The idea of “right-place, right-time" placement is a dream of marketers everywhere. Finding and actually taking advantage of these marketing opportunities can be difficult, especially on “high consideration" products and services. And then came the Internet. Consumers are constantly searching for information on the Internet (almost 450 million queries daily). While many Internet searches are recreational, around 70 percent of consumers will research products and services on the Internet in a given year. A majority of these consumer will then purchase the product or service locally. For that reason, local Internet marketing has taken off in leaps and bounds.
Local Internet marketing works like this:
An Internet-savvy family from Middletown, USA needs a new television. They visit a web search engine to research the models. Typing “Sony" on Google or Yahoo! yields typical results, displaying a link to Sony’s website with other “less useful" search engine listings. However, there’s something more going on here.
Even without entering their location, the top and right sides of this results page display ads for Sony showrooms in Middletown. One click to the local company’s website can let the potential customer see current stock and a special Internet sale for Sony buyers. The local merchant has been presented as both a solution for the information and a local contact for the purchase, and the loop is closed.
Some of the programs being offered for local Internet marketing in major search engines are Google Adwords, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Verizon Superpages cost-per-click. Each wants to become the consumer’s next choice for local Internet searches. These large ad networks claim to cover 70 to 80 percent of the Internet with their pages and “partner sites. "
A benefit to the advertiser is the cost-per-click pricing model. The ads are free until someone clicks, at which time a small fee is charged and the visitor is sent to the advertiser’s Web site.
There are no long-term commitments for cost-per-click, and advertisers can change or stop ads at any time. They can create predefined budgets for the day or month and fraud-proofing mechanisms prevent competitors from rapid-fire clicking. Markets can be limited to single or multiple cities, states, languages and countries.
Local Internet marketing works for consumers because it makes it easier for them to find the products or services that they are looking for in their area. It is a win-win situation for everyone involved!
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