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Asking Smarter Questions is your go-to guide for the latest points of view, news, trends, insights, statistics and tools regarding data driven digital marketing. When it comes to marketing analytics, there is more campaign data available than you know what to do with – which is where the problem comes in. In the current business environment, there is a stronger demand for more accountability from executives and businesses to deliver results.
Regardless of the digital marketing channels and tactics included in your overall marketing strategy, measurement is the first step to getting the most out of them. A customized data analytics solution also provides insight into how visitors are finding your website. Continuing its ascent into the status of omnipresent being, global smartphone adoption reached an all-time high last year and shows no signs of slowing down. We sampled the Marin Global Online Advertising Index, composed of advertisers who invest more than $7 billion in annualized ad spend on the Marin platform, to analyze data from around the world to create our latest annual benchmark report. For detailed information on 2015 search, social, and display mobile performance – including detailed data charts with YoY performance and further recommendations for 2016 – download our Mobile Advertising Around the Globe: 2016 Annual Report. Mobile performance has been on everyone’s minds the past few years, and everyone knows that smartphone click-through rates have been trumping desktop and tablet click-through rates for some time. By examining click-through rates, we can already see that position #1 for smartphones is much more important than that of desktops.
By looking at the CTR-share by ad position, we can see that almost 40% of click-throughs are made in the first position.
Over the last three years, the rapid proliferation of tablet devices has changed the way consumers and advertisers interact across the search landscape. However, the way these devices are used by consumers today has resulted in a seismic shift in thinking by Google.
A recent 2013 mobile report: The State of Mobile Search Advertising – How Smartphones and Tablets are Changing Paid Search released by Marin Software supports Google’s claim that consumer behavior on tablets and desktops share increasing similarities. Over the last two years, tablets have become a device segment that search marketers can’t ignore. In 2012, paid search conversion rates for tablet devices increased by 31%, while smartphone and desktop conversion rates increased by 9% and 7%, respectively. Tablets will certainly play a crucial role in the future of paid search, but whether the line between desktops and tablets will continue to converge and blur, or diverge and remain distinct, has yet to be seen. With the migration to enhanced campaigns underway, search marketers must now prepare for a desktop-and-tablet-combined world. In an already highly competitive search landscape, enhanced campaigns will change the way advertisers engage with consumers. Last week, our mobile report caught the eyes of many journalists, including the Wall Street Journal.
Tablets are the future that much seems certain, but in a post Google enhanced campaigns world where tablets and desktops are “equal”, which one drives the innovation?
Today Marin released its Global Online Advertising Trends Quarterly Report for the fourth quarter of 2012.
The fourth quarter has always proven to be the busiest for marketers—retailers in particular—because of the holiday season. As predicted earlier this year, we saw mobile traffic peak at nearly 22% of all paid search clicks on Google in the US; we saw similar mobile traffic levels in the UK and Australia.
As Marin’s customer base continues to expand globally, we have committed to expanding our analysis into new verticals and geographies to help provide more granular insights for marketers. In this quarterly report we included insights on paid search performance in Australia as well as industry-specific metrics for the Finance, Retail and Travel verticals in the UK. To put these mobile trends in perspective, Josh presented two case studies on recent mobile performance across Fuor Digital’s customer base. To view the recording of this webcast and hear more on the state of mobile search, click here. Rather than drive the big truck to each house as they normally would, they unloaded packages from the U-Haul and delivered them via golf cart. While some marketers realize the immense value this data can provide in terms of business goals and digital marketing investments, very few of them really have a good understanding of how best to collect and break down this data in a way that enables them to pull actionable insights from it.
The problem is not the lack of data but the inability to identify important metrics and properly communicate performance insights that lead to data-driven decision-making.
For those who land on your website through an organic search, find out what keywords they’re using to get there. Learn the language they use when searching for your products so you can better target your marketing messaging. Thanks to this rapid expansion of smartphone usage around the world, advertisers now have an opportunity to reach consumers even more easily. In 2015, mobile devices represented the majority of consumer online usage for the first time.


As the mobile format gains traction with consumers and advertisers, publishers are innovating. Desktops are still the primary conversion-driving device; however, within the past year, conversion rates have been growing on mobile devices.
But just how important is ad position for marketers looking to capture the attention of their audience? Surprisingly, tablets show a similar trend to smartphones, even though they use the same SERP format as desktops.
Consumers now rely on their tablets more than ever before to gain access to local business information, product details, reviews, coupons, and competitors. In an effort to simplify the management of paid search campaigns across devices, location, and time of day, Google upgraded AdWords with enhanced campaigns in early February. However, the data also validates the perception that desktops and tablets are inherently different and perform accordingly so.
In fact, the share of overall paid search clicks served by Google on tablets increased from 6% to 10.7% in 2012. By December 2013, Marin estimates that tablet conversion rates will surpass those of desktops. Even though these two devices share similarities in search behavior, they continue to perform differently.
Sophisticated search marketers will need to continue investing in technology and reestablish best practices in order to successfully drive media and acquire revenue in the new multi-device world. However, Wired’s interpretation of the data gave me pause to think further on the trend of consumers ditching their desktops and laptops in favor of tablets. As with previous quarters, we built this report using the Marin Global Online Advertising Index— for this release, we refreshed our client index data pool to ensure more representative analysis and findings. On a quarter-over-quarter basis, advertisers faced increased competition resulting in higher costs per click versus Q3 2012.
Most noteworthy in the US was the share of spend on tablets eclipsing that of smartphones at 9% and 8%, respectively. Speakers for this event included Gagan Kanwar of Marin Software and Josh Dreller of Fuor Digital, an online advertising agency. I assume this is because there were so many deliveries for my neighborhood of 423 homes that they needed the extra resources just for our subdivision – and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!Have Amazon Prime and other online retailers changed the landscape so much that we no longer bother going to a brick and mortar store? Check out our new series to learn the best processes for finding efficiencies across your business.
A data analytics solution enables you to measure, manage and analyze your digital marketing initiatives to maximize campaign effectiveness and return on investment. By implementing a customized data analytics solution, you can uncover trends and crucial insights that will help drive business-changing decisions. A customized data analytics solution allows you to determine key performance metrics so you can easily see which aspects of your digital marketing initiatives are working and which should be discontinued, saving you both time and money.
To get the most of your investment, test your various digital marketing channels and the campaigns within them to determine which of them are performing the best.
Consumers are now spending more time and attention on mobile devices than desktop – as a result, advertisers have been shifting spend away from desktop towards smartphones and tablets to catch consumer attention and generate clicks. While mobile ad formats formerly took cues from desktop, publishers are now swapping the formula, making desktop ad formats and pages more similar to mobile.
While mobile devices have historically been used for product research or upper-funnel activities, this is changing, as better mobile attribution and ad formats are released. We took a look at click-through rates by ad position to examine just how important this is. Upon closer examination, however, we see that smartphone CTR drops off much more rapidly than either desktops or tablets, at an average of 30% per position, versus 22% and 28% respectively. According to Google and their data, the line between desktops and tablets is blurring, with search behavior and engagement on the two devices aligning. Regardless, to remain successful in a multi-device world, search marketers must embrace enhanced campaigns and continue delivering a relevant and engaging ad experience.
Consumers are increasingly using tablet devices to research and make purchases on-the-go and, more importantly, in the comfort of their home where desktop devices have traditionally reigned. In addition to this rapid rise in conversion rate, Marin also found that tablet ads are continuing to outperform desktop ads. Perhaps this is a result of their unique user experiences—desktops with their large screens, mouses, and primarily fixed locations; versus tablets and their touchscreens, smaller search real-estate, and portability. Campaigns and landing pages must now be optimized with both the desktop and tablet user in mind.
As Michael Copeland points out, tablets are no longer just for watching movies while on the train home, checking emails, or passing the time with Angry Birds.


Ad innovation for desktops progressed along its own path while tablets were busy carving out one of their own. Here are a few reasons a customized data analytics solution is crucial to the success of your digital marketing initiatives.
Plus, a marketing analytics solution enables you to hold your marketing campaigns truly accountable, providing fact-based insight into your ROI (return on investment).
Armed with this information, you can determine whether you need to improve your company’s SEO (search engine optimization) program to target a more relevant audience.
And by understanding where the majority of your traffic comes from, you’re able to alter the look, tone and messaging of your campaigns to ensure the appropriate audience is being targeted. If we take a look at the differences between the desktop and smartphone format, we find that many times on mobile, only a single ad is displayed on the top of a SERP. Marin projects that by the end of 2013, the share of tablet clicks will double in the US, accounting for 20% of Google’s paid search clicks. Click-through rates (CTR) for search ads on tablets were 37% higher than ads delivered on desktops, with the average cost-per-click (CPC) on tablets 17% lower than on desktops.
Marin’s mobile report appears to support the notion that different user experiences result in varying ad performance. Two strategies that marketers are implementing today include: limiting the amount of Flash-based content on websites, as iPads don’t support Adobe Flash, and using finger-friendly buttons and links.
As the power and performance of tablets increases and bandwidth becomes more available, firing up the ‘ol tower computer is becoming a thing of the past.
Now that both are AdWords roomies, will future ad innovation be of a desktop lineage or part of the tablet revolution? The frugal shopper in me wonders if the ease of shopping, and the assumption that Amazon usually has the best prices, is causing us to be extra lazy and avoid price comparison shopping.
The same holds true for content – through a customized data analytics solution, you can see what content on your website is viewed most often. As a result, advertisers increased paid search spend on tablets to capitalize on this opportunity; and by the end of 2012, the share of spend on these devices had increased to 10%, eclipsing the share of spend on smartphones for the first time in history. As a result, we expect Google’s enhanced campaigns to evolve as the market demand for additional functionality becomes evident.
The two devices and their user experiences certainly aren’t the same; computers with their large screens, mouses, and primarily fixed locations versus tablets and their touch screens, smaller search real-estate, and portability. At the same time, it’s that ease and convenience that makes it hard to argue the value of this shopping experience. This will help you prioritize content more likely to attract potential business by allowing you to focus on what is more important to your target audience, as well as how and where it should be positioned on your website. Naturally, this means that smartphones will see a much larger percentage of clicks go towards the first result.
It’s the power of Amazon’s marketing that makes us trust we’ll get the best deal in the most convenient manner.On the other side of the coin, Target’s Cartwheel app is the driving force behind my “no” answer. The app offers a number of heavily discounted items each day but they are only redeemable in-store. Luckily (or not – depending on how you look at it), there is a Target less than one mile from my house. The location coupled with the daily app notifications and regular emails are so appealing to my wife that she’s been in the store and purchased something at least five out of the last seven days.
And she never leaves without buying at least one product beyond the items featured in the app.So what does this all mean for marketers? A lot.My wife is always on the go and can’t imagine life without her smartphone and all the apps she uses every day. Both Amazon and Target have figured out how to not only find a long term customer in my wife but also how best to engage her where and when she wants to be engaged. The companies have realized how to optimize her experiences and keep her as a loyal customer both online and in-store.An essential part of the cross-channel strategy enabling the ease and convenience both brands afford is mobile.
Amazon has great mobile integration and messaging strategy and Target uses the mobile app to bring people to the physical store. My colleagues recently led a free seminar to help marketers get started building a mobile strategy, Mobile warming: Innovative strategies for mobile engagement.
Experian and the Experian marks used herein are service marks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.




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