I recently had the opportunity to interview Sara Holoubek, Consultant, Columnist & SEMPO President regarding what’s next in the mobile space. Here is the interview transcript below:
What mobile channels are available to search marketers and which show the most promise?
The primary means of reaching the mobile search audience are a) on-deck search within a carrier’s content portal, b) off-deck search on any major engine as accessible through a mobile device, c) mobile advertising, which includes text-based paid search ads, display, site sponsorship and interstitials, and d) mobile applications.
While smartphones only make up 15% all mobile users in the USA, they account for 50% of all mobile Web traffic. As such, we expect to see a greater number of natural searches occur from the mobile device.
What are the prospects for search, particularly local search, on mobile devices, and how is the landscape changing?
It comes as no surprise that local searches frequently occur from a mobile device. To some extent, the handset, software and search engine technology always trails real consumer behavior. In the near future, we expect to see an increase in offers based on one’s geo-location. The arrival of GPS-enabled browsers now allow for specific, in market opportunities to be presented though natural search, advertising or an application.
A second technology that will radically change search will be improvements in voice recognition. There’s a reason the iPhone doesn’t have a physical keyboard.
What steps can marketers take to effectively target and reach consumers using mobile?
The first step is to understand your audience. With over 5,000 mobile devices in circulation around the globe, one size does not fit all. What type of device are they using? Are they heavy mobile surfers? or do they prefer texting? These behavior cues provide good guidance as to the tactics to employ, be it mobile content, advertising or developing an application.