“One of the challenges is a lot of the tools around the ecosystem have not really been built to scale for the small business owner, and they still require a lot of sophistication in understanding how to buy and sell media. The opportunity is in looking at how some of these platforms are evolving. I think programmatic will become a very strong opportunity for the small business owner,” said NinthDecimal president David Staas about shifting trends in location-based marketing and audience targeting.
Fast-growing Yext is broadening its suite of location-based targeting products with the launch this week of Xone, a beacon-based program for businesses to engage in-store consumers with relevant content. Xone’s central feature is Tips, which enables businesses to customize and deliver messages to smartphone users who pass within range of an in-store Xone Beacon.
The path to purchase ceased being linear some time ago, probably as soon as online-to-offline became a standard part of the marketing lexicon. But as mobile has begun to wield increasing influence over the shopping process — at home, on the go, and in-store — the path has grown even more convoluted. The latest evidence comes from a new study conducted by International Data Corporation (IDC) on behalf of YP.
The venerable apps vs. mobile web debate continues to rage on but it is largely a distraction for local merchants. Business owners do need to understand the changing media landscape to make the most effective possible use of their limited marketing budgets, but their time and their dollars are better spent on marketing fundamentals rather than investing in the increasingly difficult and crowded race to acquire, retain, and monetize app users.
Consumers are more impatient and time-starved than ever. At least that’s the impression one could derive from the seemingly unending string of same-day delivery announcements from major retailers, restaurants, convenience-store chains, startup enablers, and technology companies. The driving force behind their renewed focus on ever-shorter delivery windows: conquering the elusive last mile of commerce.
If there is a specifically local business implication to the new products and services, it lies in this deeper level of integration with a more mobile world, where the nimbleness of apps (think computing lite) gives everyone the ability to customize and communicate on the fly.
“The great challenge of winning the local market boils down to balancing sufficient reach and scale with specificity,” writes Noah Elkin, who is joining Street Fight today as managing editor. “It turns out thinking globally and acting locally isn’t always easy — as a consumer or a marketer.”