10 Things To Know About Online-And-Offline Marketing This Week

GeoMarketing’s Link Picks of the Week:

Top Stories of the Week:

5. Think With Google: Why Voice Assistants Are Resonating With Baby Boomers

Even brands that cater to older demographics can benefit from developing a voice strategy.

4. GroundTruth Expands Cost-Per-Visit Ad Format With Jack In The Box

“When someone enters our restaurant, we know they are going to make a purchase, so the main priority is to simply drive those visits,” says Jack In The Box CMO Iwona Alter.

3. Big Data, Big Ideas: Verve Execs Forecast Location’s Impact On ‘Smart Packaging,’ Connected Cars, Beacons

“CMOs should be focusing on partnerships that emphasize first-party, clean and protected third-party, and even second-party data,” says Verve CMO Julie Bernard.

2. How Starbucks’ 20,000 Square Foot Innovation Center Will Bring New Tech To Its 27,000 Locations

“None of us are shopping the same way we were three years ago, so, what we’re really trying to solve is the ‘pace of innovation,’” says Starbucks’ Brent Cashell, speaking in Austin this past weekend.

1. PlaceIQ And LiveRamp Partner On Creation Of Location-Based Audience Segments

“The true value of this deal is the ease in which marketers can tap into an omnichannel customer understanding,” says PlaceIQ Biz Dev Head Nadya Kohl.

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Uber Expands Smart City Initiatives, Launching A ‘Mobility Lab’ In Cincinnati

Uber has partnered with the city of Cincinnati to launch its “Cincinnati Mobility Lab,” a move aimed at expanding its shared mobility initiatives and using data to make transport in cities more efficient.

With other entities like Dallas Group expanding its smart city programs with major brands like AT&T and Toyota, it’s a decision that makes sense: Connectivity and shared mobility in urban centers is becoming a reality — creating substantial opportunities for citizens as well as marketers. And per Uber’s statement, the company hopes that this long term partnership will “serve as a model for others.”

What does the move entail? For starters, expanding Uber’s data sharing platform, Uber Movement, in Cincinnati; launching a transit study in with local transit agencies TANK and SORTA; and exploring the “curb of the future” by using data to improve urban movement and keep ridesharing vehicles from getting stuck behind double-parked cars.

But expect the company to further its work on autonomous vehicles and connected tech in cities as well: As Uber said in a statement, “technology on its own is not a solution for urban problems — but done right, and in partnership with others, we believe shared mobility has the potential to contribute to a better world for all.”

A Smarter City

As we’ve written previously, over the past year, the Smart Cities concept has gone from theoretical to practical, as tech startups and enterprise companies have combined to focus on municipal and regional efforts from New York to San Francisco that promise to expand the use of connected street furniture, support for electric cars, and placing sensors in public transportation to develop safer traffic condition.

Even smaller cities, such as Providence, RI, which began partnering with hyperlocal tech company Loud-Hailer to launch its “Connected City” app, Providence2GO in November, have been moving more rapidly on Smart Cities programs.

Expect Uber to continue to make major plays in this space: As the largest ridesharing entity at present, improving the efficiency of ridesharing and shared mobility as a whole is clearly in its best interests.

And expect to see the proliferation of the “smart city” to create new opportunities for marketers along the way: As Loom Media CEO Jonathan Schulhof told GeoMarketing last month, branding initiatives in this space are already emerging.

“Some of the things we’re thinking about: We believe that the growing influx of electric vehicles requires an infrastructure for charging those vehicles — and we see companies providing electric vehicle charging as an amenity, which is a great way [for brands] to play in this space. We recently partnered with a company called Volta that does exactly that: They put out a free electric vehicle charging spot with a digital screen that brands can leverage,” Schulhof said.

“We also look at community experiences within the city, and analyze how they could be done better using digital technologies. One area we’re fascinated by is innovations in food and in food markets — specifically farmers markets, the ultimate emblem of the livable city. This can also involve delivering workforce development and educational programs.”

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Esri Acquires ClearTerra To Expand Location-Based Support For Unstructured Data

Mapping analytics platform Esri has bought technology from ClearTerra, a provider in geospatial and “activity-based intelligence” tools designed to enhance the location tech company’s ability to manage unstructured data .

Specifically, Esri’s acquisition will give its ArcGIS platform clients the ability to easily discover and extract geographic coordinates from unstructured textual data like emails, briefings, and reports, instantly generating intelligent map-based information.

While the geospatial capabilities are primarily aimed at defense, intelligence, and public safety organizations, which tend to have massive volumes of unstructured data, it also has increasingly become important to industries such as petroleum, utilities, and maritime, “where locating information on the earth is not as easy as searching for a street address,” says Jeff Wilson, partner executive, Defense & Intelligence for Esri.

“We have been close partners with Esri for a number of years,” said Jeff Wilson, former vice president of sales for ClearTerra, now an executive for defense and intelligence with Esri. “Esri has the platform and resources to provide a solid path going forward for our technology, allowing us to expand this capability to the global market.”

Understanding Unstructured Data

As the wider use of artificial intelligence and Connected Intelligence have been used to power voice activation and real-time marketing programs, the role of location technology has been central to making the fullest use of these tools.

And understanding unstructured data is also a central part of those efforts around AI for marketing purposes.

To further explain unstructured data Margaret Rouse, writing for Search Business Analytics, “textual unstructured data is generated in media like email messages, PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, collaboration software and instant messages. Non-textual unstructured data is generated in media like JPEG images, MP3 audio files and Flash video files.” It also increasingly includes voice, as intelligent assistants proliferate.

ClearTerra LocateXT technology allows analysts to rapidly scan through documents without having to spend hours reading, copying, pasting, and running spreadsheet formulas, placing the results instantly into geospatial features, Esri says.

We turned to Esri’s Wilson for the details on what the integration of ClearTerra’s tech into the company means for its capabilities and clients, particularly as Esri’s efforts into powering programs like Smart Cities and transportation expand.

GeoMarketing: Does this acquisition add something completely new to existing Esri software or does it complement and enhance Esri’s current capabilities?

Jeff Wilson: The ClearTerra acquisition adds something completely new to the Esri platform. It opens up the ability to make use of unstructured data. Right now, Esri works with its partners, like ClearTerra, to provide this ability. With the acquisition, Esri can now expand the use case across a different class of users, specifically non-GIS users.

As alluded to in the release, looking beyond defense industries, what are the potential marketing/advertising applications for the addition of ClearTerra’s offerings for Esri clients?

In many industries, people capture spatial information in documents because they are not always comfortable using modern technology to capture data, like GIS for example. Instead they write location data in emails, documents and spreadsheets. Especially in industries such as energy or maritime, there are not a lot of addresses that are readily available to describe where things are located. Being able to identify something by its location, like a reef, for example, can be very powerful.

Unstructured data appears to be much more important as artificial intelligence and voice activated devices become more mainstream. How does ClearTerra help Esri manage unstructured data for location?

I think unstructured data and Artificial Intelligence go hand-in-hand. In many cases, people deal with unstructured data by using AI algorithms. This can speed up processes used to find data that is relevant.

These algorithms can be trained to subparse data and then ClearTerra technology is used to extract what is needed. Leveraging AI to reduce massive amounts of data to more manageable amounts of data allows us to be more tactical. When you then add the ability to geo-enrich that data with a GIS, the applications can be endless.

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Pandora Launches Audio Ad Marketplace As Voice And Brand Safety Demand Rises

Pandora is expanding its programmatic ad offerings to marketers who are increasing calls for media environments promising “brand safety” as the role of audio advertising experiences a new focus with the growth of voice-activated devices and platforms.

The addition of Pandora Audio Marketplace will allow advertisers access to the internet radio platform’s inventory and audience reach of roughly 73 million monthly listeners within an ad environment entirely managed by Pandora. The Pandora Audio Marketplace is intended as an extension of Pandora’s existing programmatic video and display.

The moves come as rivals IHeartRadio and Spotify, which have been touting their own respective programmatic audio ad sales expansions since last year.

For Pandora, the audio marketplace also is meant to help it better capitalize on its own extensive immersion into voice activated devices and connections with platforms like Amazon Echo’s Alexa and integrations with Sonos speakers as part of its efforts to embed itself in consumers’ Connected Homes.

Pandora began emphasizing its marketing philosophy that “voice is the new touch” last year.

“The launch of our programmatic audio marketplace will give advertisers the unique opportunity to efficiently reach Pandora’s audience—the largest set of listeners in the U.S.—in a targeted way, within a brand-safe environment,” said John Trimble, Chief Revenue Officer at Pandora. “With the rise of voice-activated devices, the demand for quality audio inventory is rapidly accelerating. This offering positions us for growth by meeting the needs of our current buying partners and unlocking market opportunities in the near future.”

The notion of private marketplaces like that one Pandora is setting up for audio have appealed to both publishers and media buyers for the past decade, as real-time bidding has taken off and upended traditional sales models.

Generally speaking, a private marketplace puts more control in publishers’ hands by providing clear controls to more easily select what kinds of buyers can view and bid on their inventory. The idea of a private marketplace that is tied to location-based advertising and voice activation further narrows the field for publishers like Pandora, who, in theory at least, will have better reasons to offer higher quality ad placements that have those aspects.

That appears to be the appeal to Volkswagen, which is a launch partner of the Pandora Audio Marketplace.

“Cars and music both have a way of eliciting an emotional connection. At Volkswagen we’re always looking to effectively reach drivers consumers in ways that move them while maintaining scale in a brand-safe environment,” said Jim Zabel, SVP of Marketing at Volkswagen. “By working with Pandora for its programmatic audio pilot we’ll now have the opportunity to efficiently reach a large base of listeners with the quality first-party data that our campaigns require.”

The Volkswagen campaign was run by Volkswagen’s media agency of record, Omnicom’s PHD as part of an exclusive collaboration with Pandora.

The campaign will use demand-side platform (DSP) The Trade Desk. Pandora is making its audio inventory available through deals with The Trade Desk, AdsWizz’s AudioMatic and MediaMath during the pilot and will include additional DSPs in the future. The marketplace is powered by AdsWizz’s AudioMax audio programmatic platform.

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Foursquare President Steven Rosenblatt Prepares Transition To Advisory Role

Steven Rosenblatt is preparing to step down down from his role as President of Foursquare as of April 2, as he turns his attention to creating his own startup with a focus on consulting and building early stage companies across “various industries,” a rep for the location intelligence platform said.

The company praised Rosenblatt’s leadership, which began in 2012 when he was named CRO of Foursquare. Before that, Rosenblatt led advertising sales at Quattro Wireless and ultimately ran Apple’s iAd strategy following the latter’s acquisition of the former in 2010.

Foursquare’s Resurgence And Momentum

Rosenblatt departs at a particularly good time in Foursquare’s history.  Three years after Foursquare was often put in the position of insisting there was no company “deathwatch,” CEO  Jeff Glueck reported last month that the company’s  revenues rose for the third consecutive year.

As a private company, nine-year-old Foursquare doesn’t disclose specific financial details, so all the company is saying is that 2017 marked the third straight year revenues rose by “50 percent or higher,” as outlined in a Medium blog post.

The post is also a response to remaining doubters about Foursquare, which was launched in 2009 with tremendous hype during that year’s SxSW.

Foursquare’s revenues primarily have been deriving from areas that Rosenblatt charted over the past few years, including its place-based ad targeting solution for brands, Pinpoint by Foursquare, which now counts over half the Ad Age 100 as advertisers.

In addition to advertising, Foursquare’s enterprise solutions has also attracted high-profile clients and partners, allowing it to position away from being known as a “social check-in” app and into a fuller developer that focuses on connecting brands with location analytics.

For example, in March 2017, Foursquare expanded the use of its location analytics outside of its own two apps, the eponymous flagship which promotes “discovery” and its Swarm check-in app. Foursquare struck licensing deals for its Pilgrim SDK to platforms that want to use the same tools to promote discovery within their branded apps.

Concentrating On Location Intelligence

But it’s the ability to connect digital marketing to in-store attribution and traffic that has helped Foursquare continue to bring in new business while raising its own profile as a data insights provider. It’s struck notable deals powering the location data of digital publishers like Pandora and Snapchat along with advertisers like tequila brand Patron.

Last summer, Foursquare began looking toward driving business in Asia in alliances with Samsung, WeChat and others.

In past conversations with Rosenblatt, it was Foursquare’s decision years ago to see location intelligence as its main business, not social media. The true test of location analytics’ value and viability is whether it can transcend clickthrough rates as the primary pricing and measurement mechanism of digital ads versus methods the look to store visits and actual sales, he said by way of Foursquare’s current mission.

“There’s been a huge demand for a company to have an always-on, non-incentivized persistent view that really has a true measure of whether an ad drove someone to a place or not,” Rosenblatt told GeoMarketing. “Brands are demanding the ability to optimize daily and then have access to lookback windows. We provide a two-day to 30-day lookback window. Tools like Foursquare Attribution is going to move us from the ‘click’ and finally get us out of a click-based economy and into what does real-world measurement act like online as well as offline. This is all about connecting the online and offline world.”

Asked about Roseblatt’s transition, Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck said in a statement:

“Steven’s valuable contributions over the past six years have made a huge impact on Foursquare, as we’ve grown from a consumer brand into the leader in location technology. Steven’s the kind of guy who knows nearly everyone in the business; he’ll be a true asset to early-stage companies, and we’re thrilled he’ll be staying on in an advisory role as we continue to grow and scale.”

For his part, Rosenblatt summed up his time at Foursquare — and hinted at his plans, in a statement:

“The time I’ve spent at Foursquare has been transformational, both in terms of the partnership with [founder and former CEO Dennis Crowley], Jeff and others on the leadership team as well as the innovation we created building the best-in-class location intelligence company.

“However, I’ve had an insatiable itch to start a company that emblemizes my passion for working with early stage companies,” Rosenblatt continued. “I’m excited for this new endeavor that will allow me to work alongside investors and startups at pivotal moments of growth. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.”

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Reputation Manager SOCi Brings In Location Tech Vet Monica Ho As CMO

Monica Ho, former CMO of location ad and analytics marketplace GroundTruth, is taking on the same title in a new role at SOCI, a software company that offers location-based social media marketing and reputation management.

A highly-respected marketing exec who was often the face and the voice of GroundTruth (formerly xAd), Ho left the company in December 2017 after six years to pursue “new opportunities closer to her home in Austin, Tx.”

For three years in a row, Business Insider named Ho as one of the “30 most powerful women in mobile advertising.”

“I am excited to join such an innovative and fast-moving company where I can leverage my expertise in marketing and B2B technology to help SOCi grow its business, reach new audiences and outperform the competition in the highly competitive social media and reputation management space,” Ho said.

GeoMarketing: What led you to join SOCI? Had you heard of them or worked with them before?

Monica Ho: SOCi ticked all of my boxes in regards to being 1) a fast growing early stage company, 2) a company that, although in a competitive market, had some “white space” they could take over and own and last but not least #3 a company with a solid leadership team in place.

In fact, the CRO [Warren Kay] and I go back 10-plus years, as I used to work with him when he was at Yahoo, and then at Under Armor. Also, the fact that they had a local office here in Austin, which made this a perfect fit.

Do you see SOCI’s role as a “location-based social media marketing” provider as looking beyond finite ad campaigns to powering brands’ wider, everyday use of social media to attract local business?

Although ads are an important part of any brand’s social strategy, SOCi was built to help brands and their local agents find and create engaging local content first as well as the ability to find and appropriately respond to local reviews and comments.

They’ve also created proprietary workflow management tools within the platform, which allow brands to allow their local agents and franchises to participate in a relevant and valuable way that scales.

What kinds of clients is SOCI intended for? Enterprise brands with multiple locations (or ones just looking to better reach social media users based on their location)? Do you also work with SMBs and independents?

SOCi was built for multi-location brands with Franchise and Property Management being some of our biggest verticals. We have also seen a lot of organic growth coming out of mid-tier digital agencies who are looking to manage social marketing for multiple SMBs/brands.

What are your initial goals as you get started?

My first goal is to gain a better grasp of SOCi’s business but in tandem with that really helping SOCi evangelize the amazing opportunity sitting in localized presence and content creation / management via social. Be on the look out later this year on some new first to market research and data around this.

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Thinking About Facebook Ads For Your Business This Year?


Your Facebook news feed is about to change.

Recently, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook was reverting to its roots as a site for online socializing.   The site is taking steps to push more personal content – so you may be more likely to see your friend Sarah’s holiday snaps, rather than breaking news.  That said, the site is also requesting data from users to discover which news sources people trust and want to see posts from. It’s the second major tweak to Facebook’s algorithm announced this month.   Zuckerberg says users will rank newsworthy sources for the site’s news feed.


Here is what we know about the update: 

Facebook is taking another step to try to make itself more socially beneficial, saying it will boost news sources that its users rate as trustworthy in surveys.  In a blog post and a Facebook post from CEO Zuckerberg, the company said it is surveying users about their familiarity with and trust in news sources.  This data will influence what others see in their news feeds, Zuckerberg added.  The social-media giant, a major source of news for users, has struggled to brush off an uproar over fake news and Russian-linked posts, alleged to influence the 2016 US elections on its platform.

The company has slowly acknowledged its role in that foreign interference.  Zuckerberg has said his goal for this year is to fix Facebook, whether by protecting against foreign interference and abuse or by making users feel better about how they spend time on Facebook.  So, the company is set to try to have users see fewer posts from publishers, businesses and celebrities, and more from friends and family.  Zuckerberg said because of that, news posts will make up 4% of the news feed, down from 5% today.  It says it has surveyed a ‘diverse and representative sample’ of US users and next week it will begin testing prioritizing the news sources deemed trustworthy.  Publishers with lower scores may see a drop in their distribution across Facebook.


Many Facebook page managers have long noticed the tightening of impressions, likes, and shares their posts receive, and now there will be an acknowledged effort to reduce them further. Zuckerberg recognizes this in his message and expects “the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down.” To counter, he adds, “But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable.” Read the full post below.

What are your thoughts on this new goal by Facebook? Is the social network still central to your marketing? Will you continue to publish content to your pages knowing fewer people will be seeing it?

Dunkin’ Donuts Goes Back To Its Local Roots For ‘Next Gen’ On-Demand Store Model

Dunkin’ Donuts has unveiled what it’s calling its “next generation store” in the city where it opened its very first location 68 years ago with new design elements that are meant to reflect the “on-demand’ expectations of its digitally connected customers.

The new 2,200 square-foot Quincy, Mass. location, just about one mile away from the original Dunkin’ Donuts location, includes the coffee chain’s first drive-thru exclusively for mobile ordering. It’s also the first of 30 or more new and remodeled Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants that will test variations of the new design this year.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ final new store design is expected to be unveiled once testing is complete. The Quincy store is also one of a select number of Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants testing new signage that refers to the brand simply as “Dunkin’.”

“The launch of our next generation concept store marks one of the most important moments in Dunkin’ Donuts’ growth as an on-the-go, beverage-led brand,” says Dave Hoffmann, president of Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. and Canada. “We have worked closely with our franchisee community to create a positive, energetic atmosphere for our guests that remains true to our heritage, while emphasizing and enhancing the unparalleled convenience, digital innovation and restaurant excellence that distinguishes Dunkin’.”

Dunkin’ Donuts “Store of The Future” Drive Thru — the chain’s first — in Quincy, Mass.

Dunkin’ On-Demand

The store is meant to reflect the on-demand focus that all major QSRs are rapidly adapting to. The coffee chain has been emphasizing its mobile focus for the past three years and so this can be viewed as the culmination of those initial efforts.

It also recognizes that the concepts of speed and loyalty have vastly changed in light of mobile ordering and discovery.

In particular, the challenges from the heavily mobile-oriented Starbucks has had a major impact on direct rivals like Dunkin’ Donuts, but also on more general QSRs like McDonald’s. By way of comparison, Dunkin’ Donuts has nearly 7,700 locations in the U.S. (and another 3,000-plus in other countries) while Starbucks has 17,009 outlets.

Aside from its regional U.S. concentration in the northeast,  Dunkin’ Donuts now has more than 7.5 million DD Perks members. The growth of the rewards program reflects a broader influence of social media and mobile payments in that, aside from building up points for discounts, the primary benefit for customers is simply a “better experience.”

In the case of a QSR chain like Dunkin’ Donuts, that means getting customers what they want quickly with as little friction as possible when it comes to paying.

And that’s the aim of the Dunkin’ Donuts’ “next gen” outlet, which boasts an open layout and more natural light to make the spaces more “breathable” and not just merely “efficient.”

The new store also previews the “fully-integrated digital kiosks” coming in 2018, where guests will choose to order with or without the help of a store staffer.

Dunkin’ Donuts has also introduced an area dedicated to mobile pickups, so that members of the DD Perks Rewards program who order ahead via Dunkin’s Mobile App can get in and out of the restaurant faster than ever before. Guests will be able to track the status of their orders placed for pickup inside the restaurant via a new digital order status board.

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As Audio Gets ‘Smarter,’ iHeartMedia Embraces Voice Activation, Chatbots, Wearables

With Spotify and Pandora making their respective extensions into the work of “smart audio,” iHeartMedia is using its presence at CES2018 to highlight the radio network’s digital moves including letting listeners access iHeartRadio through a chatbot for Facebook Messenger and Samsung’s voice activated assistant Bixby.

In a sense, the new features represent a fuller step from iHeartMedia’s omnichannel focus over the past year. In 2017, the company started iHeartRadio All Access powered by Napster, it expanded the number of podcasts, and struck over 200 platform integrations, making its audio available in cars, at home, on wearables, via gaming consoles, through virtual assistants, and “nearly everywhere listeners want to tune in,” iHeartMedia says.

iHeartRadio is also available in nearly all major OEMs and aftermarket products as well as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and more. In addition, iHeartMedia can be heard in every vehicle reaching more than a quarter of a billion people monthly through its 850 local radio stations nationwide.

“In 2017, we built on iHeartRadio’s strong foundation of content access and discovery,” said Darren Davis, President of iHeartRadio and iHeartMedia Networks Group. “Consumers are taking advantage of the ease and ubiquity of virtual assistants, smart speakers, set-top boxes and other connected devices, and in doing so, they’re proving that audio is an important part of their day-to-day life. As we look ahead in 2018, we will continue to innovate – blending the iHeartRadio experience seamlessly into the way listeners use the influx of these new smart devices – and as always, make iHeartRadio easily available on the products and platforms they use most.”

The role of “smart audio” via Connected Intelligence is already being felt in the way consumers choose what and when to buy something, whether on their phone, on a Connected Home device through a virtual assistant, or in a Connected Car.

Roughly 65 percent of people who own an Amazon Echo or Google Home can’t imagine to going back to the days before they had a smart speaker, and 42 percent of that group say the voice-activated devices have quickly become “essential” to their lives.

In 2017, 35.6 million Americans will use a voice-activated assistant device at least once a month for sudden rise of 128.9 percent over last year, says eMarketer.

iHeartMedia’s stepped up effort to be everywhere consumers expect comes as Pandora has aggressively moved to ramp up its Smart Home strategy, most recently in an expanded collaboration with Sonos to employ voice-activation controls.

Rounding out iHeartMedia’s partners are Jibo, billed as a “social robot for the home”; Garmin’s new GPS running watch, the Forerunner 645 Music; and Roku users will now have access to iHeartRadio’s full feature set.

The company is also introducing new automotive updates with General Motors and Ford.

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The Majority Of Amazon And Google Smart Speaker Owners Will Buy Another

Over two-thirds of consumers who currently own an Amazon Echo or Google Home plan to buy another device in the next six months — and 75 percent of Amazon Echo owners and 69 percent of Google Home owners will purchase the same brand again, according to new research from Strategy Analytics.

This degree of loyalty may suggest that consumers are highly satisfied with the voice-activated devices they’ve chosen — or it could be simply a “recognition that the technical platforms are different and that switching would involve unwanted complexity,” the report states. But in either case, these findings indicate substantial consumer loyalty to one brand alone.

Loyalty Lock-In

These findings provide two important takeaways for marketers: First, that the first device a consumer purchases and brings into their home is highly likely to set up a long term relationship that won’t be easily penetrated — something that’s key for Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and any other upstarts to keep in mind.

And, more importantly, marketers need to gain a deeper understanding of which consumers are flocking to which platforms — and how they can reach them.

Think about it: If there are “Amazon Alexa” households that rely only on Amazon devices versus Google Home households, marketers need to understand who these consumers are — and if there are any notable patterns, demographic or otherwise, in terms of which people are choosing which devices at the outset.

If, for example, a greater number of Millennial parents are proven to have purchased an Amazon Echo, it might make more sense for a company like Pampers to build out an Alexa skill first, rather than a Google Home skill. Essentially, as voice-activated smart speakers continue to proliferate, marketers need to improve their use of them as a conversational tool — and that starts with understanding who is loyal to which devices and when they use them.

In any case, it does pay for marketers to focus their attentions on commuting with consumers via the “big four” platforms: “The early runners in the fast-growing smart speaker market look set to dominate for some time,” said David Mercer, author of the report. “High customer satisfaction levels and the possibility of platform ‘lock-in’ will make it challenging for competitor platforms to carve out significant market share in the near term.”

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