Consumers Will Punish You for Bad Data

MediaPost, TechCrunch and others have already written about Localeze’s renewal and expansion of its deal with Microsoft:

Bing will use Localeze’s premium business content, including more than 500,000 business-verified and managed listings, which have been enhanced directly by local businesses.  In addition to its rigorous basic name/address/phone number validation and governance processes, Localeze will provide additional business details including hours of operation, products and services offered, credit cards accepted and more on Bing’s local business profiles. Local search results on Bing utilizing Localeze content will now be attributed to Localeze.

Localeze for some time has been repositioning from data provider (competing with Acxiom and infogroup) to “business listings management” for local businesses and franchises. Of the 14 million listings in the Localeze database to be provided to Microsoft, which like Google and others gets data from multiple sources, 500K of the Localeze listings are verified and enhanced by local businesses themselves. In addition, Localeze provides data updates to its 85 partners on a weekly basis.

All of this effort is toward greater accuracy and richer data at the local level. Localeze will get some additional branding and visibility out of this, Microsoft will get some improved content but consumers may not immediately see or notice anything different.

Consumers tend to notice when something is wrong or off or incorrect rather than when it’s correct. They expect accuracy. That’s the paradox here: if your data are great then people may not give you credit for it; if they’re “crappy” they’ll notice and you’ll suffer.

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Speaking of bad data, check out this bad phone number I found on Google. I looked it up on mobile and tapped to call (w/o really looking at the number):

The area code, 610, is Pennsylvania; the pharmacy I was looking for is in Oakland, CA. I have to get a prescription filled, it’s ironic that this happened right on the heels of me writing this post about data accuracy.

A voice search on the Bing iPhone app did bring up the correct phone number:

3 Responses to “Consumers Will Punish You for Bad Data”

  1. cd Says:

    Spot On! Consumers only notice when the merchant data is incorrect, out of date or out of business.

  2. Kyle Kazak Says:

    Good point Greg. I do believe that Localeze will have a nice increase in overall visibility. I have been following the company for some time now. They seem to have taken the same information as InfoUSA and Acxiom and added a special twist to it by allowing people to submit the data through their ‘software’.

    As every day goes by I believe that companies such as Localeze are becoming more and more mainstream.

    It has always shocked me with the amount of errors that I can find in these local site. They take InfoUSA and Acxiom’s data merge/perge it and throw a Google Maps API into it, and optimize it…waaalaaa! a new directory site is born. By Microsoft focusing on obtaining value-added data is key for this to work. A good percentage of the 500,000 profiles that Localeze is distributing to Microsoft have as much info as a a fully complete Google Local one does since at some point in time it had to be human edited.

    I’d love to see how all this playsout.

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