Friday, 25 April 2008

What is Google mobile ads missing?

Google launched mobile image ads a few days back, and i have been asking myself will they work? Techcrunch also ran a poll and unsurprisingly a large portion of people selected that they would not follow a mobile ad. However Google does point out that with increasing usage of mobile internet & larger screen sizes this market will soon take off. This report from cellular news says it will be a 10 Billion market by 2010. Thats quite possible. Though is the ad placement technology currently ready for mobile internet?

Google has taken their current Ad system, and have adapted it for the mobile screen. When you consider how different the use of your mobile is compared to the use of a desktop computer this is not the best solution. For example:

You are most likely accessing the internet on your mobile phone when you are out & about, at the mall, on the beach, in your car, waiting in line at the bank, the point being you are currently doing something else. You are doing some sort of ACTIVITY and your mobile phone is just there to add value.

When you sit at your desktop/laptop you are most likely sitting down with the specific purpose of achieving something such as surfing the net, typing out a document, researching some topic,, catching up with social networks/email.

There in lies the fundamental difference in how we access the internet on PC/LAPTOP vs a mobile device. Just for a moment, analyse the psychology of this and the motivations behind it.

... got it?

With the traditional method of accessing the net we make the decision to set away time to spend at the computer and surf the internet, we are doing nothing else but sitting at the computer.

With mobile devices we are making a decision to DO something else. The mobile phone and by extension the internet is there purely to serve a purpose which is to add value at that specific time, in that particular context. It may be used to do all of the things we do on traditional desktops/laptops but it usually means we are also doing something else.

This is why mobile ads may not prove as lucrative with enough click through as your normal internet ads. The time you have when you are accessing a mobile device is of HIGHER value, then when you are sitting at your desktop surfing the net. Therefore you are less likely to click on a link for an AD. The AD has to be much more relevant than it is currently.

Yes, Google ads are currently relevant using the query, possibly the location of your IP and other factors but with mobile ads there needs to be another level of relevance and that is CONTEXT.

What is the user doing at that point in time? What is he actually looking for? Where is he?

And that's what's currently missing from Google mobile ads, Relevance + Context. I have ideas on how to achieve that but we can save that for another day.

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1 comment:

Rex said...

Very true, good point. I might add that most people aren't going to accept intrusive (annoying) ads on their mobile phones, unless they're getting that phone for free, or at least their bill is subsidized, by Google for example. Just an idea.