Earlier this week, I was able to attend the Street Fight Summit West in San Francisco. After last week's Google I/O just down the street, FSW15 had some big shoes to fill and it didn't fail to impress this year. The content this time around was the best of the conferences I have attended recently. Many of these programs are often the same themes that are echoed in the world of local advertising and small business marketing. This one was way better than average. Below are recaps of a few sessions that I found particularly stimulating. Local, Global and the Missing Data Link (with Damien Patton of Banjo): What struck me about this session is that location data is much more associated with digital artifacts than many of us might assume. Social posts on many networks now have geolocation by default. Mobile users are increasingly “registering” in establishments. Additionally, Damien gave examples of newly deployed technology that is able to match photos of (even dark) public places with geographic coordinates. It reminded me of Google's big announcement last week at I/O about their revamped photos app, which is now able to analyze and organize your photos based on location (among other things). ways, and ad platforms are tackling this hard. There seems to be a race to “understand mobile advertising” and location data is the bet many ad platforms are making. Takeaway: Once location data is a more reliable factor for serving ads to mobile devices, the tens of millions of SMBs who have yet to invest in digital local advertising will be convinced it's worth their $$ .
The Employee Email Database plans of the social media giants to transform local communities and SMEs (with Pinterest, Twitter and Nextdoor): This session was particularly interesting because of the contrast between the 2 global social networks and Nextdoor, hyperlocal by nature. It seems that each of these players, in addition to Facebook, is going after SMBs pretty hard to get advertising dollars. This makes sense given that people are increasingly spending their time in a social network on a mobile phone (which routinely transmits its location.) If those networks, where people are already, can deliver relevant ads to users for the businesses around them, then they'll have the equivalent of sidewalk sandwich panels on people's phones. Nextdoor's Dan Clancy seemed to steal the show with his singular, eloquent focus on creating value for users without damaging their trust in the platform. Nextdoor has yet to launch any advertising products, but continues to create a valuable advertising channel for local businesses.
When they release something, I expect it to be extremely carefully beta tested and powerful for both users and advertisers. Takeaway: Twitter and Pinterest had some great things to say, but overall it was Nextdoor that impressed everyone I spoke to who attended this session. How deep links are changing mobile search (with URX, Vurb and Google): I've been interested in the challenge of Google's dominance which is the siled mobile ecosystem for a while, so this was a particularly interesting session. URX CEO John Milinovich has done a fantastic job outlining the problem that deep links are trying to solve and URX's approach to solving it. Here is my (extended) version of what he said:Let's say you're reading a new Jay Z album in Flipboard on your iPhone. The article refers to a song that is acclaimed by country music artists. You are so intrigued and want to hear the song, right now. In a world with no deep connection, you close Flipboard, go to your home screen, scroll down to find your Spotify app, open it, search for Jay Z, try to find that new song country singers love by name, then press play. In a deeply connected world, there's a related action just below the song's mention in the Flipboard post that says, "Listen on Spotify? which takes you with just one click to what you wanted to do anyway. The permutations of stock combinations that a deep link would be useful for are vast and impressive. (For someone who doesn't like the extra steps