Google on Monday announced a new option that lets AdWords advertisers show text and image ads formatted for PCs and laptops on Apple's iPhone, the T-Mobile G1, and other mobile devices with full Web browsers. What's new is that advertisers no longer need to format ads and related Web pages for those mobile devices.
Advertisers can still deliver mobile-specific calls to action and reach mobile searchers. The ads are already running on the iPhone and G1.
Tweaking AdWords for Mobile
"Recently, the Google mobile team launched new results pages formatted specifically for the iPhone," Alexandra Kenin, product marketing manager for Google's Mobile Ads team, wrote on the company's mobile blog.
"Now, advertisers will be able to display ads exclusively on these mobile devices, create campaigns for them, and get separate performance reporting," Kenin said. "If you prefer not to show your [regular] ads on these phones, you can opt out and show ads only on desktop and laptop computers."
Advertisers who want to target ads for the iPhone and G1 can go to the campaign settings tab in an AdWords account. Next, select "iPhones and other mobile devices with full Internet browsers" for the "Device Platform" option under "Networks and Bidding."
Kenin noted that for advertisers already running Google's mobile ads, this new option will not affect current campaigns. Advertisers can still create mobile ads that show up on other mobile devices. But now they have one more option.
"As additional devices that use full browsers enter the market, your ads will show on those phones, too," Kenin said. "If you currently have an AdWords campaign running, by default your campaign will show ads on desktop and laptop computers, as well as iPhone and G1."
Business may be slowing for many companies but there are a lot of people who are still spending money, and even those cutting back still need to buy essentials, according to Milton Ellis, vice president and senior consultant, Harris Interactive technology group. "The key," he said, "is to reach them through innovative marketing -- including mobile advertising -- and provide the right incentives to capture their business."
Harris Interactive research indicates that mobile advertising can gain a foothold among this growing group if it is unobtrusive, targeted toward an individual's personal tastes, and offers something unique. Among teens surveyed, more than half said they would be interested in viewing mobile ads with incentives, while more than one-third of adults said they would be receptive to such advertising.
A lot of advertisers and publishers have found mobile to be very successful, said Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, but it's still regarded as an experiment by larger advertisers. What's more, he added, the budgets devoted to mobile advertising are generally quite small.
"The economy has put mobile on hold for many advertisers because it's too new. Some advertisers don't feel it has the scale," Sterling said. "I don't agree with that, but that's the rationale. The mobile market is very real and it's only going to grow. Google's announcement is a recognition on some level that it's a viable search market."
Image credit: Product shots by Apple.