BIA/Kelsey ILM West: 12

Google: Mobile Is 'Tectonic Shift'

In a four-screen world, the smartphone is the dominant device, Google's Todd Rowe told attendees at BIA/Kelsey's ILM West conference. "This is the tectonic shift that we see happening," he said, noting that the company was close to monitizing mobile.

LOS ANGELES -- Smartphones are the dominant screen in a four-screen world, Google said on Wednesday, and long-elusive mobile monetization is forthcoming.

"This is the tectonic shift that we see happening," Todd Rowe, managing director of SMB global sales for Google, said today at BIA/Kelsey's ILM West conference here.

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Rowe cited a bevy of statistics to tout mobile's supremacy. Among them: 55% of the U.S. population owns a smartphone, while 75% don't leave home without theirs. Another 64% profess to access the Internet at least once a day from their smartphones, while 85% use them to look for local information.

Asked when monetizing this channel would finally come to fruition, Rowe was less certain, noting it might be another two quarters or more until mobile growth was palpably felt. But he said with more users going to mobile, sales forces should soon feel the cost per click rising.

Rowe said that from Google's perspective, online users are now ubiquitous, with 2.5 billion users online every day currently and another billion expected to be online by 2015. Online consumers are also now hyper-informed, he said, with 78% of U.S. Internet users going online to search for local products and services.

In a four-screen world, Rowe said that 90% of consumers who begin a task on one device finish on another. "Our conversion goals have been very device-specific," he said. "That needs to change." He said that all marketing packages targeted to SMBs need to sell to a four-screen world.

Brand Connections

Rowe also noted that 11.5% — or $154 billion — in offline sales happen after users research a purchase online.

Video, he added. Is an invaluable online tool for SMBs. "Video can be a way to reach self-selecting audiences," he said.

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