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Google exec: Mobile changes a brand?s value proposition

NEW YORK ? A Google executive at the 2012 MMA Forum said that over the past year, the company has seen a shift in clients just beginning to understand mobile to more companies wanting to invest in mobile.

During ?The Mobile Playbook ? 5 Questions You Should be Asking to Win in Mobile,? an executive outlined five key parts that are evolving the mobile landscape. In addition, the session gave attendees case study examples of how brands are leveraging mobile.
?We decided to take the facts and findings we were sharing with our clients and out them together into this mobile playbook,? said Jesse Haines, head of marketing at Google Mobile Ads, Mountain View, CA.

Mobile prerogative
When it comes to mobile, timing is everything.

Consumers are always connected to a brand regardless of where and when they are, which completely changes the value proposition for brands.

For example, showcased how fast its mobile Web site is with a video that features a user skydiving while making a hotel reservation. took proximity and time in account when developing its mobile site to give its core group of business travelers a strong reason to use the site.

Additionally, the rise in showrooming ? or a consumer coming into a store but shopping elsewhere via their mobile devices ? has many retailers scrambling to give shoppers a strong mobile experience.

Amazon spearheaded the showrooming effect last year by not only encouraging users to comparison shop via their devices but also gave users a discount for using the app.

?Showrooming isn?t going away, and it?s the innovative retailers who are thinking about how to transform their value proposition that win,? Ms. Haines said.

Universal Web
The mobile Web is undoubtedly being used more by consumers to access information while on the go, which can either be a blessing or a curse depending on how well set-up a brand is for mobile.

Research from Compuware found that 57 percent of consumers will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. Similarly, 40 percent of consumers will go to a competitor?s site after a bad mobile experience.

As an example of a company that took a mobile-first approach to its Web site, 1800-Flowers revamped its mobile site last year to include more of a focus on sales, proximity and in-stock availability, per the exec.

There is constantly a debate if either a mobile site or application is better for brands looking to get into mobile.

Google advises brands to develop a mobile site for users that are not yet customers. Apps should be built for a brand?s most loyal consumers and can be used for CRM building.

It is also important for companies to instill mobile into every department since it undoubtedly impacts multiple areas of an organization.

Mobile intention
Depending on the industry, mobile search is quickly re-evaluating how brands develop their search strategies.

For example, upwards of 25 percent of movie-related queries are being made on mobile devices. In some cases, 30 percent of restaurant queries are being made on mobile.

In these cases, it is important to remember the user intent. For instance, a consumer making a mobile search for jeans most likely wants to visit a store to find them, meaning that a store locator is a necessary feature to helping users find exactly what they are looking for.

Google recently worked with Coca-Cola on a campaign that was based on the company?s iconic Hilltop commercials. Via the initiative, users could send cans of Coca-Cola to vending machines around the world via their handsets as a surprise to consumers passing by.

Tablets are also playing an increasingly large role in the ways that brands tackle mobile with the devices increasingly been seen as separate from smartphones, per Ms. Haines.

?One thing that has bowled us over at Google is how people are using the tablet for shopping,? Ms. Haines said.

?Tablets are amazing when it comes to shopping and an amazing platform for brand-building,? she said.

?The reach might be small now, but the consumer is valuable and it?s worth paying attention to the tablet.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York