Google Maps might be the first place you see digital billboards

When will your business become (not so) cemented into the digital terrain?

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Google (who accounted for a little more than one-third of the global mobile ad spending in 2015—that’s just about $10 billion) has found a way to loop advertisers even more into part of the digital terrain—AKA Google Maps.

On Tuesday May 24, 2016, Google announced that they will soon start offering a new type of ad. The search giant will allow companies to buy the right to place a small logo image over their physical location on Google Maps.

Other new ads are coming to, including the ability for retailers to display in-store discounts on specific products or display their inventory in nearby store locations to the user. For example, if you searched for “bananas”, a Loblaws advertisement may appear in the sidebar with a related coupon or discount (much like the app Flipp allows you to do, but now integrated with the Maps feature—my vacations just got SO much easier).

Google has found that more than one-third of searches that are made on mobile devices are related to the user’s physical location. On top of that, more than half of Google’s trillion searches (yearly) comes from mobile devices. We can’t put it past Google to turn this into a lucrative opportunity. But, like Google has to do with all new programs they roll out, is limit the number of businesses it accepts to avoid overwhelming users right off the bat.

Jerry Dischler, Vice President of Product Management at Google’s AdWords program, said, “What we do see is this trend in which people are interacting with their mobile devices in this physical world at an increasing rate.”

The usage of Google Maps and Google’s search engine in general has been found to be more related to where a person is and what they are doing at that specific moment. These types of searches are much more common than searches on a desktop, where you would search other things like research for a history paper or searching flights for your next vacation.

Google has taken the data and resolved that ads can have a huge influence on the actual moments of peoples’ lives, according to Dischler.

By Ashley Posluns
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