Video: Last Week in Local July 24th
Mike Blumenthal

Last week in local 7/24

Join Local U for the latest public episode of Last Week in Local, a weekly conversation about the articles that attracted our attention during the past week ending July 24th, 2017. This week featuring Mary Bowling and Mike Blumenthal.

This year we will be publishing our Last Week in Local video directly to the Local U blog. It will be published every Monday and will include discussions about the events in the last week — strategic and tactical — that affect Local SEO & marketing.

If you have a special topic you would like us to discuss for our other weekly feature, the Deep Dive in Local, or if you would like to be on one or the other of our segments, reach outand send us the topic and your availability. If you are interested in sponsoring this weekly show also please let us know.

Let us know what you think. Welcome to Last Week in Local!

Our weekly discussions are also now available as a podcast as well.


Mike’s Links

In Urban China, Cash Is Rapidly Becoming Obsolete – The New York Times

Almost everyone in major Chinese cities is using a smartphone to pay for just about everything. At restaurants, a waiter will ask if you want to use WeChat or Alipay — the two smartphone payment options — before bringing up cash as a third, remote possibility.

Just as startling is how quickly the transition has happened. Only three years ago there would be no question at all, because everyone was still using cash.

In China, a Store of the Future—No Checkout, No Staff – MIT Technology Review

A “pop up” store with biometric theft prevention, all digital payments and no staff….

Parked in a big open square on campus was a vehicle resembling a bus. Through its floor-to-ceiling glass front, shelves could be seen stacked with red boxes.

Google to radically change homepage for first time since 1996 | Technology | The Guardian

The feed of personalized information, which has been a mainstay of Google’s mobile apps for Android and iOS since 2012 along with a home-screen page on Google’s Nexus and Pixel smartphones and tablets, will become part of the main web experience in the near future, the Guardian understands.

Amazon launches Spark, a shoppable feed of stories and photos aimed at Prime members

Amazon today is launching Amazon Spark, a new feature aimed at improving product discovery, which is seemingly inspired by Instagram and its use of shoppable photos. Similarly, Amazon Spark users are encouraged to post stories, ideas and images of products they love, which others can react to with comments and “smiles” – Amazon’s own version of the Like or Favorite button.

The goal with the new program is to shift some of the social activity around products taking place off-site back to Amazon, where product inspiration can translate directly into purchases with a click of a button.

Five User Requirements for Online Ads

Ads suck so make them as least offensive as possible. The same really can be said for all UI design.

  • User control
  • Instant gratification
  • Placement
  • Predictability
  • Relevance

Google Websites Passes 250,000 Sites Created

Google has been adding new business websites at a clip of 5600 PER day. DIY is clearly working for them. Here are the countries with the biggest growth out of those 250,000 new site:

  • India 44,600
  • Indonesia 30,400
  • United States 16,200
  • Brasil 15,800

Google home service ads come to the East Coast & open up to more service categories

Painters, electricians and towing companies can now run ads through AdWords Express, joining locksmiths and plumbers, house cleaners and handymen.

Google launched home service ads in 2015 with a pilot in San Francisco. The ad product is also available in Stockton, San Diego, Los Angeles and Philadelphia — marking its first availability on the East Coast — in addition to the San Francisco Bay Area. As is its practice, Google has regularly tested new formats for these ads over the past couple of years.

The Local Sponsorship Asset Checklist | ZipSprout

If you are planning on working with local not for profits or charities they need a great deal of hand holding to get the digital side of the sponsorship right. Here is a checklist of commonly requested assets for local sponsorship campaigns that will help you be ready for the process.

Mary’s Links

Data: Local Assets Drive 85% of Consumer Impressions for Brands

State of the Mobile Customer Experience for Multi-Location Brands White Paper | MomentFeed

A lot of brands don’t seem to get this. They devote most of their marketing to the brand, not the brand’s locations

Amazon rescues suffering Sears with new deal

A tale of two retailers: some brands melt in the face of competition from Amazon:

Amazon causes ‘instant fear’ when it enters a market, but everyone should calm down, analyst says

While others see it as their saving grace. Both things will happen. Some businesses will thrive and some will fail.

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