Google, Direct Digital Marketing and the Mobile Web

Josh GordonIn the interest of objective candor, IRCE 2010 in Chicago did not hit a home run with every keynote. Some speakers, however, introduced many important concepts and advanced the dialogue of online and direct digital marketing in significant ways. One speaker on day three of the conference, Google’s VP of eCommerce, Stephanie Tilenius, rattled off some important statistics that were equally telling about the future of the industry and Google’s intentions on how it plans to shape that future.

Tilenius cited the following group of statistics, or opinions, that are worthy of all of our consideration:

  • In 2009 1 in 10 consumers had a smartphone. In 2010 that figure has changed to 1 in 5.
  • Half of all Internet connections are achieved through a mobile device.
  • The mobile Web will be bigger than the PC Web. Its growth rate right now is eight times what the PC’s growth rate was is the 1990s.
  • Half of smartphone users use their device while shopping in a physical store.

“Google believes the mobile Web will be bigger than the PC Web.” – Stephanie Tilenius, VP eCommerce, Google

Of course everyone in the industry understands the value of mobile marketing. These important statistics simply reinforce the value of mobile, but they also emphasize the two primary types of mobile marketing that will be most influential with consumers – SMS and the mobile Web.

Google has obviously invested a great deal in mobile. But, it seems clear that Google intends to place particular significance on the growth of the mobile Web. While apps are a part of the current landscape, AT&T’s recent decision to increase data rates for heavy data users makes the iPhone’s array of apps somewhat less significant given the amount of data necessary to have a great app experience.

Google’s interest in the mobile Web can also be explained in part by its broader reach. While apps must be designed to the device – and mobile Web microsites, for example, must have a device influence in their design as well – the work required from the development team is not nearly as significant as what is needed for an app. Mobile microsites can mimic the rich experience of an app in many ways with a much quicker time to market.

I will have much more from this keynote next week, but the emphasis that Google is placing on the mobile Web as the centerpiece for the future of mobile marketing cannot be ignored.

It is a good time for all direct digital marketers to consider where they – or their clients – are in the development of their mobile strategy, and how the mobile Web may help their brand have more impact.


  1. Posted June 17, 2010 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Interesting article,thanks for sharing!!!

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