Mobile in Local Search: YP app v Mobile Web, Google Mobilize, and where .tel fits in.
Yesterday, a senior exec. at my previous client when I was consulting, a major Yellow Pages (YP) publisher, called me for my thoughts on YP app v mobile web, what I thought of Google's new SMB landing page, Google Mobilise, and where did .tel fit in.
They have a neat app, great, but mobile web is increasingly where the action is – users can be lazy – when they have an urgent need for local, they grab their smartphones and tap in what and where into their browser – who leaves their web browser to open up the YP app to find a taxi? Downloads are one thing, continuous front of mind usage frequency is quite another. Both bases need to be covered. The Google mobilize product, a basic landing page is free and is based on a sub domain: https://sites.google.com/site/[your business name]. This is one approach for YP companies, either re-purposing their customer sites for mobile web, or even partnering with Google.
An interesting and simpler alternative would be to offer their customers YP branded .tels: yourbusiness.tel. These are very smart mobile landing pages based on award winning technology that utilizes the internet DNS in a clever way to store customer contact data and business profile information. The key benefits are cost and speed to market. With .tel there is no product development required and no operational costs e.g. design and hosting. This means that even if publishers include .tel packaged in their offering for free, they retain ownership of the customer and his unique top level domain with the YP companies look and feel and brand logo. This means users and advertisers recognise it as their value proposition, and at typically 1% ARPA, it's an extremely low cost solution.
The battle for the mobile internet is really shaping up – it's not about the app, it's about being in lots of places at once, especially mobile web. Wherever users search for local information, publishers need their brands to be uppermost in their minds.
At the end of the call she said to me "Thanks for confirming my thinking, what would it take to get all my print customers up live with a .tel so I can announce that we've led the entire customer base deeper into new media?" I replied, we as the global .tel registry are ready and willing to support any partner wishing to move fast in that direction. Our joint kick off operational planning meeting starts Monday and we expect to be registering names within a few weeks.
Ian Bowen-Morris, CMO, Telnic, the .tel registry.