The U.S. paid search market grew 16 percent YoY in Q1 2012, according to the Adobe Systems Global Digital Advertising Q1 2012 Update. For the same period, IgnitionOne puts total U.S. search spend growth at 30.3 percent in their Global Online Advertising Report. Either way, it’s great news for search marketers, especially those participating in the mobile search space.
Marketers Spending More on Mobile
Adobe’s report has U.S. marketers increasing their mobile ad spend to 8 percent of all search spend, while those in the U.K. allotted 11 percent to mobile in Q1. Tablets alone accounted for 4.25 percent. Adobe predicts mobile and tablet advertising will continue to appeal to advertisers in the short term, given their “disproportionately” low CPCs, compared to desktop PCs.
IgnitionOne put the amount of U.S. paid search spend dedicated to mobile slightly higher, at 12.4 percent. This represents an overall increase in mobile search spend of 221.1 percent over the same quarter last year, though the report warns that this growth rate has slowed since Q4 2011. Clicks on mobile ads increased 246.1 percent YoY.
Outlook for Rest of 2012
Marketers are missing out if they’re not targeting mobile, said Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne.
“While the growth in mobile ad spend has been an ongoing trend, I am impressed by the level of activity and click-throughs on tablets. This should be a wakeup call for marketers who are not yet leveraging search advertising on these devices,” Barnette said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Adobe predicts U.S. search spend will increase 10 to 15 percent throughout 2012, with tablets and mobile taking up to 20 percent of all search spend by Q4 2012.
Adobe also offers a bit of advice to marketers in their report: “In a rational marketplace, the CPC rates on tablets should be identical to desktop CPC rates if the conversion rates are comparable. Furthermore, current trends indicate that tablets may cannibalize smartphone and desktop search spend as investments continue to shift to tablet devices.”