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Mobile Advertising 2012

Marin Software put together an awesome report about the state of mobile advertising in 2012. It can be found here.

Some of the most interesting highlights are the following:

  • Google is estimated to generate $5.8 billion dollars from Mobile advertising in 2012. This would represent almost 15% of their estimated 2012 revenues.
  • Mobile currently represents 12% of all clicks on Google.
  • Supply of ad inventory on mobile is still larger than advertising budget. This means low prices!!!
  • 25% of all paid search clicks will come from mobile in 2012
  • Every day 700k Android devices are being activated. This may expand as more Android tablets appear.
  • Tablets represent 45% of all mobile clicks.
  • Mobile clicks are 36% cheaper than desktop clicks
  • SmartPhones have the worst conversion rates of any mobile device. Partially due to most landing pages not being optimized for mobile.

As an advertiser, what does all of this mean? Should this influence your media buy in any way?

With any new trend it is easy to get caught up in the excitement and want to jump on it.

The best way to approach this is the following:

  • Take a look at your Google Analytics to see how many people are coming to your site via mobile devices. If it is very low that might be an opportunity for you to expand it or just ignore it for now.
  • Take a look at some mobile use cases. In a recent report by Yellow Pages you can see what people most often look for on their phones. I don’t think this info is valid for Tablet users though. Does your company fall into these use cases? If not, you can probably wait on mobile. But double check this by asking your customers in real life!
  • Pull up your webpage on a mobile phone or tablet. How does it look? Would you sign up? If not, get a mobile redesign! Also check out concepts around Responsive Design.
  • Set up a test campaign to see if you get any clicks from a mobile campaign. In Google Adwords you can set up a campaign to mobile devices only. If you see a significant number of clicks within a few days you know there is an audience. Build them a flow!
  • Get an 800 number. Most mobile campaigns that do well need an 800 number. Use services like to track your calls. Make sure this 800 number is different from a number you might use on TV or Radio. This helps with tracking.
  • Set a goal for your mobile campaign. It can be cost savings on your overall paid search buy or it can be something as simple as generate 100 calls. Without that target or goal you are never going to know if this makes sense for you.
  • Lastly – do research to see if your competitors are on mobile already. If they are, see how you can make their landing pages or call experiences better. Don’t re-invent the wheel, just make it go faster!


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