Marin Software Reports Paid Search Spend on Tablets Overtakes Smartphones

Five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday accounted for 8 percent of ad spend in final quarter of 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA January 10, 2013— Marin Software, provider of a leading digital ad management platform for advertisers and agencies, today announced its “Global Online Advertising Trends” quarterly report, a study of key trends in paid search, mobile, and social advertising. Report findings show advertisers invested more in search ads on tablets, such as the iPad, than on smartphones during the final quarter of 2012. Also, based off its findings, Marin estimates the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday accounted for more than 8% of advertiser spend on paid search for the quarter.

News Facts:

  • According to Pew Research, more than 45% of adults in the U.S. own a smartphone while just 22% own a tablet.  Yet despite smartphones users outnumbering tablet users by two to one, Marin Software found advertisers invested more on search ads targeted towards tablets in the fourth quarter. Marin’s findings indicate search ads on tablets have a higher conversion rate than smartphones and a lower cost-per click relative to desktop ads, making them an attractive investment.  Prior to the fourth quarter of this year, investment in tablet advertising had lagged that of smartphones.
  • Retailers continued the trend of early investments in online advertising during the holiday season. According to its findings, Marin Software estimates the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday accounted for 8% of paid search spend in the fourth quarter.  This data is in-line with earlier findings that retailers dramatically increased investments in search advertising prior to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
  • On a year-over-year basis for Google advertisers, Marin Software saw a 24% increase in click volume, a 14% increase in cost-per-click (CPC), and a 10% decrease in click-through rate (CTR) during the fourth quarter.
  • For Yahoo and Bing advertisers, on a year-over-year basis, Marin Software saw a 25% jump in click volumes accompanied by a 22% increase in CPC and a 13% increase in click-through rate during the fourth quarter.
  • Marin Software’s Online Advertising Report includes findings for the U.K., Eurozone, Australia and the U.S., including specific US industry verticals- Automotive, B2B, Education, Finance, Healthcare, Retail, and Travel. T


  • “Overall, tablets and smartphones accounted for a 22% share of paid search clicks with smartphones edging out tablets in click volume. However, advertisers invested more on tablets overall,” said Matt Lawson, vice president of marketing and partnerships at Marin Software. “Due to the form factor of tablets, consumers find it easier to shop and transact, leading to higher conversion rates on tablets than smartphones and more competition for clicks. We expect the trend to continue as the number of tablets in the marketplace increases and as advertisers continue to optimize their campaigns for these devices.”