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Mobile Search: Beyond the Portal

by: on | Prominent Placement

SEMPO Atlanta’s meeting last Thursday on Mobile Search was rated five stars by every attendee that rated it.  Detailed, up-to-the-minute data and insights were shared by four experts in the mobile search space.  They presented in Google’s Midtown Atlanta offices to a packed room, and the event was simulcast in Boston and New York to those local SEMPO groups as well.  Paul Gelb, Paul Cushman, Andy Chu & Elliott Nix at SEMPO Atlanta's Mobile Search EventSpecial thanks to SEMPO Atlanta’s fantastic sponsors: Search Discovery, Google, Yahoo and Bing.  With their help, this event (including food and beer/wine) was free to all attendees. The event was moderated by Chang Yu, Group Media Director, 360i (@360i).  We’ll spend the next four days covering each presentation.  First up was Paul Gelb. “Mobile Search: Beyond the Portal” By Paul Gelb, Vice President of Mobile, Razorfish, @paulgelb, @razorfish Paul opened up the session with a guilty admission that he hadn’t realized his fellow panelists would all be from search engines, as he had planned to talk about how mobile search transcends search engines. He was talking about mobile apps.  Look at the mobile apps you use the most often – chances are, a search function is the constant, whether you’re using apps related to media (Shazam searches to find what song you’re listening to), Restaurants (OpenTable, Yelp), Shopping (Amazon, eBay), Travel (Kayak), or location-based apps.  There are even apps related to searching for bathrooms (SitorSquat from Charmin)! We’re at an inflection point, where adoption of search-related mobile apps is really taking off.  Consumers value one thing over all others – time.  Either saving time, or making the time that they are spending better.  Mobile has made everything more spontaneous. As marketers, our focus shouldn’t be on emerging technologies but on emerging human behaviors.  We can’t just transfer everything from the desktop PC to the mobile phone – we’ve got to go back and figure out how people behave differently on mobile.  Don’t dive into tactical opportunities without figuring out the strategy first. The old way of building a business was to focus on platforms that circumvent talent and scale operational efficiencies (that is, using technology instead of people to grow revenue).  The new way is to support a culture and talent pool capable of capitalizing on the new, undefined benefits of a searchable world. Update: Paul's presentation can be viewed here: http://www.slideshare.net/sempoatlanta/sempo-mobile-razorfish This is part 1 of our 4-part series on SEMPO Atlanta’s Mobile Search event held March 31.  For all posts in this series, click here.

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