It’s easy to forget that, despite the massive growth of smartphones in recent years, mobile marketing is still relatively young and marketers are still trying to get to grips with the format. However, its importance for marketers continues to grow and while it’s far too early to say whether it’ll explode like some analysts are suggesting, it’s still a sector that will continue to expand over the coming years. The latest report relating to this, most specifically search advertising, comes from search marketers Marin Software and its report “The State of Mobile Search Advertising In the US”.
As part of their findings, Marin has estimated that by December 2012, mobile devices will account for roughly 25 per cent of all paid-search clicks on Google. Marin also estimate that of the total ad spent that Google will receive, 23 per cent of this will originate from mobile campaigns, 45 per cent of this figures will originate from tablet devices.
Another area that was analysed was the click through rate (CTR) and the cost per click (CPC) across the different devices. For 2011, smartphones had the highest average CTR with 4.12 per cent in comparison to desktops which only had 2.39 per cent, showing that smartphone users were more likely to click on ads. Also the average CPC was found to be cheaper for smartphones too ($0.53 per click), the average CPC for desktops was found to be $0.83 per click.
However the parts were smartphones begin to falter is in the conversion and the cost of conversion. Both tablets and desktop computers outperformed smartphones in average conversion rate, (smartphones have an average conversion rate of 2.0 per cent in comparisons to desktop’s 5.2 per cent), as well as having a higher average cost per conversion.
However, despite these findings, Marin say that more research and analysis is required before any conclusions can be brought forward:
“Being inherently mobile, smartphones are used differently and many of their conversions could happen in a physical store, making them harder to track. Additionally, the rise of shopping apps makes conversion tracking more complex. As such, the value of smartphone advertising is more dependent on the type of advertiser and product, and marketers should keep an open mind about their efficacy.”
Although it’s hard to say how exactly mobile advertising will pan out, a theory for the higher click through rates could be because that while desktop ads on Google are numerous and smaller, smartphone ads take up the entire screen as Google Ads are usually the first two results you see whenever you search for something.