Online advertising has been Google's (news, site) main source of revenue so far, bringing in US$ 28 billion in its fiscal year 2010. Given the increasing trend in smartphone and mobile phone use, Google wants to leverage the popularity of mobile phones, and will be ramping up efforts for profitable -- and interesting -- mobile advertising models.
2010 serves as the tipping point for the popularity of the smartphone and other mobile devices. According to KPCB, smartphone and tablet shipments overtook PC shipments in the 4th quarter of the year.
In fact, mobile broadband use is predicted to double this year from 500 million to 1 billion users around the world. This comes with a dramatic increase in mobile data traffic across the globe. KPCB's Mary Meeker predicts mobile data use to grow a compound 92% annually in the next five years.
Realigning of Focus to Serve the Mobile Market Better
Google realizes that the old ways of focusing on Web content might not necessarily work in this kind of environment, given several factors. For example, there is the issue of different screen sizes in mobile phones. Then there are also the differences in inputs and interface.
There is also the fact that mobile content is literally mobile, opening the opportunity for various location- and context-based content delivery.
With these in mind, Google is launching its Mobile Now! advertising initiative, with three core principles: seamless, inclusive and made for mobile.
Google wants to emphasize a seamless delivery of content and advertising across all kinds of devices, including desktop computers, smartphones, tablets and the like. This will incorporate various mobile-related concepts, such as location awareness, click-to-call, click-to-buy, click-to-map and others.
Optimizing for Mobile Delivery
KPCB recognizes the potential advantages that mobile commerce and mobile advertising can bring to businesses. For one, there is the opportunity to take advantage of location-based services. This can drive foot traffic to your store, for increased retail and service opportunities. Then there is also the aspect of immediate gratification, in which over-the-air downloads can easily be purchased through click-to-buy advertising models.
Google has already released a set of best practices for advertising on mobile, which current and future AdWords advertisers will benefit from. At the core, the suggestion is for advertisers to differentiate between their Web campaigns and their mobile-only campaigns, which can give an average increase of 11.5% in terms of mobile clickthroughs.
This allows advertisers to tailor-fit their campaigns and optimize these for mobile delivery. Setting up mobile-specific campaigns will also enable the more advanced mobile features, like click-to-call, click-to-map and click-to-app.
The popularity of mobile devices is contributing to the radical change in which users use these tools. There is an increasing focus on content rather than just devices. This means more than just phones, for there are also tablets, media players, automotive electronics, home entertainment systems and connected home appliances that one will have to consider in the overall picture.
One thing is for sure, though: businesses can already start leveraging Google's current focus on mobile devices.