MSG mobile search research (the profiles and analysis I share on MSG, and the new-release white paper assessing search, which I co-created with my esteemed colleague Peggy Albright) has attracted the attention of a growing community of readers and influencers across a variety of online destinations and industry organizations.
I am pleased to report this work has also sparked interest at Eyefor Travel Research, a business intelligence firm known as the “leading voice of online travel.” Andrew Merrie, research analyst and Headmaster of the School for Mobile (the firm’s initiative for educating the travel and tourism industries on opportunities in mobile), reached out to me earlier today to collaborate on the firm’s series of free reports (which are essential reads chock-full of case studies, key statistics, and best practice) focused on mobile technology and solutions.
There is a special emphasis on mobile search (which we agree is the linchpin of a range of effective strategies to deliver mobile advertising, commerce, and CRM). By way of background, the Eyefor Travel report series consists of Vol.1 Mobile Technology in Travel: The Introduction, and Vol 2, Mobile Technology in Travel Report: The Detail. Vol 3 Mobile Technology in Travel Report: Consumer Insight is work in progress, but you can sign up here for an alert when it is released later in June.
A trend that stands out is the new popularity of SMS search schemes as a sure-fire way to reach a mass market. As Andrew puts it: “SMS search is a tool that 99 percent of customers know how to use. In a consumer-focused industry such as ours, it [SMS search] represents a good first step in how companies need to move forward.” Another advantage beyond intuitive usability: Proven monetization models around the delivery of related text links and advertising.
This point came through loud and clear in this week’s AdAge article, which outlines the advantages of SMS search, and takes a look at the companies (notably 4INFO, which MSG profiled here, and ChaCha) cashing in on its newfound popularity among users and advertisers.
Rita Chang, who wrote the piece, contacted me for the article, and has since arranged a follow-up call to discuss the mobile search competitive landscape. The intention is to write a comprehensive feature on the models and companies I think set the bar. I gladly support her in this work, and welcome other journalists to reach out to me for comments or just a few company contacts.
The increasing excitement around SMS search isn’t limited to the U.S. (the focus of Rita’s AdAge article). It’s also going full-steam in Asia, where Mobile Content Networks (MCN) – a provider of mobile search and revenue solutions that deliver people connections to content, not links to content, on their mobile phones – has chalked up an impressive list of operator customers for its SMS search, which emphasizes content discovery instead of answers to specific search queries.
Today marks the company’s official launch of Smart Search (aptly named) in partnership with Smart Communications, the Philippines’ leading mobile operator with 36.9 million subscribers.
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