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Ring, Ring, Ring... that's all that mobiles used to do. Now they have become, not just a "need to have" item, but something which marketeers must embrace especially when it comes to "search". While the importance of mobile as a channel and the need to see it fully integrated into the mix for a seamless user experience is undisputed, the relevance of search is less keenly felt.
Even though Google volumes are growing dramatically mobile SEO scepticism is rife. There is still a belief that searches are brand specific and therefore don't require as thorough a strategy as for desktop devices.
With that in mind the priority is understanding changing user behaviour, as many searches are location oriented. Understanding this, before launching into expensive development, is key. In general, mobile is offering many new avenues of exploration such as NFC, but again it's felt that the technology is still in its infancy and won't guarantee ROI at this stage.
Despite this, we found that there is a willingness to take risks in order to be among the first to pioneer new, and successful, mobile campaigns as brands strive for a seamless customer journey. Marketers recognise the differences in consumer search behaviour on mobile - with smaller screens, searches must be quicker. This opens a new opportunity for mobile search agencies. Mobile advertising is going to be high on the agenda this year, with three of the brands we spoke to in the process of launching a mobile site or app, and a national supermarket chain highlighting a live opportunity for a mobile search agency.
Even brands that are globalising their marketing operations see the value in specialist mobile agencies. Marketers also recognise the value of geo-localised search, particularly in sectors such as leisure and retail, where efforts to drive traffic are tied to each site. The priority will now be on regularly-updated, authentic and engaging content, posing a new challenge for time-pressured digital marketers that could open a window for digital content agencies.