Dominic Earl

Mobile Search TargetingGoogle Adwords now allows more precise targeting of mobile devices. It is possible to choose which mobile operating systems (OS) to run your search advertising on. Choices include Android, iPhone/iPod Touch & also Palm webOS. You can refine the targeting further by selecting specific mobile operators in Finland, for example Sonera, Elisa & DNA.

As you probably all know Microsoft’s OS is set to power the next generation of Nokia smartphones, and of course Bing will be the default search engine for these phones. Potentially this could make Microsoft’s search engine “Bing” a much bigger player in the mobile search space, both in Finland and globally. From an advertiser’s perspective this means Bing search advertising should be increasingly considered as part of any global or regional marketing strategy.

To display search ads against Bing/Yahoo search results you will need to set-up a campaign through Yahoo/Bing search advertising. Unfortunately it is not yet possible to display search ads on mobile devices using Bing or Yahoo Finland search portals, but mobile targeting is now available via Bing/Yahoo in UK, France, Germany & the USA.

If you want to reach Apple iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch users, then aside from placing ads on Google & Bing/Yahoo search networks, you can also use Apple’s own adverting network called iAds. This iAd network allows you to target users by placing rich media ads in selected apps.

Mobile Phone Contactless Payments

The idea of mobile phones becoming contactless payment devices is now becoming more of a reality, as demonstrated by the latest services launched in the USA & the UK. The basic premise of mobile phone contactless payments is that your mobile phone becomes a virtual credit card. However in order to do this your mobile phone must have Near Field Communication (NFC) technology built in.

The NFC enabled mobile phone, holds your credit card data, and then you can send secure payment information wirelessly to payment readers in stores that have the NFC reading technology. Reversely retailers can send discount vouchers to mobile phones of shoppers live in the store as they browse in the shopping aisles.

Google is the latest big name to launch a contactless payment platform. Google announced on 26 May 2011 that they have developed a mobile payments platform called “Google Wallet”. This system turns NFC enabled smartphones into a digital wallet. The transaction is secured by a pin number, as the credit card data is stored in an encrypted chip on the phone.

In the US stores such as Macy’s and Subway, amongst others, have signed up for the first trial of the Google Wallet technology. At present this trial is only in the USA, and to use the system you must have a Google Nexus S mobile phone.

In the UK the first NFC service was launched in May 2011, the idea is the same as with the Google Wallet, but uses a technology system called Quick Tap. This trial was a joint venture between Barclaycard and Orange, using Samsung’s Tocca handset, and is available to try in 50,000 stores nationwide such as MacDonalds. The 2012 London Olympics will also be used to showcase NFC technology. The aim is that all transactions associated with the event, will be purchasable in a contactless way with a mobile device.

It’s worth remembering that NFC can also be used to do other things than payment, and this could lead to some exciting new apps which open up new ways to interact with the customer, but that’s for a future discussion.

The next generation of smartphones from all manufacturers will all probably include NFC technology, so it seems that it now has the potential and backing to catch on in Europe and the USA. It already has been a popular system in Japan and Korea for some years.