Marin Software has reached a business milestone, by managing more than $5 billion in online ad spend.

The online advertising management solutions business, which offers an integrated platform for search, display, social, and mobile marketing, said that more than $5 billion in annualised advertising spend is managed through its platform.

Founder and chief executive officer at the 2006-founded US business, Chris Lien, said of the $5 billion, approximately 23% is targeted to mobile devices (tablets and smartphones).

Lien said the company’s platform is built to allow its customers to aggregate and analyse key data from their digital advertising campaigns and business information systems; thus creating a system-of-record that marketers can use to attribute revenue to specific marketing spend, assess customer lifetime value, and to drive more revenue.

Evolution of Multi-channel 

“Marin is ideally situated in the middle of the ongoing and significant shift to digital advertising,” Lien said.

“The evolution of a multi-channel and multi-device advertising ecosystem has increased complexity for advertisers and continues to drive strong opportunities for Marin.”

Lien, who expanded the company’s footprint earlier this year with the opening of an office in Dublin, said that customers use Marin to manage more than six billion ad units and rely on the platform to make more than 80 million campaign changes every day as of Q2 2013.

A total of 10 of Marin’s customers use the platform to manage more than 100 million keywords, with one managing nearly 500 million keywords.

A Changing Landscape 

To coincide with the milestone news, the New York Stock Exchange listed company said that as it is now 20 years almost to the week that the first online advert was ever sold, it has decided to take a look at how the ad industry has changed ‘beyond recognition’ in the last 20 years. As a result they have put together an infographic.

According to the infographic, the first ever ad was sold in 1993 to tech-savvy law firm, Heller Ehrman, by the first purely online magazine; Global Network Navigator – published by Tim O’Reilly.

The image shows how internet users have rocketed from five million back then, to more than two billion today.

Vice president and managing director EMEA at Marin Software, Jon Myers, said the top price for an ad was $5,000, whereas now, some online holiday sites spend millions of pounds per month on search advertising alone.

It was one person brokering online ad deals one-to-one with advertisers,  but now the biggest slice of all marketing spend goes online and millions is spent around the world – not to mention the hugely complex, automated/programmatic buying algorithms that run the campaigns across Facebook, search, display and more.