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Online Search Coming to Your Mobile Phone

IDC research shows that new opportunities are taking shape in the mobile phone market and operators are increasingly looking at ways to develop their businesses and take advantage of the commercial possibilities that may exist.

Mobile phone service providers will use mobile search as the basis of their strategy and user-generated content will drive traffic, creating possibilities, while advertising will become a new revenue source.

According to this research, operators will look to mobile search to form a key basis of their off-portal strategy. Mobile search will open up new possibilities, based on user behavior, allowing further customization and personalization to take place. Search will form the basis of an array of information-based services and will not just be simple word searches.

Communities and user-generated content are currently the key terms in the industry, and while managing these new and complex relationships may be challenging, operators should work with partners of existing communities to mobilize key services, such as the upload of photos and videos.

"Content is king and the power of mobile will allow users to interact with each other," said Paolo Pescatore, research manager for IDC's European Wireless and Mobile Communications Service.

The research also shows that mobile provides advertisers with a much wider reach than present, traditional forms, and does so on multiple levels, from simple services, such as SMS and MMS, to the more tech-savvy services such as games, video, and TV.

However, in my opinion, context is king for the mobile phone advertising opportunity. The benefit of wider reach pales in comparison to the targeting and personalization possibilities for marketers. Remember, when marketers connect with someone via their mobile they get an individual. With most other forms of advertising, marketers reach a place instead of a known person.

Mobile also provides a very rich medium to allow advertisers to interact -- creating and establishing consumer relationships. IDC believes that advertising will be used to subsidize and promote the adoption of value added services. For mobile operators, it will be a new revenue source that will bridge the gap between voice and data.

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