This week, Google announced new mobile device targeting options for AdWords campaigns. Before, you could only target computing devices (laptops, desktops, etc.), mobile devices with full internet browsers, or both. Now, Google has opened it up for much more granular targeting. You can now choose to target specific mobile phone operating systems (iPhone/iPod, Android, or Palm webOS) and specific mobile carriers such as AT&T, Verizon and Sprint.
This is a huge step for mobile PPC. By allowing for this super-specific targeting, this opens up the ability for marketers to create highly effective mobile device PPC campaigns. If you sell iPhone cases, you can create a campaign that only reaches iPhone users. Maybe you run a PPC campaign for a mobile phone service provider. You can filter out users of your own mobile service, and target only people who use your competitors to convince them to switch over to your company. Also, since Google allows for specific targeting to US and Canadian mobile providers, you can ensure that your mobile campaigns only reach users from a specific country, filtering out business travelers who might have only hopped across the border for a meeting or conference. These targeting options open up a lot of possibility for creative marketing tactics, and increased return on investment for mobile PPC campaigns, since you can filter out unqualified traffic much more easily.
This is yet another indicator that Google is taking mobile PPC advertising very seriously. Both their purchase of AdMob last year, and continued improvements to mobile traffic tracking in Google Analytics were pretty clear indicators, but this is a huge step as well. Google clearly thinks that mobile advertising is about to take off in a big way. It might be time to think about your mobile PPC strategy, and start incorporating these new tools and options into your current PPC efforts.