Mobile usage is certainly growing, but does that mean that desktop is done? Columnist Christi Olson doesn’t think so, and she suggests search marketers create campaigns that leverage the strengths and acknowledge the contributions of each device.
Sometimes when I’m talking to search marketers, I feel a little bit like Jan Brady — but instead of everything being about “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha,” the conversation turns to “mobile, mobile, mobile” as we ponder the potential micro-moments and ways to increase a brand’s mobile presence.
We are now seven years into the mobile revolution and have seen huge opportunities and growth in mobile advertising, both in the US and in emerging markets. The continuous growth in mobile queries as they officially outnumber desktop queries on Google and show no signs of slowing down has led a shift in the marketing mix of mobile versus desktop advertising in search.
This makes sense — according to Gartner, global smartphone sales were expected to hit 1.5B units in 2016, reaching market saturation in most developed countries. But I wouldn’t give up on desktop search quite yet and move all of my advertising dollars to mobile, and here’s why.
Consumers engage with devices differently
Even though consumers are spending roughly three hours a day on their smartphones (versus one hour a day five years ago), advertisers need to be careful about how they approach mobile advertising. It’s almost too easy to jump to the conclusion that you should shift your focus to a mobile-first strategy based on the increase in time spent on device and mobile search volumes.
Although search volume is clearly shifting to mobile, there is still an important gap in how consumers interact and when they use mobile devices versus tablets and desktops. And, of course, not all of our three hours a day on mobile devices are search-related.
According to FlurryMobile, 90 percent of mobile user time is spent in apps. Consumers are often using their phones with entertainment and communication intent — calling, texting, checking email, engaging on social media, watching videos, listening to music, getting directions, checking store hours and playing games such as Pokémon Go.