Google Mobile Evangelists Argue For “Best Practices” On Widely Read Publications
Google developed and launched Android for a range of reasons, both selfish and “altruistic.” As I wrote at the time the G1 came out: It’s now almost a cliche to call mobile phones the most personal piece of technology. And it’s equally simplistic to point out that there are many times the number of mobile […]
Google developed and launched Android for a range of reasons, both selfish and “altruistic.” As I wrote at the time the G1 came out:
It’s now almost a cliche to call mobile phones the most personal piece of technology. And it’s equally simplistic to point out that there are many times the number of mobile handsets around the globe as PCs — more than three billion.
Yet these facts are what have motivated Google — offensively and defensively — to invest so heavily in mobile; it represents a font of future search queries that may eventually exceed those from the traditional internet.
With Android, Google was trying to nudge the entire industry toward its vision of a more open, more user-friendly mobile ecosystem. (It was also doing this in a more aggressive way in bidding against US operators on wireless spectrum in late 2007.) Through these efforts, Google recognized it would reap a wide range of benefits.
As it turns out the iPhone has done more to help accomplish Google’s objectives in mobile than Android, although over time Android’s “reach” could be much greater — especially as it moves beyond phones into a range of computing devices. But a better user experience isn’t the only piece of the puzzle in terms of getting people to adopt the mobile internet. (And usage is the key to driving mobile ad revenue of course.) The otherwise mundane issue of cost (data-plan pricing) comes heavily into play. And then there’s the non-trivial project of getting advertisers to adopt mobile marketing during a recession.
Google is now doing something very interesting, it would appear: trying to advocate best practices on third-party publications where some of its target audiences spend time.
Vic Gundotra, Vice President of Engineering for Google’s mobile and developer products writes on TechCrunch about what drives mobile usage: flat and simple data-plan pricing and better mobile browsers. Over on MediaPost, a publication read by many agencies and marketers, Doug Garland, VP of Product Management at Google, discusses widespread consumer adoption of the mobile internet as a prelude to this advice about mobile advertising:
In order to take advantage of the mobile medium, advertisers will want to create engaging campaigns that are relevant to consumers. Online advertisers should think about utilizing best practices from the web to create a consistent presence in the mobile medium.
And even as mobile devices are converging toward the desktop and desktop technologies — something that is happening faster and faster, especially in light of devices like the iPhone and the T-Mobile G1 — advertisers should think about their customers and how they engage with the mobile experience, asking themselves questions like: How will mobile users interact differently with mobile ads on a mobile device? How might ads look on a cell phone? Is my call to action appropriate for mobile devices? Do I want to only target devices with full browsers where I can use my standard web landing page or should I optimize my landing page for the mobile experience? At what time of day are people searching on their phones? At Google, for instance, search traffic rises on mobile devices on the weekend while desktop search traffic drops. In this way, mobile advertising can be seen as complementary to, and not separate from, an online ad campaign. It allows marketers to extend the reach of their campaigns and deliver the right ad at the right time to users.
The iPhone has done what Android was intended to do, create a proof-of-concept device for the mobile internet and get OEMs and carriers to think about usability. Now, Google is trying to address other problems and challenges it sees in the way of a bigger and more profitable mobile internet: getting carriers to make data more affordable and adopted by a larger audience (predictable pricing drives more usage) and bringing more advertisers into the mobile marketplace.