San Francisco-based Marin Software (NASDAQ MRIN) this week released its Digital Advertising Benchmark Report for Q4 2018.
Highlights for the Travel and Tourism sector:
- Click volume index 98.0 vs.4Q2017=100
- Spend index 98.4 vs.4Q2017=100
- Clickthrough rate 6.80% up from 4.76% in 4Q2017
- Cost per click $0.45 flat with 4Q2017
- Mobile share of spend: 44% up from 38% in 4Q2017
So: in 4Q2018 vs. 4Q2017 click volume and spend were down slightly, but cost per click remained the same, and average clickthrough rate and mobile share of spend increased significantly.
One possible explanation of these numbers is: Google's increased use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in 2018 delivered more relevant ads to search queries, thus reducing the volume of wasted clicks to irrelevant landing pages, resulting in lower spend by advertisers. And this occurred without increase in average cost per click.
Also a larger share of users viewed and clicked on ads using mobile devices, making ad quality and viewability on mobile of critical importance for advertisers.