This just in from the “I thought they had this already” department: Microsoft announces full HTML mobile device targeting for their AdCenter PPC marketing platform. Sure, Microsoft AdCenter has been in the mobile ad game for a while now, but did it really take them this long to work it out so that you can specifically target smartphone devices with full web browsers like the iPhone, Google’s Nexus One, or any number of other Palm and Android phones? Actually, they did have this capability previously, but you had to individually target each type of mobile device. At least now you can target to the general category of mobile devices, which should save you a lot of time.
Regardless of my snarky commentary, this is great news for any advertiser trying to make mobile-targeted PPC campaigns in 2010. Clearly, Google and MSN are betting big on mobile PPC marketing in 2010. Yahoo, not so much. I’m not aware of any ways to target mobile devices in Yahoo (feel free to prove me wrong in the comments!), but we’ve seen a lot of developments lately from Google and Microsoft. I’m still not totally convinced that users are going to be on board with mobile PPC just yet. I don’t think that people are ready to be advertised to on their mobile devices – it seems like a little too intimate of a medium to me. We’ll see if my cynicism is justified by the end of the year.
Either way, now would be a good time to make sure you have mobile-specific landing pages, and optimize a mobile version of your homepage for tiny smartphone screens. Whether you’re ready or not, people are going to start looking for information about your company on their mobile phones. It’s better to have a mobile version of your site ready to go and no one using it than having to scramble to make one once you see your mobile traffic take off in your web analytics program.