Linking Online and Local


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Invited talk given at the Google Local Ads Forum in London and Hamburg. Setting the stage about where we're at with local, why local is often thought to be hard and how far we have to go.

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Linking Online and Local

  1. 1. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ RAWHEAD/ Linking online and local Bringing people and business to wherever you are Hallo, guten tag, Ich heisse Chris. Tut mir wirklich leid, mein Deutsch ist nicht so gut, so jetzt, ich glaube, ich werde in Englisch zu sprechen. I’m a technologist and consultant, This means I make things, mainly on the web, sometimes not and also help people to think about new technologies and ways of being a business in our increasingly connected world. I think the two go hand in hand well. Often it’s hard to totally see what technology is currently enabling without getting your hands onto and into it. I’ve done lots of work around data for people like The Guardian and the UK government and I’m part of the founding team of a startup which is blending location, and local with data and metadata, which is the sort of service I’m going to talk about today. There are big opportunities. Your customers, the people who everyone says are going online and spending more of their life online, are also very much in the physical world. This will in my opinion always be a place where many transactions have to take place. What I want to talk about is how we smoothly move people from online to offline, and how local is one of the key interfaces for this.
  2. 2. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ CAVEMAN_92223/ The Old World In all cases we need to learn more about the physical world, in order to move over tried and tested and successful business practices. Moreover we need to do it to look at how we best interface between local and online. How to drive people to physical spaces and once they’re there, how best to engage them and take some of that engagement back online. What we should be aiming for in my opinion is a continual back and forth where lines blur more and more.
  3. 3. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ STEVEGARFIELD/ Key things to a successful local presence... So what can we learn about local presences now... there are some simple basic rules that I’m sure you all know and I’m preaching to the choir about
  4. 4. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ Findability Location, location, location is still a good adage, and as we’ll see later it has an important online equivalent. Wherever you are, you need to be found easily and recognised instantly
  5. 5. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ Footfall You need high footfall for where you build your physical presence
  6. 6. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ Attractive, informative shopfront You need an attractive and tempting shopfront, something that does one or many of the following Entices Engages Informs Teases Invites
  7. 7. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ Enticing offers If you’re selling you’ll want to bring people in with offers, either for things that they want or with offers that make them feel that you’ll be the place where what they want is both available and affordable
  8. 8. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ SOVIETUK/ Social proof Social proof is important too... when looking for quality, people will always want to eat at a restaurant with a queue, more so if their friends are in the queue
  9. 9. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ Events Events are a good way of making a space where people want to come back regularly
  10. 10. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ HANNAHDONOVAN/ Friends’ recommendations and knowledge
  11. 11. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ Stock You’ll want stock, both to be displayed, touched, looked at. It’s important for the customer to imagine how it would be if they owned one.
  12. 12. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ Friendly, useful, knowledgeable staff
  13. 13. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ Signage and signposting
  14. 14. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ Flow design You’ll want the flow from seeing an item to knowing how to buy it to be easy
  15. 15. It’s the same in the new world I’ve not run through these to teach you to suck eggs or to claim that I’m an expert on real world retail design. When designing online services I like to spend time thinking about and studying what happens in pre-existing spaces that are successful and that people inhabit. The more natural and familiar you can make the online experience and the more you can fit your patterns around those you see in the offline world the more successful and obvious it will feel. We’re still at a stage where more people have grown up without the internet than with it and we always need to be mindful of this. This is why I spend time studying physical experiences, be they newspapers, or stores, or galleries or just the built environment.
  16. 16. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ SEIER/ It currently feels hard to search around where you are or where you’ll be. This statement feels very true though. Almost more so than in the real world of a few years ago somehow. Local along with many parts of life were more siloed then. The local papers, the local yellow pages, local knowledge. You knew exactly where to look You were of course less empowered if the local knowledge you wanted wasn’t the local you lived in... I’m not saying we should burn the internet or throw our work shoes into it’s gears and machinery. What I’m saying is that we need to think more carefully about how we do local search and make journeys easier.
  17. 17. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ ROB-SINCLAIR/ Finding a hotel in Berlin One particular real world process I’ve been going through of late which feels harder than it should be is finding a hotel with good reviews near somewhere in a city I don’t know well. Now I know this is better than it used to be pre-internet, but it feels very hard considering we’ve had the web for nearly 20 years now
  18. 18. It should be easy, thanks to great mapping I can now visualise the topography of where I’m going
  19. 19. And social recommendations from peers and people I trust make the randomness and pot luck go away I have more information that is constantly up to date than I had before.
  20. 20. I can even check out availability, see pictures of the hotels and their rooms, I can translate the page with the click of a button and get a passable translation But the information doesn’t pivot around location things.
  21. 21. The three window copy and paste shuffle To find where the hotels are in relation to where I’d want to be I have to do a strange multi window copy and paste dance... I know which hotel chain I like, it should be easier...
  22. 22. Do they have availability? Is it close enough? These questions are foremost in my mind, Berlin is quite big, yet not a sprawl like London, I’d ideally like to walk to where I’m working, am I far away from the train station where I arrive, am I on the opposite side of town to where I’m working and where the airport home is.
  23. 23. Some of these bits are very soluble with the copy and paste dance... but it could be so much easier with just some simple, efficient and cheap solutions
  24. 24. Why do travel sites not have map navigation?
  25. 25. Why do hotels not publish availability and pricing to maps?
  26. 26. It’s starting to happen, but it’s still not quite there... I can’t show you a travel version of what I’d love,
  27. 27. But I can show you this work of genius from Mike Migurski of Stamen. When it’s easier to find out which the bad parts of Oakland around you are bad at specific times of the day for specific criminal offences than it is to find a hotel from a chain you like within walking distance of a part of Berlin you realise the future isn’t here yet. You may be waiting for your jetpack or levitating hydrogen fuel cell powered car
  28. 28. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ SEIER/ It doesn’t have to be that way anymore Mapping, location, local are all within our grasp and through a lot of change and investment in the industry are relatively cheaply implemented.
  29. 29. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ But most businesses haven’t caught up yet to the advantages of online + local
  31. 31. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ Geography online used to be hard.
  32. 32. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ QUEERDOOD/ Flat static maps Such as Streetmap from about 1998, pre Google Maps. Back when maps looked liked pixellated unreadable versions of paper maps
  33. 33. Allegedly smart phones This was the first phone anyone saw as being remotely messainic, until you actually used one. It was the future, but not really the one you’d hoped for.
  34. 34. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ CAMKNOWS/ Geographical queries used to be hard It used to be until very recently really rather hard and computationally expensive to run geo queries.
  35. 35. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ Out of date centrally curated data stores And the centrally curated and often costly to buy gazeteers of data were often out of date by the time they were available. It’s not surprising that local and geo were considered hard and that social was an easier route to user centricity.
  36. 36. Not the case anymore
  37. 37. Geo investments are beginning to pay off Over the past few years many firms have made considerable financial and technological investments which have turned online geography and truly local services into not just a possibility but a tangible and lucrative reality.
  38. 38. Interactive maps as interfaces and surfaces for data Interactive maps can now become surfaces for data and interfaces of exploration
  39. 39. HTTP://BLOG.JAGGEREE.COM/POST/ 926948818/FIRSTPLACES-A- PROTOTYPE-THING-FOR-DIGITAL- INCLUSION Maps as a commodity it’s so simple to create and embed scalable accessible printable geography now that we’ve made it a part of a new service we’re launching in October as part of Get Online week
  40. 40. Truly smartphones Smartphones really are smart now
  41. 41. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ SECRETLONDON/ Location detection in the browser and location detection in the browser
  42. 42. HTTP://WWW.SIMPLEGEO.COM/ Geographical queries now SaaS we can now buy geoinfrastructure from people like SimpleGeo, it’s rentable...
  43. 43. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ SECRETLONDON/ Co-created and user/business self curated data and we now have co-created datastores such as Gowalla, FourSquare and Facebook Places, which along with Google Places are starting to be semi-officially and officially curated and populated by businesses
  44. 44. I’d like to tell you about a startup that’s trying to do something very local about a field which isn’t renowned for being all about data... art ARTFINDER Artfinder, which I’m part of the founding team of, is creating the for art.
  45. 45. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ Finding art you love around you Art is all around us, and we often don’t know it. We’re privileged to have this luxury, but often we have a passing knowledge of galleries and in particular what lies within them. Often you think the National Gallery may not be for you if you like modern art, yet it has many contemporary works and works which have influenced the artists you like.
  46. 46. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ WALLYG/ Why did we do this? Why did we do this? We wanted to answer one very basic type of question.
  47. 47. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ WALLYG/ I’m in New York, and I have some time to kill and I really love Monet’s, where are they? You could ask a local, you could search online, if your tastes were more esoteric than Monet you’d probably be very luck to find anything. You would be more likely to have a serendipitous encounter with an article in a newspaper. By knowing your tastes we can also recommend art around you too...
  48. 48. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ WALLYG/ I never knew I liked Mondrian, tell me more about this, and also what other art is here I may like? for example we have some image recognition technology which can tell you within a gallery more about a work you like, just by you taking a picture of it, but it can also build up recommendations and by knowing what else you like and what else is in a gallery it can become your knowledgeable friend who knows the gallery well and can tell you what else you should see.
  49. 49. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ QNR/ Learning from abandoned shopping carts This sort of data analytics becomes incredibly powerful in online offline situations that local typifies so well... it turns out there’s so much we can learn from abandoned shopping carts
  50. 50. coremetrics has been at the forefront for a while of taking web analytics quite a bit further... they have a solution which, a baby stuff emporium, has been using. It looks at things people put in their shopping cart and then abandon, in the case of they think it’s often because of distraction from children
  51. 51. “e-mails sent to browsers who did not purchase items in their cart had a 48% higher open rate and 78% higher click-through rate than e-mails from any previous campaign. In addition, the net conversion rate for these abandoned shopping cart e-mails was 6.5%, which is 129% higher than any previous campaign...” From the September 29, 2008 Issue of DMNews the results are quite astounding in the response rate when these people are emailed about what they’d abandoned
  52. 52. CoreMetrics is now enabling this in the real world too. If customers who have abandoned carts online and are picking up items reserved online, the sales staff can ask them about if they’re still interested in those items and can recommend the items that people who abandoned things most buy in that sector. CoreMetrics has been starting to move this into hybrid online offline spaces with some clients, it’s a fascinating model
  53. 53. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ Local is experiential And it relates to one really fascinating element about local, it’s experientiality...
  54. 54. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ this is my favourite juxtaposition of adverts... an Android phone on three and a Kindle. Both touchable tactile objects, deeply personal, both adverts with different calls to action. The Three advert’s first call to action is about visiting stores, where live handsets and models can be found. The Kindle’s call to action is about buying online
  55. 55. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ Do I or don’t I want one? But for a while now I’ve had a question about the Kindle I haven’t been able to easily answer
  56. 56. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ How does it feel? It all comes down to this It’s hard to know, I’ve used the Kindle app on my Mac, on an iPad, an Android phone and an iPhone, I still find books easier to read. However now having played with a friends I’ve ordered one. Ironically the case for it arrived yesterday, there’s no estimate for the actual device.
  57. 57. It’s clearly a problem though, or an opportunity, depending on the point of view. It was announced the other day that Best Buy is joining Target and Staples in the US in stocking the Kindle.
  58. 58. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ ALLABOUTGEORGE/ Local news and local advertising We can’t really think about local, or even think about devices such as the Kindle without thinking about local news which is in well documented decline, in many ways sadly. For many years local news was the heartbeat of a community and a way in which targeted information and advertising was delivered. It gave advertisers one very important thing.
  59. 59. Locally qualified customers
  60. 60. Local qualification is not enough. But in many ways local qualification isn’t enough...
  61. 61. Local + intent You need to know about intention too... local news advertising never did that precisely. It supposed if you read the paper that you might want to buy a car from a local car dealer, that you may want to apply locally for a job. It doesn’t really know your intention...
  62. 62. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ SHAWNMICHAEL/ So why is local Direct Mail (Junk Mail) growing? But it may know more about local than the direct mail that currently seems to be replacing it
  63. 63. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ LOOP_OH/ Simply filling a void till something better comes along Direct mail locally feels like it is a mechanism that is temporary, the absence of local advertising in papers to a younger demographic than their readership has lead to indiscriminate letter box drops
  64. 64. Data as the new marketing there are some new mechanisms that can significantly outperform
  65. 65. Getty Images uses metadata alongside images placed into Google Image search as a direct engagement technique which looks at intent. The intent to use an image.
  66. 66. If you click on them you get taken to a Getty Images place where you can buy that image to use... I nearly did, but they only license the images for certain uses and making a presentation wasn’t one of them. And you can look at this and say, well of course they use metadata, it’s their business. But then you stop and think, only ten or so years ago the way you bought stock photography...
  67. 67. Was a bit different. You looked through a catalog or paid the image agency to look for images for you. How often now do you receive a catalog or a flyer or see an advert for Getty Images. Rarely I’d say, if ever... interesting, we’ll come back to that in a bit.
  68. 68. If you click on them you get taken to a Getty Images place where you can buy that image to use... I nearly did, but they only license the images for certain uses and making a presentation wasn’t one of them. And you can look at this and say, well of course they use metadata, it’s their business. But then you stop and think, only ten or so years ago the way you bought stock photography...
  69. 69. Local + intent Local + intent has lots of potential,
  70. 70. Local + intent = location + search
  71. 71. Where can I play tennis? Local + intent = location + search Where can I swim?
  72. 72. Untapped growth in local online advertising many reports suggest that there is an untapped growth in local online advertising...
  73. 73. a sector which is predicted to grow 26% to $20bn in the US alone this year
  74. 74. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ Location based services In part powered by location based services
  75. 75. Location based services
  76. 76. I know Google Places will be talked about later so I just wanted to dive into Foursquare a bit
  77. 77. bookmarking the real world mention chrome to phone
  78. 78. The growth both of Foursquare and another interesting component of the local ecosystem Groupon is exceptional this year. While not showing the exponential hockey stick curve there is strong linear growth in this sector which is often seen in the later phases of early adoptor phases before the inflection point into mass market
  79. 79. Groupon
  80. 80. Keynoir
  81. 81. It’s getting easier to make location based services and location based things
  82. 82. For example last year I went on walking holiday to Austria, but turned it into a fundraising event online for a charity.
  83. 83. I underpacked obviously. Especially on holiday and especially on the technology I was supposedly on holiday from.
  84. 84. And I built an Android app that sends a GPS position up to a server so that people could see where I was. This was partly so I could just put my phone in my pocket and just walk and yet people could follow along and sponsor.
  85. 85. from: Annemcx Fancy a virtual Sunday morning stroll in Austria? @fourwalks is doing it for @childsi here http:// it's great stuff to follow! I also noticed that people were starting to talk about it, which obviously helped the fundraising. I was very touched when one of our MPs, Tom Watson tweeted about how geeks can bring distant events into your living room.
  86. 86. Location is such a key part to storytelling, which in turn is a really key part of fundraising. We’ve now scaled up some of these things to tell the story of several of the charity’s volunteers climbing Kilimanjaro
  87. 87. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ CHRISSCHOENBOHM/ We all live at a point in time and space The key thing about local services is this inescapable truth
  88. 88. HTTP://BERGLONDON.COM/ PROJECTS/HAT/ Bend the services you produce around the user And instead of bending a user around a set of constrained services which don’t quite work for them we should aim to bend our services around their needs
  89. 89. One of my favourite simple examples of this is this lovely site. It does exactly as you’d expect, it tells you where your nearest owls are.
  90. 90. One of my favourite simple examples of this is this lovely site. It does exactly as you’d expect, it tells you where your nearest owls are.
  91. 91. Recently I was asked to think about how to make NHS infection data more pertinent and personal
  92. 92. Recently I was asked to think about how to make NHS infection data more
  93. 93. I’ve just been asked by the GLA to look at how we do this for all diseases in London hospitals so you can look at things such as the effects of people not vaccinating children and localised disease outbreaks.
  94. 94. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ CAVEMAN_92223/ What can we learn from the old world?
  96. 96. make sure your content/business is findable
  98. 98. put your storefront where traffic is
  99. 99. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ Attractive, informative shopfront
  100. 100. ensure every search landing point is full of relevant information and new relevant destinations Daily Mail
  101. 101. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ Enticing offers
  102. 102. coupons and offers are both enticing and a data collection mechanism
  103. 103. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ SOVIETUK/ Social proof
  104. 104. we live in the world and era of pointing at things, make sure all of your things can be pointed at
  106. 106. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ create unique reasons for people to return to physical and online spaces, invite with meaning
  107. 107. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ HANNAHDONOVAN/ Friends’ recommendations and knowledge
  108. 108. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ BREWBOOKS/ allow and encourage social to flow in and out of your online/offline experience
  109. 109. engage your community when they start pointing at you and associating themselves with you
  111. 111. open up inventory systems, make less reasons for wasted journeys and improve chance of impulse purchases
  112. 112. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ Friendly, useful, knowledgeable staff
  113. 113. make your website the true edge of your brand online, help it hand off to real people
  114. 114. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ Signage and signposting
  115. 115. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ lead people around your location, before, during and after their visit
  116. 116. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ Flow design
  117. 117. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ DNORMAN/ reduce friction wherever it may be
  118. 118. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ don’t be afraid to create new hybrid spaces
  119. 119. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ IAIN/ learn from each other, bring offline and online teams together
  120. 120. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ online and offline are not just yet another add on for each other
  121. 121. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ JAGGEREE/ it’s always about people, and where they are
  122. 122. HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/ RAWHEAD/ Thank you... @jaggeree