While the vision of search activity reaching past the desktop has been around for a while, the proliferation of mobile devices and new technologies makes “anytime, anywhere” search easier. Marketers may not need all of them, but it’s increasingly crucial to be aware of the disparate ways to reach consumers when, where, and how they search.
Here are 10 different ways of conducting a search query. We’ll say that Alex in Dallas is looking for flowers for his girlfriend.
Home PC Query: “flowers dallas tx.” Alex uses Google and Yahoo to look for flowers in his area.
Twitter search Query: “flowers dallas.” Thinking he might not have many followers in or from Dallas, he checks search.twitter.com to see if anyone has mentioned local florists recently.
SMS: search engines Query: “flowers 75248.” Alex enters the ZIP code to narrow the results. Plus, with his phone’s keypad, he can enter as few characters as possible.
SMS: Q&A services Query: “anyone know where to get the best flowers in dallas” sent to 242242, the shortcode for ChaCha. A guide responds via SMS with suggestions. Alex can also seek answers via [email protected], a rival service.
WAP (mpobile Web) Query: “flowers 75248” entered in Google Mobile on his phone.
Voice search Query: “flowers,” then “dallas texas.” He dialed 1-800-FREE-411, or could have used 800-GOOG-411.
Car: GPS Query: “florist.” On his device, Alex selects “search nearby” and picks the closest match. It doesn’t return the most comprehensive results, working better for other searches.
Airplane Query: “flowers san francisco.” On business, Alex flies on a Boeing 767-200 plane with in-flight Wi-Fi. His girlfriend is meeting him for the weekend. On Google on his laptop, he finds Rossie & Rovetti Flowers near his hotel.
TV Query: “flowers 75248” entered on his Samsung with Intel software with Yahoo widgets. Alex finds the initial technology frustrating compared to PCs and mobile devices.
Word of Mouth Query: “Know any good florists in Dallas?” Search is anchored in word of mouth. But it might take time to think of people Alex knows who live in the right area who know of good florists. But when he calls his flower-loving friend and gets a recommendation, there’s no question where he’ll wind up.