Beyond Listing Management: Why You Need a Location Data Strategy

Everything you knew about listing management has changed. Listing management is more than a “paid listings” tactic on tier-two search engines that fails to convert to customers. Additionally, listing management is more than a foundation for local SEO. Listing management has evolved into an owned-media strategy fueled by location data to grow your brand in the mobile era. Enterprise brands need to think beyond listing management, and transform their location data into a scalable asset that is accessible and actionable.

The increasingly mobile consumer has changed the conversation about how brands view their local presence. According to Google, consumers empowered with mobile devices are not only conducting more local searches, but they are making instant decisions to engage with brands. For national brands to win at local search, they need to do more than be findable through SEO, the traditional focus of listing management. They also need to motivate searchers to become customers at the local level. Enterprise brands need to own the “next moment” of search: the action that occurs after a consumer finds your local business.


Managing your local listings is no longer about controlling your brand; it’s about creating customers by owning the next moment of search with location data. Being findable, while still important, is table stakes when it comes to winning with mobile consumers. To accelerate the velocity of the customer journey, multi-location enterprise brands should take greater ownership of their location data. Here’s how to get started:

Make Your Data Accessible

It’s still essential to ensure your local listings are accurate and that their data is distributed correctly to the major aggregators. But adhering to a location data management strategy means considering all the places where your location data might live beyond business listings, including social media, apps, and in-car navigation units. Following a location data management strategy means making your data findable for voice searches conducted on phones and wearables, such as the Apple Watch.

A location data strategy also means considering all the potential businesses that house your data. For instance, a bank’s data location strategy needs to ensure that all its ATMs in front of grocery stores are findable, and that the hours of its mini-branch locations inside a local Walmart are accurately described, especially if the Walmart store hours differ from those of the bank branch. By distributing your data consistently across the entire ecosystem, you are making it accessible to all platforms and devices consumers use in the “near me” moments of discovery.

Make Your Data Actionable

Making your data findable and accurate is the equivalent of making it easy for pedestrians and drivers on a busy street to find your storefront: the typical focus of a listing-management strategy. Making your data actionable, though, means owning the next moment. I think of the next moment as a consumer conducting business with you after he or she finds you, which means clicking on a link to review your in-store inventory or redeeming a mobile coupon. The next moment might also occur when a consumer shares your information with someone else. In both cases, sharing the right data is crucial to owning the next moment. Here are some examples:


Especially as mobile devices proliferate, I believe that owning the next moment of search is essential for brands to compete at the local level. Think of data as the key to not only being there in the “moments that matter,” but also creating the next moment. The goal of a location-data management strategy for national brands with thousands of locations is to maximize “micro moments” at scale.

Build a Sustainable Local Marketing Strategy

Historically, our industry has treated location data as a passive phenomenon: a consumer enters a search query, and good location data enables a brand to be present in the search results. But increasingly, brands don’t need to wait for a near-me search before serving up the next moment. Brands can use location data to create the next moment. A brand that capitalizes on its own location data and the consumer’s location data can make queries such as “drug store near me” or “coffee near me” unnecessary because the brand knows enough about the consumer’s location and buying preferences to provide an offer before a search even occurs.

As wearables take hold and as automobiles become more sophisticated data repositories, location data will become a more contextually relevant two-way street. If you want to build a sustainable local marketing strategy for your enterprise brand, transform your location data into a scalable asset that is accessible and actionable.

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