From my Forbes.com blog The New Persuaders:
Amid widespread concerns that mobile advertising may never work as well as ads served to people’s desktop and laptop computers, several companies are attempting to prove the naysayers wrong. Facebook partners piled on earlier this week with studies showing the social network’s mobile ads produce way more clicks and revenues than its desktop ads.
Now it’s Google’s turn. This morning it’s trotting out, along with updated mobile search ads, a case study of how T-Mobile last year used Google mobile search ads to try to get more new customer activations to its cellular service. Kari Nicholas, T-Mobile’s director of media, said in an interview that the company aimed to do that by making it easier to sign up online or reach them via their existing mobile phone to visit nearby stores.
The main goal, given that most people doing a search on T-Mobile or other more general wireless-related words such as smartphones or 4G are likely to be well down the path to getting a new phone or service, was to guide those searchers quickly and easily to the nearest store. So the campaign served separate ads to mobile users, automatically showing both the nearest store on a map and a click-to-call button. The company also served different ads depending on whether the person had an Android or an iPhone or was on a particular service such as Verizon or T-Mobile.
The results: In one month, the campaign attracted 162,000 people to T-Mobile’s website. The mobile search ads tied to a person’s location got a lot of clicks–a 13% click-through rate, which is orders of magnitude higher than standard display ads. And the ads also generated 20,000 phone calls to stores. …
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