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More Mobile Marketing Opportunities

We’ve been talking a lot about mobile marketing lately. If you’re not sick of the subject yet, eMarketer has some more data on mobile marketing opportunities (as always with eMarketer, free for a limited time only). Yes, I said data. I love . . . well, you know.

Highlights from their data (all emphasis added):

  • 90% say that they are not at all interested in getting ads on their mobile phones, according to Harris Interactive.
  • Right now, mobile is the only interactive medium where the typical user pays for both the cost of network access and the content it delivers. Mobile operators and content providers are finding that besides early adopters and enthusiasts, it is tough to find buyers for paid mobile music downloads, let alone video and games.

Google Tries to Squash Cell Phone Reports

Despite a lot of evidence suggesting Google is working on a rival to the new Apple iPhone, Google executives have stated the company is interested only in developing mobile software, not hardware.

Google’s South-East Asia managing director of sales and operations, Richard Kimber, is quoted as saying “At this point in time, we are very focused on the software, not the phone.”

Of course, we all know that doesn’t completely rule out a Google cell phone. It’s quite possible that Google is working with a cell phone manufacturer (Samsung) to create a Google branded phone, they’re just not working on the actual hardware.

What’s interesting, as always, no flat out denial from anyone at Google.

First Look: Yahoo Hopes to Gain #1 Mobile Search Spot With Expansion

Despite many believing mobile marketing to be a “non starter”, the search engines continue to invest heavily in mobile search. With $11.4 billion expected to be spent on mobile search advertising by 2011, Yahoo is at the top of the list of companies staking their future on the tiny web browser.

Earlier this year, Yahoo launched their mobile oneSearch technology for Yahoo Go and today the number two search engine will announce their expansion of oneSearch. For those of you needing a primer, oneSearch is designed to make searching for and finding information as quick as possible for consumers by providing relevant results right on the page such as news headlines, images, business listings and more as well as easy navigation to other web sites. Effectively, oneSearch anticipates the type of information you are looking for, and does away with the arduous task of navigating ten blue links in a mobile browser (see the “pizza” example, right).

The expansion of oneSearch involves making the service available on more than 85% of cell phones – doing away with the need for your phone to support Java downloads – and helping Yahoo make a stronger challenge for the title of top mobile search provider.

Speaking with Yahoo’s Director of Mobile Web, Lee Ott, it’s clear the company is hoping 2007 is the year that it takes the mobile crown away from Google. “Yahoo intends to be #1 in mobile search,” says Ott – mobile research firm M:Metrics has Yahoo in the number two slot for mobile search, behind Google, for December 2006. In fact, Ott believes “2007 will be the tipping point for mobile search.” A bold claim, which I’m sure we’ve heard every year for the past three years.

With such confidence in the prospects for mobile search in 2007, it’s no wonder Yahoo is building search advertising and display advertising into oneSearch. “oneSearch has monetization built-in from inception,” confirms Ott, adding that the service will be Yahoo’s “monetization engine for the mobile web.”

Yahoo oneSearch for the Mobile Web rolls out today for the U.S. and additional country and language versions over the coming months. For more details, visit http://mobile.yahoo.com/mobileweb/onesearch

Starting “Non-Starter”: Mobile Marketing

Surprise, surprise: mobile marketing is labeled “a non-starter” by Brady Gilchrist on iMedia Connection last week. I can’t disagree. For all the hype surrounding mobile marketing, there are few truly viable mobile marketing models. Brady cites the “SMS to win” and e-coupons models, but states “There is really nothing out there that has wowed consumers, just yet.”

But, he points out, there’s hope. Rather than being all doom-and-gloom about how mobile marketing has still failed to effectively materialize (like I am), Brady develops six different mobile advertising models, most of them based on future technology capabilities. His list:

  1. Instant information: “Expect that the first major retail use of mobile internet . . . will be comparative shopping. . . . Widgets, such as reminder lists, traffic cams, weather forecasts and a million other useful bits and pieces, are all sponsorable and brandable opportunities.”

The Blogosphere’s All A-Twitter

Must be spring, since, as I said, the blogosphere’s all a-Twitter. (FYI, the first day of spring is next week. So lay off with the 600 stories of the weekend, okay?)

Yeah, that’s right, I had nearly 600 stories in my feed reader. And several of them were, in fact, about Twitter. Chris Brogan at lifehack.org has a good description of Twitter:

For those of you not yet using it, Twitter is a communications gateway that asks the question: “What are you doing now?” Users can answer and hear their friends’ answers via SMS, via IM, or on a webpage. Updates have to be under 140 characters. Think somewhere between IRC and IM and that’s Twitter.

Mobile Marketing Resources

The Online Publishers Association says that mobile marketing is working. With response rates as high as ten times that of Internet ads, mobile ads seem to be working for early adopters. The OPA admits that the medium is fledgling and that results can change over time. (Via MarketingVOX.)

Personally, I’m not a fan of mobile marketing, but to each his own. Strike while the iron’s hot (or heating up). Here are some mobile marketing resources. Please note that this list is not fully vetted; I did some searches, skimmed the content and made snap decisions.

Sites/blogs devoted to Mobile Marketing

Mobile Marketing News

Two different ad-supported mobile services have been announced today.

CNN has relaunched its mobile site, now a free model supported by ads. MarketingVox reports:

The site will allow people to sign up for breaking news alerts via SMS. It will also feature a searchable news archive, correspondents blogs and a mobile-friendly two-minute video news update each hour.

That video show will have pre- and post-roll spots from Lexus, CNN Mobile’s first advertiser. Lexus will also put up banner ads on the site. The carmaker has signed up for the first month of the site under the deal, which was put together by the Zed agency.

Also today, Hovr premiers free mobile gaming supported by ads. Again from MarketingVox: