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Amazon Lockers Added At Staples Stores

One thing that amazes me is that although I watch the online industry day in and day out I get surprised by things that have been in the marketplace for a while on some level or another.

Most of the time these ‘surprises’ are things that happen at the intersection of the online and offline worlds. Note to self – pay closer attention to the intersection of the online and offline worlds because it could be powerful.

The latest thing that caught me off guard are Amazon lockers. Reuters reports how these are going to be installed at Staples stores. These stores are not the first to have them as the program has been piloted in Seattle, New York and London over the past year or so (OK so I am a little behind the curve, yell at me if you must but I don’t live in any of those markets either).

Look for Big Local Mobile Growth in Near Future

We all know that the the digital channel is continuing to grow. Advertising as a whole may not be growing tremendously but growth in the digital space is being fueled by a an increasing exodus from traditional advertising options that are no longer cutting it in the Internet age.

Please note that I am not saying all offline advertising is going away. That’s hype and nonsense. That’s online industry stupid talk for lack of a better term. There are offline channels for advertisers that still work well and will continue to do so. In fact,they will be even more strategic as the shift continues to the online space and a true balance is struck by marketers who learn what works best and in what doses regarding online and offline options.

BIA/Kelsey has provided some data about the local space moving forward and it looks like mobile is the big winner. Take a look at the predicted growth of local mobile ad spend through 2016.

Now see how that compares to local spending as a whole.

Google Offers Crisis Response Map for Frankenstorm

Hurricane Sandy is making everyone nervous up and down the Mid-Atlantic coast today and for the first part of the week. There is good reason for that concern as the hurricane has been nicknamed ‘Frankenstorm’ because of it being a compilation of various weather events coming together to create a perfect storm of sorts.

No matter how it plays out, we here at Marketing Pilgrim are praying for safety for everyone in the path of the storm.

While Google may not offer prayer (not publicly at least) they are offering a special Hurricane Sandy crisis response map. Here is an interactive version that Google is telling folks to share. If the map is not showing up immediately, please refresh your browser.

The Google Lat Long blog tells us more

Yelp Sets Up Sting to ID and Label Businesses Who Manipulate Reviews

Yelp is certainly an Internet success story. Part of how we know just how successful it is involves the level of controversy that is often associated with the company directly or those who are looking to use the review site to their best business advantage.

The local business online review space is rife with abuses, allegations, misuses, and more and Yelp is a major player so may look to how they handle the more troubling aspects of the local review space as an industry standard or, often much more accurately, that lack thereof.

The most recent action taken by Yelp to help ‘clean up’ after those businesses that are trying to game the system comes in the form of a sting operation to catch businesses trying to buy reviews in the act then giving them the Yelp equivalent of a scarlet letter to make that point to Yelpers everywhere.

Is Doing Mobile a No-Brainer for Your Company?

We talk about mobile. We talk so much about it so much I wonder if we have moved to the ‘dangerous assumption’ phase of the game. That’s the point where it seems to be such a foregone conclusion that since everyone is talking about mobile then everyone is actually doing it and doing it well. If that isn’t a dangerous assumption in the Internet marketing world then I don’t know what is.

Research is showing clearly that users expect a reasonable mobile experience. If we are to believe a report done on Google’s behalf by SmithGeiger and Sterling Research (which was repackaged by eMarketer) then if we are not paying attention to mobile the risks can be quite high.

Google Looks to Further Differentiate Maps Offering With Street View Update

While the furor over Mapplegate has died down a bit it doesn’t mean that the battle of the online cartographers is over, not by a long shot.

In fact, it is fair to expect that Google and just about any other map player in the space will be attempting to roll out feature after feature to establish position in the all important online map space.

Google’s latest play comes complete with hyperbole and all. Their blog post from the Lat Long blog is titled “Making Google Maps more comprehensive with biggest Street View update ever” Woo hoo! Here’s what is it says and below that is a sample of what one can expect.

Today we’re making our Street View coverage more comprehensive than ever before by launching our biggest ever update–doubling our number of special collections and updating over 250,000 miles of roads around the world. We’re increasing Street View coverage in Macau, Singapore, Sweden, the U.S., Thailand, Taiwan, Italy, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Canada. And we’re launching special collections in South Africa, Japan, Spain, France, Brazil and Mexico, among others.

The courtyard of Kronborg castle, Denmark

Online Map Battle Continues as Both Sides Sound Off

As you probably already know, Apple CEO Tim Cook has issued his mea culpa for the Apple Maps ‘problem’. No matter which side of this argument you are on this has elicited some interesting responses.

First we hear from the pro-Apple, ‘Yeah Tim Cook rocks!” camp headed by camp counselor, Farhad Manjoo of Pando Daily. He cuts to the chase saying that this is over in one masterful swipe from the head Apple and that even Google has stubbed its toe here.