V3B Week in Review—April 1, 2017

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Facebook continues to challenge Snapchat, Foursquare is transitioning to a new business model that makes it profitable, Microsoft and Publicis team up in a move to keep agencies relevant, and having your phone’s location turned on brings better retail bargains. What a deal! Always a busy week in the worlds of marketing and social media, here’s what interested our team this week.

Facebook’s new feature “Facebook Camera” is yet another copy of Snapchat. In its continued move to copy or clone everything Snapchat does, Facebook’s new camera feature allows users to take a photo or video, and share it on their story for a 24-hour period. And beyond the story function, users can send photos or videos taken to specific friends via direct messages. Why is Facebook Camera such a big deal? One reason—the more it serves up Snapchat like offerings to its gigantic user base, the fewer reasons people have to go to other platforms. Zuck is smart that way. Another reason—this move signals a shift in Facebook’s sharing format.

For the past 10 years, Facebook has been a text and link-based social media platform. But the growing popularity of visual communication—photo and video—is what prompted the new Facebook Camera feature. How Facebook Camera will impact Snapchat is yet to be seen, but if it’s similar to the impact Instagram stories had, Snapchat has a bleak outlook. More details on this front here, from Lisa Illman.

Foursquare has finally shed years of challenges and found a share of a new marketplace, and profits are rising. Remember when we all checked in on Foursquare, competing for “mayorships”? How long ago that seems. And how long it was that anyone really paid any attention to Foursquare. Well, that’s changing. Over the past year, the company has found a purpose as a location intelligence company for businesses. In fact, Foursquare predicted Chipotle’s 29 percent sales decline two weeks before it actually happened.

In business, data is king. Foursquare has collected an enormous amount of data regarding consumers’ shopping habits from the company’s consumer app days. But, the company struggled to utilize that data for monetary gain, until recently. By using the company’s data to predict market trends and product sales, Foursquare is closing in on $100 million in revenue. Good overview here from Entrepreneur on this front—and good for Foursquare for turning the ship around.

Microsoft has partnered with Publicis to create custom experiences with AI. Brands need increasing amounts of sophistication to compete today—and Big Data and Artificial Intelligence are a key part of the way they can do that. Agencies are finding themselves increasingly struggling to compete against consultants who can provide the expertise brands need in this regard. That explains the partnership between Microsoft and Publicis, and why the SapientRazorfish COSMOS platform, which can provide the Publicis group of agencies with the tools they need to not only stay competitive, but to stay relevant with their clients, is news. MediaPost’s Laurie Sullivan (one of our favorite MP writers, shares more on that here).

Besides Microsoft’s AI, another high-tech revolution in the retail world might be catching on. Mobile location tracking can provide marketers with new advertising opportunities. While the loT in the retail industry is nothing new—think digital signage and smart beacons—using the loT in conjunction with consumers’ mobile location data is starting to turn the heads of many top marketers. By tracking consumer location patterns, companies get invaluable data about where, and how long consumers are staying in specific retailers—consumer shopping patterns.

One of the biggest advantages to using location tracking in retail and marketing is the ability to identify when regular customers stop visiting a store. When these regular shoppers are identified, the technology can send the shopper a customer ad from the retailer that acts as an incentive for them to come back. InMarket, the company behind the location technology, is extremely effective. For one retailer, InMarket identified 290,000 lapsed shoppers, and recovered 118,000 of them. The 40 percent return rate is much greater than the 15 percent return rate for retailers who do not use the location technology. Check out this article shared by Chuck Martin for more info.

Well, that’s it for this week. Be sure to check back in so we can keep you up-to-date on all the breaking social media and marketing news.

Photo Credit: Tu Nexo De Flickr via Compfight cc

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