Nokia and Microsoft have officially announced they are combining forces. Mobile marketers should take note that Nokia's devices and Microsoft's software (including Bing search features) might create a product to challenge market leaders Apple and Google (as well as Google mobile search services).
This partnership will lead to many co-brand collaborations that could enhance mobile users' on-the-go web experience. For instance, Bing's search services will be used in Nokia devices, and Microsoft's mobile devices may benefit from Nokia's map services.
Marketers should consider how these developments can impact their mobile outreach. Currently, Google is the clear mobile search leader, with data from StatCounter indicating that Google accounted for more than 98 percent of mobile searches last year.
But Bing search on Nokia devices could encourage consumers to start mobile searching with Microsoft – and this may mean Bing will provide access to a broad audience. Nokia is one of the top five original equipment manufacturers, according to comScore's most recent data. Simultaneously, mobile search is expected to skyrocket this year.
While the Nokia partnership may give Bing a lift in the mobile search market, Google is not going to lose share without a fight. Brafton reported that the company affirmed its commitment to mobile search yesterday at its Think Mobile event.
Whether on-the-go consumers search with Bing or Google, marketers should take the fierce competition for search share in this market as a sign that web content must be optimized to cater to local audiences. As Brafton has reported, on-the-go shoppers are likely to look for local information, so locally conscious SEO strategies may become a marketing must.