Google, Digitas collaborate to help grow mobile marketing
By Chantal Tode
May 18, 2011
New agency eyes bigger role in mobile advertising
Google is partnering with Digitas for mobile insight and trends analysis to help provide the kind of data that will grow the mobile marketing space.
The collaboration will see the two companies combine original search and marketing data to create forecast trends, inform investment strategies and drive increased adoption and deployment of mobile-optimized Web sites. The first input from the collection is an analysis of Mother’s Day 2011 mobile trends.
“Getting marketers a baseline insight into how mobile is changing how people are interacting with brands, what they want from a content perspective and utility perspective is why this partnership exists,” said Chia Chen, senior vice president, North American mobile practice lead at Digitas, Boston.
Google will be providing data about the mobile searches that takes place via Google.
Digitas’ contribution will include other data available from its clients as well as analysis and insight. The agency, which is part of the Publicis Groupe, will also connect Google with some of its clients for proprietary research.
“The history of Digitas has been in understanding consumer behavior through data,” Mr. Chen said. “We’ve extended that over time into the digital space and now into mobile.”
Moutain View, CA-based Google and Digitas hope to be able to provide research that will help grow mobile marketing.
Mobile search big for Mother’s Day
“In mobile marketing, there are still a lot of brands and clients who are wondering how should they think about mobile,” Mr. Chen said. “They are looking for the insights that will compel them to be in the mobile space.”
An example is the first output from the Google, Digitas collaboration, which is a look at mobile trends around Mother’s Day.
“This kind of stuff is what’s really going to bring to life for brands that mobile is moving into the center of people’s lives,” Mr. Chen said. “We can explain how that is working so brands can say, that connects with my brand opportunity.”
This is especially true in the retail space. In a recent digital trends report from Digitas, the company talked about how mobile is becoming an even bigger part of the overall retail experience.
Some of the findings include that 33 percent of Google search queries on Mother’s Day on the term “flowers” came from mobile devices.
In addition, mobile search queries for “flowers” both on Mother’s Day and in the week leading up to it increased by over 100 percent compared with the same periods last year.
The data also indicates that last minute shoppers looked to mobile search as they scrambled to find flowers for mom. Mobile search queries increased steadily during the week prior to Mother’s Day but the increase in mobile searches for “flowers” was much higher than usual over the weekend of Mother’s Day.
Google’s collaboration with Digitas underscores just how important mobile and the mobile marketing piece is to Google, per Neil Strother, practice director, mobile marketing strategies and mobile services at ABI Research, New York. “To the larger market it says, this mobile marketing trend is growing and a major player is taking it seriously.”
And, even though Google is unlikely to provide total transparency into the mobile search activities taking place via Google Mobile, this information is still relevant, per Mr. Strother.
“Google obviously knows search and online and a lot of search is happening through Google Mobile,” he said. “This is relevant information for the market.”
The Google-Digitas project will look at a range of mobile trends over the course of the year to better understand how the advancement of mobile technology and smartphone adoption has impacted consumer behavior.
“Google generates a huge amount of data, combined with our client data and ability to provide insights from that data is a powerful combination,” Mr. Chen said.
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer
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