Google began a promotion to get local businesses, along with Austin visitors and residents, on board with the search giant's local and mobile services ahead of SXSW interactive conference next month. According to Google spokesperson Deanna Yick, will educate local businesses on the free ways that they can take advantage of ratings and reviews on Google Places and Hotpot, but paid service Boost will also be mentioned.
Why Austin? ;Our national recognition as a tech-savvy hub for business development means the city is a natural fit for Google's initiatives. Google Places Business Kits will be introduced toAustin Chamber's network of business leaders in central Texas. These kits include a sampler of marketing materials that can help businesses get more exposure, get them reviewed online, and get more customers through their door," stated Google.
As part of the promotion, Google representatives will be meeting with local businesses to talk up the benefits of promoting their goods and services through Places. The company will offer businesses a customizable starter kit that can include everything from a window sticker to coffee stirrers, fortune cookies, and coffee sleeves. The hope is that local merchants will display and distribute the items, thereby encouraging customers to rate and review the business on Hotpot.
Upon request, Google will co-brand the items with the local business' logo free of charge. The window stickers say "Recommended on Google" and will be enabled with near-field communications (NFC) techology, which allows some smartphone users to get information about the business by touching their phones to the sticker.
[tags]local businesses,geo advertising,austin,sxsw,online marketing,local marketing,nfr,mobile services,mobile marketing,mobile advertising[/tags]