Google Maps Now Features Users’ Appointments — Here’s What It Means For Marketers
It's all part of Google's larger plan to link its services to anticipate what users want. And local brands can take advantage of that knowledge.
As Google Maps continues to link up with related services such as including the search giant’s inventory ads within location query results, Android phone users looking for specific places will also notice that their Google Calendar appointments have started showing up as pindrops.
While Google Maps has already allowed users to label places like “work” or “daycare,” the connection to Google Calendars will provide marketers an additional way to ensure they stay top of mind.
It also opens up Google Maps as another competitive arena for ride-hailing services and booking apps like OpenTable. Last month, Google struck partnerships with ride-sharing platforms Lyft and Gett. Those deals followed long after the March arrangement that put Uber in Google Maps. The alliances allow users of those respective platforms immediate navigation without leaving Google Maps.
The link between Google’s calendar and map isn’t exactly new. But it does represent an important step in a series of moves the company has taken. For example, users of the all-encompassing Google Now app, which is available on both Android and Apple’s mobile systems, have long seen their appointments featured on virtual “cards” summing up a person’s day — as long as the information was featured in a Gmail message. But Google Maps is much more popular than Google Now — and that’s the difference for the local advertisers and platform companies working with Google.
“When you receive confirmation emails for hotel, flight or restaurant reservations in Gmail, we show that information in Google Maps for easy access when on the go,” writes Zach Maier, a Google Maps’ product manager, in a blog post highlighting Google Calendar’s inclusion. “These events also appear in the new ‘Upcoming’ tab in ‘Your Places.'”
No word on when this addition will show up on iOS phones, but these updates tend to arrive to Google’s rival fairly quickly.