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Google exec gives thumbs up to mobile advertising at CTIA

LAS VEGAS - Google executive Diana Pouliot addressed the opportunities and advantages of mobile advertsing at the International CTIA Wireless 2010 conference.

Ms. Pouliot said that mobile Web usage is driving consumers in new ways and is creating opportunities for advertisers and content owners.  She stressed four key factors in mobile: ubiquity, the mobile Web, location and driving action.

?We take it into account what consumers are doing on the mobile phone when we?re developing products for them,? said Diana Pouliot, director of mobile advertising at Google, New York. ?We try to simplify it.?

One of the main factors is ubiquity. Smartphones accounted for 9 percent of global mobile phone sales in 2008 and are predicted to rise to 46 percent by 2013.

Mobile search traffic has increased by five times in the past two years, and Google maps for mobile has also increased by over 50 million active maps for mobile users.

Additionally, there has been a rise in application downloads. To date, there have been over 3 billion application downloads and counting.

Android users are downloading 40 applications on average.

Twenty-five percent of iPhone and Android users spend two hours per day engaging with applications. 

?More than 60,000 Android devices are shipped per day,? Ms. Pouliot said. ?These users are active and highly engaged with their devices. You can see this explosion in their consumption of data.

?What we found is that consumers who use high-end mobile devices, their search behavior is very similar to what we?re seeing on the PC,? she said. ?Consumers are searching for info from a wide variety of topics ? compared to a narrow variety when it comes to feature phones.?

According to Ms. Pouliot, there are several ways to enable consumers to use mobile for communication, entertainment, information and transaction purposes.

Mobile Web
The mobile Web is driving innovation and opportunity within the mobile marketing realm.

There has been a shift in mobile and companies such as Amazon and Facebook tap into resources that are accessible via mobile Web.

Location, location, location
Mobile advertising becomes powerful when location is introduced.

In addition, mapping and directions is also a big part of how Google wants to provide information to users and marketers can also take advantage of these products.

Google offers consumers a "near me now" feature which filters a user?s search results once they have opted-in and marketers can target them based on their location.

Location makes search more actionable. Thirty-seven percent of local online searchers visited a business in person and 46 percent of local online searchers contacted a business by telephone.

Click to call is an important feature. According to a recent Google case study, consumers that click to call are 22 percent more likely to be more relevant than other lead sources and 31 percent were more likely to result in an appointment than other lead sources.

?We?ve actually been at this for half a decade,? Ms. Pouliot said. ?We?ve been innovating and getting better with different devices.

?Smartphone growth has exploded with apps,? she said. ?Should I develop an app that takes advantage and reaches consumers or should I reach those that are spending hours a day on apps??

Driving actions
Mobile transactions have grown in the past three years.

In another Google case study that explored how mobile drives online sales, the company found that mobile can drive a 17 percent increase in online revenue.

?Retailers want to turn people?s mobile phones into information displays,? Ms. Pouliot said. ?If you?re there in the store and you don?t see your size you can just order it from your phone.?