HP – Search over Mobile Ads

It’s hard to argue the logic here… Without really knowing where and what (consumer vs. business vs. enterprise) was marketed I can’t comment in any detail over the planning. The current on-deck stuff has remained limited and the more advanced users more likely to be traveling off-deck into the mobile web of their own terms. As with all things though relevance is the key variable which is why search remains a solid online marketing channel.

Hewlett-Packard’s worldwide media director controls a budget of $829 million and is a big fan of nontraditional media. HP, for example, is devoting 70% of its back-to-school budget to online and viral messaging. Yet Mr. Berg is frustrated by the limitations of mobile-web advertising; marketers who push out ads rather than allowing users to opt in; and strategies that overlook the most important consumer need in mobile marketing: search.

‘We’ve had experience with advertising on the deck of some phone carriers — just didn’t work out for us,’ Mr. Berg said. HP also tested off-deck ads on the mobile web and came to the conclusion that search, at least for the time being, is the way to tackle the new media.

Tangible search terms

‘I would much rather spend the money on the search terms than the advertising because I can track it, I can understand it, I can tweak it based on consumer needs,’ he said.

The key, he believes, is for marketers to realize people are using their phones for information — and smart advertisers will market around that rather than simply pump out a steady stream of ads. He said HP’s latest mobile strategy, which is set to roll out next year, will be based on the thinking that the mobile phone is a utility for consumers.

‘I have a number of concerns about the push technology. One of the big ones is there’s going to be a huge backlash by consumers if we start to push text messages or voicemail messages, and that’s going to lead immediately — immediately — to legislation against this type of activity,’ he warned. ‘Right now you have the do-not-call list. That could possibly get more stringent, in my opinion, if marketers tend to go overboard in push technology in mobile phones.’ [Advertising Age]

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