A study from ConstantContact last year found that 1 in 2 small businesses failed to ever update their online listings, and that an equal share have seen inaccurate listings for their businesses online. Now, new research from Placeable reveals the extent of the damage inaccurate listings can have on a brand: some 73% of consumers surveyed said they lose trust in a brand when the online listing shows incorrect information.
The importance of online search to local businesses is also brought to light when considering that 56% of respondents use search engines to locate nearby retailers, such as home furnishings stores. Some 71% share research and confirm location information before leaving (as opposed to getting the details on their smartphone while on the way, or driving to the area and hoping for the best), and about 2 in 3 claimed that they would lose trust in a brand if they got lost walking or driving to a location because of an incorrect address listing.
Meanwhile, while inaccurate listings pose a potential problem for brands, online search also provides them with an opportunity to steal customers from competitors. In fact, when asked how they would respond to seeing special offers from competitors while searching for a business, 61% of respondents indicated that they would go to the competitor business. Obviously, this could be viewed as a problem, rather than an opportunity.
The research also suggests that special offers appeal to consumers: almost 3 in 4 said they like getting seasonal offers from local businesses, while 55% consider it helpful when ads and offers are personalized to their needs and interests.
Finally, the study shows potential customers are also more likely to use their smartphones to look for location information on their way to a business, rather to research before leaving. Perhaps their more rapid adoption of mobile habits explains the rapid growth in mobile local search ad spend recently forecast by BIA/Kelsey.
One of the conflicting findings is that there are differences between marketers and consumers. And it is not the first report to find these differences. Last year, a study from Adobe found marketers to be significantly more favorable to online advertising than consumers. Simply put, many marketers are running way behind the real habits of consumers. Consumers prefer mobile…not just online sourcing.
Mobile can drive attributable actions. That’s called engagement. That’s called pre-selling. That’s called making a sale. That’s called post-sale follow up. That is the power of the hand held device that is with you right now as you are reading this. This is not just a smaller computer. This is not a second screen. This is a new class of device that is driving a new form of engagement.
With more and more people using their smartphones to go online, look at their social media and read their mail, it is an absolute that your integrated marketing core must be mobile friendly.
Mobile today in the world of integrated marketing, mobile is absolutely important. It will be the most important aspect of your marketing strategy this year. That is why we say, MOBILENow!