Google Week, Day 3: Google dominates mobile even more than desktop

  Written by Louis Gudema

mobile phone w adThis is the third part of my week-long series on Google. On Monday I talked about Google’s dominant role in search marketing and on Tuesday about Google’s industry-leading display advertising. Tomorrow will be about video, YouTube and social media, and a second post on analytics, and Friday will be about the Google corporate culture and how that’s enabling the company to expand into many new fields.   

Overall, Google delivers about two-thirds of searches. On mobile, it delivers 85-plus percent of U.S. mobile searches, and globally that’s even higher.  As a result, in the words of eMarketer, “Google dominates the mobile ad landscape.”

You could just stop reading now and go to AdWords and work on getting the most out of your mobile advertising. But assuming you want more, I’ll continue.

Mobile is no longer the future, it is the present. People switch freely between desktop, tablets and smartphones and they’re expecting companies to be on all of them, too.

Desktop search is declining and mobile search is growing and will overtake desktop within a couple years. Companies can’t afford to concede this ground to their competitors, they need to be advertising there. And with Google providing about 85% of mobile searches, as well as display ads and in-app ads, mobile advertising starts with Google and its Enhanced Campaigns.

Many B2C companies know that they need to be on mobile. Imagine that it’s 6PM on a Saturday night and a person is searching on their smartphone for restaurants in their area, or that it’s 6PM on February 13th and a person is searching for “flowers”. If you’re a restaurant, or a flower shop, in those situations you want your ad to show up regardless of which device they’re searching on, right? That’s probably a highly motivated searcher and on mobile like these people are even more likely to take immediate action than on desktop.

What if you’re a B2B marketer? Well, you have a huge first-mover opportunity, because currently B2B tech companies are only devoting about 4 percent of their marketing budgets for mobile. The first companies to exploit any new marketing channel — whether it be email, search, display, social media, video, whatever – get outsized results. Later on, when the competition is matching (or surpassing) their efforts they have to continue with their marketing to not be left behind. B2B first movers definitely have an opportunity today.

But companies need to act now to get that first-mover advantage: mobile accounted for 22.5% of digital ad spend in 2013, up from less than 3% in 2010. eMarketer estimates that mobile search ad spending will exceed desktop in three years.

For B2B companies, there’s a huge opportunity in mobile advertising because executives are increasingly using mobile for search.

B2B ecommerce is moving to mobile, perhaps at a faster rate than B2C. More than half of customers on B2B ecommerce sites are using smartphones . Sixty-nine percent of B2B ecommerce companies expect to stop printing a catalog within the next five years.

With content marketing all the buzz these days, the phrase you often hear is “content is king”. But when it comes to mobile, context is king. If I’m using an airline’s app, I want different information three hours before my flight (confirmation that it’s still scheduled to leave on time), one hour before the flight (the gate), and when I land in another city (the luggage carousel). Now imagine that you’re a B2B marketer and a trade show or conference in your industry is ongoing. You could have custom ads just for that city, or just in the vicinity of the convention center. (Since the behavior of people on laptops and tablets is very similar, Google lumps tablets in with desktop. So you’ll want your ad to be found regardless of the device someone is using, of course. And that’s the beauty of those Enhanced Campaigns.)

In addition to online search, display and in-app ads, Google provide important mobile-only options for B2C and B2B companies:

So think mobile first for your website, landing pages and ads. Make sure everything looks good and works well on mobile, and then expand it out for larger formats.

And be there. Because your customers are.

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