Apple on Monday expanded the reach of its Maps Connect service for small businesses to three more countries, namely Italy, Mexico, and Switzerland.
As Sales & Marketing Manager for the company that supplied map data to the major car nav brands (and web portals) in New Zealand for 8 including Navman, TomTom and many others, we used to get a lot of calls from businesses who weren’t on the map or were in the wrong location.
Many people today use car navigation and mapping applications to locate pretty much anything from petrol to shops, tourist attractions, public toilets and rest areas, to name a few. There are literally hundreds of categories and being on them is extremely valuable to a business in this world of ubiquitous smartphone usage.
The problem until recently was that unconnected systems like Portable Navigation Devices (PND’s) had to come out of your car, get connected to a PC and updated, typically a maximum of 4 times a year and frequently less, not counting the likelihood that people do it even when they can. With many brands it is not as easy as it sounds.
I still have problems with my current TomTom because my computer is set up for my previous model and I can’t seem to change it to the newer one (which is now 2 years old).
With global brands of mobile map apps starting to make it much easier (as explained in the attached article), companies can go online, verify that they are the rightful owner of the business or location they are sharing information about, add or edit the data. As soon as it is verified and the database is recompiled, application users can start finding those businesses and services.
If you are in business, I strongly urge you to make sure you can be found on the major map data bases, whether you are an alligator hatchery in Louisiana or a petrol station in Madison Tennessee. if you don’t know how to do that, ask your children or your friendly geek. There might be a business opportunity for school children to charge a nominal donation for this service.
Having done a few straw polls, ubiquitous the smartphone and tablet devices may be, but that doesn’t mean that the average business person knows how to do these things. Many of my geek friends have been very surprised to find out that outside of their immediate techie circles, most people have no idea what they are talking about. That’s the real challenge here. Baby boomers in business when they say they are not interested in today’s technology often mean they don’t get it. One of the things those people also may not be getting is willing customers who don’t know they are there when they are open to buy.