Snapchat Rolls Out “Snap To Store” Tools For Tracking Offline Attribution

What Happened
Snapchat has launched a new location-based ad measurement product that lets brands see if their ad campaigns on Snapchat is successful at driving people to visit their stores in the real world. The way this new measurement product works is by comparing the visits of people who saw a Snapchat ad, which includes things like a Snap that their friends took with a branded Geofilter, to visits of those who didn’t see one but went anyway during a week’s timeframe, therefore determining if there is a lift in foot traffic. Snap has been testing its Snap to Store product since last year with a handful of marketers, including Paramount Pictures and 7-Eleven.

What Brands Need To Do
This ad measurement product comes at a time when Snapchat is starting feel the mounting pressure from Instagram, which just announced that its Snapchat clone feature Instagram Stories have amassed over 200 million daily active users, surpassing the last count of 161 million that Snapchat announced alongside its IPO in February. As Snapchat tries to hold onto its lead in monetizing its messaging platform by updating their ad products and creating original content, brands should be aware of all the options they have and properly utilize the measurement tools available to more effectively measure their campaign performances.


Source: AdWeek


Alexa Developers Can Now Customize Skills Based On User Locations

What Happened
The location API for Alexa skills has officially come out of beta, Amazon announced in a company blog post. This API enables developers to access user locations and use that information to customize the conversational experiences they make, such as food delivery or finding the nearest drugstore. Previously, companies like AccuWeather and Just Eat have been testing this API. It is worth noting that this API is not a location tracker like GPS, but rather allows developers to access the address of the device owner according to their Amazon profile.

In addition, Amazon also launched a new metrics dashboard, which lets Alexa developers track things like unique customers, sessions, utterances and intents so that they can track the performance of their skills in one place.

What Brands Need To Do
As Amazon continues to build out Alexa’s capabilities and improve its measurement tools, brands will have an easier time to design their conversational brand experiences and track their performances in one place. Opening access to user addresses removes friction for delivery-oriented services and allows developers to deliver a more localized user experience. According to a report from analytics firm VoiceLabs, about 33 million voice-first devices will be in circulation by the end of 2017. Therefore, It is up to brands to start working with developers to figure out their brand voice and incorporate conversational tools into their marketing efforts. For more on this, check out the Advanced Interfaces section in our brand new Outlook 2017 trend report.

How We Can Help
The Lab has extensive experience in building Alexa Skills and chatbots to reach consumers on conversational interfaces. So much so that we’ve built a dedicated conversational practice called Dialogue. The “Miller Time” Alexa Skill we developed is a good example of how Dialogue can help brands build a conversational customer experience, supercharged by our stack of technology partners with best-in-class solutions and an insights engine that extracts business intelligence from conversational data.

If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively reach consumers on conversational interfaces, or to leverage the Lab’s expertise to take on related client opportunities within the IPG Mediabrands, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Barrett ([email protected]) to schedule a visit to the Lab.


Source: VentureBeat

Google Starts Testing Order-Ahead Feature On Navigation App Waze

What Happened
Google is ramping up brand integrations on its popular in-car navigation app Waze, starting with the addition of an “order-ahead” feature that allows drivers to order from certain partnered QSR brands and retailers straight from the Waze app. At launch, Dunkin’ Donuts was announced as the first partner, and Google says it plans to team up with other merchants if the test goes well. Outside Waze, mobile order-ahead apps have also been gaining tractions with other QSR brands such as Taco Bell, Starbucks, and more recently, McDonald’s.

What Brands Need To Do
The goal behind app integrations like this is to create a seamless mobile experience by allowing users to complete several tasks without having to jump between apps, such as ordering coffee and doughnuts for pickup while navigating through their morning commute. A similar example would be when Starwood Hotels integrated Uber services into their own mobile app to enable quick ride-hailing for people arriving or checking out of the hotel. From a brand perspective, choosing the right partner to integrate with can help boost brand loyalty, and integrations with popular apps serve as a valuable marketing channel for brands to reach new customers on mobile.


Source: TechCrunch

Snapchat Teams Up With Foursquare For Better Targeted Geofilters

What Happened
Snapchat is set to improve its location-based ad products by striking a data deal with local discovery and recommendation service Foursquare. This deal will provide brand marketers with access to Foursquare’s location data, allowing them to serve branded Geofilters in a more targeted manner. According to Snapchat, the deal will open “thousands” of locations and categories, such as parks or museums, for brands to buy ads against.

In related news, Bloomberg reports that Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, has confidentially filed for its IPO after months of speculations. The company is reportedly seeking seeking to raise as much as $4 billion at a valuation of between $25 billion and $35 billion, making it the largest U.S. technology IPO since Facebook’s debut in 2012 with a value of $81.2 billion.

What Brands Should Do
With this partnership, Snapchat has shown once again it is keen to partner with ad tech companies in order to meet brand marketers’ increasing demand more data and measurement for digital campaigns. With improved location data, Snapchat advertisers can now better tailor their campaigns in more granular way to reach their targeted audience. For example, a retailer may zero in on a specific store location inside a mall with an on-premise exclusive Geofilter to encourage store visits.

As Snapchat continues to improve its ad products to match its rapid growth, brands need to consider getting on Snapchat to reach its young-skewing users via not only standard video ads, but also more unconventional ad units such as custom Geofilters and branded selfie lenses.


Source: AdWeek & Bloomberg

How Home Depot And The Fragrance Outlet Drive In-Store Sales With Mobile Ads

What Happened
Both Home Depot and The Fragrance Outlet are seeing positive results using mobile ads to drive in-store purchases, but their specific approaches differ. Home Depot leverages Google’s location-based search ads to target online shoppers that are interested in gardening tools. The ads suggest the nearest Home Depot locations based on where customers are. Home Depot reported that 36% of their in-store revenue during peak hours was driven by mobile, resulting in an eight-times increase in ROI from mobile display ads in the past year.

The Fragrance Outlet, on the other hand, is using in-store beacons to attract customers to try perfume samples and drive sales. Working with Shopkick, the retail chain is installing beacons at some of its 100 locations to push its rewards program by offering free samples to Shopkick users.

What Retailers Should Do
Despite their different approaches, both retailers are leveraging mobile technologies to successfully target shoppers on a hyperlocal level. A recent survey by SessionM revealed that 90% of retail shoppers today are using their smartphones in stores. Therefore, it would be a huge missed opportunity if retailers are not using location-based ads or proximity-triggered offers to reach shoppers and drive sales.  


Sources: Think With Google & GeoMarketing

NYC AdWeek 2016: Google Unleashes Four Major Additions To Its Ad Network

What Happened
On the first day of the 2016 NYC AdWeek, Google announced four noteworthy additions to its ad products:

• Cross-device retargeting: Google updated its Google Display Network and DoubleClick Bid Manager to help brands retarget Google users across devices based on their Google profiles.

• Mobile ads get more local: mobile ads on Google Display Network can now include a business address and pull directions and photos from Google Maps. Home Depot tested the feature and reported an eight-time improvement on its ROI compared to its regular mobile ads.

• Online-to-store attribution: Google updated the offline measurement tools in its Google Display Network to bring more data to the table. The search giant says its measurement tools will also employ a five-million-user panel to gauge whether the display ads drive retail purchases with 99% accuracy.

• TV and YouTube ads comparison: With an upgraded version of its Brand Lift measurement product, Google now lets marketers compare the frequency of Google searches that viewers carry out after seeing a YouTube ad versus a TV ad. Google claims that the measurement tool has “seen YouTube generate almost two times the searches per impression than [sic] TV generates.”

What Brands Should Do
All together, these four additions aim to make Google’s ad products more accountable and local. For brands looking to reach a mobile audience via search ads, these new updates should come as welcome news that can further improve their digital campaigns. Retailers in particular should learn to adopt these features to enable in-store attribution tracking and cross-device retargeting for more effective campaigns.


Source: AdWeek

Pokémon Go To Launch In Japan With McDonald’s As Sponsored Gym Locations

What Happened
Two weeks after its initial release, Pokémon Go is finally set to be released in Japan on Wednesday (Update 7/20: the launch has been delayed due to the leak of the partnership), TechCrunch reports. Sources also claim that this major roll-out will also feature the first Sponsored Locations in the game, with over 3,000 McDonald’s locations in Japan designated as Gyms. Reports about game-maker Niantic opening up the game to allow Sponsored Locations first surfaced last week, and for now it remains to be seen whether the company will roll out this brand opportunity to other markets.

In the past two weeks, Pokémon Go has quickly grown into a global craze, driving considerable real-world traffic to various landmarks, parks, and local businesses. On Sunday, around 5,000 people gathered at Millennium Park in Chicago to play the game. The Dallas Arboretum, home to multiple PokéStops and Gyms, is hosting Pokémon Go events and staying open late to accommodate players, drawing record crowds as a result.

The foot traffic the game drives is also giving various restaurants, cafes, and other stores significant boosts in customers. Picasso’s Pizzeria in Buffalo, NY advertised that they are located in between two PokéStops and claimed that sales doubled in just a few hours. Various restaurants across the country are reported to be attracting Pokémon Go players with extra Pokémons generated by Lures, an in-game purchase, as well as offering discounts and gift cards to people who tweet out photos of themselves with Pokémon in the restaurants.

What Brands Need To Do
With the game scoring a higher engagement rate than Facebook and more daily active users than Twitter, Pokémon Go’s smashing success presents great opportunities for brands to reach a young-skewing audience on mobile and even drive offline traffic to stores. While it remains to be seen when the company behind Pokémon Go will bring sponsorship opportunities to markets outside Japan, there are still plenty of things that brands can do to capitalize on the game’s viral popularity. For starters, brands can take a cue from T-Mobile, which announced a series of Pokémon Go-related promotions to appeal to the vast number of players. For brands with physical locations that are near PokéStops, it would also be important to indicate so on Yelp for the new search option it added.

For more suggestions on how brands can benefit from “Pokémania,” check out our in-depth Fast Forward analysis on the matter here.


Sources: Various outlets as linked in the post

Google Maps Shows You What You Can Buy At Local Stores

What Happened
Following its announcement of Showcase Shopping ads, Google is making another play for retailers’ ad dollars as it expands Local Inventory Ads to Google Maps. Now when users search for a local store in Google, a link marked as “search items at this store” will appear in the location detail panel, as well as in a location info card for regular Google searches. It directs users to a Google-created landing page that contains a browsable list of the advertiser’s local inventory. Individual product pages also show size availability, reviews, and the option to search other locations.

What Retailers Need To Do
This new ad product allows Google users to view products available at the retail locations they are searching for, letting them browse products and check availability before making their shopping trips. As more and more shoppers research online before heading to stores, it is crucial that retailers make sure there’s sufficient information online to convince shoppers to make the trip.

For more information on how retailers can effectively reach connected consumers by taking an omnichannel approach, check out the Boundless Retail section in our Outlook 2016.


Source: Search Engine Land

How Brands Can Benefit From “Yelp Knowledge” Social Analytics Program

What Happened
Yelp is launching a “Yelp Knowledge” program to help brands with multiple store locations get a more comprehensive idea of what their customers are saying online. Brands that join this program will gain access to Yelp’s dataset of “over 100 million reviews and 12 years of historical data for local analytics and insights.” The company is also expanding the group of third-party companies that can directly access its complete reviews data, adding Medallia, Reputology, and Revinate to the list.

What Brands Need To Do
According to a recent study by Google, 74% of local searches result in same-day store visits and 28% of those searchers made a purchase. As an integral part of the local search ecosystem, Yelp reviews have a strong impact on how local businesses are perceived by prospective customers. Therefore, this new program and extended third-party service access should come as welcome news for brands that manage multiple locations, particularly those in the QSR and retail verticals, to tap into Yelp’s vast dataset of customer feedback to identify and act on opportunities for improvements at each store.

Source: Marketing Land

How Twitter’s New Location Tags May Be Useful For Brands

What Happened
Twitter is encouraging users to check out aggregated tweets from specific locations and venues by adding Foursquare-powered location tags to tweets in the main timeline and on profiles. Previously, Twitter’s location tags only narrowed down to the neighborhood level and were tucked away with the finer details under the body of tweets, which means users had to expand a tweet and then click on the location tag in order to see the location feeds.

What Brands Need To Do
Now that users are clued in by the conspicuous location tags included at the end of tweets, they will be more likely to explore Twitter in a location-based manner. Although Twitter hasn’t officially announced their plans for monetizing location feeds yet, it is clear to see that this new addition could bring new targeting opportunities for brand advertisers by allowing them to surface their promoted tweets in the appropriate location feeds to reach their desired audiences. The more granular location tags also generate more data to help businesses and event organizers better understand their audiences on Twitter and improve its interest-based, hyperlocal targeting.


Source: TechCrunch