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6 Technology Trends That Will Change How You Work in 2010

Max Klausner | SmallBizLink

January 14, 2010

Google Goes Local

In a quest to dominate the local advertising market Google is sending window decals to more than 100,000 U.S. businesses that they’ve identified as the most sought-after on Google and Google Maps. Much like the Yelp stickers these decals will appear in store windows and highlight the business’ status as a “Google Favorite Place.”

The decals also include QR codes (fancy bar codes) that you can scan with your mobile device to pull up the locale’s “place page” and get reviews and potentially deals and discounts. A “places page” is essentially an online profile for the business which includes the contact information, pictures, maps, and perhaps most important to Google’s strategy, reviews. Customer reviews and community are so important to Google’s strategy that they tried to acquire Yelp in a deal that recently fell through.

The Big Deal:
The real world and the web are becoming seamlessly merged. This means:

  • Join or Die: An online presence will be essential to even the smallest mom and pop shop. Get yourself on the map (literally) for free.

  • Transparency: Just by walking up to your business and sticking out their phone, a customer will be able to tap into the collective customer experience and make an educated decision about whether to do business with you. This amplifies the need for outstanding customer service.

  • Your customers are your billboards: The importance of your customer reviews and feedback will become crucial to your marketing efforts. Encourage loyal customers who have been promoting your business through word of mouth to move their efforts online.

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