Local Search

Geo-Marketing As A New Business Marketing Tool

clip image001 0026 Geo Marketing As A New Business Marketing ToolGeo-Marketing (or Geographic Marketing) is a new method of marketing a business and its website through web searches, mobile searches and social media.  As you can see, the geo-marketing tools being used are digital and through the Internet or Mobile devices.

While geo-marketing’s definition is the association of data and maps in the traditional sense, the added convergence of local business listings, mobile marketing, and social media makes this method of marketing more powerful than ever before.  This marketing tool is no longer just a large business marketing tool, but is available to small and medium size businesses too.

We should define what we mean by local business.  A local business is any sized business dependent on the local consumer for its revenue.  This means you could be a national company like Home Depot, U-Haul, or Best Buy or you could be a local florist or independent store only known to your local geography.

From a technical standpoint an Internet users IP address is tied to GPS data, like longitudes and latitudes, which are mapped with technology to geographies around the world down to the city and street level.  While all this data may seem overwhelming, the good news is that most businesses do not need to concern themselves with this part of geo-marketing. Many of the tools already have all of this information built into their software or hardware technology so we can stay focused on how we will use geo-marketing tools.

The difficulty with any new marketing tool is a business’s inability to adopt the methodology early.  When it comes to technologies and the Internet, in the past, by the time most businesses are ready to adopt a marketing tool, the industry has already moved on to something new.  Being an early or at least an earlier adopter of marketing methods on the Internet and through digital devices can only benefit the business.

We have seen many signs over the past two years regarding the evolution of geographic marketing.  When companies like Google, Apple, and the investment community of Wall Street start to put $100+ million and more behind a technology it will become part of our daily lives whether a business wants it or not.  Consumers have and will be using more of these geo-marketing tools to find a business, service or products near them.

Let’s take a look at the three main tools that consumers are using to find a business, products or services close their geography.

  1. Web searches are the first and most obvious, however, these are web searches in which a map displays with targets of businesses that match the search criteria.  Unlike the traditional yellow pages, these geo-listings (a.k.a. Local Business Listings) can be claimed and updated with your business marketing information in order to meet these search criteria.
    While this may sound relatively easy, geo-listings also include consumer reviews that need to be managed, the clean-up of duplicate listings, coupons, offers, discounts, offers, video, photos, citations, QR bar codes and hyper local websites.  Understanding what to start with and how to strategically use these components can be done by a professional marketing firm that specializes in this area.  You can read more about these components in one of our previous articles on local business marketing.
  2. Mobile Marketing is the next most significant geo-marketing tool in which SMS Texting, Mobile Applications, Mobile version of your website, and Mobile advertising are your key components.  The starting point in this process will be with SMS Texting to get your alerts out to customers that subscribe to your short bursts of information.  The reason why this is your starting point is that it will take time to build your list of subscribers.
  3. Social Media Marketing continues to evolve and is, also, geographic in its targeting ability.  Consumers are using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Wiki sites, Four Square, Instant Messaging and other social community tools on their mobile devices.  While they use it mostly to find business, products and services, in the social communities they are seeking recommendations from their friends (near and far).  They are, also, using these social communities to post their experiences with a business, product or service.  For this reason you have to monitor the social communities in order to embrace any potential problem situations and work with them.

These three geo-marketing components are important to any business size – large or small – and each have their own sub-components that need to be well understood in order to succeed. Understanding the strategy amongst them; the acceptance and embracing them early; and, finally planning on a 3-year return will put you on the right path of geo-marketing.

 Geo Marketing As A New Business Marketing Tool
Melih (“may-lee”) Oztalay is a veteran of the Internet with over 20 years experience and expertise. He is the CEO of SmartFinds Internet Marketing located in Birmingham, Michigan, providing Internet marketing solutions and services to businesses. The agency’s recent focus on Geographic Marketing solutions for multi-location business to reach local consumers through web and mobile searches. Some of SmartFinds' clients include ComForcare Home Care, Proforma, Ziebart Inernational, Kaydon, Soave Enterprises, Delphi, Guardian Industries, McCann Erickson, Wendy's and more.
 Geo Marketing As A New Business Marketing Tool

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20 thoughts on “Geo-Marketing As A New Business Marketing Tool

  1. That's a very good article, Melih. It's interesting to see how much the importance of geo-marketing is going to increase in the future, after all, we do now live in the “Global Village”. I agree that it's important to get ahead of the game and quickly gain mastery of the tools before competitors catch up.

    1. the notion of a 'world wide web' is really questionable – with the internet advancing and content being available online, it's users are advancing too. we've done once a research – and the majority of respondents said they would prefer content in their own language – the times where English has to fit all are certainly over with more sophisticated and demanding internet users. therefore – localisation and geo-marketing are absolutely crucial to stand out in the wealth of content available!

  2. It is worth adding that geo-targetting is very important in travel and tourism business. We've been implementing geo-tagged reviews of hotels and travel destinations in all kind of software solutions.

  3. I'm hearing lots about Geo-Tagging being the next big thing, and it seems like a logical step. As more businesses catering to a local audience start embracing online marketing, it's natural that they'll embrace more localised marketing techniques.

  4. I see Geo-targeting as a revolutionary technology because finding the data about where a user/visitor dwells and make use of that information to increase sales is awesome and its just like you are using the great chance of targeted visitors to your website on the needs of certain demographic groups!!

  5. Thanks for posting! I can therefore say that one of the many benefits that mobile marketing works well for is the simple fact that it is personal in nature. Consider the fact that instead of advertising on a huge billboard and hoping that those that drive by will see it, you are giving personal attention to the individual.

  6. Geographically targeting the business is a great idea to simply eliminate or reduce the competition to great extent. It makes the business too focused to a region and thats a healthy sign towards quicker success !

  7. Mobile marketing doesn't really nee to start with SMS messages…companies such as foursquare and the mobile web adds a whole new dimension to geo mobile markting.

  8. Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for the kind words and appreciate all the comments. Feel free to read my other articles that are focused on Geo-Marketing and Geo-Listings (or Local Business Listings). Mobile Marketing and Geo-Social Marketing will be coming soon. Our business has seen quite a significant increase in activity around Geo-Marketing. We believe this trend will continue over the next three years.

  9. Geo-marketing is the best tool in todays scenario and for the future. I am also using social media and mobile-marketing for my business, and getting good results. I see it as a revolutionary technology for the business point-of-view.

  10. Depends how you use GEO Marketing, Many business houses still do not have Local Listings in google…

    Great article, like local business listings with maps, offers, coupons (Many sites offer coupons), SMS on mobile etc can be used up to large extent, but i do not see that small business as well as big business establishments are much aware about the benefits of these….

  11. I work with nonprofits and will use this great article as a basis for advice to them in my blog this week. Of course credit will go to Hubspot for emailing me and to the author Melih @smartfinds.
    Thanks, Jeanne

  12. We have been looking into all factors of geo-social media. I think with the new google sidebar this becomes crucial.
    Thank you

  13. As we live in a Global Environment then the Geo-Marketing technology as a business marketing tool can only be beneficial.

  14. Hey Melih,

    This post is very very interesting. Geo Marketing is a great tool. I'll be back and looking forward for some posts. Thanks!

    -Michael Henry

  15. Hey Melih,

    This post is very very interesting. Geo Marketing is a great tool. I'll be back and looking forward for some posts. Thanks!

    -Michael Henry