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Mobile Search Marketing

Posted on Monday, March 14th, 2011 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Featured, Mobile, SEM

The Search world is abuzz with talk about Mobile. And it’s no wonder, as people are increasingly shifting away from their PCs and growing more and more attached to their mobile devices.

According to AdAge Global, mobile phones are “poised to become the most ubiquitous media device in history.” They also report that worldwide, Mobile usage far outweighs that of the PC, citing that, “PC vs. mobile penetration rates for China are (20% vs. 57%); India (4% vs. 41%); Brazil (32% vs. 86%); and Indonesia (5% vs. 66%).” What’s more, according to a recent report by Forrester Research, “… marketing spent on mobile display ads and search will surpass $1 billion in 2011.”

So if you haven’t already, now is the time to jump on the Mobile bandwagon. But experts urge that companies do so intelligently. Marketers should be aware of the fundamental differences between PC and Mobile Device users when crafting their strategies. Below are some useful tips presented during the 2011 Online Marketing Summit (OMS) in San Diego earlier this month.  Michael Martin, Owner of Mobile Martin, and Keith Posehn, President of Zorz LLC,  discussed what it takes to have a “Smart Mobile Marketing” strategy:

  1. When formulating a Mobile marketing strategy, consider the following: Action, Context, Location, and Mood. You’ll get better results when you are able to determine what your target market is doing right now and when you can market to their situation:
    1. Action – what does your audience want to achieve?
    2. Context – what is specific to their situation?
    3. Location – where are they?
    4. Mood – how are they feeling?

Posehn described how an online travel company implemented this strategy and reaped huge rewards. During a major snow storm last year, hundreds of travelers were stranded in airports throughout the Midwest. Aware that people would be tired, cold and cranky (Mood), the company recognized that many of these travellers would be overwhelmed at the prospect of having to find hotel in town. So they created an ad specifically targeted to travelers stuck in major Midwest airports (Context), geo-targeted them accordingly (Location), and offered a quick and simple remedy—warm and cozy hotel rooms at a discounted rate (Action). Through the use of their travel application, travelers could located and book a hotel reservation in far less time than it would take to search “hotels” in Google, and find the ones with vacancies at a price they could afford.

  1. 15 Second Rule: Determine what you want the user to do then ask, “Can they do it 15 seconds?” Chances are, if they can’t, you’ve lost them for good. Mobile users are very different from PC users. It’s all about speed. Mobile users are less likely to conduct research, fill out lengthy registration forms or answer long questionnaires. They want to find, not search. There is a huge difference.
  2. “Think Outside the Banner”: Did you know that a significant percentage of Mobile banner ads are clicked on by accident? It’s true! So don’t put all your Mobile marketing eggs in one basket. Consider multiple avenues; otherwise you might rack up steep click costs while getting very little conversions.
  3. Think “Click-to-Call”. eCommerce on Mobile is hard. Again, Mobile users are pressed for time and less likely to scroll through product pages, view photos, or fill out order forms from their phones. Give them the option to click-to-call. In one simple step, you’ve brought them right to your door. You’re much more likely to get their business this way.
  4. Mobile Messaging: When writing mobile text ads for Search, think about immediacy. Make your message as brief as possible and let it be known that whatever your audience wants or needs, they can get it now. Steer clear of price messaging. Research shows that price rarely matters to the Mobile user. They want something now and they want it close, so be sure to consider location as well.

To learn more about Mobile Paid Search and how to integrate it into your existing paid search strategy, sign up for The Search Agency’s webinar on Mobile Paid Search on March 30, 2011 at 12 PM CDT.

Together with the American Marketing Association and Google, we will discuss the promise of Mobile Paid Search as a way for online marketers to more efficiently reach target their audiences and improve ROI. The Search Agency’s Mike Solomon and Google’s Anjali Vaidya will also introduce important best practices for marketers looking to launch or optimize their mobile paid search campaigns. Sign up today!


About Mary Hayes

As a Creative Editor, Mary Hayes brings more than 13 years of marketing experience to TSA’s SEM group. After 9 years in print publishing, she dove head first into the world of SEM and hasn’t looked back since. An accomplished copy writer and content editor, Mary has experience with several different industries, including healthcare, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, medical research, manufacturing, and more. A native of Maryland and graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, Mary proudly considers herself a true California girl.

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9 Responses to “Mobile Search Marketing”

  1. Barbara says:

    Excellent piece Mary. It is really an exciting time, but as you say, mobile marketing still needs to be done RIGHT and not just done. Looking forward to the webinar to hear more.

  2. David says:

    I love the simple 15 second rule, it is simple to test and keeps the marketing very focused on delivering the customer need.

  3. Mike Solomon says:

    Mobile represents so many challenges and opportunities. The fact that we don’t know where someone is located is challenging. The tips you passed along for Mobile Strategy are very helpful: Action, Context, Location, and Mood. Great write-up!

  4. All valid points, but what the market REALLY needs is a way to render a well designed WP site on a smart phone device with the same trigger elements w/out all the custom CSS recoding involved.

  5. Wonderful post but I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic?
    I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further.

    • Mary says:

      I would be happy to write more on the subject, especially since so much has changed since this was posted — and update is certainly in order. Stay tuned.
      – Mary Hayes


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