Mobile Search Advertising Trends Gone Local

Just last year mobile ad spending reached $34 million, but if there’s one thing we must learn about mobile it is that location-based (or local-based) searches and spending currently result in one third of all mobile searches, with monetized value projected to be $4 billion by 2015.

Google states that the major trend for mobile user searches is that one third of total searches are of local interest.

In two years the mobile search advertising market is expected to reach $3 billion, according to Ross Sandler, an Internet and Media analyst at RBC Capital.

Mr. Sandler points out that ads on smartphones take up 22 percent of screen real estate, whereas on a PC ads occupy 4 percent of screen real estate.  Setting screen real estate aside, even national brand advertisers spend big on local ad placement, about $120 billion.

Yahoo! and Google are taking sides in their pursuit of local mobile search advertising.  When Yahoo! launched its newspaper consortiumin 2007, they partnered with EW Scripps and Hearst Corporation (including the San Francisco Chronicle) building over 800 news outlets, one source in reaching local and targeted ad placements.

Those ads that appeal to the local markets they serve will be able to meet mobile search users’ intent of locality and geo-based searching.  From Google’s QR Code Favorite Place mapping project to Yahoo!’s partnership with traditional print media and Foursquare location-based check ins, tools and resources are in place to mobile location-based advertising.

While larger digital ads take up more screen real estate on your phone, it is not uncommon to find full colored print ads in newspapers advertising a text messaging program such as “Panera Bread presents concert series with Songwhale”.  “Our [SMS] promotion in Cleveland with Panera is going very well,” says Bill Fletcher, business development at SongWhale.  “We just awarded the grand prize winner for the Eagles concert on Monday.”

Whether in print or in mobile, advertising copy that appeals to local markets will prevail in search mobile marketing.


Songwhale Print Advertisement for Text to Win Concert Tickets”.  Capstone Media.  October 26, 2010. 

QR Code Puts Your Business on the (Google) Map and Calvin Klein Billboards”.  Capstone Media.  August 4, 2010.

ABOUT:  RBC Capital,  is a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada founded in 1869 Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.  It operates in the financial services sector with 3,000 employees in 75 offices of 15 countries.