Mobile Search and Marketing – Catch the Wave, Surf With Style & Learn What The Path of Least Resistance Can Do For You

January 30th, 2012 by Search Influence Alumni

Welcome to the Internet — but look up, you’re about to crash! If you are surfing the web today, it’s likely that your surfboard of choice is your phone. Hopefully you’re not multi-tasking behind the wheel of a car, but smartphones can provide most people with extremely useful tools for everyday life. As for marketers, surf’s up!  Phone marketing is the new big wave.

The dawn of the Internet brought a whole new meaning to the desktop. Instead of a work machine/second-rate gaming station, we gained a window into the whole world, with access to new games, programs, ideas, music, arts, niche news outlets, and fascinating people. There are free games, for surf’s sake! And no longer do free games mean Hearts, Mine Craft and Solitaire.  We now have whatever we can get our downloads on to. And even if we want a game with a little more oomph, we no longer have to pay what now seems like a rip-off premium at our local retail national chain. We no longer have to buy what the retailers in our neighborhood are contracted to sell — the Internet lets us seek out what we want with hyper-specificity.

For marketers, these are vehicles for their product. Web page after web page is filled with banners, popups and text-based ad campaigns. Spam emails flood our inbox every morning. Of course there are some more appealing and friendly avenues, including blog content campaigns and the ever-important SEO; the potential for abuse is there, but there are subtle ways to do it. All of these tactics have been frequented by marketing professionals for the past fifteen years, and they have produced extremely successful results for businesses independent, corporate and all between.

The desktop is regaining its position as a work machine/game station, except every aspect of the desktop is now souped-up with the addition of the Internet. We may have a desktop that has a free copy of Open Office we grabbed online with a few clicks of the mouse, rather than a $249 copy of Microsoft Office. Even though Open Office is free, this very blog is being drafted on a licensed copy of Microsoft Word, because it’s already installed on my Mac. Why would I bother downloading what may or may not be sub-quality when my employer has already payed for this licensed copy of Microsoft Office on my machine? I could if I’d like, but again, why bother? Open-source is a draw, certainly. Maybe you will just prefer to use Open Office unless you’re in an environment where it is mandatory. I’d say that defies the path of least resistance. And that leads us to the trait we love about the Internet: it embraces the path of least resistance. It also has a pretty solid record of rewarding those individuals and entities that also embrace said path. So where am I heading with all this? Well, the path of least resistance: the mobile phone.

In 2012, the Internet is on our phone. If I’m riding along in a car with my friends and we want to know what’s on the menu at a restaurant we’ve never been to, are we going to stop at a friend’s house to use the computer or, worse, go there ourselves? Oh no. There are mobile phones in our pockets that will be telling us what’s on that menu. Even if the restaurant’s website (if they have one) is not mobile-friendly, there are a slew of menu sites out there that are optimized for people in our exact situation. The question is, which site is optimized for our phones? That is the question you need to ponder as well, even in the context of your own website or marketing campaign.

If you think that the Internet on the phone is only for those who are away from home, then you forget about the path of least resistance.  If I want to know who plays “Spartacus” in the new season premiere, my friend on his Evo already has the answer before I’ve even lifted my laptop from the coffee table in front of me. With the phone, the Internet is either already in your hand or less than a foot away. Desktops are becoming less and less the vehicles of surf, regaining their position as just workstations and game systems. The mobile phone is the new vehicle of surf. It’s small. It’s simple. It’s easy. And if you care about your bottom line, you better hop on this wave, or find yourself on the rocks.

There are ways to prepare yourself for mobile phone marketing, like optimizing your website for mobile phones. To get into the real game, you can start testing out text marketing campaigns which are a real treat for bottom line as they are quick and easy for you to deploy. You can also engage with mobile phone-focused search engines. We will get into this and more in our next installment!