The news roundup segment in each episode of the EDGE is how we stay on top of the latest digital marketing news headlines with insightful analysis from experts all over the world. The latest features host Erin Sparks and Creative Studio Producer Jacob Mann along with special guest Elizabeth Marsten, Senior Director of Strategic Marketplace Services at Tinuiti. Here’s the news roundup from episode 335 of the award-winning EDGE of the Web podcast: 


Google Lets Businesses Add a Custom List of Services to GMB Listings

From Matt Southern on Search Engine Journal we learn that Google Lets Businesses Add a Custom List of Services to GMB Listings. Google My Business will provide a selection of suggested types of services to choose from, for example, plumbers may see “Install faucet” or “Repair toilet” as services to add.

  • Erin Sparks: The Google My Business real estate just keeps getting more valuable, and it’s great to get additional control in there to make sure the right services are listed.
  • Elizabeth Marsten: It’s sad when you see businesses that have been around for a while and their websites are in bad shape. In some cases they can’t get transitioned out because some vendor locked them in for lifetime and kept their content. So this is fantastic that they’re able to go in there and say, “There’s certain things we just don’t do anymore.” Can you imagine if you were a computer repair place and you had, I don’t know, CD-ROM repairs listed and you couldn’t get rid of it? After all, these tend to be small businesses with people who are good at their profession and not web marketing or development. 


Millions of SMS messages exposed in database security lapse

According to Zack Whittaker on TechCrunch, Millions of SMS messages exposed in database security lapse. A massive database storing tens of millions of SMS text messages, most of which were sent by businesses to potential customers, has been found online.

  • Erin Sparks: In today’s privacy challenges, my gosh, how in the world can you let this happen? The database stored years of sent and received text messages from its customers that were processed by TrueDialog, but because the database was left unprotected on the internet without a password, none of the data was encrypted and anyone could look at it.
  • Elizabeth Marsten: My response is, “Really?!” I mean, you couldn’t even put a password up that’s “password?” I saw this and the number one thing that concerned me more than anything else is the lack of response from the company on what they’re doing about it and how they’re going to fix it, because folks need to know if their stuff was in there. They just need to be advised essentially that it’s out there.
  • Erin Sparks: Privacy is the essential coin of the realm for your consumers, and if something like that just falls out of the back of the truck and nobody’s even paying attention to it, that’s going to spell doom for the brand there…


15 Mind-Blowing Stats About Online Shopping In 2019

On CMO by Adobe, Giselle Abramovich reports 15 Mind-Blowing Stats About Online Shopping In 2019. More shoppers, more sales, larger orders: The numbers keep growing for online shopping – as does the piece of the pie for retailers that keep customers at the center of their strategies all year long.

  • Erin Sparks: What did you see in these stats that kind of parallels with some of the strategies that you provide?
  • Elizabeth Marsten: We’re talking about mobile. We’ve seen in the last few years traffic pick up on Thanksgiving but also Black Friday. But hey, no surprise. No one wants to go stand in line at 6:00 AM in a Wal-Mart with 300 other people when they could just order it online on their phone. And then same with Thanksgiving, we’ve seen traffic start to increase over the years as folks wind down. If you have dinner at 3:00 and it’s 6:00 and you’re kind of done talking to Aunt Martha, then you’re going to start shopping and or declining eye contact with some folks, depending on how things have degraded. It makes total sense. And of course one of the biggest stats is how Amazon has 50% of eCommerce. Why? Because they made it easy. Store traffic is down, and that makes total sense. Personally, I did go to one store. It was nothing like it’s been in previous years. The primary driver for why you would go at 7:00 AM for me was because I have two kids under the age of four. That is the only time I can go! They’re still asleep, and I can get something done. And they’ve extended the sale times. A lot of these stores have stopped saying you have to get there before 10:00 AM or 11:00 AM. It’s all day or until stock runs out. So the only real urgency is because they’re going to run out of whatever thing you want that they only have four of. And now “buy online, pickup in store” is becoming huge. It’s growing really fast. 
  • Erin Sparks: I was surprised to see 63% of consumers say email is the most effective tool to get them to shop at a particular retailer. The more traditional channels are also important: traditional broadcast media at 46%, direct mail at 38%, and print ads at 32%.
  • Elizabeth Marsten: Email done right is extremely powerful, especially if you curate good lists year over year. For example, I buy a lot of the same things over and over again. There’s a case of dog jerky I buy every year, and every year they email me and remind me and I go, yes, I need that again. And three clicks later I’m done. That personalization piece plus that curation of content like this is new, these are things that you’ve shown interest in before, unsubscribes, how you re-engage those folks…Tinuiti has an entire email division for this and they speak a lot about the quality and reach you can do.

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