Adobe Systems (Nasdaq:ADBE) today released findings from its Adobe Digital Index report focused on digital advertising industry insights for Q3 2012, as well as an outlook through Q1 2013.
Each year, Adobe analyzes advertiser and user behavior from more than $2 billion in annualized spend under management. Based on the report, overall paid search among advertisers continues to grow across geographies, largely due to increasing mobile traffic.
But Cost per Click (CPC), conversion rates and return on investment (ROI) varies across PCs, tablet devices and smartphones. Additionally, the report found that brand engagement on Facebook is growing rapidly, making it a valuable social advertising channel to reach consumers.
Search advertising maintained steady growth in the United States, the U.K. and Germany, but increased traffic across mobile devices shifted search spend to tablets and smartphones, which altered CPCs – especially for Google. U.S. search spend grew by 11 percent Year over Year (YoY) while ROI improved by 26 percent. Additionally, growth rates for search spend in the U.K. and Germany rose 36 percent and 25 percent, respectively.
Facebook brand engagement grew by 896 percent YoY, resulting in continued fan growth. Mobile users account for nearly one quarter of all Facebook engagement (e.g., Likes, comments and shares).
Google CPCs decreased by 10 percent YoY, which is likely attributed to an increasing share of mobile clicks, where CPCs are less expensive.
Conversion rates by mobile operating system are becoming more important due to continued growth in mobile search traffic. Comparison of iOS versus Android device traffic reveals nearly twice the monetization advantage for iOS. This indicates that optimizing mobile search spend by device offers marketers the opportunity to drive greater ROI.
Based on a client index from the past three quarters (beginning in Q4 2011), some key trends are developing:
Search spend in the United States and Europe is expected to continue rising, especially in the retail segment given robust channel growth, high ROI and the upcoming holiday season. Growth rates of 15 to 20 percent in both the United States and Europe are projected along with increased CPCs in Q4 due to retail seasonality and Google Shopping having transitioned to a paid model.
Mobile traffic is anticipated to maintain steady growth with one in five paid search clicks originating from a tablet or smartphone. Marketers will presumably place increased emphasis on driving mobile traffic to their site by tailoring campaigns for specific mobile operating systems (iOS and Android).
Engagement on Facebook is expected to surge in Q4 as brands continue to invest in social marketing and take advantage of the latest Facebook platform changes (e.g., Timeline) to target consumers.
“Mobile and social continue to play key roles in digital marketing growth. Smart marketers are activating this data; taking advantage of opportunities such as advertising on smartphones and tablets as well as capitalizing on Facebook’s platform changes to reach customers in a more personalized way. By strategically adding these elements, marketers exponentially increase their overall ROI and can then accurately attribute value to each channel,” said David Karnstedt, senior vice president, Media and Advertising Solutions, Digital Marketing Business, Adobe.
According to Adobe, the analysis of digital marketing and Facebook performance is based on data derived from Adobe AdLens and Adobe Social. Data is based on a client index across key verticals, including retail, entertainment, CPG, automotive, and financial services.