If anyone had any doubt about the importance of mobile business, new research just released by digital marketing solutions vendor, IgnitionOne, would clear that up. According to the figures released today, paid search spend on both tablets and mobile phones went up 112% and 113% respectively.

In the current climate, the fact that paid search spend has doubled in a year has certainly been causing many people to ask why? While the research doesn't specifically answer that, the fact that tablet and mobile users are showing a higher total engagement level with ads than PC users, appears to be a good enough reason.

Strong Growth in Q1 for Mobile

The report was researched over Q1 of this year and shows that, despite everything, US digital advertising held steady in Q1 2013. It also shows that there was strong growth in mobile specific search ads and programmatic display spend.

Mobile Search Advertising Q1 2013.jpg

Mobile Paid Search Advertising

When you dig into the figures a little bit deeper you will also find that while paid search experienced its seasonal bounce in Q4, since then, there has only been a slight improvement of 2 percent, largely in result of poor January figures. February and March saw activity pick up again, however.

Tablets showed the biggest increase in usage -- 129% increase in ad impressions and 79% increase in clicks. 

PC Spend

Without explaining why it says it, the research suggests that this spend appears to have been taken directly out of the budgets for PCs. And we saw earlier in the month that digital marketing budgets are expected to rise yet again this year. The implication would seem to be not that the money is coming out of PC spend budgets, but that the budgets are increasing across the board, a common enough practice in tough economic times.

Engagement Metrics By Device.jpg

Customer Engagement by Device

IgniteOne Research Results

That said, the figures IgnitionOne uncovers are impressive and correspond with marketing figures from Gartner earlier in the month. Some of the other key findings include:

  • Engagement: Citing claims by Google that tablet and PC users behave the same, this research says tablet users show signs that they are much more engaged.
  • Yahoo! Bing Network: Has managed to push growth again in this quarter and increase its share slightly to 24.4%.
  • Programmatic Display: In the US, programmatic display spend increased by 55% year-over-year in Q1.

If you are interested in reading more of the report, it is available here (registration required).