Advertising Age this week ran a story talking about the major growth spurt that mobile search is set to experience. Nothing disagreeable about that premise, especially among mobile marketing experts.
However, the story takes a very odd frame in that it only touches on the newest and oldest technologies on cell phones: True Internet capability and voice, respectively. The piece starts out discussing the growth of smart phones, which will increase the number of mobile users who can access the Web and all its search options. Then, I can practically hear the phonograph needle jump as the story veers into how you can still dial up “information,” as we used to call it in the old days. You know, directory assistance numbers, which can now can offer answers for categories, not just for specific business names.
The article skips over one important aspect of mobile search: SMS. Nowhere does it talk about Google’s 466453 short code (it spells “Google” on a traditional keypad so it’s easy to remember), one of the first SMS search services to come out. Text a business name and city/zip code–or even a business category and the same location information–and Google will give you a relevant phone number and address. Notable competitors to Google, which has name recognition on its side, include ChaCha and 4Info.
While smart phones are becoming more affordable and are taking more of the handset market, text-capable phones are more dominant, as they encompass devices both with or without Internet access. Indeed, SMS is rather old in terms of “technology years,” so a larger number of people use/are familiar with it than consumers who use/are familiar with the mobile Web.
Hopefully, AdAge readers will be directed to this post from my link to the article–and thus will get the full story on mobile search.
Eydie Cubarrubia, Marketing Communications Manager, mobileStorm
“I’d rather you text me”