Businesses in Romania are hardly digitized, and that makes it really hard for anyone to find them, especially if they are local and the budget for activities on the web is almost non-existent.
Google came to the rescue with their Google My Business profiles, which enabled any local romanian business to list their address on Google Maps and add details about their offerings. However, even though the process was simple, business owners just didn’t sign up for the service (which was also provided for free).
The challenge: How can we encourage Romanian Business to sign up for Google My Business?
For Google the priority was finding ways to hack the growth of G.M.B. profiles with minimal effort from business owners as the resistance to change was much higher. We focused on three main proposals that had little to no-budget requirements as at that time Google didn’t have a big operation in Romania.
Presentations have been edited to not contain any sensitive information. All presentation also involved a written detailed pitch and a report on the research executed, but these are not disclosed as they contain sensitive data.
Our first proposal was an extension of their local guides program, adding rewards for businesses highly rated by Local Guides, not unlike the youtube plaques that content creators receive when they reach a certain number of subscribers. Once a location reached a high-enough level and number of reviews, based on their industry, they would get ranked on Google Awards for their performance and get useful rewards like Google Drive credit and Google Workspace features.
Our second proposal was a classic growth hacking method that Airbnb also applied in the beginning. Organizing a caravan around the cities of Romania, with a clear list of locations to visit and convert, all with a free photo session included to help places make an impression when discovered through Google Maps.
Our third and last proposal was a basic but efficent one at the local level. Through a small partnership with one of the utilities provider in the area, Google could include in the mail that businesses receive from these providers a leaflet explaining the benefits of Google My Business and how to easily set it up. Using the infrastructure already built and communication channels that businesses are already used with here would highly increase the conversion rate.
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