Search is bigger in Canada than the US, where display formats dominate
As users shift more of their searches to mobile, marketers are shifting their budgets to reach them. eMarketer predicts that mobile search will make up 32.8% of all search ad spending in Canada this year and 67.7% of the total in 2018. In 2015, mobile search ad spending in Canada will reach C$803.1 million ($727.2 million), a 65.3% increase over 2014.
The new eMarketer report, “Canada Mobile Search: Marketers Shift Investments to Follow User Behavior,” analyzes eMarketer's forecast for mobile search ad spending in Canada over the next four years, as well as data from multiple research firms that paints a picture of how Canada's consumers use mobile devices to conduct searches.
Mobile search queries will account for more than half of all Google searches in Canada this year. This shift presents new opportunities for marketers to take advantage of mobile tools like click to call and voice search, both of which are especially useful for retailers and restaurants. Moreover, long-valued desktop search benefits such as performance and cost predictability extend to mobile as well.
Canada's mobile search spending figures contrast with those in the US, where less ad investment goes to search. Compared to Canada's 51.1% share, search will account for just 44.7% of US mobile advertising in 2015. This difference can be explained by US advertisers' preference for mobile display ads, many of which are for products in the mobile social and video arenas.
For retailers and restaurants in particular, mobile search has become a primary method to capture customers. The localization features in mobile apps and search engines are the most effective, providing quick answers to questions like "Where's the nearest Thai place?" and "What time does Wal-Mart close today?"
When it came to researching local business information, search engines were by far the most used resource (52%), according to a January 2015 survey of adult internet users in Canada conducted by DAC Group and Kantar Media. Surprisingly, just 6% of respondents named mobile search as their primary resource for local business information—but this may be because respondents didn't distinguish between the mobile and the desktop version of search engines. Also counterintuitively, app-based search, which may be preferred by younger groups, wasn't mentioned.
eMarketer corporate subscription clients can view the full report here.