Features

Google’s Mobile Crusade

Written on
Dec 9, 2009 
Author
Peter Koeppel  |

crusade_small.jpgADOTAS – It’s no secret that Google has long been King of the Web, but the search giant has been taking hits recently as sales for pay-per-click ads has decreased and search engine marketing only gets more complicated.

Far from losing its status as the most savvy online innovator in existence, Google has been earning its street credibility back with its recent foray into the world of smartphones.

From its acquisition of up-and-coming mobile advertising start-up AdMob to the introduction of a maps application that could completely replace GPS systems, Google may have come late to the mobile party, but it has definitely not lost its place as King of the Digital Age.

Mobile Advertising: For Real?

The buzz about mobile advertising being the next online advertising has been going around for a few years, but so far it’s been mostly theoretical.

After all, companies spent more than $23 billion in online ads last year, but only $160 million in mobile ads -– not exactly the revolution everyone was looking for. Google seems to have jumped into the mobile game just at the tipping point, however.

With the rise in smartphone usage, the incredible popularity of the iPhone, and the introduction of the new Droid, the mobile phone industry seems to be positioned for explosion.

And with the acquisition of AdMob, Google is poised to take advantage of that new market.

AdMob: The Perfect Partner?

The mobile advertising start-up may still be smaller than its rivals in the industry, but it has the same virtue that made Google such a success: It values intelligence over anything else.

AdMob has been outsmarting bigger competitors and establishing itself as a leader in the industry, while Google made its $750 million –- in stock –- buy at just the right moment to take advantage of all that new innovation before anyone else learned how to do it.

This is the strategy that keeps Google as the front-runner in ad spending. It was the first, the best and by the time everyone else caught up, it was already the only brand most buyers would consider. If it can pull off the same coup with mobile advertising, Google is set for another huge success.

Google Goes Beyond Mobile (Of Course)

Google’s savvy in getting the most out of mobile technology isn’t limited to advertising, either.

Smartphones have made accessing the Internet very nearly as easy as making a phone call ever was, and the technology for getting online via a smartphone is improving by the week.

Google can’t risk being king of the web on a computer, but not on a smartphone. The company has been adjusting some of its most popular applications, particularly the ones most useful to a consumer on the go, to make Google just as indispensible out and about as it is on the computer.

One such application is the new Google Maps for smartphones. It’s the same application that has been so popular online for finding businesses and directions, but adjusted to operate almost exactly like a GPS, with turn-by-turn directions, live traffic updates and the ability to recognize voice commands.

This is yet another example of Google getting into the game at just the right tipping point: up until now, the smartphone technology wasn’t quite fast enough to download directions in real time, making maps on smartphones not as convenient as car-installed GPS systems.

Google’s Maps application comes at a time when the technology is just sufficient to make the application nearly as fast as a GPS system –- with the added bonus that it’s free.

Positioning Itself for Continued Innovation, Domination

Google has taken some flak in recent years for not staying ahead of new trends and resting on its laurels.

The strategy it has demonstrated so far in entering the mobile technology field shows that maybe it wasn’t resting at all –- just getting itself into position for the next big takeover.

King of the Web is a good title, but ruling over mobile too? Now, that’s quite the empire.





Peter Koeppel is Founder and President of Koeppel Direct, a leader in direct response television, online, print and radio media buying, marketing and campaign management. With a Wharton MBA and over 25 years of marketing and advertising experience, Peter has helped Fortune 500 companies; small businesses and entrepreneurs develop direct marketing campaigns to increase profits.

Peter started Koeppel Direct in 1995 and has built it into one of the leading direct response media-buying firms in the U.S. Follow me on Twitter.

Reader Comments.

It wasn’t really that AdMob was the most innovative mobile ad network (arguably it isn’t), more that it’s business model, blind advertising + mass-market + CPC was a good fit for Google. However it’s certainly not the only (or best) choice for all advertisers (or publishers) though. We’ve put together a guide to help advertisers and publishers choose the best ad network for their needs: http://mobithinking.com/blog/best-mobile-ad-network.

Posted by mobiThinking | 5:17 am on December 10, 2009.

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