Believe the Hype: The Pragmatic Value of Location-Based Analytics, Audiences, and Attribution

After 25 years of framing technologies by level of maturity and adoption, the Gartner Hype Cycle has finally placed location intelligence for marketing where it belongs — in the trough of disillusionment. Sounds like a lousy place to be, but it’s actually the opposite. Why? The trough of disillusionment is the stage right before the slope of enlightenment. Let me back up and explain.

US Businesses Lead on Reputation Management

Loyalty to local businesses may never cease to be an important factor in brick-and-mortar commerce, but the boom of “near me” searches and the emphasis on convenience in the age of mobile search make a prime online presence for the quick-querying passerby more important than it has ever been. This latest Uberall data indicate that responding to reviews can provide the slight 5-star rating bump that guides an unfamiliar customer into a store she may otherwise pass up for a higher-ranked competitor.

5 Innovative Ways to Use AR in Holiday Marketing

A technology that was once considered to be on the fringes of digital marketing has moved into the mainstream, as retailers around the country find new ways to use AR in their 2019 holiday campaigns. From virtual try-ons to camera filters designed to drive people into physical store locations, there’s no limit to the number of ways creative marketers can use AR. Enterprising retailers are capitalizing on the momentum as they come up with smarter ways to help shoppers contextually visualize what products will look like on their bodies and in their homes.

Let’s take a look at how five major companies are using AR for holiday marketing this year.

Combating Ad Fraud with Cutting-Edge Tech

It’s no secret that ad fraud is a major hurdle for digital advertisers, sapping billions annually from marketing budgets. As digital advertising continues to receive higher cuts of marketing budgets, the pressure on ad platforms to deliver legitimate and high-quality campaigns to their customers has never been greater. At the same time, marketers must be increasingly aware and choosy in how and where they run their digital campaigns in order to avoid the perils of ad fraud.

There are plenty of ad traps out there, but savvy marketers and publishers alike can implement a number of digital checkpoints to not only keep ad fraud at bay, but also optimize what is working and maximize profits for both parties. 

Building Customer Loyalty: Is Texting the Answer?

In today’s fast-paced world, we depend on our phones to help us get things quickly and easily. So, is texting the answer to building customer loyalty? Short answer: yes. Long answer: also yes, but it matters how you use it.

For appointment-based businesses, efficiency and simplicity are key to keeping customers engaged and coming back for more. Integration with online booking, improving gift card sales, and managing scheduling requests are three simple avenues that can have a big impact on building your business’ customer loyalty program. 

The Trust Crash: How Our Platforms Are Failing Us At Every Level and What We Can Do About It

It doesn’t have to be this way. There are the seeds of a new generation of open platforms and technologies aimed at evolving the platform paradigm to one of transparency, value share, and universal governance representation. Sharing value with users via data revenue share; allowing users access to insights generated about them and their peers and help to understand who is trying to engage with them and why; rev share and benefits for service providers; collaborative governance; and abolition of unilateral platform expulsion or rule changes are just several of the major changes on the table. A whole host of new open platform operating protocols is emerging.

LBMA Vidcast: Walmart Launches Alcohol Pick-Up; Salesforce Teams with Neura

On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: Neura + Salesforce, do it outdoors media partners with BlueBite, NinthDecimal adds Inscape TV data, Eatigo (Thailand) matches restaurant deals with customers, Yoplait using facial detection for free offers with JCDecaux, Walmart launches alcohol pick-up in 2,000 US locations.

How CPGs Can Score a Touchdown This Fall by Emulating Spiked Seltzer’s 2019 Summer Splash

In a way, local football fandoms are microcosms for the communities they represent. Each franchise fandom possesses a deeply rooted culture — the kind of loyalty and camaraderie marketers strive to inspire among their own consumers. From high school matchups and college games to the national stage and beyond, the opportunity to tap into local sports to forge meaningful connections with consumers is conspicuous. The strategies and tactics to go about creating those connections, though, is far from obvious. 

To home in on a seasonally relevant, hyperlocal strategy for tailgating and football, brand marketers can look to the strategies hard seltzer brands implemented that resulted in the overwhelming successes of the past summer. 

Heard on the Street, Episode 38: Can Local Events Galvanize Location Intelligence?

“People’s attendance to events conveys a deeper and much richer signal to their actual interests and passions,” said Gravy Analytics CEO Jeff White on the latest episode of Heard on the Street. “Twenty years of having this thing called a digital cookie to create deeper, richer experiences online based on behavior online, we simply believe that if we can understand the events that people attend, that’s a much deeper and richer signal. So it can be a pride event … or it’s attendance to any of your favorite passionate things: wine tastings or otherwise, we just anchor on that and try to glean aggregated consumer insights.”

6 Trends to Watch in Holiday Search Marketing

With fewer than two months to go until Christmas, retailers are already kicking their holiday search marketing tactics into high gear. Holiday sales this year are expected to increase roughly 4% over 2018, according to the National Retail Federation, and consumers are expected to be especially price-conscious. How will the retail industry respond to the changing dynamics in search marketing?

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest trends expected to influence holiday search marketing this year, from tactics for extending the local reach of holiday campaigns and how those tactics convert customers at the point of decision to newer products like Local Inventory Ads, which allows marketers to feed store-level inventory into Google search.

Google’s Fitbit Purchase: Peek into Next-Level Local Dominance and Healthcare Hacking

Prescriptions by Google, then? The company indeed lacks Amazon’s delivery capabilities but has a stranglehold on search and therefore on consumers’ connections to local businesses. It is not hard to imagine a world in which Google appears to keep its privacy promise by refusing to sell ads directly based on Fitbit user data but still capitalizes on the data by using it to connect Fitbit users with local health care service providers, pharmacists, and even gyms. That would just constitute one more way Google is edging out the digital middlemen that once closed the loop from Google search to a local service provider.

Defining Your Purpose: 4 Ways to Optimize Purpose-Driven Marketing

Ultimately, ensuring the success of purpose-driven campaigns comes down to building meaningful connections using all the technology, data, and creativity at one’s disposal to reach the elusive double bottom line. Here are four tips that can help marketers tap into data and technology to optimize their purpose-driven campaigns:

In Fitness Industry, Vertical Platforms Cater to Specialized Operations

Online appointment booking platforms are a dime a dozen, used by businesses in a huge range of industries. But among fitness businesses, specifically, general use booking platforms aren’t very common. That’s because fitness businesses are more likely to use vertical-specific tools designed to meet the needs of specialized operations.

Perhaps more so than any other industry, health and wellness has shown a great desire for verticalized technology solutions. Although verticalization isn’t limited to the health and wellness industry, fitness studios and related businesses are much more likely to use technology platforms designed specifically for their industry.

The Power and Shifting Meaning of Local

Urban, suburban, and rural residents have different shopping habits in their “local” areas. Many marketers are investing in mobile location-based ads — BIA/Kelsey predicts US spending will top $26 billion this year — yet as a retailer your goal isn’t just to reach consumers but to connect with them by acknowledging their different perspectives.

Talking to your customers requires a customized strategy that prioritizes location and takes their everyday lives into consideration. Harnessing the power of local starts with knowledge: where your customers live, what they want, and how to deliver it on behalf of your brand.

LBMA Vidcast: Location-Based Innovations from Nordstrom, Lyft, WeChat

On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: Republican campaign using beacon-enabled lawn signs, &Pizza + Lyft, WeChat battles fake GPS data, Nordstrom will deliver food to you in store, Jägermeister summons “Darke Spirits”, Chick-Fil-A launches dine-in mobile app.

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.

Now More than Ever, Local Strategy Differs by Vertical

The putative benefits of competing in vertically oriented channels come at a greater cost than was the case when GMB provided a unitary platform for all industries. Simply put, Google is serving the specialized needs of price-conscious travelers or those who want greater assurances when hiring a service professional, and in so doing, the company is creating additional channels to generate revenue through ads. More and more businesses will have to get used to spending their way toward greater exposure to their desired audiences — which is only odd in light of the fact that so much of local marketing has historically been organic in nature.

Why Your Location-Based Ad Campaign Isn’t Working (And How to Make It Better)

Many low-accuracy solutions produce horizontal location data only – location in multi-story buildings is not even a possibility. The result is that advertisers are designing campaigns with the equivalent of one hand tied behind their back, generating two-dimensional campaigns for a three-dimensional world.

What advertisers really need is the ability to reach consumers wherever they are, including the floor level in a multi-story mall, and entice them to enter the store. To achieve this, high-accuracy 3D location is needed. Fortunately, new capabilities are in place to help retailers design more effective campaigns, which will drive better results and raise consumers’ expectations to new heights (pun intended!). 

Uber, Lyft, DoorDash Fight Gig Economy Law in California

Ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft are teaming up with restaurant delivery service DoorDash to fight California’s AB 5, a law that would force gig-economy companies that survive on contractor labor to register their drivers (or dashers) as employees and offer them benefits, Vox reported.

The coalition, the Protect App-Based Drivers and Services campaign, is attempting to place a referendum on the 2020 California ballot that would give voters the choice to exempt ride-sharing services from the law. That would presumably include DoorDash, which is not a ride-hailing service but essentially iterated Uber’s business model, employing drivers to escort food instead of passengers from A to B on demand.

The Ghost in the Machine: Google Gamifies Machine Learning

David Mihm to Mike Blumenthal: As for our Halloween topic, a spooky good SEO, Scott Hendison, tweeted a link over the weekend that I found fascinating: https://crowdsource.google.com. Even for those of us who are used to these kinds of initiatives coming from Google, it’s the most brazen public effort we’ve seen to train their machine learning algorithm via user contributions across a whole range of data types.

Mike: It is certainly brazen. There is NO attempt to bury this as an activity within some other program like their Captcha. It’s a gamification of their ML plain and simple, and if I know Google, the reward will be either insignificant or worse: a discount on some “premium product” (i.e., an ad).