In the era of “near me” and “micro moments,” immediacy and context were what customers demanded of brands. But customers are getting smarter, and they now also require smarter ways of navigation to places of interest, and all this rests on location data (often crawled real-time or crowdsourced). Below are three ways maps technologies are getting smarter and how brands must follow suit.
Google announced this week that its Map Maker tool will be retired in March 2017. Map Maker, which was released in 2008, has served as a crowdsourced tool for updating listings data on Google Maps and Google Earth. Up until now, anyone has been able to add or update information such as business listings, NAP data, roads, and naturalistic features such as parks and beaches using Map Maker. Changes are currently verified by Google, and then updated accordingly.
When Apple Maps launched back in September, 2012 with the release of iOS 6, it was considered inferior to Google Maps by many users. Over the following years, Apple Maps has struggled to catch up to Google, but with the release of iOS 10, it seems like Apple Maps is reaching a point where it is worthy of competing with Google Maps. While Google may still hold users’ favor, Apple has recently made some significant changes to its UI and functionality that are worth considering. Here are three Apple Maps upgrades that could make it the go-to for iOS users and make it an essential to your location data distribution strategy.
Within the past month, Google and Apple have both hosted annual events to announce upgrades to existing products and showcase some exciting next generation technologies. These technological innovations aim to enhance the customer experience through several user and location data-centric capabilities like voice-search and navigation. For advertisers, these are competitive areas in which we must take advantage.
One of the most consistent digital marketing trends today is the growth of large search engines and mobile providers finding ways to garner the attention and loyalty of connected customers. With the end-all-be-all of Mobile, Apple and Google in particular have pulled their weight to divide users between searching through apps and mobile browsers(respectively), and even more recently---through maps. The creative approach that both of these maps providers are taking is digging up valuable data for users like never before. And for brands, that means that the need for accurate and consistent location data just got even more important.
Google Plus is not dead after all. Marketers were taken aback when Google rolled out a more refreshed and simplified version Google Plus late last month. Now that the dust has settled on the specific results of this change, we can see that several features have either been removed or hidden. For businesses, this update means that actionable information like reviews, business categories and store hours have been removed from Google Plus local pages.
Topics: Google Maps
One pain point that mobile consumers often face is the failure of mapping apps to guide them when they have bad or no internet connection. While in this micro moment of reaching a destination with a spotty reception, neither Google Maps nor Apple Maps have been able search, index and successfully route users. But as of yesterday, users are able to search and navigate on the Google Maps app without an internet connection. This update, previously demoed this spring at Google I/O, shows how offline search could potentially make or break your brand perception.
Topics: Google Maps
For retailers, bridging the gap between online and offline is more possible now than in years past. Consumers are actively looking for ways to interact with brands, and location services are enabling brands to forge those connections with beaconing and hyperlocal ad targeting. And now that brands have started targeting consumers to their stores with beaconing, they must harness the same location services to map out their physical store locations.Google just started rolling this out, and it’s only a matter of time until Apple does the same.