Metro Mapping Site Unveils a Very Local Ad Format

HopStop.com, a maps and directions site for the mass transit set, plans to offer a hyper-local advertising product to small businesses in the five markets where it operates. Called AdLocal, the coupon offering will let advertisers target users within blocks of their queried destinations.

“Most small businesses don’t have an online advertising product that caters to the way they think about their business,” HopStop.com CEO and Founder Chinedu Echeruo told ClickZ News.

Area advertisers can set their location as a target and establish geographic parameters by which ads and offers can be delivered to end users. The site also offers tools to build ads and coupons. People searching for directions within the set boundaries will see ads for businesses in that area. Ads can also be targeted against searches for competitors. For example, a sushi restaurant can buy ads when users search for competitive establishments within a defined area of a particular city.

At launch HopStop.com is reaching out to business who are already signed up for free listings on the site. The aim is to generate gradual awareness of the new ad product and get feedback from businesses running ads.

In Q4 last year the site offered a similar type of hyper-local targeting for national advertiser Wachovia. Wachovia ads were served against search queries, and bank locations in the area were identified. “With the AdLocal product, we take the same technology and create a self-serve, easy tool to allow businesses to also benefit from this level of targeting,” said Echeruo.

“In the future we’ll have ways for [advertisers] to track conversions, print coupons and include easy-to-read maps,” Echeruo said. He added future releases might include ads scaled to HopStop’s WAP site for mobile users.

HopStop.com currently serves the New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago and San Francisco metro areas. It plans to add up to 10 more cities by year-end.

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