'Google Offers' wants in on local marketing

April 30, 2011Uncategorized

Let’s face it, now that we all have smartphones, the first thing that the majority of us do in the morning after switching off our alarm (and checking how well we slept on sleep app – instead of just knowing) is open up our inbox.

I’m not quite sure when this happened, or how, but I swear that just a year ago the majority of my emails were work-based rants, things I’d forgotten to unsubscribe to and a few facebook comments…

Yet recently, maybe in the past six months or so, my attention at 6am in the morning is taken away from facebook chatter and my growing workload and drawn to how much money I can save at my local Indian… or on my next haircut… or on some perfume… or a spray tan… or even car maintenance (not that that one gets much attention)

I cannot count how many times I’ve opened one eye to blurrily read my emails, then rolled over and let the words ‘75% off!!!!’ be the first thing to come screaming out of my mouth.

This is proof of how I, like many, am an absolute sucker for local marketing. If it’s cheap and up my street (in more ways than one) then I’ll buy it. Why not? If it’s something I’m likely to do anyway, then it’s a saving, right?

And there’s no denying that business-wise it’s a method that clearly works…

Back in June 2010 I took a trip to the new offices of Jump On It – a start-up based in St Leonards, with more empty offices than people and the serious need for a few more computers. They had huge plans for locally based daily offers and a massive social following under the guise of ‘I heart Sydney’ on facebook. Now, just under a year later they turned this local social following into a very profitable business model, waved bye-bye to the St Leonards shack, moved to Sydney’s CBD and are recruiting people by the truck load.

Of course, Jump On It still live in the shadow of companies like Groupon, who have a global local-offers reach. Groupon of course, are now in virtually every city and have even dominated parts of the Middle East.

OK, so the concept is working. But what next? Well, Google want a piece of the action, naturally. And they plan on doing what they do best – things bigger and better.

Google may have taken their time to launch ‘Google Offers’ but have clearly been studying the model very carefully. This of course has resulted in Google going one level deeper – Google Offers is taking a hyper-local approach to local deals – meaning offers based on your suburb rather than your city… and who knows… the technology is there for this hyper-local marketing to be movement-orientated based on your smartphone’s GPS. A scary thought but I would love to know where’s cheap for lunch right now…

If Google’s domination of local marketing through Google Places is anything to go by, then companies such as Groupon and LivingSocial will have to watch out. Local marketing is about to get competitive.

For me however, this just means I have one more email to read in the morning… however, it’s very likely that only the best subject line will get my attention and those that don’t carry consistently good offers will soon be overlooked completely.

Which reminds me, I just received 75% off Bonds….!!!! 75%!!!!!!