May 11, 2023

Inside the Local Marketing of Parking Spaces | Interview with Aimo Park

In this episode of the PinMeTo podcast, we talk to Carlos Blommé de Lope, a growth hacker at Aimo Park, the largest parking operator in the Nordics.

Carlos explains the challenges Aimo Park faced in terms of local marketing and online visibility and how PinMeTo helps them to overcome them.

You'll learn about Carlos's experiences working with PinMeTo and how after just two weeks of using PinMeTo, ‘’Aimo Park's Google My Business [GBP] metrics skyrocketed, with a 1,000% increase in the number of directions to their parking facilities.’’ 

Watch the podcast episode or read through the full transcript to learn more. To listen, search for "The PinMeTo Podcast" on your favourite pod app, or find the episode on Spotify.

Conversation transcript

The text has been lightly edited for clarity.

[00:00:00.220] - Carlos 

After, I think, maybe two weeks or so, Google My Business [GBP] metrics were like, boom, they skyrocketed!


[00:00:20.070] - Bernardo

Hello, everybody, and welcome to the PinMeTo podcast, your go-to source for all things local marketing. This is the show where we dive deep into the world of local marketing, exploring the latest trends, strategies, and insights that can help your business thrive in the digital age. In today's episode, we have a very special guest joining us. Here at PinMeTo, we believe it's absolutely essential to engage with our customers, listen to their stories, and truly understand their unique perspectives on local marketing. That's why we're thrilled to have Carlos Blommé de Lope from Aimo Park here today. Carlos brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table, and we can't wait to hear more about why Aimo Park chose PinMeTo, the role local marketing plays in their business, and the strategies they use to achieve success. So grab a seat and let's dive deep into this conversation with Carlos Blommé de Lope, from Aimo Park. 


[00:01:43.260] - Carlos

Hello. Thanks a lot for the invitation.


[00:01:45.320] - Bernardo

Thank you so much for being with us here today. I am going to ask you a very easy  or maybe a very complicated question, which is, what is Aimo Park and what do you do there? Yeah.


[00:02:01.150] - Carlos

Well, Aimo Park is the largest parking operator in the Nordics, but it's currently undergoing transitioning to a mobility business. So, yes, we operate parking, but we also have Aimo share, we're building Aimo Hops, all the EV charging infrastructure. So yeah, we do a bunch of stuff. I'm based in Stockholm in Sweden, but we also operate in Norway and in Finland. I'm a growth hacker. Well, maybe for the people that are not aware of this term, I don't have computers, but I identify growth channels across the business.


[00:02:52.230] - Bernardo

Perfect. You are the perfect person for us to speak about this today and about local marketing because it has a lot to do with understanding how to trick the system. Starting to talk about Aimo Park. I know as a business, as any business, it faces a lot of challenges. What challenges are you facing specifically related to your foot traffic? Because that's probably where PinMeTo is going to help you the most. Can you explain a little bit exactly how you work and why it's important for people to come to you?


[00:03:39.020] - Carlos

Well, it's important to note that it's more like car traffic rather than foot traffic. But basically when I started working at Aimo, one of the first things I did was Google - Google Aimo in the search, but also on Google Maps. And I was quite shocked because we operate thousands of parking facilities across the Nordics, and what I saw was really bad. Most of our parking locations were listed on Google Maps. I'm naming Google Maps, but in other navigation systems, the same. They had different names. They were located in different spots. So it was a bit of a mess. Actually, that was one of the things that I was like, Okay, this will be my first mission in the company. I have to fix this.


[00:04:36.870] - Bernardo

Exactly. It's always a big challenge. We know that here at PinMeTo, we understand that over the past few years, it's one of the biggest challenges to actually have the locations listed properly on the search engines, etc. So this is super important, of course. I'm curious, how did you first hear about the PinMeTo? And overall, what led you to choose our services?


[00:05:07.300] - Carlos

So just to continue the story, because when I identified that there was a big problem that we had there, I started to look into this. And then I realized that it wasn't as simple as I thought it was. I mean, if you own a restaurant, for example, it's quite simple. Google sends you this letter to your inbox and then you have to input that number in your Google My Business account. The problem that we have is that since we operate thousands of locations, we cannot do that manually. It was impossible. And also you have to add that for 90 % or more of our parkings, we don't have a post box. So there was no way in hell that we would be able to verify our parking spots. It was impossible to do this through Google, so we had to look for other solutions. I remember I spoke with one of my colleagues in Finland, and he was already in contact with one of your colleagues. So he basically passed it over to me.


[00:06:27.620] - Bernardo

That's great. It was very good at that time, well, you already mentioned the challenges, but which is more or less the same answer. But basically, what were the expectations you had for PinMeTo? As a growth hacker. When you see a platform like this, what do you expect it to do? What would be the ideal service for a company like us to offer?


[00:06:53.120] - Carlos

Well, from a growth perspective, of course, my objective is to literally drive more users to our facilities. If our parkings are not listed in Google Maps, then there's no way for that... I mean, yes, they will find them. Because the thing is, when someone drives from point A to point B, the parking facility is not the final destination. But when they Google where they're driving in the first place, then they might check, Oh, there's a parking spot besides my destination. So we were losing a lot of customers because we weren't listed. So that was the primary goal, to drive traffic to our facilities.


[00:07:41.400] - Bernardo

Exactly. And we hope we solved that in part. But by the way, what do you value the most about PinMeTo? Did we actually solve that problem? If you could think of the impact PinMeTo had on your business, what would you say about it?


[00:08:10.700] - Carlos

Well, the thing that I valued the most, and I think one of the reasons why we... It was a no-brainer to work with PinMeTo because, as I said before, we couldn't manually verify thousands of parkings. So that was a no go. So one of the things that was quite impressive, I remember I sent a massive list of parkings and after, I think, maybe two weeks or so, Google my business metrics were like, boom, they skyrocketed. Not only in views or number of impressions, but the number of directions. It was like, maybe like plus 1,000 %, something like that. But this is very interesting because, as I said before, the parking is not the final destination. But now we're able to track how we're able to add value to our customers because now they're able to click on directions when they want to go to their destinations. And they know that there's a parking spot where they can park.


[00:09:36.600] - Bernardo

Precisely. And that's the end goal, basically. That's super great. So you just mentioned and you've been in touch with our customer service, with our representatives, our advisors. Were we helpful? How was your experience with our customer service and advisors?


[00:10:02.620] - Carlos

Honestly, like, outstanding. I have to mention Sarah because she has been on top of things since the first second. But I mean, 10 out of 10. Like, Julia, also, whenever I have something, an issue, question, or whatever, she always answers in less than 10 minutes. It's amazing. I have no complaints.


[00:10:30.360] - Bernardo

We're happy when our customers are happy. That's our most important goal, actually.


[00:10:37.780] - Carlos

I can give you a specific example because I had to sell this internally as well. And I got a lot of support internally from PinMeTo too, to help me present this to different stakeholders within the business. They even made a presentation and it was really good. So far, so good.


[00:11:02.770] - Bernardo

Awesome. That's what we want to hear. Carlos, again, going a little bit back to talk about the results that you are seeing after working with PinMeTo. In terms of local marketing and all your local marketing efforts that you've been doing, it's a fact that PinMeTo has helped you a lot in your goals. Can you just give an example or describe how your overall experience with PinMeTo has been?


[00:11:44.610] - Carlos

Regarding local SEO, I can give you a few examples, but I can give you a specific one because it's amazing to understand how the market works. And I remember last summer, I was checking the top facilities in terms of number of views and number of directions. And I remember I was so surprised because I saw facilities that I've never heard about. And I was so shocked. I was like, where is this place? And it made me understand something that is really simple. When you have to go from A to B every day, you don't navigate with Google Maps, with Waze, or whatever navigation system that you're using because you already know where you're going. But in summer, the behavior changes. So then you start noticing that people use Google Maps and Waze or Apple Maps way more often, for example, and they choose to drive to different locations. So that made us understand that there was a change in behavior. It changes with seasonality.


[00:13:09.460] - Bernardo

Exactly. That's super interesting to understand.


[00:13:13.140] - Carlos

Yeah. I mean, organically, because we do run advertisements, but when we talk about organic, it has been quite a steep learning curve, not only for me, but for the whole organization in general. Again, parking is not the final destination. So in order for us to increase the impressions or the views, we need to showcase that our parking facilities are close to important landmarks from a specific town or specific city or whatever, a specific area. So that's where Local SEO kicks in.


[00:14:05.200] - Bernardo

Yeah, absolutely.


[00:14:07.130] - Carlos

I don't want to give too many tips to my competitors.


[00:14:11.440] - Bernardo

True. Don't do that. But, Carlos, we are, of course, wrapping up our interview here. But today, what do you think it's the importance of local marketing? Why should companies invest in local marketing? As a growth hacker, why do you suggest companies to focus on this? Because it's super important these days.


[00:14:46.270] - Carlos

Well, I guess people seem to be rushing all the time. I'm checking Google Maps, I don't know how many times per day, even places that I'm familiar with. I just want to check whatever on Google Maps. Maybe I'm not looking for this specific place, but when I'm looking for a different place that is close, it pops up. Okay, so what's this place? Sounds familiar, whatever. I think even if the search is not relevant, I think from a branding perspective it is very important. When it comes to parking, you're looking for a specific place, you're not looking for parking. But when you see an Aimo Park icon close to the location where you're going, then you say, Okay, but there's a parking spot close by. Then you're aware. This is a small example, but it makes a difference.


[00:15:45.660] - Bernardo

Absolutely. It does make a difference completely. Our final question is the following. Imagine that there's a company that needs parking online visibility improvement. Would you suggest PinMeTo to them, and how would you do so?


[00:16:06.530] - Carlos

I will never do that.


[00:16:09.140] - Bernardo

I would.


[00:16:11.550] - Carlos

Certainly say that to my competitors. That's something I would say.


[00:16:16.330] - Bernardo

Yes, that's true.


[00:16:19.890] - Carlos

I guess it depends. If you have maybe a restaurant or one facility, maybe it's not that important. But when you have several facilities, it starts to get complex. And for us specifically, where we're operating thousands of different locations, we need a partner like PinmeTo. And not only to verify the locations and have a proper geolocation in place, but also to check the metrics and the keywords. It's on an aggregated level, of course. So I think it's a no-brainer.


[00:17:15.320] - Bernardo

Awesome. That's great to hear that from a customer. First of all, thank you so much for being a customer and for being with us. We love working with you. And it's great to see that a customer does have a lot of good things to say about PinMeTo, has seen growth, has seen some changes, and goals reached. So that's super great to know that. Carlos, thank you so much. We will certainly meet in Stockholm pretty soon and we'll have an episode, a special episode with Aimo Park. We will be there.


[00:17:54.020] - Carlos

Yeah, there's more episodes to come.

[00:17:56.810] - Bernardo
There's more episodes to come with Aimo Park, certainly, because you are a super important customer for us and we will be super happy to visit your offices and get to know you in person. That would be super awesome. Carlos, thank you so much.

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