Quarterly Benchmark Report: Mobile Is The New Normal

London: Today, Marin Software Incorporated (NYSE: MRIN), provider of a cross-channel, cross-device performance advertising cloud released its Q1 2016 Performance Marketer’s Benchmark Report. The report reveals that the direction of consumer and advertiser trends has largely stabilised over the past few quarters as mobile device share continues to increase across the board.

The data was derived from an analysis of Marin’s Global Online Advertising Index, which looks at over $7.8 billion worth of spend in the Marin platform.


The most notable shift is that smartphone gains were no longer mainly from desktop. Instead, there was cannibalisation from the tablet side. Clicks and spend are now majority mobile, with impressions and conversions close behind. Desktop share still retains its dominance, but the lead is a narrow one. Conversions on smartphones increased 10% year-on-year.


Mobile share of display spend continued to eat away at desktop share across all metrics. The end of 2015 saw display advertising on mobile explode globally and, whilst the growth has slowed, in the last quarter conversions have grown 26%, clicks are up 13% and impressions have increased by 10% on smartphones.


Social is still the most mobile of all three channels. Conversions, impressions, spend and clicks are all up but at less significant rates, reflecting the sustained popularity of mobile for this channel. This trend is likely to continue, eventually crossing the 50% mark this year, based on the Q1 2016 data.

Click-through rate (CTR) trends:

Click-Through Rates

There were some drops across all devices for search, but CTRs for social and display remained very similar to the previous quarter. This signals that the shopping season affects search more than the other two channels.

Cost Per Click

Cost-per-click behaviour was very similar to what we saw in Q4 2015. However, smartphone search CPC remained behind tablet, which was an unusual occurrence in Q4. This could be the new normal for search, with tablet CPCs being second behind desktop, and smartphone being the cheapest for search. Across other channels, the gap remains narrow, with the exception of smartphone display CPCs.


Conversion rates for social fell when compared to Q4 2015, but overall trends remain the same.

Stephanie Carr, VP Marin Software EMEA commented, “No news can be good news and for any advertiser which already takes mobile seriously this is certainly the case. For a search advertiser who’s seeing diminishing returns on campaigns, it’s time to move funds towards either social or display platforms. Many marketers still have a web-centric mind-set for their campaigns, but as mobile becomes the new normal, this needs to shift to be more app-centric.” 

About Marin Software

Marin Software Incorporated (NYSE: MRIN) provides a leading cross-channel performance advertising cloud for advertisers and agencies to measure, manage and optimise more than $7.8 billion in annualised ad spend across the web and mobile devices. Offering an integrated SaaS platform for search, display and social advertising, Marin helps digital marketers improve financial performance, save time, and make better decisions. Advertisers use Marin to create, target, and convert precise audiences based on recent buying signals from users’ search, social and display interactions. Headquartered in San Francisco with offices in 8 countries, Marin’s technology automates advertising with the largest publishers around the globe. For more information about Marin’s products, please visit: