Are Marketers Leveraging Mobile Local Search?

by CXOtoday News Desk    Mar 23, 2015

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Mobile search is increasingly getting popular. According to a new Local Search Association study, a significant part of local searches now originate from smartphone and tablets. However, it remains to be seen whether marketers are leveraging this opportunity.

More than half (60 percent) of consumers now prefer to use mobile devices for local search, choosing these devices over PC when searching for products or services.

“‘Mobile Fanatics’ as per the study is a new and growing consumer segment. Understanding where and how these consumers find information is critical to make sense out of the new path to purchase,” said Neg Norton, President at LSA. “‘Mobile Fanatics’ are ‘always shopping’ and considering products no matter their location, allowing them to be reached anytime and anywhere. The challenge becomes delivering relevant and engaging content when they pick up their devices.”

On an average, an avid mobile device user conducts at least 10 local searches via mobile device each week. In the US only 40 percent of US adults now use PCs to find products/service in the local marketplace, a 9 percent decline from the 2014 study, 52 percent of smartphone users search while in the car and 90 percent of all users say they’ve used mobile devices while in-store.

The researchers also found that about half (54 percent) of shoppers are using devices in stores to look for deals while 51 percent are using mobile devices in-store to compare prices.

If the survey results are to be believed, it is an opportunity for marketers to jump for profit. However, Jon Schepke, CEO, SIM Partners, writes in his blog, while marketers know that local search can have a meaningful impact on their brand, and yet they are consistently not taking advantage of it in any meaningful way. “Very few firms realize that succeeding with local search means doing well with mobile marketing.”

He mentions in his blog that nearly half of all mobile phone users in the United States use mobile devices exclusively to perform product research, including local searches. As has been widely reported, 80 percent of local searches on mobile phones convert to purchase.

Experts believe, those marketers who have implemented local search strategies reported are reaping big benefits by owning the market as well as increasing the and quality of leads, as well as lift over traditional search programs.

“To jumpstart local/mobile marketing efforts, brands should optimize location-specific content for desktop and mobile devices. But succeeding with local and mobile is not about creating random pop-up ads. Mobile/local success means being present where your customers are when they use mobile devices to search,” explains Schepke.

To ensure that you capitalize on the synergies of mobile and local, make sure that your local strategy includes mobile and vice versa. The brands that are closest to their customers will ultimately win, and local is a great way to create closer connections across search, social, and mobile, he sums up.