Right after yesterday’s post about the forces holding mobile growth in check comes news from Clickz discussing CBS Mobile adding search to its mobile sites. The article cites comScore data that puts news and sports among the top 5 reasons mobile consumers use the web on their phones. Interestingly, mobile search comes in at number 6, just one percentage point behind sports.
Clickz is referring this to the shot heard round the world. To me, to quote Bogey it looks, “Like the start of a beautiful friendship.” Whether this becomes the magic bullet, or whether ultimately represents only the needs of early adopters is difficult to say. Over time, though, it should drive both expectations and behaviors among consumers. How ready are you to meet them?
I’ve said for some time that the networks provided by mobile phone companies in this country limit the utility – and ultimate expansion – of the mobile web. Walt Mossberg provides an alternative point of view, arguing that the real problem is the carriers and their archaic business models. Clearly, he’s on to something. Mossberg makes a compelling argument for freeing mobile phones from the current system, and an even more compelling argument that the outcome will represent a watershed event, much as Compaq’s first PC clone did for the desktop computer industry.
Still, local businesses should recognize that the current model also encourages increased phone use. Cingular/AT&T (or whatever you want to call them) notes in their annual report “Wireless revenue growth is driven by increased penetration of the mass market and by more demand for wireless access to e-mail and the Internet, along with the ever-increasing popularity of downloadable games, ringtones, instant messaging and video.”
While Mossberg is right that the current model limits innovation and artificially inhibits demand for wireless internet, customers are making use of it. Are you prepared for when they do?
One rule for you, another for them | Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/21/2007
Travel companies that eliminate these rules – and make their customers aware of it – really stand to benefit.
Genius. Mike Moran suggests, brilliantly, what a game changer search suggestion will represent. Today, you anticipate what keywords your visitors will use. Suggest will funnel users towards particular search terms. Are yours the ones that win?
Is online advertising, especially pay-per-click, headed for a downturn? Steve Rubel thinks so, giving five reasons why a pay-per-click recession looms. Forrester disagrees. So do I. The flaw in Steve’s logic is it doesn’t take into account the economic term of comparative advantage, which basically argues that different countries – or companies, in this case – will specialize in the areas where they maintain a competitive advantage relative to others. For instance, as Om Malik points out, Yahoo is making a bit of a comeback because it’s proving more efficient for some marketers and some campaigns. And as small businesses seek the advantages search marketing offers, “…there’s a huge potential selling online marketing and advertising…to small businesses.” Finally, remember that Google may not be able to sustain its growth; however, demand for measurable, effective marketing tools isn’t likely to fade anytime soon.