Google Crowns Madison Alabama’s “eCity”
MADISON – The City of Madison has been singled out as one of America’s “digital capitals” in a new analysis by internet giant Google, which designated the city as Alabama’s leading “eCity.”
“Clearly there is a growing entrepreneurial spirit in Madison which should be embraced,” said Google representative Samantha Smith.
Google’s 2013 eCity initiative named one city in each state as an outstanding example of an environment where “businesses are using the web to find new customers, connect with existing customers and fuel their local economies,” said a statement from Google.
Madison businesses do indeed believe in vigorous online outreach, according to Madison technology consultant Molly Richardson. “They know it’s a technology area,” she said. “People are online, they’re on their phones. They’re on their tablets. They know it’s important to be found.”
Richardson’s Madison-based MR 21 Solutions helps startups establish a web presence.
She said local businesses seizing onto the web need not be high tech, citing a flooring company and a group of pet enthusiast. Madison’s Woody Anderson Ford dealership, she gave high marks for its mobile application. “Mobile is very important if your customers are all out on the road somewhere looking to buy a car,” she said.
For the eCity designation, market research firm IPSOS collected data on 13,000 small businesses across the U.S. and zeroed in on towns with the greatest penetration by Google’s online advertising service AdWords. Researchers scored each company on criteria such as whether it allows sales, has a presence on social media, whether it’s listed in online directories and whether it has a blog. The cumulative scores of its businesses put Madison on top of the state.
“It’s amazing news,” said Susie Masotti, Executive Director of the Madison Chamber of Commerce. “We have so many people who touch the technology industry here that we all benefit from it.” Masotti pointed to the Chamber’s own website, which allows member companies to link to their websites, but also to connect directly via Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or YouTube.
We hope Madison becomes an inspiration to other areas in the country,” Smith said.