Posted May 6, 2009 10:06 am by with 1 comment

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While Google dominates the search market for the desktop / notebook set and rakes in a ton of money with its ads it is finding that the mobile-devicessuccess is not an automatic win in the mobile ad market. Yahoo is feeling the same pinch but that is just one of many issues facing that company these days, isn’t it?

Over at Investor’s Business Daily’s an article serves as a case study of sorts regarding the challenges that face ‘traditional’ Internet ad selling giants and the rapidly emerging and changing mobile ad market. The evidence may be pointing to the fact that it’s not going to be a slam dunk for Google to seamlessly take over this world as well. This kind of says it all

When Glu Mobile launched an ad campaign in February to sell its wireless games, the company at first ran ads on five mobile Internet networks, including those managed by Google and Yahoo.

After just one day, Glu decided the program needed tweaking, says Rick Armstrong, Glu’s senior digital marketing manager.

“Three we kept going and two we turned off, and the two we turned off were Yahoo and Google because they were at the bottom in effectiveness,” he said.

How that last line must make the folks at Google bristle. When you are the default choice for many for most o the planet for search marketing options it can’t feel good to hear that you are getting beat by smaller, more nimble players. This is especially difficult since it appears that the mobile ad space is getting prepared for the hockey stick kind of growth curve that is the holy grail of any industry. The article goes on to say

For Glu, Google and Yahoo took a back seat to three little-known companies: Jumptap, AdMob and Millennial Media. They all operate their own ad networks — broker and place ads — on mobile devices.

Companies that focus exclusively on the mobile ad market have an edge over their Web rivals, says Brennan Hayden, vice president of WDA, which helps companies bring their online content such as games and ring tones to mobile devices.

“Over time there will probably be some equalization, but for now it’s a classic case of the specialized firms getting better results,” Hayden said.

The biggest hurdles that face players like Google have been created in a sense by their huge success to this point. First, the ads that are run on their traditional platform don’t often translate or fit well in the mobile environment. Mobile only ad networks don’t need to worry about how ads are formatted because they are done to fit their model right out of the gate. Secondly, the position of the ads on a mobile device will not correspond to the ‘top of the page’ and ‘right hand column’ look that is now ingrained in everyone’s way of seeing and reacting to the ads. The mobile space just isn’t that easy to manage and will require tweaks that could be trouble for bigger machines like Google to get in gear.

While most won’t worry that Google will be left out of this competition by any stretch it can be easily be imagined that the folks at Google and even Yahoo for that matter won’t settle for being kicked out of advertiser’s mobile programs after one day. Buckle up. This will be a bumpy ride.