Smart Cities

Why listing platforms are not all created equally?

Some use page builders, site builders and others use opensource and commercial Content Management Systems. We discuss the pros and cons of each system and why it matters

So you’re starting your new association and you think: “All I need to do is list the businesses in my community, and instantly,I’ll start to get business.”

How do you measure the effectiveness of your listing platform, and prove to your members that membership in your community is worthwhile, and you are receiving business from your site/portal or platform.

Why are listing platforms necessary?

“I have a beautiful website, isn’t that good enough?”

Let’s start with an industry that we all know. Every large hotel chain has their own individual listing platform, and a reservation one800 or toll-free number.

Yet, you will still find them on the multiple listing sites, the most common of which, are booking.com, hotels.com. Expedia, Travelocity, and a host of other sites, that will either provide exchange services, or marketplace services.

The reason for this is quite simple. Before the internet era, a bakery would have a sign in front of its window, perhaps even a poster, relying on the foot traffic, the quality of its products, the goodwill  generated by word-of-mouth.

 Today, there are so many means of advertising, that is really hard to pick the best one, and that’s why you have the exponential growth of the Martech industry.

In this world of instant information, tweets, chirps, posts ,and yes blogs like this one, information is being distributed and consumed at a frightening pace.

So why can’t I just use my word press website, to build a listing platform?

Well, that depends. It depends on whether or not you want to spend your days and nights updating the information, or do what the aggregators do, which is move the responsibility on to their members. 

And that’s the reason why you need a CMS. A CMS provides you a method whereby your members can instantly update the information on their website. And if their website is connected with the listing platform, then you only have to do the work once.

What Information to include in your listing platform:

This includes, but not limited to:

  1. legal name
  2. display name
  3. business phone number  
  4. business fax
  5. industry classification
  6. attributes
  7. contact information
  8. social media information, at the minimumFacebook and LinkedIn profiles. But more and more users are supporting multiple social media accounts.
  9. Multiple images: Pictures of products, key personnel, location,
  10. Infrastructure:map location, including long to the latitude, including longitude and latitude, indoor mapping, outdoor mapping, floor plan of applicable
  11. Short description
  12. long description

What differentiate our system from any other listing system that you will find including WordPress, or a custom built system?

Our listing system is built around a powerful communications platform, location-based logistics system, and it is completely API base. We store the data in both a relational and non-relational database.

Within the relational database, we allow all users to be able to find the location, or the business, based on geography, attributes, time of day, open/close status, and create a matching system between member and service provider. The system is built around the US data table, create hotlinkhere, where it’s automatically classified by ISIC and the local concordance.

Why is it important?

Well, it’s not so important if the resident or visitor is within the location or the geography. But it becomes exceptionally important if the visitor is coming from out of town, or somebody’s looking for the business based on their local nomenclature. As an example, the terminology in Japan,China, Russia, although it refers to the same actual industrial class, is not called the same, and with language translations, you must have a perfect relationship in order to pull up the correct data.

Our listing on system also is tightly integrated with both of the unified communication system, for audio communication and messaging, and to our visual communication platform, which can be tightly integrated with their CRM of choice.

Who needs our listing system?

Primarily, our listing system is targeted to communities of interest, place-based communities, or associate communities.  

Five easy steps of setting up a listing platform

  1. Step one, gather all information and put it into an Excel spreadsheet
  2. Step two, pick up template, pick a CMS, and combine the two
  3. Step three, ingest all data, and ensure it is current, and all the contact information and mapping information is accurate
  4. Step four: begin to integrate the mobile application, all of the proximity, and test all the proximity devices.
  5. Step five: Run a proof of concept with a select number of merchants, and a select number of residents.

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