What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Except for searches on mobile Web browsers to book travel, shows and dinner reservations. Google has been picking up speed in helping brands adapt campaigns to mobile devices. Some are having measurable success.
Vegas.com has seen ad click-through rates as high as 20% for their iPhone Android search ad campaign. Scarlet Lento, Internet marketing manager at Vegas.com, attributes solid conversion rates for the Vegas.com campaign to the platform.
Search ads appear next to search results on iPhones, Palm Pre and devices running the Android operating system. The campaign targets consumers looking to book travel to Las Vegas.
The major advantage to using this type of search campaign is the entire Web site serves up to consumers looking for information about Vegas. The campaign first launched in 2008 on the iPhone to raise awareness for services. Lento says it continues to run, with no immediate plans to turn it off.
Vegas.com's click-through rates on Apple's iPhone and Google's Android operating system sometimes surpasses desktop campaigns, Lento says. And as targeting consumers on mobile expands to other handsets running Internet browsers, there are plans to expand search campaigns to these devices, too.
"We are starting to see advertisers get on board with mobile search to promote products and services to consumers on the go," says Diana Pouliot, director of mobile advertising at Google.
Vegas.com is a big client for Google on the desktop, but by taking the campaign mobile they tapped into a new audience, the consumers who did not necessarily plan the trips, but went. These travelers landed in Vegas and realized they did not have reservations for the show or dinner.
Pouliot says the next step is for brands to build coupons into search ads. It would appear as mobile landing pages. "People can use different triggers for conversions," she says. "We have interest from companies to promote downloads of their applications. They would run a search ad. This puts the consumer one-click away from downloading the application."
As for Vegas.com, Lento says launching the mobile campaign went smoothly. No need for a mobile site or WAP site, although Vegas.com has one, and the process is familiar because it's similar to other AdWords campaigns. Success is measured by transactional return on investments in terms of booking air travel and hotel stays, show, tour or other products. The iPhone campaigns, however, do not tie into television, radio, or print ads.
"This is the first high-end iPhone campaign we have run," Lento says. "We are 100% satisfied with what we see, so far, in terms of iPhone search ads meeting our ROI goals, and we will likely launch others in the future."