July 22

The Weekly Briefing: Marketing Brick and Mortar Locations? The Landscape Continues to Change

Account Manager Michelle Conway discussed the rollout of customer visit duration for local businesses…
Google debuted peak business hours within their knowledge graph results in fall of 2015, and now it seems they’ve taken things a step further. According to an article posted on Search Engine Land, Google Maps is now displaying an estimated visit duration, whether it’s a single value (45 minutes), or a range of time (between 15 and 30 minutes). While this feature can be extremely useful for the planners of the world, it begs the question: how can businesses take advantage of this data? From promoting shorter wait times to prompting engagement tactics to keep people in store, the possibilities could be endless – we’ll just have to wait and see.

Copywriter Andrew Vanderiet explored Google’s crowdsourcing of local business attributes…
Looking for a handicap-accessible service provider, shop, or restaurant? Or maybe the existence of a parking lot is a must. This type of business attribute is crucial to influencing buyers in their “micro-moments” of need, and Google is asking users to provide it. Now, when a visitor checks in on Google Maps, the app asks for information regarding the business, including prompts like “Does this place offer takeout?” and “Is there a wheelchair accessible entrance?” These tidbits of business info may not seem like the end-all be-all, but for some potential customers, they just might be the tipping point that brings them in or enforces their decision to shop elsewhere.

You might be concerned that customers aren’t taking that final step and sharing this information with Google when they visit your location, but with the release of version 3.0 of the Google My Business API, you have nothing to fear. This update gives businesses the ability to manage these attributes on their own – something that most businesses cannot afford to miss.

Account Manager Olivia Allen looked deeper into Beacon technology…
Look out world, the beacons are coming, and a Search Engine Journal article insists that by 2020 they will take over the search marketing scene. Okay, maybe “take-over” is a bit extreme, but beacon technology is predicted to massively impact the digital marketing landscape by then.

Beacons are compact, Bluetooth-enabled devices that cost around $30 a pop. This hardware can be installed in a business or other setting to send notifications to those who “opt-in,” providing specific messages to those who come within a specific locational range. The applications for this technology are limitless, but in the context of a business, beacons can be set up to send a specific advertisement or discount whenever a potential customer walks within 20-ft. of their storefront.