GeoMarketing 101: What Is Location Management?

How to maintain accurate listings information in a world that has moved way beyond the yellow pages.

From geo-targeting to beacons, location-based technology is opening up a world of possibilities for marketers — but it’s also complicated, as new capabilities and use cases seem to emerge every day.

With the goal of breaking down some of the most important “geo” concepts to provide a better understanding of the basics — and a jumping off point for exploring how far the power of location may take us — we introduce the next installment of our GeoMarketing 101 series: understanding location management.

What Is Location Management?

A business’ digital presence is made up of the places where information about its location exists online. This can include social profiles, store pages, directory listings and more.

So, why the need to “manage” this location information? Well, consumers search online for the location and/or hours of a business when they want to visit it, and businesses have a vested interest in driving these visits in order to boost foot traffic and sales. But if a store’s location information details are incorrect — or inconsistent — across its online presence, it’s likely that the business could lose out on a sale.

For most of the 20th century, a business listed its phone number or address in the yellow pages, and that was that. But with increased fragmentation in the digital age — consumers search on desktop and mobile devices for business information on Google, Yelp, Facebook and more — it’s more challenging to make sure that all listings are accurate and easily accessible.

Location (Mis)information

According to a survey conducted by Yext (full disclosure: Yext is GeoMarketing’s parent company. More details on that relationship here.) 95 percent of respondents reported having found incorrect information about a business they were searching for online.

This is often a (relatively) simple fix for a local business with only one location. Businesses need to make sure that they regularly check and update their social pages, listings, and website information. Posting accurate, simple information and maintaining it is key.

This can become more of a challenge, however, for larger businesses with multiple locations across cities, states, and even countries. At this point, it often makes sense to consider a solution that streamlines and manages this data across platforms.

In any case, brands appear to be paying more attention to the field of location management as mobile “near me” searches continue to grow.

As Vistaprint’s Scott Bowen put it earlier this year, “if businesses aren’t listed [accurately] in a wide variety of locations online, they risk going unnoticed by fast-moving and mobile-first consumers, which ultimately has a major impact on the bottom line. Businesses, and small businesses especially, now operate in an environment where being the first to reach a potential consumer makes a huge difference when it comes to where that customer ultimately chooses to spend his or her money.”