Location in general is valuable for advertisers because it allows them to add to their marketing efforts information that extends the traditional targeting from an approach based on who the target market is (age, sex, income, etc), to an approach linked to the physical coordinates of the business.
Location is valuable because it complements the WHO with the WHERE with regards to the target.
The real surge in targeting based on user’s location (geo-targeting) has been possible thanks to the evolution in mobile telecommunications technology and the high penetration of smartphones (mainly through GPS enabled systems that allow advertisers to pin point accurately the user’s location).
What unique specifications do mobile devices offer that make them extremely attractive for advertisers?
Mobile devices are the most intimate personal devices ever built (as well as a powerful computers).
They are always carried by users, and always on
They can collect target data and campaigns can be measured and tracked in an effective manner (increased ROI)
Mobile devices, through the use of social media companies that operate Location Based Services can fully utilise the social aspect of media consumption
Consumers rely heavily on their mobile devices to browse for information and search for things close by that they want or need (a restaurant, a gas station or a 24hour hair saloon). So this has become a great opportunity for advertisers who can use Search Engine Marketing to engage the mobile consumers while they search and browse content on their mobile devices (Google refers to this as “Small screen. Big opportunity”).
Advertising planned with regards to location has always been important to local businesses or local branches of global businesses. In the same manner as radio proved in the past to be a great media channel for local retailers, location-based advertising in mobile devices is also very important for local and global advertisers as it can reach the consumer near the point of sale.
So what is Mobile Search marketing?
Forrester defines mobile search marketing as the process of using mobile search engine results to increase the visibility of a company, its brands, or its products. This is done through SEO, paid search advertisements, or contextual listings. In Paid search the ads appear beside related mobile search results or across mobile content.
And how is Mobile Search Marketing different from online (or desktop) search?
Although the overall philosophy remains the same, traditional web search is created around the popularity and relevance of a web page, rather than the popularity and relevance of a place.
There are certain things that we need to bear in mind when we adapt online search to mobile search. These things relate to the specific nature of a) the mobile device and b) the underlying behaviour of the mobile consumer.
a) Search Marketing with regard to the mobile device
Smaller screens means less space to show organic results and paid ads and so
Mobile Searches return fewer results and less text-per-link in the results page.
Smaller keyboards also generate shorter search queries than with traditional PC-based searches and will need to be customised for “large finger syndrome” by improving navigation on smartphones through search engines.
b) Search marketing underlying behaviour of the mobile consumer
Mobile consumers generally access the web when they need a quick answer and mostly related to things in the vicinity (As Eric Schmidt mentioned in the 2010 IFA show in Berlin:“1 in 3 queries from smartphones is about where I am). They are driven more by specific goals normally with a short-term time constraint (i.e. nearest hotel).
This means that Search for mobile needs to adapt from its online/PC origins in the following ways:
Ads should be location-specific and place extra importance on actionable keywords that are time sensitive and linked to the brand/business.
So what can advertisers use location in Mobile Search for?
Boost Brand awareness and consideration (branding in mobile advertising outperforms online advertising branding according to Insight Express, 2010)
Through increased visibility
Through word of mouth recommendations from current customers
Through partnerships with local businesses
Increase preference and customer acquisitions
Through use of targeted promotions, discounts that can enhance loyalty
For the same reason radio is a Check-ins at “places,” rather than just map coordinates, makes the data valuable for targeted advertising and context-aware advertising
Improve engagement in advertising near the point of sale
Smartphone rich advertising formats increases user experience in relation to local advertising
Improve customer conversions (such as increasing foot traffic to the business or selling more of one particular item).
But the benefits of location-based advertising don’t affect only the advertisers.
Consumers profit from more relevant and tailored messages and as well as useful information (such as a telephone number, opening times, reviews, etc) when they search for a product or service with local implications.
Hi all, this post will talk about how brands can best link user necessity with geographical targeting in the mobile world. Thrilling stuff!
From a user intent point of view, Mobile Advertising in general works better for low-consideration products that are not perceived as expensive. It is therefore more effective for immediate intent actions similar to ones that have already been mentioned (Forrester report states that Mobile Searchers typically act within an hour of searching).
To dig deeper into how advertisers can use Mobile Search alongside location functions we will focus on Mobile Search options offered by AdWords from Google, as they dominate the mobile search market (98% as demonstrated in the below chart from TechCrunch)
These are the main options that can be used in AdWords in conjunction to search for location-based purposes:
Based on what the user types in the search, AdWords will show a clickable banner with the option to show all locations for a particular business in Google Maps for Mobile.
This tool offers the possibility to use the logo of the business as the icon on the map which can aid brand recall. If the user clicks on the location, he or she is lead to a page with more relevant details such as address, numbers, directions, call function, etc.
CLICK TO CALL/FOR DIRECTIONS, AND FOR DISTANCE
With these functionalities users can speak directly to the to the business through the ad, find out directions or distance to the nearest store. These functionalities can bridge the gap between interactive and offline channels through.
CLICK TO DOWNLOAD APP
The ad can also be linked to iTunes store or Android Market to enable the user to download a specific app that can aid in customer experience, retention and loyalty.
The new ‘Offers’ ad extension, will allow a voucher code to be attached to ads for customers to redeem in their local store.
SOCIAL AND MOBILE TRENDS
This next generation search will be influenced by the two leading trends of the last few years: social and mobile. This has been promoted by the Location Based Services (LBS) that we briefly mentioned earlier
Social location-based services are virtual “check-in” services that allow people to check into physical locations, allow your contacts from social networks to know where you are. With this the user can earn rewards for his continued visits, badges, and also physical products.
So why should an advertiser/business owner care about Social LBS’s
Business owners can secure partnerships with theses location-based services to increase brand awareness, conversions (sales) and loyalty (return sales).
Through the use of LBS, advertisers can:
Reach out to customers near the point of sale (and invite them in with an attractive offer)
Acquire new customers via friend recommendations.
Gather valuable data for further advertising in the future.
The most successful LBS are Foursquare and Facebook places (although depending on the region others such as Dowalla, Loopt and Scvngr are also popular)