Michael Boland

  • Can Facebook Contend in Local Search?

    A term often invoked at the intersection of Facebook and local is “sleeping giant.” After launching several products that flirt with local search and discovery — Places, Graph Search, Nearby etc. — the giant remains mostly at rest. Facebook Local, rebranded from Facebook Events, is the latest foray into location-based user engagement.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fightin Social Facebook- 12 readers -
  • Why Mobile Ads Need Form and Function (VIDEO)

    Why Mobile Ads Need Form and Function (VIDEO) December 4, 2017 by Michael Boland Leave a Comment Filed Under: #SFSW18 Verve‘s VP and creative director — and Street Fight Summit West speaker — Walt Geer believes that effective mobile local advertising balances form and function. The view towards proper balance stems from Geer’s longstanding position that more attention needs ...

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 12 readers -
  • How Voice Assistants Could Transform Local (Part II)

    Voice assistants continue to evolve as a medium for local search, as I examined here last month. But what does it mean for local media players and startups? If consumers are increasingly searching with voice, how do you wedge your way into that conversation? It’s partly about platform choice. As examined last month, home assistants like Amazon Echo have a disproportionate share of attention.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fightin How To's- 8 readers -
  • Is the Camera the ‘New Search Box’ for Local Discovery? Part II

    This post is an excerpt from an upcoming Street Fight white paper. Entitled “Local’s Visual Future: The Rise of AR and Visual Search,” it examines how trends in visual technologies are manifesting in local commerce. An excerpt is below and the report will be available in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for more excerpts as well as the full report.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 8 readers -
  • AR and VR — Will Local Advertisers Bite?

    AR and VR will certainly be applied to lots of activities, both consumer and enterprise. But what about advertising? There’s an opportunity to bring a more immersive touch, such as checking out a new car. As we’ve examined, this will have to be done in native ways to be successful. But what about local advertising specifically? We’re talking small businesses and big brands th ...

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 8 readers -
  • Is the Camera the ‘New Search Box’ for Local Discovery?

    Is the Camera the ‘New Search Box’ for Local Discovery? October 6, 2017 by Michael Boland Leave a Comment Filed Under: Road Map This post is an excerpt from an upcoming Street Fight white paper. Entitled “Local’s Visual Future: The Rise of AR and Visual Search,” it examines how trends in visual technologies are manifesting in local commerce.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fightin Social- 20 readers -
  • Where Will VR Fit Into Local Advertising? Part II

    As Virtual Reality (VR) expands and contracts, it’s starting to overlap with local commerce in a sort of Venn diagram. That’s even truer of augmented reality (AR), but that’s a separate topic. One small signal is the ink VR has received here on Street Fight from columnists like Tom Grubisich and myself.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 19 readers -
  • iPhoneX, AR & Local: How Do All the Pieces Fit?

    There are lots of ways that augmented reality (AR) is a natural fit for local commerce. We and others have examined it closely. But questions remain: How will AR will materialize in local? How long it will take? And how do these factors signal local startups and media companies where to place their chips? One place these signals were frustratingly absent was Apple’s iPhoneX ...

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 16 readers -
  • Where Will VR Fit Into Local Advertising?

    Early television ads often showed a solitary individual reading a script for Ovaltine or Lucky Strike (or insert 1940’s quintessence). The reason: that’s the way it was done in radio. It took a while for TV ads to grow into their own skin. This is the dreaded “habit creep” that saddles emerging mediums.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 13 readers -
  • How Big Is the Promise of Local AR (And When Can We Expect It)?

    The world has reined back its excitement over augmented reality (AR)… or at least its realistic timing to consumer ubiquity. It will be revolutionary — especially for local — but the fully realized vision (smart glasses) is more of a 2022 thing than a 2018 one. This has to do with size, cost and most of all, style. But there are a few caveats to that sobering claim.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fightin Google- 14 readers -
  • Building a Local Stack: The Rise of ‘SMB OS’

    Walking the Streets of New York — the embodiment of SMB density — I was recently reminded of local’s next primary battleground: The SMB Operating System (SMB OS). The idea is that local’s true opportunity isn’t SMB advertising, but all business functions. This isn’t a new concept, though it’s now emerging and crystallizing in new ways.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 21 readers -
  • An Unsexy Truth: Emerging Tech Hinges on Local Data

    I spend a lot of time talking to people in the augmented reality (AR) sector, and one factor continues to be overlooked: local data. In other words, the shiny vision of graphical overlays that augment our perception ain’t gonna happen without hordes of geo-relevant data. Take for example Google’s new self-trumpeted visual positioning service (VPS).

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 15 readers -
  • Google’s Next Local Conquest: Visual Search

    Indoor mapping continues to be one of those “holy grail” topics in local. It picks up where GPS drops off, tracking consumers all the way to the cash register. That’s been beacons’ battle cry for years, though I’ve been skeptical due to their implementation and opt-in friction. The latest move comes from Google, with an approach that could leapfrog beacons by using the posit ...

    Michael Boland/ Street Fightin Google- 26 readers -
  • Will Social AR Be the Next Local Battlefield?

    I’ve been obnoxiously bullish on native-social advertising over the past few years, including its potential to erode traditional display ads. Its growth will follow the trajectory of its supporting tech (mobile broadband, bigger screens, camera optics), as well as millennial affinities. But another factor has emerged — where I’m also bullish — to boost that potential even fu ...

    Michael Boland/ Street Fightin Social- 25 readers -
  • Mobile Payments: Does Local’s Holy Grail Have Holes?

    Mobile payments continue to be equally opportune and elusive. I continue to stand by my 2014 assertion: the potential benefits for businesses are huge, but I’m skeptical that mainstream consumers will alter their entrenched habits when they still don’t see cash or credit cards as a pain point. When I say mobile payments, I don’t mean Venmo or Amazon transactions on your phone.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 20 readers -
  • Will Native-Social Ads Dominate Mobile?

    Snap Inc.’s successful public market debut last week answered lots of questions and investor uncertainty, at least for now. One thing it clarified for me is native-social advertising’s staying power. After Facebook’s success with News Feed Ads, the format now has its second public torch bearer. This is validating because I recently projected native-social to be the most oppo ...

    Michael Boland/ Street Fightin Google Facebook- 41 readers -
  • The AI Wars in Local Have Already Begun

    In the annals of tech, we’ve endured the browser wars, the OS wars, and of course the standards battle between VHS and Betamax. Now the latest battle is upon us: the personal assistant app wars. This AI-centric battle is being waged by heavier contenders than any before it, including Apple (Siri), Amazon (Alexa), and Google (Assistant). And the winner will sway the next era of local commerce.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fightin Google- 20 readers -
  • Local’s Next Battleground: In-Car Media

    I’ve always considered Uber to be a wild card in local advertising. It knows where you’re going and where you’ve been, which has bred speculation about delivering local ads. And your buying intent is arguably heightened when Ubering about town. But I’ve been skeptical about Uber actually delivering ads.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 18 readers -
  • Local’s Next Hurdle: The Impressionable Use Fallacy

    Among the rampant cliches endemic to bad op-eds and conference sessions in the digital ad world, my favorite has to be the cringeworthy and often vapid “right person, right place, right time.” A close second is the delusion that ads actually “delight” anyone. And third place goes to the decade-old-but-still-somehow-invoked “walk by a Starbucks” coupon scenario.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 22 readers -