Go Local With Places – Location-Based Marketing

I recently looked into  media for a chain of franchised restaurants to help with their local store marketing efforts. Along with traditional tactics, such as advertising in local community newspapers, I suggested that they use location-based media as an inbound marketing tactic.

People search locally on-the-go

People now search “on-the-go” with mobile devices, such as smartphones and iPads, when they want to find a restaurant nearby, or their closest hardware shop. Nielsen predicts that, “We are just at the beginning of a new wireless era where smartphones will become the standard device consumers will use to connect to  friends, the internet and the world at large.”

As a consumer, depending on where you’re located,  location-based media will deliver content to your mobile device. For marketers interested in driving traffic to their locations, it is a way to deliver a targeted marketing message to customers in a specific geographic location, and therefore, ideal for local store marketing.

Leaders, at this point, in location-based media include:

Using location-based media may help to increase:

  • Website ranking
  • Customer acquisition
  • Loyalty
  • Community building

For this post, I’ll focus on Google Places. Subscribe to my blog so that you’ll know when I’ve posted about Foursquare and other services!

Google Places

Google Places gives you the opportunity to rank higher in search results on Google. Claiming  your space may even get you on the first  page of your customers’ search results – for free!

This will give you:

  • More visibility
  • More traffic
  • Level the playing field with the big guys

To get the best results you’ll want to:

  • Include as much information as possible, including videos and photos
  • Optimize for keywords/phrases
  • Encourage customer reviews – the more you have the higher your rank will be

To enhance your free listing give Adwords Express a try. Adwords Express lets you create an online ad campaign attracting more hits to your website and Places page.

With Adwords Express you:

  • Set up a monthly budget for your ad
  • Google will decide what  keywords trigger your ad, based on the categories that you select
  • You pay for the clicks that your ad actually receives.
  • Advertise different categories of your business
  • Promote multiple locations

Learn more by watching this Google video:

Do you, or will you use Google Places, to enhance your online marketing efforts? Share your intentions or experience by leaving a comment!

The QT on QR Codes

Have you seen these strange symbols yet?

QR Code for Preston Creative

Scan This!

Are you wondering what they are? They are Quick Response codes, or QR Codes. No big secret in Asia and Europe, until now, QR Codes have been on the QT in North America.

However, with the proliferation of mobile devices in North America, QR Codes are becoming de rigueur as a marketing tool.

They are a 2 dimensional code scanned by QR Readers. Readers are available on most smart phones now. You can also download from iTunes, or from service providers. Invented by Denso-Wave in 1994, they were originally used to track vehicle parts, but are now used different ways.

QR codes appear in art by the artist, Fabrice de Nola , and there is a comic book designed entirely from QR Codes.

QR Codes in Marketing Promotions

As a marketing tool, they’ve been used in both traditional and online campaigns. They are an interactive tool you can use in print, such as on business cards, newspaper ads, direct mail response campaigns, trade show displays, posters and menus. They can also be used in online campaigns, and placed on websites and emails.

QR code used in newspaper ad

I found this QR Code in the Help Wanted section of a newspaper

Once scanned, your QR Code can lead  your audience to:

Or they can simply be a way to communicate your contact information.

You can capture information by providing:

  • A mobile page with a contest entry form
  • Newsletter sign-up form
  • A survey

You could also look into a service provider that provides the Code and tracking information. Some providers you may want to investigate are:

These companies also supply the QR Readers.

If you want to generate a simple, free QR Code, like mine, you can go to http://createqrcode.appspot.com/

To learn more about QR Codes:

Give QR Codes a try in your next marketing campaign.

What do you think about QR Codes? Share your musings in the comments area.