Google is waging an all out war with Apple to be the most innovative in the mobile space, particularly when it comes to advertising (because that’s where the big bucks are, and that’s where Google’s business model has always been). Yesterday Google sent AdWords advertisers a message informing them of a new mobile option — Pay per call — according to Search Engine Land.
“This is a version of ‘pay-per-phone call’ but the cost per call is the same as a click — a bargain… for the advertisers to receive a ‘warm lead,” writes Search Engine Land’s Greg Sterling. Instead of seeing an advertisement and having to memorize the number in the ad, users can now select and call a phone number from within the browser. The concept is that this is the easiest way to respond to a mobile ad.
Google’s pitch to advertisers is that “your location-speciic business phone number will display alongside your destination url in ads that appear on high-end mobile devices. Users will be able to click-to-call your business just as easily as they click to visit your website. You’ll be charged for clicks to call, same as you are for clicks to visit your website.”
The click-to-call campaign is one of many innovative ideas that Google will be likely coming out with as Android gains mass adoption. This is all good news for mobile advertisers and marketers — with Google in the game, advertising and marketing becomes a bigger part of the “mobile success” picture. No longer are hardware, phone contracts, and apps sales enough. This will push Apple to stretch their own mobile advertising curiosity to compete, already seen in their just confirmed $2.5M acquisition of Quattro Wireless.
Now that everyone and their mother’s got a smartphone, you’ve got a pile of sweaty capitalists pounding on the door trying to find every last conceivable way to turn the trend into cold, hard cash. One of the most obvious — quality apps from a central clearinghouse — is proving fruitful through countless official platform app stores, but targeted mobile advertising has to be a close second. Google saw the writing on the wall and snapped up AdMob not long ago; one of AdMob’s competitors, Quattro Wireless, is now rumored to be locked up for a purchase by Apple for a cool $275 million as early as tomorrow. While mobile ads (or ads of any sort, really) aren’t event remotely in Cupertino’s repertoire, it’s easy to see how this could give the company an opportunity to capitalize on the iPhone’s vibrant free app ecosystem, centralize revenue for devs (while stealing a nice little cut for itself), and take back a cottage industry that’s flourished since the App Store’s debut. At this point, it’s unclear what this means for iPhone users — or would-be tablet users, for that matter — but seeing how this jibes with recent Apple IP, this tie-up might actually make a frightening amount of sense