Google may have its sights set on the local market – especially with its upcoming Google Offers local deal platform, but the company seems to acknowledge that catching clicks from on-the-go shoppers is ideal for local sales. Along with other mobile developments, Schmidt's announcement that Google is preparing for "a mobile revolution" indicates that marketers can't ignore the mobile platform this year.
Brafton reported yesterday that Schmidt will serve as the search company's executive chairman when cofounder Larry Parker takes over as CEO in April, but his changing role at Google didn't make him hold back from articulating Google's 2011 strategy in a recent post on the Harvard Business Review site. Schmidt made clear that all of Google's strategic initiatives for the year involve mobile channels.
Schmidt explains that the company wants to explore more mobile applications this year. Brafton has reported that the mobile app market is growing, and marketers might want to use in-app ads to promote their products and services. New Google apps could help them reach on-the-go consumers through the search giant.
The new executive chairman also says that development of the mobile platform will require advances in mobile currency. Mobile money options will promote m-commerce. Evidence of this rising trend lies in Brafton's earlier report that Starbucks is now offering a mobile payment system that might allow consumers to become familiar with mobile purchases.
Schmidt also points to the invaluable ad opportunities that geolocal mobile products can offer. "We are at the point where, between the geolocation capability of the phone and the power of the phone's browser platform, it is possible to deliver personalized information," he says.
To this end, the new Google Offers local email product from Google might be effective in driving foot traffic to stores. Well-targeted promotional email messages (through Offers or directly from brands) can attract the interest of nearby consumers checking their email via mobile devices, and Brafton reported just yesterday that mobile email usage is on the rise.
Overall, Schmidt's declaration of Google's focus on the mobile market should not come as a surprise. The channel's ascent has been the subject of news headlines for months. Still, Google's dedication to the platform indicates that marketers will have better chances of leveraging search campaigns to reach mobile subscribers using the search giant. This is seemingly a large audience; data from StatCounter shows that Google accounts for 98 percent of mobile searches.