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SMART Report Says: Parents are Twice as Likely to Shop Via a Mobile Phone

Toot the horns and unfurl the flags, it’s time for another Millennial Media SMART Report! This month, it’s all about the three R’s, Retail, Restaurants and Revenue.

Ranked by ad spend, Retail and Restaurants come in third below Telecommunications and Finance but the field grew by an average of 11% per month.

For these companies, it’s all about location, location, location. 44% of all campaigns run on Millennial Media’s system had a store locator component and 60% used location-based targeting.

Not surprisingly, increasing foot traffic was a major goal for these advertisers coming in at 38%. 17% were hoping for site traffic and 16% went with the more general term of “brand awareness.”

Of all the ads in this area, Clothing represented the largest chunk followed pretty closely by Home Products. Fast food beat out dine-in restaurants 11% to 5%.

Boston.com Uses Advertisers’ Blogs As Part of Ad Package

Local Internet marketing is quite a puzzle for most businesses and even for most publishers. Display, while effective in certain ways, is usually not enough to get the point across for many businesses. Most small local businesses (and even large ones looking to reach a local market) have stories to tell that won’t fit in a display ad.

It’s for this reason that Boston.com is rolling out a new program called Insights. It’s a neat idea of taking real content from advertisers in the form of promoting blog posts in order to help Boston.com readers jump right into the conversation with advertisers because they are being exposed to real information that could help them. It could also help them make a decision to do business with the advertiser, errrrr, I mean blogger. Well, you get the picture. Take a look at this video to get the idea.

Is this the first program of its kind that does anything like this?

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.