Study Suggests Search Will Drive Mobile Ad Market

A recent Ingenio survey found that 22% of consumers anticipate using a search engine like Yahoo or Google on their mobile phones by 2010 -more than three times the current 7% use of search by mobile users.

The Web-to-phone advertising firm commissioned Harris Interactive to poll more than 4,000 U.S. cell phone users over age 18. The findings point toward paid search emerging as a leading ad revenue driver for the mobile Web -- buoyed by a combination of increased adoption, and consumer aversion to "push" advertising.

For example, 26% of users surveyed said a sponsored link resulting from a mobile search query was "at least somewhat acceptable," while a resounding 84% said that seeing a promo message or ad when they turned on their phone was "not at all acceptable." And 84% of users also said that getting a video clip from a retail store when they were in its vicinity was "not at all acceptable."

While those numbers echo the documented trend of consumer distaste for unsolicited mobile advertising, the research also highlights the growth opportunity for marketers with a relevant, actionable message.



Ingenio found that only 30% of users surveyed had seen or heard an advertisement on their mobile phone, but some 10% took action based on the ad, whether it was visiting the relevant Web site from their phone or another Internet connection, or calling for more information. And 13% surveyed said if they saw an ad, they would want to call or visit the Website "directly from their mobile phone."

"An inherent difference between the mobile and PC environments is that mobile searchers want to find information and then immediately act on it," said Marc Barach, chief marketing officer, Ingenio. "If marketers create those kinds of messages, then an ad won't be perceived as intrusive. That's why paid search drives the largest share of advertising revenue on the Web, and I think the same relationship will hold true in the mobile world."

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