2017 Predictions #17: Mobile-First Evolves Into Local-First

Heath Bradbury

To give you a jump start on the new year, we asked industry experts about their predictions for the future of location, marketing, and technology in 2017. We’ll be posting their responses over the next month here on the Yext blog. Follow us on Twitter @Yext for new posts, and tweet at us with your own predictions.


Heath Bradbury
Sr. Manager, Digital Marketing & Innovation, Advance Auto Parts

In 2017, location will be the primary context defining our digital interactions. The proliferation of digital assistants and connected devices — constantly observing, measuring and collecting data — will usher in a new era of location-aware experiences.

Mobile-first will evolve and give rise to a local-first approach in digital marketing. If you aren’t providing optimized customer experiences on a myriad of screens and devices, you’re already behind the curve. You’ll also need to consider how you fit in the new on-demand economy, where consumers are no longer content to wait for just about anything. You must deliver on the promise of the web’s endless aisle, combined with the speed and ease of transacting in a local store.

Search marketing will continue to evolve and reflect this local-first idea. Google will expand the universe of queries that trigger local results and will bring paid local results to as many queries as possible in 2017. Voice search will increasingly force marketers to think about becoming the answer to a question, instead of just one of a dozen search results.

In 2017, brands will continue to struggle to keep pace with consumer technologies, but marketers will be more adept than ever at testing their way into these new technologies and looking for ways to deliver measurable value for the business. We’ll see major retailers finally unlock the potential of location as a means of connecting and optimizing experiences across screens, as well as closing the attribution gap between online/offline.

Without a doubt, 2017 will be an exciting year to be a marketer, and location will be an increasingly valuable tool for brands. Those that can capitalize on the power of location as a context will be the big winners next year.

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