Report: Mobile is tops in digital ad spending in Q4 2015

Marketers and advertisers continue to shift digital ad spending to where the biggest audience is—mobile.

That's according to Marin Software's "Q4 2015 Performance Marketer's Benchmark Report," which found that as of late 2015, desktop no longer has the majority for ad spend. Though desktops maintained a small margin on mobile across most search advertising metrics, smartphones continued to dominate in terms of year-over-year (YoY) growth.

"This was the first quarter where click-share shifted to a mobile majority, with a 51–49 split for mobile devices," the report reads. "With current trends, it looks as if spend won't be far behind, and in 2016, mobile will continue to become the definitive device of choice for both consumers and advertisers. This comes largely through consumer and advertiser adoption of smartphones, rather than moving away from desktop and tablet, which have been relatively flat in growth."

With new ad formats and improvements in targeting options, social mobile ads have seen big gains in the past year. Marin Software's report predicts that by the end of 2016, social conversions should become a largely mobile metric.

"Social remained the most mobile of all channels and had the least YoY change of all three," the report reads. "While consumer attention and advertiser spend was largely mobile on this channel, conversions were still very close to even. Desktop had a slight edge, with 55 percent of all social conversions."

So search advertising is still the safest bet for last-click conversions, but display and social ads are better choices for proving ROI.

"For a search advertiser who's seeing diminishing returns on their search campaigns, it makes sense to shift funds away towards either social or display platforms, where their spend can be utilized to greater effect—especially the recent growth in display mobile conversion rates is taken into account—and while costs are still relatively low," according to the report.

For more:
- download the complete report

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