07:31 PM
Connect Directly

Google Puts Coupons On The Map

Measuring online marketing dollars in the real world has been a vexing problem for advertisers, one industry watcher says. He sees Google's actions broadening the adoption of online coupons.

Google is putting coupons on the map, literally.

Through a partnership with direct marketing company Valpak, Google plans on Tuesday to make coupons available to users of Google Maps who search for information about local businesses.

Users won't be able to search for specifically for coupons; rather, a search for, say, "pizza in San Francisco," will return listings for several local businesses which may or may not offer coupons.

Clicking on a participating Google Maps business listing will load a map alongside a business listing and links to one or more coupons that can be printed and redeemed in-store. Apart from the cost of printer ink and paper, the coupons are free.

Businesses also will be able to create coupons at no cost through the Google Business Center at Google Maps, where they would normally enter local business information.

Google's goal, according to Gokul Rajaram, a product manager at the company, is to provide a more relevant user experience and to reach local merchants, whether they're online or not.

In the next few months, Google plans to let advertisers link their Google AdWords campaigns to Google Maps coupons, thereby eliminating the need for small businesses to have a Web site as place to drive traffic. "Advertisers can use the coupons page as their Web site and drive users to that, and measure the impact of online marketing on their offline sales," says though Rajaram.

Greg Sterling, founder of research firm Sterling Market Intelligence, says measuring online marketing dollars in the real world has been a vexing problem for advertisers and sees Google's actions broadening the adoption of online coupons.

Google's coupons aren't set up to work on mobile handsets at this time, though Rajaram acknowledges this "is something we'd consider."

There will be 20,000 coupons initially, a consequence of the Valpak partnership. Rajaram says Google is exploring additional partnerships with other companies.

The coupons will be available only through the search box on Google Maps; searches won't return coupons on the search results page and Rajaram says Google has no plans to add them at this point.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest September 18, 2014
Enterprise social network success starts and ends with integration. Here's how to finally make collaboration click.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.