Verizon, Visa Sees Local Synergies for Digital ‘Ecosystems’

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Major brands with millions of users can leverage their digital activity and platform to really boost the fortunes of local players, according to industry leaders speaking at Money2020 this week in Las Vegas.

While Starbucks and a few others may be able to go solo at the local level, others can really benefit from “frictionless” local leads, noted Terry Angelos, Visa’s VP of Loyalty and Data Solutions.

“I love Starbucks, Chick Fil-a and Pizza Hut. They all have their own app,” says Angelos. But they –and other retailers — can use the boost of getting a lead from a popular platform (Amazon, Uber, etc.) Uber riders stepping out of the car, for instance, will be spending $2 billion this year in the local community.

Verizon also sees a boost from its platform – not least of all, for its 2,400 retail stores. Colson Hillier, Verizon Wireless’ VP of Advertiser solutions, says it is something of a two way street. “We are taking insights from the stores’ transactions and behavior” to boost the value proposition to customers with sales, recommendations, things for children,” he says.

“You really need to get that experience and figure it out for local merchants,” adds Colson. The key is to “empower a small group of vertically integrated providers. I can hand the customer off and have a user profile for all of that.” Noting Verizon’s recent addition of media plays like AOL – and probably, AT&T with Time Warner — Colson notes that “it is much easier to build that experience within an ecosystem.”

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