Google is losing ground in the paid search market to the Yahoo/Bing partnership, according to new report by IgnitionOne (IO) a cloud-based digital marketing technology provider.

The IO Q4 2014 Digital Marketing Report calls the growth in Yahoo/Bing share “historic.” It jumped to 26.3 percent of U.S. search spend — a 25.8 percent jump over consecutive quarters.

“I am a little surprised by the success of Yahoo!/Bing at chipping away at Google’s lead. They're still a distant second to Google, but they have made some serious gains this quarter – mostly due to their gains in mobile and tablets,” said IO president Roger Barnette.

By the Numbers

The data also that shows mobile device use continues to grow in both search and display advertising. And while that is "certainly not a surprise,” Barnette acknowledged, it confirms “consumers are continually moving in (the mobile) direction and followed by advertisers.”

The report also shows:

  1. Spending year-over-year was up 37 percent for tablets and 78 percent for phones, a sign that marketers are shifting their efforts to keep up with what IO refers to as today’s “multi-device lifestyle."
  2. Mobile display growth continues to  follow past patterns with another increase. “Most interesting is year over year growth for Android impressions far outpacing iOS, peaking on Thanksgiving Day with 57.8 percent of impressions,” the report noted.
  3. Marketers are putting more dollars toward programmatic display, up 35.5 percent over last year.

This data shows that marketers need to be focused on these trends and where the industry is heading.

“Fast, effective mobile and global capabilities across entire business units have become first, second and third priority,” said Kamal Ahluwalia, CMO of Apttus, a platform that automates the "quote to cash" (CQT) process within Salesforce.com. Apttus has done its own research on sales and marketing trends, including mobile.

“When marketing spends go up, that means somewhere an entire team is going after your audience, your customers. Marketers need to be aware of this, and react accordingly. Target your own campaigns accordingly, make sure your optimization is top-notch, and get in the game,” he said.

Today’s atmosphere is highly competitive when it comes to mobile advertising and marketing. “It’s not just about being the loudest – it’s about finding the key differentiators in your own offerings and creating compelling, dynamic ways to demonstrate them,” said Ahluwalia. “Keeping your own messaging clear and concise provides a foundation that will stand strong against the turbulent din.”

It also demonstrates the importance of being nimble and learning to adapt quickly. “Marketers should always keep options open and be willing to shift spending to where it is effective,” said Barnette. “There are plenty of opportunities to reach consumers on Yahoo!/Bing in addition to the huge reach of Google. You just need to always make sure you are where the audience is.”

The Future is Now

And if you haven’t started to invest in mobile advertising, it’s time. “Not only are the audiences there, but the technology is catching up to track and evaluate those mobile ads,” said Barnette, adding:

Digital Marketing will continue to grow but there are always forces of change that will keep marketers on their toes. Mobile growth will eventually stabilize (after taking the majority of spend). The data shows me that marketers are getting more sophisticated – they are better using technology and their tech partners to be efficient and effective. That is a great trend we can all get behind.”