Driving local marketing change with Uber, Lyft and self-driving cars
Columnist Brian Smith explains how ride-sharing services and self-driving cars will open up a host of new opportunities for local businesses.
Are you ready for pay-per-car marketing? That’s right, PPC is about to take on a whole new meaning.
Uber and Lyft recently began testing programs in which local businesses pay for your ride to their locations — assuming you’ve splurged the requisite amount at their cash registers. The result: local marketing is about to be transformed.
Local search to certain purchase
You’re traveling out of state for business. It’s dinner time, so you search on your phone for restaurants near your hotel. You narrow your choices down to two restaurants. Both restaurants offer the same type of food. Both have the same ratings. Both have a similar price range. The only difference? One restaurant is offering to pick up your Uber fare if you choose them. It’s not much of a choice, is it?
As ride services grow in popularity, paying for a customer’s ride will increasingly help businesses stand out of the PPC pack.
The primary beneficiaries of this new marketing model will be restaurants and retailers. Spend a certain amount on your meal or buy this product? Your ride is on the house.
As of right now, these “free” rides are limited to the ride services’ apps and their partner affiliates. But it’s only a matter of time before this new form of marketing integrates with more traditional search methods and competes in the PPC realm.
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