Tiny Screen, Big Opportunity: Mobile Search Today

In July 2005, Oneupweb released a free white paper, entitled Mobile Search and Its Implications on Search Engine Marketing. The paper covered mobile search demographics, behavior, technology, and evolution. We also identified what steps marketers can take today to make sure their businesses are mobile-friendly tomorrow. Since July, a lot has changed in the mobile search landscape. What hasn’t changed is our prediction that mobile search is on the cusp of becoming an essential marketing channel for B2C and B2B businesses alike. Whether you’re trying to sell a pizza to a hungry guy walking down the street, or a group health insurance plan to an HR manager tapping away at his PDA while waiting in an airport, mobile search is coming. Here are a few key developments marketers should be award of:

Yahoo and TiVo Launch New Service – Do you TiVoo? Yahoo and TiVo hope that you do. Their agreement means TiVo subscribers will be able to set their TiVos remotely, using Yahoo’s web-based interface. Pretty cool, but wouldn’t it be even better if you could set your TiVo from your mobile phone…? Yahoo also announced that it is partnering with SBC to offer its own cell phone, giving mobile users easy access to Yahoo search, email, photos, and more. The phone will be manufactured by Nokia, and will operate on the Cingular network.

Google also announced today that it has enhanced its local search feature to include satellite maps. This gives Google mobile search users the ability to plot local search results on a map and get walking or driving directions. More interesting to marketers though, is the new “click to call” type feature, where users can automatically have their cell phones dial any business that comes up in Google’s local search results.

And in October, the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) announced the creation of a Mobile Search Working Group to explore the possibilities of mobile search marketing and design a system for mobile search advertising and content.