Each month, we orient our coverage around an editorial theme. The list below represents the full range of our coverage and is updated from time to time. Click the links to view our coverage of each theme. Reach out to us if you have theme suggestions or if you’d like to offer your insight on any of our existing themes.

Beyond the Screen:  The screen has always been our primary interface but the world of tech is bringing us new formats including voice, computer vision and augmented reality. Beyond the Screen encapsulates these topics and the evolving set of front-end interfaces for local media and commerce. See our coverage here.

Word of Mouth: The oldest and still most effective form of local marketing is word of mouth. That’s taken a new form today in the art of reputation management. Under the Word of Mouth theme, we cover topics including social media marketing, reviews management multimedia strategies. See our coverage here.

Targeting Location: A central issue for location-based media and commerce is the moving target of how to pinpoint and optimize strategies around device location. We cover topics under Targeting Location like location-targeted ads, attribution, paid search, and location data strategies. See our coverage here.

Automating Local: How is AI impacting local commerce and marketing, and who’s doing what? This theme highlights topics like Amazon’s move to create intelligent and streamlined retail operations, as well as AI’s role in local search such as voice-enabled smart devices and personal assistants. See our coverage here.

Visualizing Local: How are marketers using visual content to boost visibility, presence, and conversions? With Visualizing Local, we examine topics like image search, visual strategies in local listings, and visually-oriented social media like Instagram Stories. See our coverage here.

Pursuing Privacy: In the wake of Facebook’s data collection misdeeds, the privacy backlash is swift and formidable. Pursuing Privacy is our theme for key issues like location intelligence and privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA. See our coverage here.

Disrupting Retail: Physical-world retail is at a crossroads as we see a growing divergence between success stories and victims of “retailpocalypse.” The difference is a function of digital adaptiveness. With Disrupting Retail, we cover topics like in-store innovation and Amazon’s strategic moves. See our coverage here.

Driving Local: The car is the ultimate mobile device. And it’s becoming local’s next battleground as more and more sensors are infused. Topics like autonomous vehicles are covered under Driving Local, as well as the car’s increasing role in the local search and discovery process. See our coverage here.

Mapping the Future: Of all of the technologies and consumer touchpoints to local commerce, mapping is perhaps the most relevant. Mapping the Future addresses maps as the primary tool for local search and discovery. We discuss UX innovations, visual mapping, and mapping as a component of local search and SEO strategies. See our coverage here.

Vertical Challenge: To verticalize or not to verticalize… that is the question in local commerce. The Vertical Challenge theme targets vertical-specific strategies and the pros and cons of zeroing in on local business categories. See our coverage here.

Holiday Blitz: All of the local commerce innovations throughout the year are given the chance to shine during the end-of-year holiday shopping blitz. We cover topics like shopping behavior, year-over-year trend analysis and retail strategies. See our coverage here.

Connected Consumer: How are we as consumers increasingly tapped into networked content and data. This includes topics like personal assistant apps, smart speakers, IoT and wearables. See our coverage here.

Theme of the Month: Pursuing Privacy

Street Fight’s March Theme: Word of Mouth

One of the oldest and still most influential drivers of local commerce is word of mouth. Though that’s sustained at a high level, the delivery vessel for local chatter has evolved. Social channels like Facebook and Yelp now shape the reputations of brick-and-mortar businesses, not to mention the kingmaker authority of Google.

This month, we will delve into the latest trends and insights driving reputation management, taking Word of Mouth as our theme.

The Pitfalls and Opportunities of Screen-Free Customer Service

One vertical that has been able to integrate voice into customer service in a meaningful way is retail. National retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, and REI Co-op have created skills or teamed up with technology providers to connect with customers through voice-controlled assistants. Some retailers are accepting orders via voice, and others are doling out product information and reviews. What the most successful of these companies have in common is a defined strategy and plans to measure ROI.

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?