Mobile Marketers to Shift Money from Search to Display

Could the mobile ad market exceed $30 billion in spending by 2017? eMarketer analysts think so. Part of this growth will be fueled by marketer interest in all things mobile. This year, mobile will account for  20% of all digital spending. Media companies should pay attention to how this spending on mobile mobilephonemulticulturalwill break out going forward.

In 2013, about 55% of the mobile ad market will be search related. Another 44.8% will go to display, and of that amount, most spending will be on banners and rich media. Only 2.8% will be spent on messaging and 1.3% on classified, email and other lead generation tactics.

Video will be one of the growth stories in the display sector over the next few years. Currently at 6.8% of the total mobile market, video display is set to capture about 9.6% of all mobile spending by 2017. The classified, email and other category will also grow its market share – to about 3.8% over the next several years. These increases will come at the expense of search which will see a drop to 49% of mobile spending by 2017. In the broader digital market, search is expected to capture $25.6 billion, or 35%, of the projected total $61.4 billion in 2017.  This figure  reflects a slow erosion of the hold that search has on the digital ad market. Last year it accounted for  47% of the market and this year, that number will fall to 46.3%.

These kinds of predictions have to make search kings like Google anxious and they are already scrambling to find ways to ensure future revenue growth. Mahi de Silva, CEO Opera Mediaworks, noted earlier this month that display is likely to continue stealing market share from search as the mobile ecosystem grows. Consumers are exhibiting a different kind of behavior on mobile devices, often relying on apps instead of browsers, where search rules. This change means that ad-​supported apps will likely result in more display ad inventory. The other challenge for search is related to the smaller screen size on mobile devices. Search works well for consumers who use desktop PCs or laptops. But browser searching on a mobile device can often be a less than optimal experience, and therefore one that marketers may hesitate to put money into.

Do you agree? If you're buying digital, are you spending more on display than search — especially for the mobile market?

[Sources: Mobile Display Will Overtake Search Sooner Than you Think. Adexchanger​.com. 2 Aug. 2013. Web. 4 Sept. 2013; Mobile Gains Greater Share. Emarketer​.com. 21 Aug. 2013. Web. 4 Sept. 2013] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.