Serving the Middle Eastern market is a challenge for any company, and Google is no exception. Political unrest, the overthrow of governments and violence keeps most businesses from foraying into parts unknown. It’s a little known fact that the Middle East spans one third of the land mass of the entire planet and stretches from the middle of Africa, to the border of Europe and into Asia. Technology is behind in most mid-east countries, but use of the internet has boomed thanks to numerous political revolutions being organized through social media.
The internet has finally reached a large percentage of homes and business owners are exploring the possibilities of expanding to new markets through e-commerce. Globalization is burning through the Middle East like a wildfire, forcing the people to slam into the modern computer age.
The Middle East is suddenly attractive to a whole lot of business owners, Google included. Strategically located countries like Israel, who have been cornering the mid-east tech market for years, are now quite interesting to power players. After all, not serving such a large market is an injustice to any bottom line.
Serving the planet with uniformly great products is important to Google, but how do they work their way around the sticky safety issues burdening this region? Acquire established service providers, of course! Google has been courting the Israeli tech market quietly, picking up businesses before the competitor has a chance to swoop in.
This week Google announced the $1 billion acquisition of Waze, an Israeli real-time navigation system. A coup for the tech giant, Google beat out Apple and Facebook to buy the company. The amount of attention paid to this acquisition has been incredible, and is a strong indicator of the value and importance of digital maps and mobile apps.
According to a recent write up in the LA Times, Waze has a whopping 50 million registered users in 190 countries. The free app is used on mobile phones powered by Android software as well as Apple devices and is designed to help drivers get to where they need to go via the shortest, fastest and least congested routes. Over 70,000 volunteers edit maps in real time so that drivers are able to avoid adverse driving conditions, speed traps, construction, traffic jams and more. Police cameras are even listed to help drivers avoid tickets. In addition to user updated info, Waze monitors users GPS devices in order to determine traffic conditions. Cool right?!
Everyone agrees the app is awesome. After all, Google did pay a billion dollars for it – its 4th biggest purchase in company history. But, how is the Waze acquisition relevant to you and your business? How is this deal going to change how you run your business?
There are big changes on the horizon for just about everyone who wants to advertise their businesses. Here’s the deal: mobile phones and tablets are taking over. Where live in a very mobile world where we all need to travel in order to go about our daily lives. When it comes to marketing, it’s very important to reach the broadest audience possible e.g. travelers.
Because so many of us rely on road map and GPS apps, a whole new world is opening up for businesses advertising on a local level. Not only can businesses benefit, so can entertainment venues, regional service providers, international companies and more. There’s something for everyone to gain.
As maps become more useful, they will penetrate the market even more. We’ll all be using maps to pull information more often. For Google, this means users will spend even more time using their products. As users become even more hooked, marketing initiatives will become increasingly more important and effective for business owners.
If you aren’t on board, you’re falling behind. Learn about how your marketing campaigns can benefit from mobile map marketing. Contact Search Concepts now.