Since Facebook launched it’s Place functionality the location based services channel has been relatively quiet. Nothing significant has hit the market and no major releases announced. Google have now broken cover. Earlier in the month saw the subtle move of location search filters to the left of the page now they announce Google Boost.
Until now doing anything practical with location based services from a marketing perspective has required creative thinking from business owners and marketeers. With the launch of Boost this is a proactive and deliberate strike at the local advertising market.
Boost is very simple to run, working from existing data in your Google Places page you set a budget and Google takes control of displaying your advert automatically. Currently only available in a handful of U.S. Cities, Google are bound to roll this out to a wider audience swiftly.
You also get the feeling Google are now taking this sector seriously, demonstrated by the move of Marissa Mayer, formally VP of Search Products and responsible for the introduction of Google Instant, to the position of Location and Local Services Chief.
Although Facebook’s advertising platform is much more passive the depth of knowledge they have of their end users could see them leapfrog Google in this space. We await eagerly the Facebook mobile announcement due next week.