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BizReport : Advertising archives : September 29, 2015

Do SMBs need more location in their data?

Small businesses aren't just competing with other small businesses. They are competing against both regional, national and international brands in the online space. Here's how data can help.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Does location data give local/smaller businesses a leg-up on giants like Amazon or Google?

Vikas Gupta, VP of Marketing, Factual: Location data has the promise to give local, smaller businesses a leg up on giants. The reason I'm caveating it with the word promise is because historically, even today, generally speaking, the most sophisticated uses of location data are the domain of companies like Amazon and Google, primarily because they have had access to data, access to the talent and other data capabilities needed to take advantage of the data that has been unmatched by smaller businesses.
[Smaller] companies compete on a local level much more strongly against companies like Amazon and Google. As with anything that's heavily experiential, local businesses have an advantage in that they have a very personal relationship with their customers through the store interaction. If it's a restaurant, or a café, a bar, or a boutique shop, owners have insight into who their regulars are. They know who their loyal customers are and their preferences. Increasingly though, everyone is expecting not only a good in-store experience but also an excellent digital, mobile experience.
The mobile experience is harder for local or smaller business and that's where companies like Factual come into play. We help enable a positive mobile experience, allowing small companies to create digital experiences that get close enough to or exceed that of Amazon and Google. Customers then have not only an excellent in-store experience but also an excellent out-of-store experience. When you combine the two, you can have something that is much more powerful than what is purely a digital experience.

Kristina: Both Facebook and Apple have integrated Factual Global Places data to their platforms, what advantage does this data offer?

Vikas: With Factual's Global Places Data, we are helping Apple and Facebook shape the mobile experience for the hundreds of millions of mobile users, enriching and improving the quality of their data.

This data will be used across many features in Facebook including Facebook Business Pages, places search, Check-ins and Place Tips, and for Apple with Apple Maps.

Local business and other points of interest are always changing - maybe moving locations, updating their phone number, adjusting store hours, closing or opening. This is a very live data set. When it comes to products like local search or mapping/navigation, having the most updated and accurate data set is a requisite to having an excellent consumer experience. The last thing you want to do, in a navigation use case, is send someone to the wrong place. Or the last thing you want to do in a search use case is tell someone that something exists when it doesn't actually exist or has closed down.

Facebook and Apple get access to Factual's data, which is constantly being kept up to date and refreshed, so that it most accurately reflects the real world.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: Factual, local marketing, location data, SMB tips, SMB trends

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