Google (NSDQ: GOOG) may only make $1 billion in mobile advertising revenues in a year, out of about $29 billion in revenue the company overall, but the mobile market, and in particular the smartphone segment, holds huge promise for a company that likes to note that mobile searches on average increase by 50 times when a user upgrades his device to a smartphone. This week is about Google stepping up on that promise.
A new head of mobile advertising, Karim Temsamani, has started to poke his head above the garden walls this week, his first public engagements since starting the job in October, after a transfer from the role of MD of Google Australia and New Zealand.
In the last few days, Temsamani’s been giving interviews, and writing on the Google blog, and promoting a mobile advertising event targeting businesses in New York later this week, with speakers including Mary Meeker, Partner at Kleiner Perkins; Google’s Dennis Woodside, SVP of Americas Operations; and Jason Spero, Head of Americas Mobile Advertising.
In the lead-up to that, Temsamani’s team have been slowly releasing stats on mobile advertising.
Michael Slinger, head of mobile sales focussed on search and click-to-call, tells mocoNews that apparently ads that are optimised for mobile, either by being tailored to a mobile audience, or navigating to more mobile-based content, get an 11.5 percent increase in mobile click-through rates compared to their mobile CTR on a hybrid mobile+desktop campaign.
In other words, people on mobile respond better to mobile content than they do to something more generic.
That in itself is an unsurprising conclusion, but it’s one that seems to get overlooked by a lot of advertisers. Slinger would not say what proportion of advertisers elect to run mobile-specific rather than cross-platform campaigns: an advertiser has the option of doing one or the other on Google’s platform.
The higher click-through rates, of course, are important for Google because that is how Google itself makes money. But it also underscores how, despite the many advances in smartphone technology to give handsets the functionality of small computers, mobile is still distinct from online when it comes to user behavior and expectations.
Google will not say exactly how many businesses run mobile- rather than cross-platform campaigns, but the impression is that it’s not a large number. “It is increasingly becoming more common,” he says. “But there is plenty of room for improvement…I think it’s l still early days for mobile.” he says.
Slinger says that advertisers have always had the option to run either mobile or hybrid campaigns, “but a lot of agencies didn’t have the time to do the right thing and run specific campaigns for mobile,” he says.
Part of that had to do with the fact that not many advertisers thought there would be much traffic: that, too, has changed.
Search-based ads remain the single biggest advertising format on mobile for Google. The ads have grown in their functionality that is specially targeting mobile viewers, such as click-to-call services; as well as hyperlocal formats, which give users results close to users when they share their location information.