September 21, 2016

iOS 10: More Than a Software Update

By Gib Olander


All of a sudden, iPhones messages are exploding with emojis, fireworks, and gifs thanks to Apple’s iOS 10 update. But there’s a lot more going on with iOS 10. When you dig deeper, you see a number of other important changes occurring, such as:

  • Apple Maps users can order services such as Uber rides and Open Table restaurant reservations.
  • Developers can create apps that work inside iMessage and Siri, which opens up many commercial uses of both.

With iOS 10, Apple is responding to the different ways that people communicate with brands and each other in an on-demand world. Even making emojis more easily available is a sign of the times, as you can order a pizza with an emoji on Twitter. My new column for Street Fight discusses in more detail why iOS 10 is more than a software update. Check it out, and contact us to learn how we can help you succeed with location marketing in an on-demand world.

September 16, 2016

SHSMD 2016: Reputation + Location Data Management = A Healthy Holistic Marketing Approach

By Annie Badeusz


On Wednesday, September 14th, healthcare marketers gathered in Chicago for the annual  Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD) conference. A key takeaway from the conference was that healthcare marketers must develop a retail-like mindset when thinking about the overall patient experience, as discussed on a panel that included SIM Partners’ Managing Director of healthcare, Amanda Bury.

The panel, “Reputation + Location Data Management = A Healthy Holistic Marketing Approach,” also included experts from large healthcare systems across the United States, Mayura Kumar and Christine Bon from Advocate Health Care, and Julie Feingold from Duke Health. The panelists discussed elements of a holistic local marketing strategy as well as real-world outcomes and best practices from Advocate and Duke. As the Advocate and Duke panelists discussed, there’s a huge shift that is happening in healthcare. Patients want to find what they are searching for on demand, and they are becoming more like consumers when it comes to obtaining care, especially when it comes to the need for transparency and ratings. In fact, according to Google 94% of patients said the reputation of the facility is important in hospital selection.

Today, in order to be visible when and where patients are looking for care, healthcare systems must have accurate location and physician data, contextual content, and ratings and reviews — which together form the elements of the Transparency Triangle, a concept created by SIM Partners. By ensuring their local marketing strategy contains those three elements, healthcare systems will ultimately drive patient acquisition and improve the patient experience.

To learn more about the Transparency Triangle, read SIM Partners’ recently published The Transparency Triangle: Three Essential Elements of Healthcare Transparency. This guide helps healthcare systems understand transparency in a broader context so that they can deliver the experience patients expect when choosing a healthcare provider. Check it out, and contact us to discuss how we can help you.

September 15, 2016

The Growing Importance of Data Attributes

By Gib Olander



A business’s data attributes are increasingly important to help consumers decide whether to visit your location during micro-moments of discovery. Data attributes consist of descriptive data elements that distinguish your location from your competitors, such as whether your location is accessible or has free parking.

In my most recent Street Fight byline, I discuss how recent industry developments such as the rise of voice search make data attributes power the long tail of local search.

Need help getting started with a location data management program and managing data attributes? Contact us; we’d love to discuss.

September 13, 2016

Introducing the Transparency Triangle

By Amanda Bury


Transparency in healthcare means a lot more than price transparency. Transparency is about providing all the details patients need to make informed decisions about the care they seek — information ranging from insurance plans that physicians accept to patient ratings and reviews. To help healthcare systems understand the essential elements of transparency in an on-demand world, SIM Partners has published The Transparency Triangle: Three Essential Elements of Healthcare Transparency.

The guide goes into detail regarding the three elements that make up the transparency triangle — location and physician data, descriptive content, and ratings/reviews. The three elements together ensure that physician pages are visible and responsive to their patients.

I will be speaking about transparency in at the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Marketing Development (SHSMD) conference in Chicago on Wednesday, September 14th from 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. I will join panelists from Advocate Health Care, Duke Health, and Binary Fountain, as we will discuss the interplay between transparency, ratings, and a data management strategy that makes it possible for healthcare systems to engage with patients during “near-me” searches.

If you’re attending SHSMD, feel free to reach out out to me — it would be great to connect there. Also, be sure to download a copy of The Transparency Triangle and contact us to discuss how SIM Partners can help you.

September 8, 2016

How the NFL Scores a Touchdown in Social Media

By Julie Piatek

With the 2016 NFL regular season officially kicking off today, one thing is for sure — social media has been a key player when it comes to engaging with fanbases.

The NFL has both a challenge and an opportunity — the challenge being that each of the 32 teams in the NFL only have 16 regular season games, and the opportunity being how they can utilize social media to build excitement around that week’s game day.

The teams in the NFL understand that their fans are paying attention — and rallying around a location for a team that they support. Because of that, teams have turned to social media to repay them for the support they have shown throughout the years. Below are some ways NFL teams have kept their fans in the game through the use of social media:


For many, Twitter has become a go-to for keeping up with content while it’s happening, whether it be  following along in their feed, or with the event hashtag.

As a result of Twitter becoming a source for content sharing, in April Twitter and the NFL struck a deal to stream Thursday night football games. The two have been partners since 2013, and the Thursday night streaming will be free, live, and will be available on mobile phones, PCs, TVs, and tablets.

Many teams have turned to Twitter to hold giveaway competitions for their fans. For example, the New England Patriots used Twitter to encourage their fans to retweet them — resulting in signed memorabilia. Twitter followers simply need to follow the official Patriots account, and use team messages with hashtags such as #TomTuesday or #LetsGo.


The day before the 2016 regular season started, Twitter launched NFL hashtag emojis, which appear once a Twitter user uses that specific team hashtag.


But not all fans loved the chosen hashtags for their beloved team. In fact, the Chicago Bears’ hashtag #FeedDaBears was ranked 31 out of 32 for hashtags by SB Nation, and their fans aren’t reacting as the Bears might have hoped, either.



With Snapchat getting 10 billion video views per day, NFL teams realize that they have a major opportunity to connect with their fans within the app. Teams now have the opportunity to give their fans an “inside look” via the app by sharing videos from practice and scenes from the locker room.

Recently Snapchat and the NFL announced an extension to their partnership, allowing the NFL to become the first sports league to have a presence on the “Discover” platform. In addition, Snapchat Live Stories will be produced for every NFL game along with custom geofilters to be used in stadium and around the stadium vicinity. Many teams like to have fun with their filters — for example the Philadelphia Eagles show their comical side on Snapchat by showing day-to-day player routines with the use of different emojis intertwined. Additionally, many teams chose to reveal their schedules in the past.

Why It Matters

As NFL fans, people want to feel like they are part of the team. With teams taking advantage of interacting with their fans every day of the week, people don’t need to wait until Thursday or Sunday to see what their favorite players are up to.

Each game day for the NFL is an event — and businesses can take note on how to promote events prior to the actual day, gain momentum with winning content, and build connections with a fanbase.

September 6, 2016

SIM Partners and Advocate Health Care Nominated for OMMA Award

By Tari Haro

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 10.53.09 AM

Recognizing that the patient journey most often starts with “near me” search, Advocate Health Care partnered with SIM Partners’ Velocity Health to create the “next” moment of conversion by using the context of location to acquire patients in the moments when and where they are looking for care. With a local SEO program on Velocity Health, Advocate transformed the patient experience to drive patient acquisition at scale, surpassing its year-over-year appointment growth goal.

As a result of our ongoing partnership, I’m happy to share that  Advocate Health Care has been selected as a finalist for Media Post’s OMMA Awards for 2016. The campaign, “Advocate Health Care Patients Find Doctors in Their Moments of Need” was one of three finalists in the “Search Marketing: SEO Campaign” category.

The Media Post OMMA Awards honor those who “push the potential” for their marketing efforts in order to provide the best results in their industry. The nomination comes off recent industry recognition for our Velocity platform, which was named the “Best Location Marketing Platform” in the Digiday Signal Awards and a “Mobile Search” finalist in the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) Smarties Awards.

A full list of OMMA Awards finalists can be found here. Final judging will take place this month, and winners will be announced Monday, September 26, 2016 at MediaPost’s OMMA Awards Cocktail Reception and Dinner during Advertising Week in New York City.


September 1, 2016

Pokémon GO Turns Niantic Labs into a Marketing Powerhouse

By Adam Dorfman

Pokémon GO has left its mark, even as its popularity inevitably declines. The game has made many brick-and-mortar businesses more aware of the creative ways that they can generate foot traffic and customers if they are willing to be as nimble as the best Pokémon GO trainers.

And Pokémon GO has made a marketing powerhouse out of its creator, Niantic Labs. My new column for Direct Marketing Magazine discusses the rise of Niantic and some implications of Pokémon GO for location marketing.

Check it out and contact us to discuss how to make location marketing more powerful.



August 31, 2016

Pokémon Go: The Everywhere Social Media Platform

By Jay Hawkinson


I was in Tokyo when Pokémon GO was unleashed in Japan, and I’ll never forget the spontaneous social event that the game generated, with trainers mobbing the streets to share the fun of playing. Although the Pokémon GO buzz appears to be subsiding around the world, it remains a fascinating augmented reality social experience — both through the mechanics of the game and the specialty communities that have grown on social media platforms.

My latest Adweek SocialTimes column discusses some of the ways Pokémon GO has sparked a groundswell of social media activity — the kind that any social media app would be proud to claim as their own.

Read my column and learn how your brand can tap into the social dimension of Pokémon GO. Also, Contact us for more insight into building your brand with location marketing.

August 30, 2016

Ace This Back-to-School Season in the Moments that Matter

By Julie Piatek

The back-to-school season is here.  This year, it’s all about connecting with consumers in the micro-moments that matter most, which Google has defined as the “I-want-to-know,” “I-want-to-go,” and “I-want-to-buy” moments.

With mobile continuing to play a large role in the back-to-school shopper journey, it’s also clear that majority of parents plan to shop in-store. According to a recent study, consumers “want a seamless omnichannel experience” with fifty percent browsing online then making a purchase in the store.

Being visible in the moments when and where consumers are searching provides marketers an opportunity to turn “near me” online searches into in-store conversions.

Check out this infographic to help your business get an “A” in the moments that matter this back-to-school season.


Back To School 2016

August 25, 2016

SIM Partners Generates Next Moments on Demand through Uber

By Emily Helander



We live in an on-demand world that revolves around the omnichannel consumer. And SIM Partners just took a big step to make location the foundation of on-demand commerce.

Today SIM Partners announced that our Velocity platform will allow clients to add a “Ride there with Uber” button to their location pages. As a result, multi-location businesses ranging from restaurants to hospitals benefit from a convenient way to convert “near me” searches to onsite visits through an Uber ride.

The addition of the feature is a sign of how businesses are responding to the rise of the on-demand economy by enabling next moments, or the action that occurs after someone finds your business through a search. Whether a patient is booking an appointment with a physician or a shopper needs a ride to a store, the Uber button makes the next moment happen faster and easier.

The growth of the omnichannel, on-demand economy is one of the compelling trends of our time. The typical American consumer owns four devices, and nearly four out of 10 businesses interact with customers across five or more channels. Those interactions typically happen as micro-moments, or rapid moments of decision making that consumers make on their mobile devices. For example, nearly half of consumers trying to decide on a restaurant do their local search within an hour of actually going.

On-demand, omnichannel consumers expect businesses to respond in micro-moments with compelling content and experiences, ranging from mobile wallet offers that create commerce at a local level to games that earn customer loyalty points for in-store visits. Brands ranging from Domino’s Pizza to Walmart are responding by developing services such as drone and car-delivery on-demand. And Uber is a major catalyst driving the growth of omnichannel, on-demand living.

As we have noted on our blog, the rise of Uber is one of the important moments that have shaped location marketing. Uber saw an opportunity to capitalize on the popularity of mobile apps to disrupt the transportation industry. After Uber launched in 2009, it became clear that Uber was doing more than creating a new business model for ride sharing: Uber was accelerating the uptake of a larger trend toward on-demand services across multiple industries.

As Uber flourished, businesses realized that an app and a mobile device could create more revenue from customers who wanted to order and get everything from food to clothing faster than ever before. Uber also realized that the company had unleashed something bigger than ride sharing, as we’ve seen with the development of UberEATS and UberRUSH, delivery services that partner with brands such as Nordstorm and dining chain Lettuce Entertain You. Uber is also pioneering the development of autonomous vehicles that promise to make on-demand services more pervasive.

Walmart became the latest major multi-location brand to embrace on-demand delivery through ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. The launch of an Uber ride button through SIM Partners’ Velocity platform will make it possible for businesses to turn micro-moments of decision making into next moments of commerce in-store. Contact us — we’d love to talk more about how we can help you flourish in an omnichannel, on-demand world.