Internet users tend to surf the Web to find information for term papers, business competitors, and prices for flights, used cars, and mortgages. Mobile subscribers, on the other hand, look for ring tones, graphics, games, and, at times, hotels, weather, or sport scores. In the near term, we expect Internet searches to cover a broader range of searches, while mobile searches, by either design or user-demonstrated usage, will be more mobile specific.
According to the Mobile Marketing Association's (MMA's) "Introduction to Mobile Search" (PDF download), people consider mobile search just for entertainment. Yet mobile search can fulfill several useful roles, including helping users find a local address while traveling and checking on a flight's departure time.
"Although it has functions similar to Internet search," the report states, "subscribers using mobile search tend to look for an experience that offers answers and actionable results rather than links that lead to more searching."
The report notes mobile phones have several advantages over PCs when accessing the Internet:
The report also notes mobile phones have some limitations compared to PCs:
The report goes on to say:In addition to these immediate differences, future mobile search applications may be able to capitalize on user specific information. Mobile phones are joined to individuals and are representative of their owners' personalities, with specific demographics, behavior patterns, and personal interests. This information may allow more relevant search results.
The MMA released a mobile search study earlier this week that highlights mobile search habits and awareness among American consumers. The study's key findings include:
Mobile search provides consumers anytime, anywhere access to information via the mobile Web. Awareness of mobile search continues to grow with U.S. consumers, creating new opportunities for brands and agencies to exploit the power of the mobile channel.
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