Twenty years ago if you opened a local business – advertising was a simple. Get your phone line turned-on, meet with a Yellow Pages Sales Rep. and you were soon enjoying a steady flow of new local customers!
Fast-forward to 2015: technological advancements, product innovation and market fragmentation have made “local-search” marketing more challenging. Mobile (smartphone) local searches have now surpassed desktop searches.
In addition to traditional media, business owners now need to connect with their communities through a variety of digital media – including social media, review sites, search engines, directories, local listings, display ads, email, mobile, and content marketing.
From a marketing perspective, a mobile-optimized website is the new phone line – and digital media is the new yellow pages. I suppose website analytics could be the new Sales Rep. as they provide the guidance and transparency to make critical marketing decisions.
I thought it would be fun to create a time-line representing the history of local-search marketing, below. It was hard to include everything, especially from 2000 – current, but I think I’ve hit on the major milestones.
Feel free to download, share and comment!