OK, folks repeat after me: Local Internet marketing is really, really important! Very good. We know that but it’s often hard to get the message across to the SMB’s of the world who are busy trying to make money every day.
This past week it became much more apparent that if there is any local element to your business (and most have one) then your data about your business will be more critical than ever as Facebook opens its Deals play to go along with its Places offering.
The idea behind Facebook Deals (which is only available to iPhone users currently) is that when you check in using Facebook Places the local merchant can provide special deals for you. One of the first big adopters will be the Gap who are giving away 10,000 pairs of Gap jeans for those who check in and take the deal.
Once you accept that deal it can then be pushed out to your friends who are interested in that kind of stuff as well. This is going to be tough to beat because of the nature of the way the deal gets to people. In the case of Groupon or Living Social you simply have to like whatever deals are pushed to you at whatever location anywhere in the geography you are receiving those deals in. Lots of times they are either too far away or just not of interest. For instance, as a guy I can only get so may offers for a spa treatment of a manicure or pedicure. As a husband, sure it’s nice to give that to my wife but what about me ;-)?
Facebook these deals will be on the spot and relate directly to the experience you are having rather than trying to create an experience from scratch. It will also eliminate the issue of Groupon deals being offered at places that have had bad reputations in the past and trying to just get unknowing folks in the door or those on the verge of going out of business.
So what does this have to do with your business data in a place like a Google Place page? Everything. While you may find yourself in front of a place that has a Facebook Deal going it is likely that you got there by using Google search and even that Place Page. So let’s connect the dots here. What if Google used their Place Pages to do their own deals? Now you see where this may be heading?
So the end game here is that you need to have your business data in order across the board or you may be losing out on an audience that is currently small but growing and highly influential.
Get in front of this curve by making sure you have stabilized your business data across the Internet as soon as possible. If you don’t, you can’t say we didn’t tell you so.