Michael Boland

  • 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- 19 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- 14 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- 22 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- 24 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- 19 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- 38 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- 18 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- 17 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- 21 readers -
  • How Apple’s Subtle AR Play Could Impact Local: Sights and Sounds

    Apple just entered augmented reality, without anyone really noticing. Though the iPhone 7 was met with a collective ‘meh,’ the real impact is below the surface, where the world’s biggest company collides with tech’s biggest opportunity. Disappointment stemmed from Apple’s failure to launch a VR product, or at least a blatantly obvious one (read: headset).

    Michael Boland/ Street Fightin How To's- 18 readers -
  • Why Augmented Reality Will Eventually Take Over Local

    As I’ve written and others have forecasted, virtual reality (VR) will come first, but augmented reality (AR) will be bigger. That statement especially applies to location based applications. AR will be all about local. Graphical overlays to the physical world will amplify everything from retail shopping (store navigation and product info), to finding a restaurant (ratings &am ...

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 24 readers -
  • Pokémon Go and Local: Why Now?

    It seems like we’ve reached peak Pokémon Go. The phenomenon will likely escalate then eventually flame out, but for now it’s the most downloaded iOS game in history and has eclipsed Twitter, Pandora and Netflix in active usage. Beyond thousands of headlines and millions of hazard-prone players roaming the streets like zombies, what does it all mean for local commerce? The ga ...

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 28 readers -
  • The Physical World Is Eating the Web

    I’ve always been a big fan of Marc Andreessen, and particularly his mantra that software is eating the world. We’re now seeing that play out in local commerce in lots of ways. The framework could even be flipped: The world is eating software. The subject of innovation is increasingly atoms instead of bits. IoT blends the two, as do beacons.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fightin Paid Search Google- 18 readers -