In the era of “near me” and “micro moments,” immediacy and context were what customers demanded of brands. But customers are getting smarter, and they now also require smarter ways of navigation to places of interest, and all this rests on location data (often crawled real-time or crowdsourced). Below are three ways maps technologies are getting smarter and how brands must follow suit.
1. Strengthening the Physical Web
As noted by Google, the physical web is “an "open approach to enable quick and seamless interactions with physical objects and locations.” This concept initially began as a way to push the needle and help both people and brands realize the potential of connecting online and offline. Now, the concept permeates into every activation a marketer plans.
When it comes to the physical web, focusing on the location element of the approach helps explains why previous social channels like Foursquare have completely shifted their positioning by investing leveraging the physical world with quality location data.
- 2. Voice and Conversational Technology
Within the past two to three years, personal assistants and smart devices have moved user searches and conversations from a text-based output to a more personalized voice-activated one. Turn-by-turn directions are now usually facilitated by assistant technology, with Google reporting 20% mobile queries as voice searches. A recent study found that voice searching is spanning past simple queries for teens, moving into voice ordering for nearby restaurants.
Technologies are tapping into this transition by investing in seamless conversational interactions through voice recognition. Siri now links with Google Maps, by combining the native voice recognition on iOS with Google’s advanced location data, Google has integrated “OK Google” into the Maps technology itself for easy user access, and technologies like Alexa can support location-based queries with customers. The movement is building and location data is being used in smarter, more innovative ways to reach searchers.
- 3. AI Investment
Most recently, we see that maps technologies specifically are experimenting with enhancement through 360, deeper crowdsourcing and even investment in artificial intelligence.
Google Maps recently confirmed that it is working harder to “index the real world”. While 360 has visualized location data and made it accessible to all users, the company has placed algorithms within the backend technology of the new Street View to automatically cleansing, scraping and further enhancing location data. These technologies are being powered by higher quality images in addition to these new algorithms, proving that clean data can transform locations into active hubs for marketing activations.
Maps technologies are getting smarter, and so must brands. Understanding the role of steadfast location data is essential to meeting customers in the moments that matter.
Learn how you can start integrating the newest location-based innovations with Brandify Labs to connect your customers to your nearby locations.