Disruptive Forces – Mobile & Artificial Intelligence – Guest Post by Daniel Rowles

Short Term: Mobile and Retail

Mobile technologies will completely transform the world of retail in the very short term. If I can walk in to a store, be immediately recognised by beacon and my existing account data, a whole lot of interesting things can happen. Combine this with new display technology that allows multiple viewers to see different things on the same screen based on viewing angle, and the instore experience can be fully customised. Add the tagging of all products via NFC or similar and my online and in-store experience can be fully integrated and interactive. Why would I shop in a store that doesn’t immediately know my likes and preferences, my shopping history and can offer me exclusive and personalised offers and experiences? The exciting thing about this, is the technology is already here and its just a matter of integration that needs to be fixed.

Medium Term: Artificial Intelligence

Google has been building the technology to achieve huge leaps in artificial intelligence since they started building their search algorithm. The Big Data technologies they have developed are needed to achieve the level of information processing to make truly useful artificial intelligence a reality and we are getting closer and closer to this reality. This will at the heart of transforming every industry. Computer intelligence will not be the same as human intelligence for a long time, but it will excel in some areas. Driving and medical diagnosis are two areas that in the very short term I’d rather trust a machine than a person. AI will also open up world of ethical questions, but starting to question the role of human intelligence and its fallibility can only be a good thing in my opinion.

Daniel Rowles futureproofDaniel Rowles, CEO Target Internet, Author of Mobile Marketing 
and Digital Branding


The Burgeoning Landscape of Localization Tools and Smartphones – Guest post by Anne Bezançon

For the first time in human history, every movement in the physical world can be identified, recorded and analyzed through our mobile phones, smartwatches, fitness trackers and soon smart-tattoos and implants. This fundamentally changes our relationship to ourselves and others because “digital” and “physical” are now merging, providing a completely new source of data and analysis, and ultimately a higher-fidelity representation of who we are.

The expected impact of localization tools

The impact of these capabilities goes way beyond their initial application to maps and navigation or even geofence marketing. We are exploring use-cases across all verticals: advertising (from attribution of campaigns to segmentation of audiences based on their behavior in the physical world), retail (consumer patterns, routes, frequency, times), healthcare (from tracking an infectious disease across the country to reminding folks of the proximity of a pharmacy to pick up their prescription), sports and entertainment (from performance tracking apps to geofencing communications within a venue for a few hours), news (local citizen journalism), financial services (fraud prevention by matching transaction to place), transportation and logistics/delivery (from Uber to Fedex, route optimization, user feedback in real-time), field service operations (team management for utilities), and, of course, public safety and government (managing refugee flows is a timely concern). From collecting anonymous data from millions of users and extracting statistical models of behavior to addressing one individual’s specific needs based on interactive systems, localization tools are going to change every sector of activity.

From a company’s perspective, what needs to be done to take advantage of it?

First, think about what you could know through these tools that you don’t today. Localization tools provide data that was not available before.

Second, research and identify the right partner who has the expertise and technology to help you.

Third, start doing something, iterate and learn. There are major opportunities for competitive edge with the right combination of one and two above.

What are some of the risks and opportunities?

The biggest risk lies in the need to define new boundaries and protection mechanisms for privacy, as regulators are still lagging behind with the very rapid evolution of technology, particularly in mobile, internet of things, etc.

The opportunities are many from a business standpoint, since more “picks and shovels” need to be built, either specialized in certain “vertical” problems and solutions, or specialized in back-end computation of increasingly large amounts of data, or yet in front end data visualization for both consumers and business decision makers.


Anne_Bezancon_Placecast FutureproofAnne Bezançon is the founder and President of Placecast, the leading enterprise platform for monetizing mobile location and user data at scale. The company specializes in providing proven, secure, privacy-first solutions for big data monetization to the largest Telecom (AT&T, Rogers, Telefonica), Financial Institutions and Media companies in the world. Over 500 brands have used the Placecast platform, including Starbucks, Subway, HP, JetBlue, McDonald’s, and Pizza Hut.

A native of France, Anne discovered her passion for technology when she helped develop the Minitel, a precursor to the Internet. Anne moved to the Silicon Valley in 1996. She has since started three companies and participated in the launch of two more. In 1995, she organized the NGO Forum of the United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing, and pioneered private sponsorships from Apple and HP to enable training in word processing and email for 40,000 participants.

Anne was invited to meet with the French President during his official visit to San Francisco in March 2014. Anne was also named to the 2013 “Mobile Women to Watch” list from Mobile Marketer. In 2011, Anne attended the eG8 Summit, an invitation-only summit of leaders in government and industry focusing on the Internet in the context of global public policy. She writes thought leadership pieces for leading tech and business publications, including Forbes. Anne holds a diploma from Sciences-Po Paris, and an LLM in Business Law. She is the author of several patents in the field of location-based technology, and speaks frequently at various tech industry and business events.

The Disruption Of Mobile Dialled Up – Guest post By JK Rohrs (@JKROHRS)

The disruptive nature of the smartphone cannot be understated. This one device has transformed nearly every waking moment into a potential for digital conversation, media consumption, and real-world engagement. Smartphone-wielding consumers are now always-on and a few clicks from information, ratings, and peer insights that can dramatically shape the stores, restaurants, and businesses they visit. Indeed, well over 50% of all searches across Google’s properties now originate on mobile devices; further research also suggests that over 50% of those searches include some local intent.

And yet, look at the mobile advertising across any smartphone browser or app you own, and you rarely see local content or offers. This is the next phase of mobile disruption–using real-world consumer location to increase the relevance of mobile marketing. Apps, GPS, and beacons will all help shape the efficacy of local mobile engagement; however, it is up to brand marketers themselves to walk a mile in their customers’ shoes to truly appreciate when and where local content can positively impact their journey. This marriage of smartphone, consumer intent, and brand content can yield new business opportunities for every brand–but it will take a disruptor’s mindset as the consumer’s smartphone usage continues to evolve.

JK Rohrs futureproofJeffrey K. Rohrs

Chief Marketing Officer l Yext

jrohrs@yext.com l www.yext.com

You can find Jeff on Twitter @JKRohrs