this new format.
This could lead to an extension of SEO to cultivate presence in visual experiences. Just like in search, correct business location and details will need to be optimized to show up in the right places. You don’t want the AR overlay for your restaurant floating above the salon next door.
Of all of the technologies and consumer touchpoints to local commerce, mapping is perhaps the most relevant. This centuries-old technology has gone into hyperdrive over the past 15 years since the launch of Google Maps, and it continues to be a primary tool for local search and discovery.
But what’s the state of the art and how is it evolving? This will be Street Fight’s focus in the month of September. This follows last month’s connected car theme and past months’ reporting and commnetary on privacy, retail transformation and the “beyond the screen” evolution of voice and visual search.
Retailers are only beginning to realize the potential of AR. As a new generation of shoppers steeped in AR grows up, their expectations will exceed the novelty acts the industry has put out to date. AR features won’t just be a one-off promo or tied to a game release; they will become the basis of the in-store customer experience, one that looks nothing like the retail of today.
Google’s calculated risk in creating a low bar for verification works out fine in a world where most business owners simply want to gain legitimate access to their own listings, and most businesses do operate within those ethical boundaries. But as we’ve seen elsewhere at this stage in the evolution of social networks, fraud and deceptive manipulation have become a kind of ghost in the machine, dominating darker sectors of the local marketplace and creating an atmosphere of distrust that may eventually prove more broadly contagious.
All of this is only possible when lots of activity is consolidated on a few platforms. Just as fake accounts attempting to engineer the 2016 election thrived in the vast and complex Facebook ecosystem, so too has Google’s dominance in local attracted its own horde of opportunists, drawn like moths to its flame. Indeed, fraud in local listings is just the latest in a long history of attempts, from link farms to keyword spam, to manipulate loopholes in Google’s regulations and algorithms.
Blumenthal to Mihm: It seems to me that Google could take the fake listings issue off the table by seriously investing in cleaning up the fake listing and fake review issue. I just don’t think that they think that way.
At a minimum, as the company that has the monopoly in the local space, Google faces the expectation and responsibility to provide a service that truly serves the public and businesses. And they seem to forget that.
On this week’s LBMA podcast: Facebook files new patents, JoAnn taps Teemo, Favendo at Frankfurt airport, Google Map’s “For You,” Domino’s hotspots, Mariott + PepsiCo go virtual reality art. Special guest: Gabriel Bedoya – The Insights Company.
TODAY IN LOCAL & DIGITAL MARKETING… Facebook Announces Slew of Changes to Boost Local Businesses… Here Attacks Google Maps with New Freemium Website Plan… Alexa Users Are Reportedly Not Buying Anything with Their Voice…
In recent months, Google has launched a number of changes to Maps. Users will win with the more personalized and intuitive future of the app. Businesses will win, too—so long as you manage your location data, content, and reputation.