For Enterprise Advertisers, Smartphones Grow to 2 in 3 Display Conversions

September 12, 2016

This article is included in these additional categories:

Connected Device Comparisons | Digital | Display & Rich Media | Non-mobile Connected Devices | Paid Search | Social Media | Tablet

Marin-Enterprise-Advertiser-Device-Share-in-Q2-Sept2016Smartphones are becoming increasingly influential for enterprise advertisers across search, display and social, but tablets have stagnated. That’s according to Marin Software’s latest quarterly report [download page] covering Q2 2016, in which a continued shift from desktops to smartphones was observed on a year-over-year basis.

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The following highlights some of the main takeaways from the report, broken out by channel.


While tablet share of search impressions, clicks, spend and conversions remains fairly flat on a year-over-year basis in Q2, there was a fairly strong move from desktops to smartphones. As a result, smartphones grew to account for roughly 40% of search ad impressions, clicks and spend. However, smartphones lagged in search-driven conversions, accounting for just 28%.

That’s due to below-average conversion rates on smartphones (4.6%) for the quarter, compared to 7.7% for tablets and 8.7% for desktops.

Search ad click-through rates (CTRs) were actually highest on tablets (2.45%), followed by smartphones (2.26%) and then desktops (2.1%). Desktops maintained the highest costs-per-click (CPCs) for the sample of enterprise advertisers, with tablet CPCs 14% lower and smartphones CPCs 30% lower.

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Display advertising showed a generally similar trend to search ads, though more magnified. Tablet share of the various metrics remained flat, but the move from desktops to smartphones was much more evident, with smartphone share of conversions rising by more than 25% year-over-year.

In fact, smartphones grew to account for almost 68% of display-driven conversions, compared to just 48% of spend and 56% of impressions. Smartphone share of display ad clicks was even higher, at more than 3 in 4 (76.5%).

Not surprisingly given those results, smartphones boasted the highest display ad CTR, of 0.77%, trailed by tablets (0.54%) and desktops (0.24%). Notably, though, conversion rates for display advertising were highest for desktops (4.29%), followed by tablets (3.02%) and smartphones (2.47%). As Marin notes, conversion rates continue to be a reflection of CPCs, which are highest on desktops and lowest on smartphones.


Marin combines smartphone and tablet data for social advertising, showing that device share remained relatively consistent from last year, at least relative to the other channel shifts taking place.

For the quarter, mobile devices captured a strong majority of social ad impressions (64%), clicks (70%) and spending (63%), though they only accounted for a minority (48%) of conversions.

Social ad click-through rates were slightly higher on mobile devices (0.88%) than on desktops (0.73%), though conversion rates were more than twice as high on desktops (1.83%) as on mobile devices (0.74%).

The full results can be downloaded from Marin Software here.

About the Data: The results are based on a sample of the Marin Global Online Advertising Index, which looks at over $7.8 billion worth of spend in the Marin platform. The Index primarily consists of enterprise-class marketers””larger advertisers and agencies that spend in excess of $1 million annually on paid-search, display, social, and mobile.

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