Monday, January 25, 2010

Local is Going Mobile

I’ve been working on some local advertising issues lately, so the 5 Mobile Trends article in AdAge last week grabbed me. Here are their trends:

1. Mobile will completely revolutionize the way local advertisers can connect with potential customers. Ad Age’s subhead captures the issue perfectly: “How the Computer in Your Pocket Is Changing Your Business.” Smartphone and apps users of the world have united to change your business—attention must be paid!
2. Growth in adoption of mobile shopping applications will continue to alter in-store consumer behavior, increasing the significance of mobile in point of sale decisions making. I wrote about my UPC code scanner not long ago. It really works! What’s funny is that when I’m at a store I like and where I know the people, I’m embarrassed to use it (unless I can hide behind a shelf so people won’t see me!). If I’m at a store where I don’t know people or don’t care what they think, it’s fine.
3. Brands and agencies will continue to build branded apps, but will also have more attractive display media options, thanks to Google. Keep reading—more below.
4. Advertising's outdoor real estate is fast becoming another connected channel capable of delivering high-fidelity digital experiences as unique, varied and measurable as more well-established mediums. That’s worth further exploration—does anyone know of a good recent posting?
5. Consumers have new power to express their opinions through social technologies from anywhere, anytime. Smart marketers will do all they can to encourage and act on this feedback. A lot of marketer content ought to be focused on generating customer content. How to accomplish that is one essential element of social media strategy. More on consumer reviews soon.

One of the things I did recently was to update local listings for the local wildlife sanctuary (that’s grammatically redundant, but both are necessary to my meaning). A local business needs to look at all the local media. There are many that offer free links to your website. Requesting listings is not much effort and worth the $$ it costs, since that is $0. Also free are Yahoo! Local and Google Maps/Business Center listings. There are value-added services on Yahoo! but the basic listing is free; links to both are on this page. The Yahoo! listing is simpler, note that it includes opportunities to upload photos and write reviews—both good promotion for the local business.

The Google listing is typical Google with more options. Google Maps gives you a stripped-down listing and map location. Google Business Center allows you to add the bells and whistles like I’ve done here. Images and videos are great promotion tools. What I really love is the Coupon option. As you can see, I’ve added a printable coupon to this listing. What you can’t see is that if a person is searching from a mobile device, they get a savable mobile version of the coupon. So cool! Cool, but not perfect. There is an option to create a link so you can link the coupon to a website, a blog, a personal page. Great idea—unfortunately it doesn’t work at present. They also have a Google Maps button for your desktop toolbar and a Mobile app. Their Favorite Places program offers smart-phone readable badges for heavily-searched stores, and there’s more on the drawing board. Read a good review on ReadWriteWeb.

And so it goes—and will continue to go!

No comments: