Daily News: Scoring the Digital Marketing Stack, Personalization and Privacy, Conversational Commerce


Here is today’s roundup of news related to local marketing and advertising, local media, technology, local commerce, consumer behavior and more.

Replay: Scoring the Digital Marketing Stack (July 13, 2018)
LSA Insider: “During a webinar this week, Boostability’s Kelly Shelton and LSA’s Charles Laughlin discussed the results of a survey conducted from May-June by both companies. The survey targeted digital agencies and those selling digital products and services to SMBs.”

The Line Between Cool and Creepy: How Much Personalization is Too Much? (July 13, 2018)
Street Fight: “Re-marketing and geo-targeted messaging have become old news. The challenge for brands is now figuring out how hyper-targeted is too targeted for consumers prone to be put off by a perceived invasion of privacy.”

Google Posts adds ‘call now’ button (July 12, 2018)
Search Engine Land: “Before, the call-to-action options on the Google Posts for the “What’s New” box included “book,” “order online,” “buy,” “learn more,” “sign up” and “get offer.” Now Google has a new option that lists the business’s phone number.”

‘Conversational Commerce’ Is On The Rise: Here’s How Brands Can Win (July 12, 2018)
GeoMarketing: “Of 806 million WeChat users in China, an estimated 31 percent have used the messaging platform to make a purchase. By embracing diverse chatbot applications, brands can take advantage.”

Simpli.fi Adds Location-Based TV To Platform For Ad Targeting (July 11, 2018)
MediaPost “Brand marketers can now add television to the list of specific ad targets through an addressable geofencing feature on Simpli.fi’s platform that aims to connect TV viewers — up to 1 million locations per campaign, across mobile, desktop and OTT/CTV devices.”



Weekly News: Google Seller Ratings, Mobile App Marketing and Local SEO Strategy, Amazon Prime Day


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

How AR Will Fundamentally Change Search, Participating in an ‘Internet of Places’ (July 11, 2018)
Street Fight: “About $3.7 trillion is spent annually in consumer purchases in the U.S, according to Deloitte. But it’s often forgotten that only $300 billion of that (8%) is spent on e-commerce. This means that offline brick-and-mortar spending—though often overshadowed by its sexier online counterpart—is where the true scale occurs.”

What Google Maps’ Explore Feature Means For Local Search Marketing (July 12, 2018)
GeoMarketing: “Over the past few weeks, Google Maps began rolling out its redesigned Explore Tab, which invites users to click a button and receive personalized recommendations for hyperlocal restaurants, attractions, shopping, and services.”

Implications Of Emerging Trends For Marketers (July 10, 2018)
MediaPost: “Just when marketers think they’ve got social, mobile, and video all figured out, along come emerging trends that will demand their attention, understanding, and investment.”

Strategy & Tactics

Implement Google Seller Ratings to Drive Incremental Performance (July 12, 2018)
LSA Insider: “Google Seller Ratings are a Google AdWords (soon-to-be-known as Google Ads) extension that automatically displays your business’s average rating alongside your ads.”

Using Mobile App Marketing for Local SEO Strategy Ideas (July 9, 2018)
LSA Insider: “Customers are researching before every experience to be as prepared as possible — whether it’s for the menu, parking information, traffic around a business, holiday hours of operation and much more.”

Improving the customer experience means getting search right (July 11, 2018)
Search Engine Land: “As consumers search from more places than ever before, it’s vital that marketers deliver experiences that perform. Contributor Jim Yu shares tips on how to deliver a great experience at every search touch point.”

Stats & Studies

Study: 57% of US Internet Users have Given Voice Commands on a Smartphone (July 11, 2018)
LSA Insider: “Consumers are becoming increasingly more comfortable with utilizing voice search and research has suggested that by 2022, there will be 870 million voice assistant devices in the US.”

Study: Smartphone use triggers self-focused ‘mobile mindset’ (July 11, 2018)
Mobile Marketer: “Clicktale’s study of the “mobile mindset” provides insights into how people turn to their smartphones for comfort, entertainment and immediate gratification, and how marketers must better tailor their mobile experiences to customer mindsets and intent.”

Analyst firm: Smart speaker market will reach 100M units by year-end (July 9, 2018)
Marketing Land: “Analyst firm Canalys is projecting that the global smart speaker market will reach 100 million units by the end of 2018. It further estimates that there will be 225 million smart speaker users by 2020.”

Industry News

Google Store Visits Reporting: Now Available to SMBs (July 9, 2018)
LSA Insider: “New “per-store” reporting will roll out globally by the end of the month. It will be available to all advertisers regardless of size or number of locations. It will be part of the new AdWords (soon to be Google Ads) interface.”

Prime Day Showcases the Power of an E-Commerce Empire—And What It Means for Local (July 10, 2018)
Street Fight: “If the amount of press it’s generating one week ahead of time alone has not made the message clear, this year’s Prime Day shows just how powerful a position Amazon occupies in the global retail landscape, digital or otherwise.”

Groupon Reportedly Puts Itself on the Market (July 9, 2018)
Street Fight: “Groupon, the early pioneer in local deals that was once valued at as much as $16 billion, is on an avid hunt for a buyer, Recode reported this weekend.”

Member News

ThriveHive Announces Perry Evans as President (July 10, 2018)
ThriveHive: “As President, reporting to Chief Executive Officer Peter Cannone, Evans will be responsible for charting an expansive vision and plan for product development, partner development, and go to market strategies.”

PlaceIQ: Making Location Data The Essential ‘Building Blocks’ For Marketing Decisions (July 11, 2018)
GeoMarketing: “With spending on location-targeted mobile ads (including pure play, radio, television and newspapers) set to reach $38.7 billion by 2022, location marketing has expanded far beyond the “serve a customer a coupon” use case of the early smartphone era.”

Local Campaigns: Google Automating Ads for SMBs and Everyone Else (July 11, 2018)
LSA Insider: “At its Google Marketing Live event (formerly Google Next) yesterday the company announced a number of new ad units, tools and analytics.”


Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay nearly $4.7B in talcum powder case

Verdicts & Settlements


Lunasee Studios/Shutterstock.com.

Jurors in St. Louis awarded nearly $4.7 billion in damages on Thursday in a suit that claimed Johnson & Johnson baby powder caused 22 women to get ovarian cancer, including six women who died.

Jurors awarded $550 million in compensatory damages and $4.14 billion in punitive damages, report the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs expect the defense to file a motion to reduce the award because state law restricts punitive damages to five times the amount of compensatory damages, according to the Post-Dispatch.

A female juror, who did not want her name used, told the Post-Dispatch that jurors arrived at the punitive damages amount by multiplying the figure Johnson & Johnson earns each year for selling baby powder by the 43 years that the company has denied the product contained asbestos.

The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Mark Lanier, told jurors in opening arguments that Johnson & Johnson had “rigged the tests” to hide that its baby powder contained asbestos, the National Law Journal reported in June. He said the company should have replaced talcum powder with corn starch, which would be safer but less profitable.

Johnson & Johnson’s lawyer, Peter Bicks of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, had argued that many studies and government regulators had found no link between baby powder and ovarian cancer. He said Johnson & Johnson doesn’t want asbestos in its talc and it has been careful to make sure it wasn’t in the product.

Defense lawyers had sought to dismiss 17 of the plaintiffs who lived outside Missouri, citing the Supreme Court’s 2017 decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court of California. The decision said California courts did not have specific jurisdiction to hear the claims of nonresidents in a Plavix class action when those plaintiffs didn’t buy or ingest the drug in the state.

Judge Rex Burlison rejected the defense request because the plaintiffs had shown a Missouri connection, partly because a talc company that worked with J&J had a plant in Missouri, according to the National Law Journal.

In a statement, Johnson & Johnson said it is “deeply disappointed in the verdict” and it plans to “pursue all available appellate remedies.”

The statement said the verdict “was the product of a fundamentally unfair process that allowed plaintiffs to present a group of 22 women, most of whom had no connection to Missouri, in a single case all alleging that they developed ovarian cancer. The result of the verdict, which awarded the exact same amounts to all plaintiffs irrespective of their individual facts, and differences in applicable law, reflects that the evidence in the case was simply overwhelmed by the prejudice of this type of proceeding.

“Every verdict against Johnson & Johnson in this court that has gone through the appeals process has been reversed and the multiple errors present in this trial were worse than those in the prior trials which have been reversed.”


Instagram Adds Question Stickers to Stories

instagram-adds-question-stickers-to-stories.pngWelcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media.

On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore Instagram adding a questions sticker for Stories, Facebook ads updates, and other breaking social media marketing news of the week!

Watch the Social Media Marketing Talk Show

If you’re new to the show, click on the green “Watch replay” button below and sign in or register to watch our latest episode from Friday, July 13, 2018. You can also listen to the show as an audio podcast, found on iTunes/Apple Podcast, Android, Google Play, Stitcher, and RSS.

For this week’s top stories, you’ll find timestamps below that allow you to fast-forward in the replay above.

Instagram Introduces Questions Sticker to Stories: Instagram debuted an interactive questions sticker for Instagram Stories, “a fun new way to start conversations with your friends so you can get to know each other better.” With a question sticker, Instagram users ask followers for questions, which can be replied to and publicly shared from within the Stories feed. The questions sticker is available as part of Instagram’s latest update on both iOS and Android. (3:58)

instagram-adds-question-stickers-to-stories-1.pngInstagram Experiments With Persistent Stories Bar Within Main Feed: The Verge reports that Instagram is testing a Stories bar that remains visible as you scroll down your main feed. The Stories bar usually remains at the top of the app and doesn’t follow you as you scroll, but this update would make the Stories feature more present and prominent within the app. Instagram confirms this is only a test for now but hasn’t shared any other details about it. (15:42)

Instagram Tests In-App Verification Form on iOS: Instagram is testing an in-app form that offers public figures, celebrities, and brands the opportunity to gain the coveted blue checkmark on their profiles. The form is currently available to iOS users in a test group, with Android to follow “in the coming weeks.” Users with access to the form must provide their account usernames, full names, and photo identification to apply. (20:00)

Facebook Tests Augmented Reality Ads in the News Feed and Rolls Out Three New Tools for Instagram: At this year’s F8 Developer Conference, Facebook announced a partnership with select brands to bring augmented reality ads to Facebook Messenger. This week, Facebook confirmed that a similar experience will begin appearing in the news feed. The company is currently testing AR ads with a small group of advertisers including Michael Kors, Sephora, NYX Professional Makeup, Bobbi Brown, Pottery Barn, Wayfair, and King and plans to roll them out more broadly to other industries over the course of the year. (22:37)


In the same announcement, Facebook shared plans to roll out a new Video Creation Kit, which allows advertisers to incorporate existing images into templates for mobile video ads, to all advertisers in August for ads on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network. Facebook will also expand its support of shopping within the Instagram app by rolling out shopping tags in Instagram Stories “to all brands that have shopping on Instagram enabled during the holiday season” and is making Instagram’s collections ad format available to all advertisers around the world.

instagram-adds-question-stickers-to-stories-3.pngFacebook Adds Archive Feature for Stories: In mid-May, TechCrunch reported that Facebook was testing an Archive feature for Facebook Stories that’s similar to that of Instagram Stories. Last week, Mari Smith shared that this new feature is rolling out to more users and could provide a functional purpose for brands using Facebook Stories. Users will now be able to automatically and privately save their Facebook stories expiring after 24 hours and repost them again if they wish. (26:44)

Snapchat Introduces Lens Explorer: Snapchat will roll out Lens Explorer, an easier way to discover and unlock thousands of lenses built by Snapchatters around the world. Snapchat currently boasts over 100,000 unique, community-generated lenses built with Lens Studio, and the new Lens Explorer will allow users to find new lenses to add to their Lens carousel. Snapchat hasn’t yet announced when Lens Explorer will be available but states that it will roll out to iOS users first once it’s released.

instagram-adds-question-stickers-to-stories.jpgSnapchat Reportedly Developing Camera Search With Link to Amazon: TechCrunch reports that Snapchat appears to be developing a new camera search feature that users can “press and hold to identify an object, song, barcode, and more… once an object or barcode has been scanned you can ‘See all results at Amazon.’”  Although Snap Inc. and Amazon have declined to comment on this possible new feature, code found within the Snapchat app for Android lists the ability to surface “sellers” and “reviews,” “Copy URL” of a product, and “Share” or “Send Product” to friends. It’s very likely these links will be sent via Snap messages or Snapchat stories.

Facebook Tests Mute Button for All Notifications: Facebook appears to be testing a new a Do Not Disturb button that would allow users to temporarily mute all mobile notifications. Screenshots show that Facebook is also testing time limits for do not disturb, so users can mute notifications for a predetermined amount of time. This new feature was spotted by Matt Navarra. However, Facebook hasn’t confirmed plans to roll it out more broadly.

Twitter Tests Advertiser Takeovers of the Explore Tab: Twitter is starting to test promoted trend spotlight ads within the Explore tab. This new ad unit puts a large visual banner equipped with a GIF or image background atop the Explore section for the first two times a user visits it within a day. Afterward, the header will settle back into the Trends list. TechCrunch reports that the first batch of these takeover ads will be coming from Disney in the U.S.

Twitter Unveils New Ads Transparency Center: Twitter launched its new Ads Transparency Center, which was initially announced in October. As part of Twitter’s “commitment to be more transparent” in the face of fake news and political turmoil, the company created this central hub where users can search for any Twitter handle and bring up every ad campaign that account has run for the past 7 days. Twitter notes that this includes promoted-only tweets or if an ad was suspended and why.

Twitter Purged Locked Accounts From Follower Counts Worldwide: As part of the company’s “ongoing and global effort to build trust and encourage healthy conversation” on its platform, Twitter purged locked accounts from follower counts across all profiles globally. Twitter states that the number of followers displayed on many profiles may go down “in the next few days” as a result of this move and warns that follower counts may continue to shift as it works to identify and challenge problematic accounts.

Pinterest Adds New Collaboration Tools for Group Boards: Pinterest added new collaboration tools that make it even easier to manage and communicate on shared group boards. Pinners can now keep track of what’s happening on a board with the new group activity feed that highlights when someone saves a new pin, adds a new section, or a new member joins, and more seamlessly have conversations or share reactions about specific pins. Pinterest notes that only members of the group can see these conversations. These updates are available starting across all platforms on mobile and web.

instagram-adds-question-stickers-to-stories-1.jpgPinterest Introduces One-Click Saving for the Web: Pinterest rolled out an update that makes it possible to save pins from the desktop web with just one click instead of having to click the Save button and pick a board. Pinterest notes that one-click saving will also work on pins you see in search results, your home feed, or Following tab.

instagram-adds-question-stickers-to-stories-2.jpgWhatsApp Enables Group Chat Restrictions: WhatsApp launched a new group setting where only admins are able to send messages to a group chat. This new broadcasting feature makes it easier for organizations, communities, or schools to share important announcements and information within the app. This new setting is rolling out to all users around the world on the latest supported versions of the app.

instagram-adds-question-stickers-to-stories-4.pngWhatsApp Labels Forwarded Messages: WhatsApp will start labeling forwarded messages sent in the app to “help make one-on-one and group chats easier to follow” and determine who originally wrote and sent the message. Engadget reports that this added level of security was prompted by misinformation and online rumors running rampant through WhatsApp conversations between Indian users. This small upgrade is an attempt to curb the violence caused by the spread of fake news on the platform.

instagram-adds-question-stickers-to-stories-3.jpgYouTube Expands Copyright Match Tool to Creators With More Than 100K Subscribers: After almost a year in beta testing with select creators, YouTube will release the new Copyright Match Tool to creators with more than 100K subscribers this coming week. Copyright Match is designed to find re-uploads of your content on other channels and report them to you. Upon uploading a new video to YouTube, the tool will scan other videos uploaded to YouTube to see if any of them are the same or very similar. When there’s a match, it will appear in the Matches tab in the tool and you can decide what to do next.

instagram-adds-question-stickers-to-stories-5.pngYouTube Incognito Mode Rolls Out to All Android Users: We reported that YouTube began testing Incognito mode on Android in mid-May. This week, 9to5Google reports that all YouTube for Android users now have access to Incognito mode, which allows viewers to disable their watch and search histories on the app with the latest app update.

YouTube Picture-in-Picture Mode Available for All U.S. Android Users: YouTube confirmed that picture-in-picture mode has now rolled out to all U.S. YouTube users on supported Android devices. Picture-in-picture mode was previously a paid-only feature but had been slowly rolling out to non-Premium subscribers since this April. The full rollout was expected to be completed this past week.

Facebook’s Slate of Funded News Shows Debuts July 16: Last month, Facebook announced its first slate of funded news shows that will appear in a dedicated section of the Facebook Watch tab. Facebook announced that these shows will debut starting on Monday, July 16, with the first lineup of previously announced shows from news publishers ABC News, Advance Local, ATTN:, CNN, Fox News, Mic, Quartz, and Univision.


In addition to launching more news shows throughout the summer, Facebook is also expanding the video platform into other areas such as Facebook Gaming, a Twitch-like home for video game creators.

Want to catch our next show live? Click here to subscribe or add our show to your calendar.



SearchCap: Google Search Console, negative SEO & more

searchcap-google-search-console-negative-seo-more.pngBelow is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:

Search News From Around The Web:

About The Author

Debra Mastaler is Features Editor at Search Engine Land. She is an internationally recognized authority on link building and is an OMCP Certified Link Building Trainer. Based in Washington DC, Debra is also a columnist for Search Engine Land, has written for or been featured in numerous tech publications and is active on the search marketing conference circuit as a speaker and trainer. Debra serves as a judge for the Landy Awards and is the President of Alliance-Link.com. Connect with Debra on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay in touch.


Mueller indicts 12 Russian intelligence officers for hack of Democratic groups and Clinton campaign

Criminal Justice


Special counsel Robert Mueller.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has obtained the indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence officers for allegedly hacking into Democratic organizations and trying to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

The defendants are accused of hacking the Democratic National Committee, the campaign of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, according to a press release. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the 11-count indictment Friday.

The indictment also says the defendants conspired to steal voter data by hacking into the computers of state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and U.S. companies that supplied election technology. In one hack of a state board of elections website, the defendants allegedly stole information for about 500,000 voters, including names, addresses, partial Social Security numbers, birth dates and driver’s license numbers.

The defendants were officers with a Russian military intelligence agency called the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff, known as the GRU. The GRU had multiple units that staged releases of documents stolen through computer hacking.

The defendants released tens of thousands of the stolen emails and documents using fictitious online personas, including “DCLeaks” and “Guccifer 2.0,” according to the indictment.

Roger Stone, a longtime ally of President Donald Trump, has previously acknowledged he communicated with a Twitter persona known as Guccifer 2.0, but has said the interactions were limited and entirely benign.

There is no allegation in the indictment that any Americans were knowing participants in the alleged conspiracy or knew they were communicating with Russian intelligence officers, the release points out. Nor is there any allegation that the hacking altered the vote count or changed the outcome of the election.

According to the indictment, the Guccifer persona communicated with an unnamed person who was in regular contact with senior members of Trump’s presidential campaign and asked if the person found anything interesting in posted stolen documents. Two days later, Guccifer asked the person what he or she thought about hacked information on the Democrats’ turnout model for the campaign. The person responded, “Pretty standard.”

The indictment says the Guccifer persona received a request for stolen documents from an unnamed congressional candidate and sent that individual stolen documents about the candidate’s opponent.

The indictment says the defendants also transferred stolen documents to a state lobbyist, two reporters and a group referred to as “Organization 1.” WikiLeaks posted many hacked Democratic documents.

The hacking started in at least March 2016 and the group began to release documents some three months later, the indictment says. Some of the defendants used “spearphishing” to steal victims’ passwords and gain access to their computers. The conspirators searched one hacked DCCC computer for terms that included “hillary,” “cruz” and “trump,” and also copied select folders, including one titled “Benghazi Investigations,” the indictment says.

The defendants allegedly used bitcoin and other cryptocurrency to hide the source of payments for their computer networks.

The defendants are accused of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to launder money.

“Free and fair elections are hard-fought and contentious, and there will always be adversaries who work to exacerbate domestic differences and try to confuse, divide and conquer us,” Rosenstein said in the release. “So long as we are united in our commitment to the shared values enshrined in the Constitution, they will not succeed.”

The Washington Post, Politico and the New York Times have coverage of the indictment and Rosenstein’s press conference.


SearchCap: Google hotel ads, Bing testing icon, reviews impact ranking & more

searchcap-google-hotel-ads-bing-testing-icon-reviews-impact-ranking-more.pngBelow is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:

  • You’ll love what the MarTech agenda has to offer
    Jul 12, 2018 by Marketing Land
    Come join the community of marketing leaders who are harnessing the marketing, technology and management trinity to drive digital transformation and achieve results. At MarTech®, you’ll get 55+ sessions, presentations and keynotes featuring more than 30 experts, product demos from dozens of vendors, structured and unstructured networking and much more.

Search News From Around The Web:


About The Author

Debra Mastaler is Features Editor at Search Engine Land. She is an internationally recognized authority on link building and is an OMCP Certified Link Building Trainer. Based in Washington DC, Debra is also a columnist for Search Engine Land, has written for or been featured in numerous tech publications and is active on the search marketing conference circuit as a speaker and trainer. Debra serves as a judge for the Landy Awards and is the President of Alliance-Link.com. Connect with Debra on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay in touch.