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Tim Peter Thinks

Tim Peter

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July 19, 2013

Local Search is More than Meets the Eye

July 19, 2013 | By | No Comments

20130719-162343.jpgWhen is local not local? It’s not meant as a riddle, but instead as a thought-starter, something to get you thinking about what local really means for your customers.

Oh, and for your brand.

Because, as I write in my latest piece for Mike Moran’s Biznology blog, “Why Local Search is Just Like Politics,” local is about more than just geography (or, more correctly, proximity).

It’s also about those things your customers think about when they really need an answer, when they’re really in the market, when they’re ready to buy. Because local is more than just geography. It’s more than just proximity.

In the immortal words from Jaws: The Revenge, “This time, it’s personal.”

Local search, largely driven by mobile and the “always connected” nature of your customers, is all about personal response.

And my Biznology post explores how you can use that to your advantage in more detail. Check it out if you get the chance.

Interested in learning more about e-commerce and digital marketing? Register to receive a free copy of my new special report, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World,” produced in conjunction with Vizergy, here. While it’s targeted to the hospitality industry specifically, most of the lessons apply across verticals. And, if that’s not enough, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of strategy, digital marketing, and e-commerce, including:

Tim Peter

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June 26, 2013

FTC Will Review Google's Pending Waze Acquisition

June 26, 2013 | By | No Comments

Google maps flight search smallA couple of weeks ago, the news broke that Google was buying social-mapping service Waze, which I also talked about at length in the weekly podcast.

Well, not so fast…

According to AllThingsD, the FTC plans to investigate whether the deal violates antitrust. Money quote:

“Google Maps is a leading mapping and navigation service. Waze was a rising rival. In fact, back in April, Waze CEO Noam Bardin was talking up his company as the search behemoth’s only viable competitor in that space.”

I may owe John Pope an apology

Interested in learning more about the future of marketing in a multiscreen world? Register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here or use the form below to receive yours today.


And you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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January 15, 2013

Facebook's Graph Search: The True Arrival of Social Search?

January 15, 2013 | By | 3 Comments

Facebook Graph Search launchesIn what is undoubtedly a shot across Google’s bow, Facebook announced its new “Graph Search” today, allowing consumers to search Facebook in some fairly sophisticated ways. Since I haven’t had a chance to play with it yet, I’m going to reserve comment for the moment. But here’s what some other folks are saying about the tool:

Again, I don’t have a clear perspective on Graph Search yet—though I do think it’s a stupid name (while I know where it comes from, I doubt many of its users will).

But, What Yelp and Facebook do very well already—and what Google’s trying to do with Google+—is connect people with the most relevant information. Your location/local area represent one clear source of relevance (I’m looking at you, Yelp), your friends, family, fans, and followers another. There’s no question that with Google’s recent FTC settlement, the growth of Yelp in local search (more on this in the coming days), and now Graph Search, the search market is more interesting than it’s been in some time. This is going to be fun to watch.


If you can help those dealing with the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy, please visit the American Red Cross.

Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

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Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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October 19, 2012

A Social, Local Roundup (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest)

October 19, 2012 | By | No Comments

Social, local marketing roundupWell, Google’s had a crappy week, huh?

Their quarterly earnings were released early due to “human error,” (surprising all of us who’d come to believe Google didn’t allow errors — or humans, for that matter). Plus, those earnings weren’t so hot, at least by Wall Street’s standards (they’d be astonishing for many other companies).

Meanwhile, France is looking at legislation Google says threatens their very existence.

Oh and Reuters reports the FTC is close to hitting Google with an antitrust suit.

Now, I’ve been following Google’s antitrust woes over the last few years in posts like “What every small business needs to know about Google’s antitrust investigation,” “Should Google’s antitrust woes worry you?
What Google vs. FairSearch.org and the US Senate Means to You” and “Google, ITA and the coming antitrust war,” so I’m not too surprised by this.

So, just for fun, let’s pretend there’s a world without Google and see what else you can do to grow your business without ‘em:

Have a great weekend, Big Thinkers. We’ll see you back here next week.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

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And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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October 9, 2012

Where Are You? Map Searches Increasingly Shifting to Mobile

October 9, 2012 | By | One Comment

Local map searchSearch Engine Watch has an amazing look at how desktop map searches increasingly shifting to mobile noting:

“Searches with a mapping/navigation intent on the Big 5 Engines (Google/Bing/Yahoo/Ask/AOL) are down 34 percent over the past 15 months, going from 74.8 million to 49.5 million in August. Search clicks to map/navigation sites show an even steeper decline, down 41 percent to just 55.2 million in August.”

Does that mean that no one’s looking at maps any longer?

Of course not.

Where are those searches happening then? The article continues:

“As desktop-based searches with mapping intent and search clicks to map websites both show declines, it’s clear that search as a discovery process for navigation on desktops is eroding. This trend signals a significant shift in intent, as consumers who once relied on being at a computer to search for directions before going somewhere are now happy to rely on those handy little computers in their pockets.” [Emphasis mine]

Mapping, and map-based search, may be the killer app for mobile. And mobile is here. Now. Today. if your business relies on a physical location, you must appear in map search results. And that means your marketing must work in a mobile environment. Any questions?


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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November 18, 2011

Social, Local, Mobile… Oh My! (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – November 18, 2011)

November 18, 2011 | By | No Comments

I’ve been asking all week whether you’re still talking about the mobile web including looking at whether you need an app for customer reviews. And, I’m not the only one. Here’s this week’s round-up of the best social, local, mobile write-ups on the web:

Finally, I’ve shared a couple of videos this week to demonstrate the power of the local, social, mobile web. But it’s possible little can illustrate it as effectively as Social Revolution’s 2011 presentation, which I’ve got right here:

Have a great weekend, Big Thinkers. We’ll catch you back here on Monday.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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October 14, 2011

Social, local, mobile links for the week ending October 14 (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – October 14, 2011)

October 14, 2011 | By | No Comments

So, I’ve spent way too much time today playing with my new iPhone. Siri, its voice-activated personal assistant, is every bit as amazing as advertised. Of course, that means that I’ve still got a lot of work to do today. So, as I sometimes do, I’m skipping the setup and getting straight to the links. Enjoy:

Enjoy your weekend, Big Thinkers. Now I’m back to playing with my iPhone… I mean, to work!


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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August 16, 2011

Think Google Isn't Serious About Mobile?

August 16, 2011 | By | No Comments

I’ve got 12 and-a-half billion reasons that demonstrate how serious Google is about the importance of mobile. Now, I’m not going to get heavy into why Google did this. Nor will I make many predictions as to how this is likely to turn out (though, I did mention in a Business Insider comment yesterday that this looks a lot like the AOL/TimeWarner deal of a decade ago and Business Insider said today that this looks like the AOL/TimeWarner deal of a decade ago, so, hmm…)

The only point I’m going to make is that mobile is, as the kids say, “for reals.” Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola underscores that point, if spending $12.5 billion on anything can be called “underscoring” (mental note: see if there is such a thing as “overscoring”).

The point is, no matter how much I hate the neologism, SoLoMo increasingly encroaches on Google’s core business. Years ago, Google was interested in how fast they could get you off their site. Now, with Google+, Google Related, Google Chromebooks, Android, Google Apps, and on and on and on, they’re doing everything they can to keep you where they can find you—and serve you more advertising.

That’s not a bad thing, by the way. Heck, we’re all advertisers, too. And as the value of SoLoMo increases, we’re going to need to find new ways to engage with customers via social, via local and via mobile. As I mentioned yesterday, these new channels aren’t just smoke and mirrors. Google just spent $12.5 billion to prove it.



Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

Tim Peter

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June 24, 2011

Social, Local, Mobile Links: The Delayed Flight Edition (Small Business Link Digest – June 24, 2011)

June 24, 2011 | By | No Comments

OK. I got in extremely last night (read: this morning) due to really crappy airline service bad weather. No. Really. Anyway, rather than have all kinds of fancy, schmancy setup, today we’re just going to jump right to the links.

Hope you all have a great weekend. And, who knows, maybe we’ll run into one another on a delayed flight one of these days.

Interested in learning more about the future of marketing and commerce in a multiscreen world? Register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

And, if all that’s not enough, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile strategy and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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March 8, 2011

Learning 21st Century Social, Local, Mobile and Video Marketing From a 19th Century Company

March 8, 2011 | By | No Comments

You all know Macy’s, right? Y’know, the folks behind the Thanksgiving Day parade and corporate mergers and “Miracle on 34th Street”? They’re a 150-year old retailer, as “bricks and mortar” as you can get.

But, for an old dog, they’ve got some new tricks. They’re starting to get in front of 21st-century customers with a local, mobile, social web presence, complete with video.

Here’s what I mean.

I was walking past the retailer’s flagship 34th Street store yesterday and saw this clever graphic on their window:

Macys QR code in star

Cute, right? A nice, clever way of embedding a mobile QR code into the company’s logo. But, without instructions for its use, will any of their customers know what it’s about? Smarty-pants that I am, I sent the following tweet:


Nice QR code usage @Macys. But do your customers know how it works? http://t.co/TlwA6jIless than a minute ago via Twitter for Android

A few minutes later, @Macys (the Macy’s Twitter account) responded with:


@tcpeter Thanks for the tweet! For a how-to video, check out this video: http://bit.ly/g3Pl48less than a minute ago via web

Note the embedded link in Macy’s tweet to a YouTube video displaying how the company’s “Backstage Pass” works. Another Twitter user also let me know that the company is heavily promoting these “Backstage Passes” in the free “AM New York” newspaper.

So, think about this for a second:

  • Macy’s—a 150-year-old retailer—uses QR codes in their store windows,a clear marriage of local and mobile marketing.
  • This “old dog” reinforces their message via print advertising in a free local daily.
  • This “dinosaur” monitors the social web on Twitter for use of their brand terms—and responds to their customers there.
  • This “traditional bricks-and-mortar” store shares videos on YouTube explaining both their value to consumers and how this new feature works.
  • And, as one last social play, they’re gaining interest among early adopters (i.e., me and @JonKagan) who, no doubt, will pass the word along to their friends and family. Just like I’m doing now.

Oh. Even better, each of these efforts directs consumers to Macy’s website.

While I think the company can do a better job on specific elements (for instance, an explanation of what a QR reader is in the video wouldn’t be such a bad thing and their calls-to-action are a bit weak), it’s still a great example of using social, mobile, local and video to create an engaging, integrated web presence to promote your web site.

For a company that got it’s start in the 19th century, that’s some awfully modern marketing. During the many decades they’ve been around, the corporation hasn’t always gotten it right. But is it possible this kind of thinking is why they’re still in business after 150 years? And, is it possible for you to do the same thing?



Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

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