In case you missed it, there was a cool article written by the co-founder of TechCrunch, Keith Teare, regarding what he called “The Mobile Paradox.” To me, the most interesting aspect of the piece is the various quotations contributed by the Google Executives in response to analyst feedback.
To give you some context, the only blip on Google’s stellar financial resume is that aggregate cost-per-click growth was down 12% and 6% quarter-over-quarter. What that means is that Google is making less money off of their desktop internet search business. As to where this hole is being filled, Google’s SVP and CFO Patrick Pichette comments:
Many in the financial community have tried to isolate or often I hear pick one of these among these factors as the primary driver for CPC or click trends. Some even say it’s about — all about mobile.
I like Teare’s translation of this statement. In his words:
As Android, iPhone and other mobile platforms grow we are moving away from the page based Internet. The new Internet is app centric and often message-centric. The number of users engaged in this app-centric and message-centric Internet is both huge and their use is growing.
i.e., people are getting more information from their mobile/tablet device as opposed to their desktop computer. And this switch is having a material effect on Google’s business. Rather than desktop search, many companies are finding more opportunities through mobile advertising and messaging. So how is Google responding? Let’s ask Larry Page, Google CEO:
I think the mobile CPCs — I mean, people always spend their most effort on the major — whatever the major source of traffic or revenue is, and those are growing really quickly, albeit currently, obviously, there’s more on desktop. … The fact that you spend most of your money locally, I think that over time that may actually reverse and the CPCs action may get better. But I think we’re very bullish about that. We’re making a lot of investments in that area, in things like Offers and so on and Wallet. And we’re very, very excited about the potential there, and also Click-to-Call and other things that we do.
Makes perfect sense right? At this point, the majority of local websites don’t provide a mind blowing mobile experience and consumers flock to third party sites like Yelp to find objective information. So when it comes to finding out information from a mobile Google search, why not be able to do it right from the search results with a click-to-call?
And that’s where I want to know: would you rather click-to-call? Or click-to-text? Certainly a host of people just want to know things like “Are you guys open?” or “Do you sell harmony remote controls?” And this seems like a great enhancement to a mobile search product. Be interesting to see where this goes.
One more quote I wanted to point out, this from SVP and Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora:
Yes, I mean, I guess — let me try to just explain to it from the advertiser perspective. So what we’re striving towards is advertisers are interested in ROI. Advertisers actually are not interested in whether they’re on the mobile product, the Display product, the Search product on the Web or the Search product on mobile. So what we are fast converging towards is we’re basically sitting down and understanding ROI targets of our advertisers.
I’ve said something to this effect before (multiple times), but it warrants mentioning again: marketing today is not about optimizing a particular channel vs. another. It’s about providing the best possible experience across channels. Google’s quotation certainly confirms this same line of thinking. Companies shouldn’t be asking themselves “how can I optimize mobile or display or search?” Rather, they should be asking “how can I use mobile, display and search to most effectively monetize my audience?”
Or, if you will: One small step for marketers, one giant leap for CRM.