The new IgnitionOne Digital Marketing Report for Q1 finds that overall paid search spend in the U.S. was flat for the quarter, while mobile and tablet growth remained strong. Tablet spending rose 112% and smartphone spending jumped 113%.
The study suggests that the growth in tablet and mobile is coming from a reallocation from existing budgets for Desktop/PC ads, rather than net new spend.
While the gap is smaller than when the report last looked in Q3 2012, the report found a clear differentiation of tablet users when compared to PC and mobile users. Tablet users on average spent 17% more time on-site and had 9% higher Engagement Scores (an IgnitionOne measurement of behavior and propensity to convert) than PC. It found the difference even more substantial for retail clients in the sample.
The Looming Impact Of Enhanced Campaigns
Google has maintained that they’ve seen similar user behaviors on tablets and PCs, while many advertisers have argued that the performance data they see from their campaigns disputes that claim. The IgnitionOne report seems to validate what many of these advertisers have been saying.
The report also predicts that Google’s transition to enhanced campaigns will “increase spending on mobile devices and tablets significantly.” In addition, reporting on devices will likely be more difficult as advertisers will be opted into mobile ads by default and tablets and PCs will be grouped together.
Lift From Product Listing Ads
When looking at PLA performance, most notably, the report found “minimal cannibalization” by PLAs on text ads:
“While we did see a slight decrease in paid search clicks as PLA investment increased, that effect was much smaller than the synergy of paid search investment and PLA revenue.”
This is one of the first reports I’ve seen to look at the question of cannibalization on an aggregate basis, and it substantiates what I’ve been seeing and hearing from other marketers. Namely that PLAs have shown to provide an overall lift in both revenue and orders for e-commerce advertisers.