“David we already have a website, Isn’t that enough to give us online visibility? “. The answer is No. Your website will give me relevant information about your services, your products, perhaps enable me do some transactions, give me your contacts or enable me contact you, but there’s one more layer of information that’s missing – a visual display of your location in the physical world. Maps are visual which means they represent a lot more information that can instantly be interpreted by our brains within a split of a second – giving credence to the notion that a picture is worth a thousand words. Adding your company to Google maps makes it easy for your clients to find you from their computers and even mobile phones.
Last week, I had an appointment at TrueAfrican which is located along Jinja Rd on Spear House 3rd floor. If you’re familiar with Kampala, I am sure your must be ranting “who doesn’t know Spear House on Jinja Rd? “. I didn’t or at least wasn’t sure of the exact building! So while on Jinja Rd, I pulled out my droid, fired up the maps app and typed TrueAfrican in the search box. Thankfully, Trueafrican was on the map and the app pointed me to the exact spot. Since I was walking, I tapped on get walking directions from my current location (which the app could automatically get using my phone GPS ) to my final destination – TrueAfrican. Maps presented me with the walking directions and of course warned me to ” use with caution ” so that I don’t get knocked or knock someone. I finally reached my destination comfortably.
This is one case scenario where businesses on Maps can be extremely important. Maps are used in navigation systems, search engines, directories, they integrate with calendar, email clients and a lot of other applications. If you have an event or appointment with a client, you can easily add the location of your business In an event invite or appointment schedule.
Banks for instance can add the location of their ATMs on Google Maps so that when a user searches for the nearest ATM from their current location, they can easily find one. That in itself adds value to the customers. Obviously as I write, Stanbic bank which is my current bank has no such thing and this goes for other banks too but that
The idea of mapping physical objects on a virtual or digital world opens up a new way that we can easily find information about businesses, services and communities we live in. It paves way to new innovations – what the tech industry calls location based services which is a big win-win situation for consumers as they get to find the information they want and businesses as they get found by consumers and service providers – the innovators who create this sort of service.
So go now to Google maps and add the location of your business if you’ve not done that already.