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The Local Mobile Opportunity … “Yes We Should.”
Last week’s inauguration was a great time to reflect. Witnessing such an inspirational, historic event combined with the ground-swell of optimism gave me a renewed sense of purpose and possibility. Professionally, it made me think about how I can get even more resourceful in my marketing approach and solving the problems of my valuable clients.
While the campaign slogan was “Yes we can,” for our purposes here, I’d like to suggest a new slogan, “Yes we should.” This could be the year that mobile really takes off and here are a few things to consider regarding the mobile opportunity – whether you are a business or a marketer who needs to continue to take care of your advertiser.
Phenomenal growth of the iPhone and other Internet-enabled devices
With estimates as high as 10 million iPhones sold in 2008 and “smartphones” being the fastest growing segment in the market, Internet-enabled mobile devices are a very attractive opportunity. Why? Because mobile search, at its core, is local search. And the opportunity for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), as well as national advertisers to connect to consumers via mobile applications and phones, is more real than ever before. But don’t buy in to the notion that only big advertisers and big budgets can afford to buy mobile advertising. There’s a growing amount of inventory out there available to savvy advertisers.
Bid prices on Google and Yahoo
There are a lot of smart marketers who know how to get their ads on the search engines, but our consistent angst is that more and more, we compete and drive those bid prices on the big search engines up and up every day. There’s a lot of competition and the growing cost of getting those clicks from paid listings reflects this. In the mobile world it’s not there yet. There are not as many advertisers fighting over inventory and there’s a lot of inventory available.
iPhone applications have gone from 2,000 to over 10,000 in a matter of four months – 75% of which are paid – and there have already been 300 million downloads. Not to be outdone, Google launched its own “Android Market” to provide the same opportunity for G1 developers. And as both phones offer GPS and mapping tools nothing could scream “local targeting opportunity” louder for businesses in the local market.
We have become an economy based on instant gratification. The iPhone mobile app developers know it, and as a result we will continue to see more mobile applications designed to help us find what we want. In fact, I was recently playing with an example, an iPhone application called, “iWant.” Say I’m walking down the street, remember a friend’s birthday and need a gift. I pull up the app on my iPhone or Internet enabled phone. As it has GPS, it knows where I am, completes the look-up providing three relevant results within walking distance. I select one and with a tap on the screen, I give them a call to see if they carry the item I’m interested in. They do and with another tap, I can get directions.
That’s not just a nice story or a plug for that particular application. It’s a wake-up call to marketers and businesses. If you want to be one of those businesses that came up on my screen, now is the time to repurpose your business content for mobile… “Yes we should.” If you have a search ad running on one of the search engines today, it can be repurposed to mobile very quickly and distributed on one of the many mobile networks… “Yes we should.” If you have content on your Web site, it can and, say it with me…”Yes we should,” be repurposed into a mobile optimized page.
Consumers look up 58 billion numbers a year, most to connect with a business. So where do they look those up? Yellow Page Directories, 411, ask a friend? For how long, when it’s so easy on a mobile phone or mobile app? Consider what people are doing on their mobile phone every day. With a click of a button or a tap on a screen – or in some instances, just talking into the device – not only have they found the local businesses, but they can now connect via a phone call, instantly. If you are a local business, you need to be that business that comes up in the results. If you are a marketer, you need to get your advertiser’s business content mobile optimized now, and get it distributed to these new mobile and mobile application inventories.
Mobile is a great medium to be in and with the New Year, worthy of your consideration. Balancing your paid search with your organic lowers media spend and increases ROI right? But now add mobile into the mix, and it lowers the average media costs even more! While it took 10 years to build the online pay-per-click marketplace, the mobile version will only take 1 or 2 to mature to the same point. Get in while the going is good. “Yes we should.”
Right now, I feel like a little Thai food, medium priced and not too far… tap screen… lunch. Thai Spice just got a new customer. Happy New Year!
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.