Think Mobile UK: Ian Carrington of Google calls for “A little less conversation, a little more action”

Friday, August 5, 2011 | 2:00 AM

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Smartphone penetration link updated 8/9/11.

This is the first in a series of posts capturing insights from the Think Mobile event in London.
Google’s recent Think Mobile event in London hosted a capacity crowd of over 400 delegates, with a further 9,500-plus viewers streaming it live on desktop and mobiles.  This is the first in a series of four blog posts where we’ll summarise key points and include video footage from the thought leaders who presented.  For a sneak preview, check out the three-minute summary from Google UK MD Matt Brittin here that finished the day on a real high.  

Ian Carrington of Google took the prize for sharing “killer stats” at Think Mobile UK as he highlighted data on just how fast the mobile market is developing:

  • In 2010 there were 500 million people connected to the mobile web, today there are around a billion.
  • In the middle of last year, Wall Street tech futurist Mary Meeker predicted that smartphone sales would overtake PC sales by the end of 2012. That in fact already happened in Q4 2010 – fully two years earlier than expected.
  • UK smartphone penetration in 2010 was 24%; in 2011 it has soared to 36%
Ian also announced some of the results of Google’s research (we’ll soon be sharing the full report with you on this blog)  in the UK with notable stats including 44% of us go to bed with our phones within arm’s reach, 65% of us use our smartphones to kill time commuting and 91% of us use our smartphones during downtime in the workplace.

Smartphone usage is clearly booming in the UK.  However, only 17% of advertisers today have a mobile optimised site. “This is the single largest barrier between you and the mobile user,” Ian announced, adding “it’s time for a little less conversation and a little more action.”:

Step one: develop and integrate your mobile strategy Start off by finding out what your objectives are. “Is it about downloads? Is it about customer acquisition? What are you trying to achieve? Once you’ve defined that, integrate it into all your other marketing activities”

Step two: build your mobile destination This could be a website or an iPhone or Android app. To show just how much this step is worthy of your investment, Ian pointed to Ebay. “They’re having a sale on a mobile device every single second, and they’re doing over $2bn worth of revenue in a year on mobile. In actual fact, they sell three to four Ferraris per month via a mobile phone!” he said.

Step three: connect with your users “People are looking at your business through a mobile lens,” he continued. “Are you optimising your advertising campaign? Have you separated out your AdWord campaigns to target desktop customers in a different way with different bidding strategies to your mobile customers?” If you’ve answered “no” then it’s time to consider making these changes.

Step four: mobilise your business with data “Be creative with the data you’ve got,” Ian advised. “You’ve got all this data from your AdWords and Google Analytics accounts on what people are doing today with your business on a mobile phone. Very, very few people are actually looking at that data – so start looking at it and understand the insights it’s giving you.” These valuable details can directly inform step one – your strategy.

Get more “killer stats” and insights by watching Ian’s talk here and look out for three more blogs on the key takeaways from Think Mobile UK.  

Posted by Matt Brocklehurst, Product Marketing Manager, Mobile Ads UK