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Marketing Execs Say Local is Critical to Success

The internet may be the great global equalizer, but big brands are going local in order to make shopping more personal. Earlier this month, Walmart set up Facebook pages dedicated to each of their stores and Sears is offering local ads online.

A new report from CMO Council says this is just a small sample of what we’ll be seeing in the future. 86% of the marketers they surveyed said they’re actively looking for a better way to localize their efforts. 49% said that localization was essential to business growth.

In the past, local advertising meant the Yellow Pages, but not so much anymore. Local deal networks such as Groupon also came in at the bottom of the list.

Q3 MobileMix: iPad Impressions Up 456 Percent

It’s time for another Millennial Media MobileMix report. This time it’s all about Q3 of 2011 and again, I give thumbs up to the cover art. They slay me every time.

It all begins with the smartphone. Ownership is up 7% over last quarter, 37% year-over-year. And since every other commercial on TV is about the iPhone, you probably think they’re leading the way for impressions, but they’re not.

Android still takes the top spot with 56% of all smartphone impressions. The MobileMix says this is due to largely to the fact that Android technology is being used by a variety of manufacturers, and more importantly, being offered at a wider variety of price points.

What iOS 5 Means for Marketers

This past weekend, I took the plunge and upgraded my iPhone and iPad2 to iOS 5. I should have waited for Halloween, as it was a frightening, nightmarish experience but when it was over, I had treats galore!

iOS 5 is a huge update with more than 200 new features. After only a week, it was estimated that 1 in 3 eligible customers had the download and you can bet it will be 2 out of 3 very soon. This is good news for you, because iOS 5 has several features that are great for online marketers.

AOL Radio: Can Less Equal More?

AOL Radio relaunched today with new features, easier navigation, and 50% less commercials.

Bloomberg reports that AOL is cutting back to 3 minutes of commercials per hour. If they were previously running 6 minutes per hour, it’s no wonder they had trouble keeping listeners tuned in.

AOL Radio’s General Manager Lisa Namerow says that too many ads was the most common complaint among listeners. Not surprising, as we’ve learned that consumers have very different feelings about ads in different formats.

For example, TV watchers tolerate, and sometimes even enjoy, the commercials that run during their favorite shows. But surveys have shown that people don’t like seeing ads when they watch those same shows online. Maybe it’s simply a case of not knowing how to complain when it’s a TV or radio ad. With online, it’s easy to hit that contact us button and grouse.

TV and Tablets: Let the Multitasking Begin

Remember when TV commercial breaks were used to grab a snack from the kitchen? Now, people are using commercial breaks to look up coupons for snacks, chat with friends and check their email. It’s not enough that we multitask all day long at work, but now, thanks to tablets and smartphones, we’re doing it during our leisure hours, too.

New numbers from Nielsen show that 42% of tablet owners use the device daily while watching TV. 40% of smartphone owners reported the same with up to 24% saying they did it at least a few times a week.

What are they doing on those devices? Mostly checking email, but social networking was also popular with women. Men were more likely to check sports scores and 46% simply took their browser for a spin to see what’s what.

Google Wallet In Action

About a month ago, we wrote about the introduction of Google Wallet.

The video below comes from the Google Mobile blog. The point is to show Google Wallet in action and the general reaction to the service. There are plenty of smiling faces and strong reactions. What it not so clear is whether the reaction is to the Google Wallet functionality (which is pretty cool) or the fact that Google was making these purchases for these people. Let’ assume there was a fair mix of both :-). Take a look at the video though because this technology (which is only available on the Google Nexus S 4G from Sprint currently).

What’s important to note is that Google Wallet also manages discounts and loyalty rewards for the merchants that are currently involved in the program.

Sears Embraces Online for Offline with in Store WiFi and iPad Access

A few weeks ago, I went to Best Buy to purchase a new printer. We got it down to two options and wanted to compare the specs but a lot of the information was missing from the shelf tag.

Next best thing, ask the salesman, who politely suggested we could find that information online. Good idea, except that my favorite electronics retailer doesn’t offer free in-store WiFi and 3G connection within their walls is spotty and highly reliant on standing in exactly the right spot.

How sad is it when technology retailer can’t get the tech right?

Enter Sears, America’s die-hard, age-old, retail institution. This holiday season, they’ll not only be offering free WiFi at many of their locations, they’ll be encouraging shoppers to go online while shopping in their stores.