Greg Sterling – Sterling Market Intelligence / Screenwerk
Reid Spice – iCrossing
Moderator: Kent Schnepp

Mobile marketing is arguably the future of marketing. This beginner level session hit on why mobile marketing is something to get into now along with a discussion on strategies and tactics on this fast growing segment.
First up was Greg from Sterling Market Intelligence / Screenwerk. Greg says the mobile web is the future, however, you need to think about it holistically and think of it as one of the approaches for your marketing strategy.

He presented “the big numbers” of the mobile market. And the numbers are staggering. Basically, it’s a segment you really shouldn’t ignore.

His presentation was fairly quick hits full of lots of data. I’ll highlight the important data.

Theoretically, in 2015, there will be more mobile web users than desktop web users. Fun fact: 35% of Yelp’s queries are coming from mobile.

More smartphones were sold than PCs in Q4 2010.

Text messaging, often not really thought about, is an important channel for some industries for using tactics such as opt-in mobile marketing.

Apps vs. Browser

Most people will not search for your site directly on smartphone. Recommend building a mobile-optimized HTML5 site; this way, your site can work across varying platforms.

If you are building an app, there needs to be some thought about it. It’s getting cheaper to get apps, some DIY platforms, etc. They promote engagement but it’s a small segment of the market.

People are much more engaged with apps in terms of minute of use than browsers.

A mobile user’s needs is much more immediate and focused in many more instances than PC users. These users want to take an immediate action.

Microsoft says 53% of mobile search has a local intent.

After a local-mobile lookup, 61% called and 59% visited business.

79% of smartphone owners use phones while shopping; 74% have made purchase as a result.

Top general content categories:

  • 40% – news / current events
  • 27% weather

Top local-mobile search categories:

  1. Restaurants / bars
  2. Banks and ATM locations
  3. Hotels / motels
  4. Gas stations
  5. Mobile phone stores / services

Google says that mobile “doesn’t see” cannibalization of desktop searches. They will be complimentary to one another.

Will Facebook become largest network?

  • 200 million active (daily) mobile users.
  • Top iPhone app / connect for mobile / single sign on.
  • Places / deals (which is like Foursquare).

Very well could become it.

Mobile marketing and advertising

Reach vs engagement – SMS is to reach as apps is to engagement. Mobile web is right inbetween the two.

Mobile ad options:

  • Display
  • Search (includes pay-to-call). Google pretty much “owns” click-to-call and it can work really well.
  • SMS opt-in
  • QR codes. “Going to be more and more common.”
  • Video / rich media
  • Coupons

Composition of mobile ad revenues: 56% search / 44% display.

Google owns 95%+ of mobile search market. Essentially zero shift for months and months.

One in seven search queries on Google is coming from a mobile search.

Consumers are leading the mobile market while a majority of the brands and marketers are falling behind.

Reid was the second speaker. His presentation was titled “Mobile State of the Industry, Click-to-Call and Tablets”.

Mobile-optimized sites

Is your site ready for mobile? Most likely, it is not. Don’t feel bad – most websites aren’t. Reid looked at the top 100 companies to see if they had a mobile-optimized site.

  • Retails and CPG – pretty much all of them had no mobile-optimized site.
  • Finance and insurance – most did have a mobile-optimized site. This was to be expected.
  • Services, manufacturing and entertainment – most did not have an optimized mobile site.
  • Tech, telecom and auto – most did not have mobile-optimized sites. Two out of the big three big carriers did not have a mobile website. Apple did not as well.

Thoughts on how to structure an optimized-mobile site

Lead with search – browsing on a mobile device can be painful; let users search to quickly find what they need.
Promote your app – if you have an app, tell mobile users about it.

Bonus: mobile-optimized sites load much more quickly.

State of the industry

27x gap between mobile and desktop clicks. This seems bad… but last year, it was 90x and the year before ~200x. Desktop had a bigger clickthrough rate on brand keywords than mobile by close to double. Conversion rates are higher for desktop compared to mobile (~9% to ~4%). Mobile conversion rate improves with a mobile-optimized site. Time of day usage – mobile searches happen more towards the middle/end of the day whereas the desktop is more about the beginning/middle.

Click to call

Click to call is great because you can have your number in your display ad in a mobile Google search results. It’s super easy to set-up and able to track at different levels as well. You can also run it on a desktop campaign and Reid recommends doing it for desktop search. He sees much longer call duration on desktop than mobile. Tips:

  • Route numbers to different inbound numbers to help your call center track performance more granularly.
  • Daypart to call center hours.
  • Consider testing yp.com; they will provide inbound phone number


It’s a third-type of device. The SERP, CPCs and conversion rates are different on the iPad. And iPad impressions have been growing so it’s definitely something to look to target. iPad users tend to search in the morning and at night. On the weekends, iPad doesn’t see nearly the fall-off that desktop and mobile users see.

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