Convert local search into mobile sales by Joyce Schwarz www.jcombusinessdevelopment.com

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  • 1. Convert Local Search into Mobile Sales By Joyce Schwarz A popular cliché at marketing conferences in the 1990s was "go global and think local, or vice versa." And while international branding is still vital in a worldwide arena, smart interactive marketers are realizing that regional is the future. Geo-targeting, pay-for-call search and even newer interactive business models -- many of which are based on pay-for-performance -- will move stuff off shelves, fill movie theater seats and cash in on "celling" to the on-the-go mobile consumer of today and tomorrow. Here's a look at marketing strategies for how to do just that and how to begin cashing in on the $600 billion regional services marketplace. Stop the silos A good place to start for interactive marketers is to stop putting offline, online, mobile, search, content and commerce into silos. Christopher Isaac, a McLean-based PricewaterhouseCoopers partner, underscores this in an email: "It remains both a challenge and a huge opportunity for companies to execute two critical enablers -- to provide digital media consumers an integrated experience across different platforms, such as mobile phones, TV and fixed internet, and also to understand individual and group consumer preferences so that a very fragmented consumer market can be aggregated into meaningful segments, not just one time but on an almost continual basis."
  • 2. But why look local? Last year on iMediaconnection.com, I explained that Yahoo and Google mobile deals are opening the floodgates to the $90 billion budget U.S. businesses spend annually on local advertising. The Kelsey Group claims that 40 percent of all online search queries are for local businesses, and an amazing 92 percent of local searches convert later offline -- and adding mobile maximizes that marketing. According to The Kelsey Group's latest forecast, the market for pay-per-call advertising is expected to reach $3.7 billion in the next four years. Stats are going to impact 2007 In a report from Borrell Associates, local online advertising will grow 31 percent in 2007, peaking at $7.7 billion. Local paid search will mushroom by 86 percent in 2007 to $1.8 billion, and local email advertising will grow to $233 million, a 54 percent increase. "Just as paid search contributes to more than 40 percent of the total U.S. online ad spending market, so it is for local online advertising where paid search provides over 55 percent of the local total, " states eMarketer.com. Don't forget that paid search in the local market is just heating up and many brands are slow to realize the value of local online ad-spends and tie-ins with mobile marketing opportunities. So how does this translate to mobile and the new art and science of wireless marketing, or what I call "celling"? Back in December, Ingenio, a leader in pay-per-call advertising, partnered with JumpTap, Inc., a mobile search provider for such carriers as Alltel and Virgin, with a goal of making that connection at the exact point people are ready to buy. Ingenio has similar deals with AOL and Go2.com. Microsoft and Google also are implementing pay- per-call programs for mobile where advertisers only pay when the customer actually clicks or calls for more info or to buy products. by Joyce Schwarz, JCOMbusinessdevelopment.com, 310-822-3119