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New Google scheme called a 'stake in the heart of local newspapers'

GoogleMaps has launched in the UK a promotion scheme for small businesses which Jeff Jarvis, in the United States, described today as a “stake in the heart of local newspapers”.

The scheme allows local businesses to add printable redeemable coupons alongside their Google Maps listings. Google which has depended on directories such as Yell is asking busineses to submit their own listings.

A tab on the Google Local Business Centre Page gives as an example a coupon offering “10% of any medium pizza”.

Jarvis explains:

Most of these small, local merchants never could afford to advertise in newspapers anyway because they are too big, too inefficient, and too expensive. But one of the promises of online was the opportunity to go hyperlocal — not just for content but, importantly, for advertising, to be able to target ads so finely and to eliminate the costs of sale and production so that these small guys could finally advertise with a newspaper company. That was one hope papers had for replacing the advertisers who have disappeared in classified, thanks to the internet, and retail, thanks to consolidation, Wal-Mart, and the internet, too. Strategically, some on the newspaper business understood this. But tactically — take it from me — it was nearly impossible to implement because newspaper business people are incapable of thinking small. They’ve spent so many years just maintaining big accounts that had nowhere else to advertise that they don’t know how to replace them with hundreds and then thousands of smaller accounts.

E-consultancy has more details of the scheme.

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