How Do Big Brands Use Local Listings To Control The Hearts And Minds Of Customers?

You’ve all seen Minority Report with that scientologist Tom Cruise – bit of a creepy flick.

Remember the scene where Tom is walking through the airport and the adverts on the walls are scanning his retinas and speaking directly to him, “Hey Tom, how ya doing? Mate, you look like you could use a flat white, check the coffee shop right round the corner”

Paraphrasing, obviously, but you get the point.

The thing is, we are getting closer and closer to this or some version of this, every day.

Internet marketing companies who deal online are always chasing leading-edge tech – at least if they’re actually keen on adding value for their customers.

This is one of those moments when we’re on the cusp of something very big.

First off, Facebook is beta testing Face Deals which uses facial recognition cameras that they mail out to businesses to position at their store fronts. These cameras scan a customer’s face and cross the info with the customer’s Facebook profile and—PING–Facebook sends out a ‘deal’ to the customer’s smart phone – a discount, a free drink, something. This is totally real-time, contextual local marketing using extremely high-level technology.

So, your local SEO service provider has to stay on the cusp, or go the way of the dinosaurs real quick.

As for how local listings are being used, take Google Places and Yelp. Google Now for Android, and Siri for iPhone are using these local listings to give you what you want before you even know you want it.

If you allow it, your smart phone will track your every move and begin to identify patterns in your behaviour. Businesses that have been set up on local listings benefit because, as you’re on the go, you phone knows where you are geographically in relation to these businesses but it begins to know where you ‘are at’ in the context of your habits – where you get gas, coffee, have lunch, etc. Between the local listings and your phone, your wants and needs are served up to you on a silver platter.

If your site is search engine optimised and you’re getting traffic to it, that’s great, it’s what you want.

However, if you have a physical location, otherwise known as a local business, you MUST (I’m shouting right now) get in front of this new local SEO marketing trend. The components are there, just get set up (properly) on all the relevant local directories in your area – there should be 20+. Ensure that your information is up to date and that you have a steady stream of happy loyal customers who post reviews. They should be instructed to write these reviews in the context of your location, FYI – it helps.

Now, Google Now and Siri are new and there are glitches, but these things are not just for geeks, they are clearly beneficial for the average man. Google Now will suggest alternate routes based on real-time traffic info, it knows what trains are coming next, it knows what restaurants are in the area, when you’re in the restaurant it knows what the best dishes are, based on the reviews posted online! It will know if you’re a sports fan and keep you updated with the scores if something exciting is happening.

No retina scanning yet, but we are, for good or ill, headed in this direction. So get in gear and make sure your business profile and geographical information is anywhere and everywhere it needs to be online because local search engine promotion is fast becoming a total game-changer.

If you’re not yet set up in local listings, feel free to Contact The SEO Company to learn how. 

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