Digital advertising expenditures continue to provide impressive ROI for marketers. Analysts believe that search, especially with respect to mobile and social media, will be the main growth vehicle in 2012. This format has already exhibited impressive returns, year to date.

Marketers are racing to keep up with consumer interest in mobile devices. One report notes that the ‘four-fold’ traffic increase for mobile has prompted marketers to shift larger percentages of their search budgets from traditional computing to mobile. So far, spending on tablets accounts for 4.25% of search which is slightly more than the search amount being spent on smartphones. Some of this activity may be explained by the high conversion rate for tablet owners.

The latest Adobe Digital Index Update predicts the following trends for search in 2012:

  • Overall spending will increase 10-15%
  • Tablet/mobile will comprise 15-20% of all search by year-end

The other big growth story in digital for 2012 will be social media. Analysts say that engagement on brands’ Facebook posts has increased 176% so far this year. As a result, brands are spending 93% more on Facebook than they did last year. Many analysts believe that a good digital marketing campaign will contain a strong social media component for branding coupled with search to assist users who seek more information using key words or terms they’ve discovered on social media.

As I’ve reported in previous posts this month, the search market is largely owned by Google and Yahoo!/Bing and these companies are competing hard to deliver the best results to their customers. Analysts call search “the biggest driver of return on investment (ROI) for marketers absorbing the majority of biddable digital advertising spend.” As long as these returns stay positive, it’s likely marketers will continue to spend on search.

[Source: Global Advertising Update Quarter 1. Efrontier.com. 2012. Web. 20 Web. 2012]