Google Is Really, Really Serious About The Mobile Ad Market - InformationWeek

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Commentary
9/28/2007
08:01 PM
Stephen Wellman
Stephen Wellman
Commentary
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Google Is Really, Really Serious About The Mobile Ad Market

Google sees its future in mobile advertising. Period. You don't believe me? Have you been following the news?

Google sees its future in mobile advertising. Period. You don't believe me? Have you been following the news?Last week Google launched a mobile advertising platform, the mobile version of AdSense. This week Google acquired a company that allows advertisers to send ads to mobile social networks.

The company in question, Zingku, has been around since 2005. Zingku's platform lets users build mobile social networks designed to share content, like photos, push out polls and poll results, and communicate through text messages, e-mail, and IM.

The most interesting application, at least from Google's perspective, has to be Zingku's flyer function. The flyer program lets merchants send Zingku members promotional messages like discount codes. Here's a look:

Zingku services are also being made available to "merchants" who wish to reach an audience. Merchants create "mobile flyers" and then publish/e-mail a "zing-code" to their customers who opt to pull the flyer to their mobile phone. The customer can then zing it to those friends who they think may be interested. Our mobile flyers are interactive, can take a recipient through a mobile text and picture messaging journey. As such, 18 to 28 year olds, who have tuned out of e-mail and are tuned in to their mobile, respond far more actively than traditional marketing media.

It's quite polite, and quite effective. Our view of a "merchant" is anyone who has something to promote, whether it be a retailer, a theater promoting a production, a band who has just produced a new EP, a humorist producing snack-size entertainment, or an event organizer of any kind! We are currently working with a range of merchants who are excited by the prospect of connecting with their audience/customers within this new medium.

Hmmm... I wonder what the world's most famous online advertising company would do with a mobile platform designed to let advertisers push targeted mobile ads?

Let me guess. From an end user's perspective, if Google were to combine Zingku's mobile flyer functionality and its mobile social networking with applications like Gmail and technology Google acquired from Dodgeball, the company might be able to put together an application that would allow it to deliver a seamless content sharing platform that just happened to be paid for by mobile ads.

From an online marketer's perspective, Google could offer the ability to send targeted text links, display ads, and promotional flyers to cell phones across much of the world.

Imagine, if you will, such a platform on top of the gPhone? Would you pay $50 for a cool smartphone if all you had to do was put up with some mobile flyers? I think I might.

What do you think? Do you think Google is thinking what I'm thinking?

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