Monday, August 2, 2010

Google Chases Yelp With Geo-Targeted Ads On Android

Mobile marketers now have a whole new platform to consider for campaigns - Google Places App. Basically, this expands the use of Google Maps by overlaying the maps with the pinpoint location of local businesses, places of interest, hotels, bars etc. Google Places becomes an icon on the Android phone for the consumer.  Last year, Yelp turned down an offer from Google for $550 million.  With Google Maps, Place and tight integration into the Android platform, you have to wonder what was the CEO of Yelp thinking.  

For local businesses, all they have to do is register their business for free in Google Place. A restaurant can even include its menu, enter what types of credit card it accepts, promotional coupons etc. Of great value to the business is the access to web data and the ability to analyze consumer responses, such as where people are coming from, the search terms they used, what was most popular on the menu and if that had an impact on attracting the customer. Indeed, it may even alert the business owner to another opportunity to open up in a different part of town, especially a restaurant. 

Four million businesses have already claimed their Place Page on Google through the Local Business Center, and advertising starts at just $25 a month.  This is a great opportunity for local businesses to enter the location based marketing world.  My advice is to test campaigns and continue to use other social media as part of your campaign strategy.   For a step by step guide click here.


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