One of the perks of palling up with a company like Google is getting invited to events like Search Firestarters. A couple of weeks ago, Search Star skipped off to Google’s London HQ to attend a thought provoking session about what we could expect from mobile search by the year 2020. From Google goggles to mobile mania, the Tesco Finest of mobile marketers shared their ideas and forecasts before letting us have a snoop around their so-swanky-it-hurts headquarters.
The evening was curated by Neil Perkin, founder of Only Dead Fish, who introduced us to some of the best in the business:First up was Gareth Jones, digital marketing top-dog for Carphone Warehouse, who shared his thoughts on the journey from catch-up to King Kong of mobile ecommerce behaviour. One of their key transitions was the shift from a mobile compatible version of a desktop website to a fully interactive, fully optimised and fully searchable mobile only site. Having the cojones to take mobile seriously early in the game has created a site that is more successful now than several of their flagship stores.
Next up was Mobile wizkid Simon Andrews, founder of full service mobile agency Addictive who flagged up the big no-no of advertising to mobile users but then sending them no a non-mobile optimised site. Search engine behaviour is increasingly favouring the optimised over the non-optimised, so those lagging behind will quickly start losing out in their rankings. We also got excited about the future option for search results to use user locations to determine stock levels of their desired product in a (TOP)shop near them.
Finally, we met Google Gooru Husayin Savas, product manager for mobile ads at Google who shared some insight for what to expect from the search giant next. My favourite feature had to be taking a photo of a hand written recipe, uploading it to Google Drive to share it with Aunty Doris in Australia, and translating it to a ready-formatted Google doc, enabling editing from the recipient.