Monthly Industry Roundup: April 2019


How Decentralization Can Negatively Impact Your Franchise Growth

Location3 Chairman and Founder Andrew Beckman takes a quick look at how decentralized marketing campaigns can stunt the growth of the franchise system as a whole.

Google to Raise Stakes on Maps

Google Business Chief Philipp Schindler says Google is increasing efforts to monetize the popular Maps app. Schindler calls the mostly-ads-free app a “really, really interesting playground going forward” – a hint at Google’s enthusiasm for a profitable new ad environment.

Schindler breaks down four areas of focus for further monetizing Google Maps:

  • Utility: Basic directions from one location to the next
  • Nearby Requests: Businesses, products, and services in the vicinity of the user
  • Personalized Recommendations: Customized suggestions based on user history and personal information
  • Neighborhood Business Listing: Search-guided business directory based on neighborhood

The expectation is that more data means more users and increased time in the app, allowing for more ads. Google has been hesitant to push ads in the past, but it sees an environment that can be mutually beneficial for users and business owners.

You’re likely to see more aggressive ad placement in Google Maps in the near future. Google’s ability to maintain the app’s practical use while introducing a quality user experience could make Maps the next cash cow for the search giant.


Stories Power Surge in Q1 Facebook Ad Sales

Facebook recently reported $14.9 billion in ad revenue for the first quarter of the year – a 26 percent increase year over year. The increase in ad sales is being attributed to Stories Ads, where Facebook says more than three million advertisers are running ads across Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger.

Facebook is facing increased scrutiny over its handling of user privacy and data, but that hasn’t slowed Facebook’s momentum. That’s largely because advertisers have found the social media giant to be an efficient partner. The average price of an ad dropped 4 percent ,while ad impressions jumped 32 percent.

While Facebook’s public perception has waned, the company still reports 1.56 billion daily active users – a number that’s increased every quarter for more than two years.

Facebook is an important part of the daily lives of people across the world, but pressure continues to mount over user privacy and the app experience. If Facebook makes significant strides in ensuring user privacy, how will they reconcile it with a burgeoning ad business that works because of its targeting capabilities?

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says he isn’t worried. When discussing Facebook’s shift to a more private experience, he says, “It will strengthen people’s privacy without meaningfully affecting our business.”


Google to Charge for Google My Business Listings?

Google recently sent a survey to local businesses asking for thoughts on paying for Google My Business features – a service that’s currently free. Google My Business launched in 2014 and has since been a valuable tool for local businesses to increase their presence on Google Search and Maps.

Google My Business has become an integral part of most business’s digital strategy, and Google might be tempted to capitalize on the general consensus on the value of the service. That would obviously be a significant change for local businesses that would have to make budget-based decisions on a new subscription service. It also would alter Google’s business model for organic search results, another environment that’s currently free.

While Google My Business remains a free service, the survey indicates a change at some point in the future. Stay tuned.

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