The search giant formally launched its GetMo effort across Europe in Q1 this year but Google has since “gone back to the drawing board”, according to industry sources, in how it communicates the importance of a mobile strategy to brands.
Google’s efforts aimed to encourage large brands to mobilise their sites by raising awareness of the devices’ roles in consumer purchase journeys and was initially branded as GetMo but then later changed to Get Mobile after potential trademark concerns in Germany.
However, it is now meeting with mobile specialist agencies to devise multi-screen strategies to encourage brands to “embrace mobile” and particularly take into account the emergence of tablet devices and the role they’re beginning to play in customers’ purchase journeys.
GetMo’s launch also included an “approved vendor” programme of mobile agencies or digital outfits with considerable expertise in the discipline which it briefly considered removing from the UK version of the site after it generated few direct sales for the listed outfits.
This decision was initially taken due to brands deciding to ask their existing digital agencies to build mobile sites for them instead of opting for the approved vendors but was later reversed following feedback from some of the vendors with Google agreeing to continue the programme for the “foreseeable future.”
Speaking about the current focus of Google’s mobile efforts, a company spokesperson told Marketing Week its initial focus was on raising awareness about the importance of brands but now it is focusing on multi-screening.
“When it comes down to GetMo that was the first phase to raise awareness that businesses weren’t doing all they could to be able to help their consumers, that involved be available to them wherever they were looking,” according to the spokesperson.
“For that GetMo was a success in that it got the message out there, not just for large brands but for smaller ones to. It isn’t just mobile as increasingly screens are blurring, that’s another aspect that businesses are increasingly realising,” they added.
Clive Baker, managing director of Movement London, a member of the approved vendor programme, says: “We’re working with Google’s mobile and sales teams to re-interrogate what they want from mobile… we’re looking at things like what’s the business case and what do brands want from mobile.”
Nick Hynes, CEO of Somo, another agency included in the approved vendor list, says: “What Google has tried to do is bring standards to mobile. This is an industry filled with a lot of cowboys and by bringing standards Google should be lauded.
“Did it [GetMo] bring thousands of clients?,” he adds. “No, I never expected it to. But I think it did have an indirect impact on raising awareness.”
In its most recent online ad spend study released in October, the IAB released data suggesting that 60 per cent of the UK’s top 100 advertisers still do not have a mobile optimised site– in spite of findings that consumers spend more than 70 per cent longer on such sites.
Stefan Bardega, managing partner at Mediacom, another media agency included in the GetMo programme, suggests the comparative lack of speed in launching mobile optimised sites is due to complications with brands’ legacy systems.
“The problem with brands, especially the bigger ones, is that the legacy IT infrastructure makes it not as simple as building a site from scratch.
“Google’s efforts have been positive in raising awareness and a lot are facing the decision of whether or not to outsource it to a third party, which makes things more complicated, or do it in-house,” he adds. “There’s no doubt that people have been caught off-guard by the pace of change.”