Budgets for mobile advertising rose yet again during Q1 2015 as signs point to spend on smartphones and tablets overtaking desktop by the end of the year.
Digging into reports from the finance, healthcare and automotive sectors, Marin Software’s latest quarterly benchmark report shows mobile budgets growing by an average of 12.6% year on year. 
Much faster is the pace of growth for impressions of mobile ads across smartphones and tablets, which increased by an average rate of 20.8% across the same three sectors. 
Marin is backing mobile to surpass desktop in the ad spend stakes by Q4 2015. But according to its research from earlier this year, desktops generally average much better rates of conversion. 
That has added further weight to the belief that while mobile is building a reputation as an assist channel, it may need added support to push consumers over the line.

Revving up 

Readings from a Marin infographic covering the UK automotive sector’s experiences with mobile go some way to proving why marketers are flocking to inventory on smartphones and tablets. 
As spend on mobile goes up, so too does its share of impressions and interactions. Smartphones are now just 12.3% away from desktops in clicks, but current rates of growth will see the gap close even more as 2015 progresses. 
According to Jon Myers, Marin Software’s MD & VP EMEA, the results stress a need for measurement across desktop and mobile in order to assess the true value of activities. 
“Mobile is clearly key. However, as our annual, global Mobile Report highlighted, despite mobile’s rise, consumers are more likely to use these devices for product research but ultimately make final purchases on desktops,” he commented. 
“This suggests that advertisers need to adopt strategies to reach consumers across multiple channels and use tools to track attribution for mobile ads accurately.”
Myers also backed clicks on mobile ads to carry an impact on in-store sales, possibly helping brands to bridge the online and offline divide.