Mobile search engine marketing seems poised to be the next big thing in the world of search. Last month Google Mobile launched its first advertising programme targeted at mobile phone Internet users in Japan. While this might seem to be just a test market, it undoubtedly heralds a new era in search engine marketing.
Microsoft have proactively pushed their own mobile platform for the past few years now, and it is just a matter of time before they will announce their own mobile advertising service.
Furthermore, T-Mobile and Google formed a partnership last year, which ensured that Google would be the home page for all T-Mobile customers browsing the web on their mobile handsets.
So what does all of this mean for business?
Mobile Search Engine Advertising
Google is pioneering the way to reach wireless Internet browsers through the technology it knows best – search. Mobile phone marketing through SMS is old news. A lot of companies still use it, very effectively, especially to promote mobile games, ring tones, events and regional specials. However, the reach and effectiveness of such advertising is limited by the same factors that limit bulk emails – lack of targeting.
Mobile search engine advertising on the other hand allows businesses to reach potential consumers who are looking for their services, anywhere, even far away from a PC or wired network connection.
Like all new channels, the mobile search advertising medium needs to be tested carefully, to avoid alienating users and continuing to provide useful data services on the go whilst maintaining profitability through delivery of relevant ads.
Google Mobile Japan currently displays ads on the top and bottom of their search results. Only time will tell if this is the most effective placement strategy for them.
Mobile Marketing Services
Only a handful of companies offer mobile marketing services worldwide. AccuraCast is one such pioneering mobile marketing company. Wireless marketing services include mobile web design, advertising via Google Mobile and other upcoming mobile search engine advertising channels.
Is Mobile Phone Marketing Right For Your Business?
Given that mobile phone marketing is in its infancy at present, it might not be the most effective medium for all businesses to market their products and services. When evaluating your company’s future sales and marketing strategy you should probably think about your audience, and when they might use a mobile phone or wireless handset, if at all, to search for your products or services.
Hotels are an obvious example of a business that should ensure mobile users searching for a room in a particular city, town or locality can find the hotel and book a room online or by calling the hotel front desk. Restaurants, nightclubs, taxicabs, cinemas, automobile service stations, map services and escort services are other similar examples. Google Mobile‘s current offering in Japan gives users the choice of clicking on an ad to view the website or calling the advertiser directly from the mobile phone.
Businesses such as professional b2b service providers and mortgage lenders, on the other hand, will rarely be searched for in a hurry or by people on the go. Such companies are better off waiting for the mobile Internet market to mature and become a more established medium before they start advertising on mobile search engines.