Google is bolstering its European mobile sales team in a bid to promote its mobile ad channels, such as geo-targeting, to brands and agencies.
It’s still in the process of recruiting for its London-based mobile team but confirmed it will have increased sixfold in the year to March 2011.
Additionally, the search giant told new media age that the team selling into the UK will have grown five-fold over the same period.
It was almost a year ago that Google CEO Eric Schmidt proclaimed the company’s priorities were “mobile first” and it’s now proving itself true to its word in the UK.
The launch of a bolstered sales team dedicated to mobile should provide proof of concept, and it’ll be interesting to see how the traditional agencies take to this new mantra – especially as we’re only just starting to see digital take off in the minds of many traditional advertisers. Surely this will take a sizeable leap of faith.
Google wants to increase advertiser interest in geo-targeted display ads and in-app mobile ads, said Ian Carrington, mobile ad sales director.
“We’ll continue to grow the teams in line with the demands of the market and the growth in mobile searches and display impressions throughout 2011,” he said.
A “disproportionate amount of effort” in Google’s mobile push will be directed at raising awareness of the high returns of geo-targeted display
ads, according to Carrington.
“We’re at the tip of the iceberg with geo-targeting and some campaigns we’ve launched already show just how effective that can be,” he said.
Carrington cited a previous location-based mobile campaign Google conducted with online dating site LoveStruck as a reason for its confidence in the channel.
“We used real-time data from the [Google-owned] AdMob network to improve how the brand targeted Londoners,” he explained.
The conversion rate was higher than the expectations of Google or LoveStruck. As a result, the dating agency has now raised its investment
in mobile advertising to 40% of its total marketing budget.
Brett Harding, MD of LoveStruck, said, “A year ago mobile wasn’t even on our radar. It’s our most important route to market now as the ROI is compelling.”
James Connelly, MD of LoveStruck’s mobile agency Fetch Media, said, “The cost per download was 75% lower than we’d budgeted for, so now
everything we do on mobile will be geotargeted.”
He added LoveStruck is launching similar campaigns in cities across the globe as a result of the London campaign’s success.
Google intends to help brands use its mobile ad network AdMob to boost their apps’ profile on the Android Market, something that has proven problematic on Apple’s App Store.
“In certain cases we’ll approach brands with ideas for initiatives and show them the success of previous campaigns,” said Carrington.
He cited a campaign Google conducted with mobile listings site Wozzon to improve awareness of its Android app as an example of how it intends to approach brands.
“We helped it introduce location into its ad creative and then serve ads to relevant users by cross-referencing it with Android users on the AdMob network,” explained Carrington.
“Users who clicked on the ads were directed to the Wozzon app on the Android Market. The month-long campaign achieved a combined
conversion rate of 7.2%.”
Justyn Lucas, managing partner of Wozzon’s media agency Yodel, said, “Overlaying a geo-targeting level allowed us to improve our previous results and offered new insights into regional mobile activity.”
Google’s new mobile team will also attempt to raise awareness of the ad opportunities in using near-field communications (NFC) technology.
This comes as Google announced it will make the latest version of its Android operating system compatible with NFC technology. It has also begun shipping its own-branded Nexus S handsets with NFC chipsets (nma.co.uk 16 December 2010).
“With a lot of location-based services [such as Foursquare and Facebook Places] you have to physically checkin,” said Carrington. NFC will improve brands’ ability to serve mobile users with real-time incentives, such as vouchers for a meal, using their location, he added.
“With technology like NFC, brands can know where people are in real time and serve them incentives,” he said.
- There are more than 100,000 apps in the Android Market
- By 2014 there will be more mobile internet users than desktop internet users
- By 2014, global mobile web traffic will increase to over 39 times 2009 levels due to rising mobile video consumption
- Mobile search traffic grew 50% in the first half of 2010
sources: Google and Morgan Stanley