Weekly News: Customer Acquisition Costs, SaaS ‘Engagement’ Problem, SMB Technology Adoption

Here is this week’s roundup of the top news items related to local marketing and advertising, local media, technology, local commerce, consumer behavior and more.

Insight & Commentary

As Customer Acquisition Costs Rise, SMB SaaS Tech Providers Find Innovative Ways to Reduce Churn (April 30, 2019)
LSA Insider: “With bountiful opportunities available, investors are allocating a great deal of money into SMB SaaS companies. According to SurePath Capital Partners, SMB-focused software companies raised roughly 1.3B in March and around 2.2B in February of this year. The investments ranged from restaurant management platforms to cloud-based HR software.”

SMBs: Do You Speak My Language? (May 2, 2019)
LSA Insider: “While advertising and media remain important, the new frontier is the adoption and use of technology by SMBs to deliver better customer experiences and drive more favorable business economics. LSA has been at the forefront of doing this with the launch of the Tech Adoption Index. The latest Wave and discussion of key SMB metrics will be presented on Day 2 of the Engage conference, June 3 – 4 in Washington, D.C.”

What Google’s ‘CallJoy’ Virtual Agent Says about Where the Market Is Going (May 1, 2019)
LSA Insider: “Earlier today Google’s Area 120 products group announced CallJoy, a virtual agent SaaS offering ($39 per month) that will answer calls, filter spam (including inside sales) and help consumers accomplish their desired goals (store hours, food ordering, booking). If it works, many SMBs will gladly buy it.”

Strategy & Tactics

Here’s how brand marketers can use immersive technology to build an effective retail experience (May 1, 2019)
Marketing Land: “Several retail and fashion campaigns have leveraged immersive technologies to build a brand experience that is social and provide value to customers.”

How Emerging Technologies Allow Businesses to Merge Their Digital and Traditional Marketing (April 25, 2019)
Street Fight: “It’s easy to think digital marketing is the final word on advertising, but so long as we all live with our feet on the ground, commute to work, congregate in public places, watch TV and listen to the radio, traditional marketing will be with us. But there’s a lot of overlap these days, too. Consider that e-commerce isn’t erasing physical retail — what it’s doing is blurring the line between the two.”

Voice Marketing Starts with Smart SEO (April 30, 2019)
Street Fight: “Voice search is a hot topic in the search marketing world—and with good reason. Nearly 70 million American adults own one or more smart speakers, an install base that grew 40% in 2018.”

Stats & Studies

Billions of Dollars in Unused Software Points to SaaS ‘Engagement’ Problem (April 29, 2019)
LSA Insider: “A new report on enterprise software usage by Emarsys reveals that 28% of all software on work PCs is essentially unused. The analysis was based on a study of 74 enterprises in 13 industries in the US and UK. None of the companies in the study were SMBs.”

Study: Majority of SMBs Will Increase Ad Spend This Year (May 1, 2019)
LSA Insider: “A report released in February of this year revealed that a large percentage (87%) of small businesses advertise in some form or another. It would appear that more SMBs are beginning to recognize the value (and perhaps see the positive results) that such advertising investment can provide, as a recent survey of 529 SMBs by The Manifest revealed that 91% plan to increase their ad spend this year.”

Marketers To Average $18M On Digital Video This Year (April 29, 2019)
MediaPost: “Advertisers are expected to spend about $18 million digital video this year, according to a new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Released during the first day of the IAB-organized Newfronts, the IAB Video Advertising Spend Report found that digital video ad spend is expected to rise by about 25% year over year.”

Industry News

Google Tests Concept of GMB Subscription Bundles and Pricing (April 29, 2019)
LSA Insider: “Over the weekend Google sent an undetermined number of Google My Business customers a survey about features and services. Some of these are existing features and some are hypothetical. It’s interesting as a roadmap preview, on the one hand. But more interesting is the fact that it presents bundles of services/features and potential pricing.”

Amazon’s ad revenue rises 34%, but growth slows (April 26, 2019)
Mobile Marketer: “The sudden deceleration in Amazon’s ad growth — after growing at least 60% in the past five quarters, as noted by CNBC — was bound to happen as the business matured past its heady startup days. Amazon is still the third-biggest digital ad platform behind Google and Facebook.”

Facebook Messenger to get new lead gen templates, appointment booking (May 1, 2019)
Marketing Land: “Messenger is rolling out two new features for businesses: lead generation templates and an appointment booking interface that will integrate with calendar platforms. The new tools were launched during Facebook’s F8 Developers Conference that kicked-off on Tuesday.”

Member News

Yext to Hire 500 People for New NYC Headquarters Near Google (April 29, 2019)
Bloomberg: “The company, which builds software to help businesses keep their information up to date on websites such as Yelp and Facebook, expects to hire 500 people in New York over the next five years, Chief Executive Officer Howard Lerman said in an interview.”

Google readies auto-delete feature to erase user location data, web history (May 2, 2019)
Mobile Marketer: “Google’s new privacy controls may have a broad effect on the digital ad market, considering that its Chrome web browser has a 63% market share. The company’s compliance to stricter European Union privacy rules enacted last year is providing some early insight.”

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