It was only a couple of days I was in a discussion with the Search and Go Development Team about its upcoming release of it’s ‘long awaited mobile home page’ (ahem), yes, they finally are out of the prototype stage and will start releasing the final stages of build 2 in the next few weeks. One of the main areas discussed was the mobile build that is sitting on a private server getting a daily tweak to its code and content in preparation for its launch (I think the mobile side will be in two months), the discussion was about delivering interactive advertising in the content of the mobile pages and best way forward for delivery of these ads.
While still no definitive agreement on how this will be approached, we are avid users of the mobile web and all share a common agreement – we don’t want it in our faces. All of us agreed that we wanted fast and speedy information and search results served up super-speed with no flaffing around. This mean we did not want to be confronted by ads spilling into our surf time when all we really want is to find the address of the nearest restaurant or the latest weather. Having pop-ups or flash driven ads blocking the view of your results is going to cost with time and money. So how are ads to be delivered? One way we agreed is for the Search and Go weather results to be sponsored by a company. For example you might have:
View the Latest Weather Results for the UK on a Blackberry!
Sitting next to this would be the company logo and a link to the company mobile landing page or mobile web ready site. Another idea that would suit Search and Go would be for them to have their info not only subtly sponsored by advertisers, also the ads placed in strategic areas of their content. I was told this could be confusing for consumers. I am not so sure though – if the ads were relevant to the content and were placed between paragraphs it should work quite well. This si where brand-awareness plays a strong part and should be a real breeze for companies with recognizable brands. Your on the mobile phone and looking for a hotel in London and you arrive at a information site and the recognizable branding of the Hilton is sitting right their in the middle of the content with call now for reservation – then yes – the chances are your going to click and go to the Hilton.
Marketing execs and developers on the mobile web platform need to take into account the needs of the average mobile web surfer. I am seeing a number of mobile ready sites lately that have been placing clunky ads or the pop-up text links onto their mobile ready sites, in several phones and browsers I tested these sites only to have some of them crash the phone and at times completely freeze the device. I can imagine this making consumers very unhappy and never to return to the offending site – which amounts to a loss of revenue and sales.
It’s all very well to put up your mobile ready website, but pay attention to how you are delivering those ads especially in size, and ignore the strategic placement rules they very well may not be the revenue generator you expected.
David Frankel Feb 2, 2007.