Advertising on mobile proving better than PC

ADVERTISING on mobile devices is overtaking the success of using desktop computers for marketing, with the UK leading the charge in Europe according to a report from Marin Software, published this morning.

Some 15.1 per cent of Google’s paid clicks in the UK in December came from adverts on smartphone and tablets – a 280 per cent increase on the 5.4 per cent in January 2011.

Europe showed a similar growth rate, despite being slower in its adoption of smart mobile devices. Across the continent, mobile’s share of Google’s paid clicks jumped from 2.1 per cent to 5.8 per cent.

Marketing companies have responded accordingly, with UK advertisers upping their search budget for mobile devices from 3.2 per cent at the start of last year to 9.3 per cent by the end. Advertisers in Europe made a 400 per cent jump, growing search budgets for mobile from 1.2 per cent in January 2011 to 4.7 per cent by December.

This could come as worrying news to Facebook, which in its IPO filing in February said that it had not yet mastered mobile marketing despite generating 85 per cent of its revenues through advertising.

The social network will have to unveil a plan to make money from its mobile users to keep investors happy after its planned $5bn IPO.

Smartphones and tablets are invading the market, while sales of desktop computers are lagging. Apple sold more mobile devices in 2011 alone than the total number of Macs sold in the 28 years since the computer hit the shelves in 1984.

Marin’s report also shows that mobile devices in the UK have much higher click-through rates than PCs, meaning adverts on mobiles are more successful in catching a consumer’s eye.

The cost per click is also cheaper on mobile devices, so advertisers spend less per successful advert on mobile. While conversion rates (translating a successful click to actual consumer spend) are lower on smartphones, tablets are fast catching up with PCs.

Mobile advertising in the UK outstrips Europe and on a global level is third only to Japan and Australia.