At least once per week, I just over and visit Google Maps Mania to see what the latest map mashups they have posted. Some of them are very interesting and really demonstrate how you can integrate maps and content together. One post that was intriguing was the launch of the LATimes Homicide Report, posted by Mike Pegg.
You can see the actual Homicide Map at the LATimes web site however some of the features include:
* Filter by victim’s race, gender, cause of death, and other parameters
* Find homicides near an address and/or ZIP code
* View photos of victims and link to Leovy’s reports
* RSS feeds or Google Earth viewing
Now, before you start thinking that I like to view “morbid” content online, I will tell you why I am posting specifically about this site. If you disregard the content, ie) the homicides, and simply appreciate the mashup for the simplicity of the design and the ability, as a user to very easily “drill-down” and filter the content – you may agree with me that this is a very well done mashup.
This is a great example of a traditional media outlet who has combined their content with a user focused interface. I give full credit to the design team and I think this mashup has lots of lessons that can learned by other traditional media about how to combine content and user interface.
Here’s a thought for traditional media – what if you take this concept and bring local news, community events, etc. in the same presentation? I may want to view my news at a global, national, regional, city or local view – could my local news content be plotted on a map? Could it contain a method to drill-down and filter the content using the same approach?
Today on the Google Blog – they have announced the release of Google Print which is intergated into your Adwords accounts.
From their blog:
“Even with the growth of online news sites, Americans still read newspapers. Over the course of a typical week, nearly 3 out of 4 adults (115 million) in the top 50 markets read a copy of a daily or Sunday newspaper.* That’s why thousands of businesses use print advertising every day to reach a local audience, and why we’ve announced that we’re extending Google AdWords to newspapers for most U.S. advertisers.”
The newspapers in the program include The New York Times (NYT), Washington Post (WPO), Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Seattle Times and San Jose Mercury News. The list of advertisers using the program includes NetFlix (NFLX), 1-800-FLOWERS (FLWS), Blue Nile (NILE), eBags, Mrs. Fields and LendingTree.
If you want to see more about this particular service – you can visit the Google Print Ads Site. If you happen to publish a daily newspaper and want to get in on the action, take at look at Adsense for Newspapers.
The next question is whether any of the Canadian newspaper publishers will push Google to open this program up in the Canadian market? Personally I think this is both a win for the publisher and the advertiser. Many small businesses in the US now have the opportunity to test newspaper advertising in a controlled and measurable fashion. Time will tell exactly how this impacts the newspaper industry in the US, but I sure the “net” will be positive.
Here is excert from the The Power of Newspapers page – Google’s Highlights of the value:
1) Newspapers give advertisers significant local reach. They are the voice of their community.
2) Newspapers help advertisers reach an attractive demographic
3) Newspapers are a key resource for shopping information that drives consumers to make purchases – online and offline
4) Newspapers are relevant throughout the purchase cycle
The except below is from our friends at MarketingVox – The Voice of Online Marketing. See original post.
Online buyers in Canada are taking full advantage of the Web, scouring customer reviews and community sites for help making educated purchasing decisions, according to a new study by JC Williams Group (via Globe and Mail).
Around 38 percent of Canadian online buyers comparison shop, an increase of four percent from last year. Shoppers also trust peer reviews more than any other source: 60 percent called reviews by other customers their most trust source, while newspapers or magazines garnered only 31 percent of shopper confidence.
The report, which was sponsored by Visa and Yahoo Canada, suggests brands prefer to conduct their advertising on community sites.
Right now the fastest growing media site in Canada is facebook, currently with 3M registered users.
Some top comparison sites in Canada include Shop To It, Price Canada and Price Grabber to name a few. For a complete list – please refer to Linda Bustos’s Post called – Canadian Comparison Shopping Roundup – this will give you the 411 on the comparison shopping in Canada. If you are still interested in learning more about Comparison Shopping in General – check out the Comparison Shopping Engine Strategies blog written by Scot Wingo the CEO of ChannelAdvisor.com.
More businesses in Canada need to get their product inventories online. I think there is a great opportunity for businesses to drive more sales using comparison engines (most of which will take your inventory for free) as another means of marketing. Even if you don’t sell the products online, having your inventory available online is critical. However, the main key is to do it right, meaning, don’t just slap up products you would like to carry or have access to it a catalogue – make sure that what you list is available in your store. If it is not available, remove it.
Would you ever tell a prospective customer over the phone that you had a product in stock, when you don’t? You would have one irate customer on your hands if they drove down to your store and realized that you lied to them on the phone. The same rule applies on the web – promote what you have and remove it when you don’t. If you are interested in a tool that allows you to get your inventory online – check our DriveIt.
Do you have other solutions that can help get inventory online for Canadian businesses? If so, please let them in the comments section – thanks.