LONDON: Brand owners need to shift their marketing budgets towards mobile as they adapt to the "post-PC" era, tech research firm Gartner has said.

According to the new report, digital communications designed for mobile platforms – including smartphones and tablets – will outnumber those designed for PCs by a ratio of four to one by 2015.

David Mitchell Smith, research vice president at Gartner, said: "With phones and tablets becoming a platform for the delivery of applications and information... the era of running applications solely on desktop and notebook PCs is rapidly being superseded by a fast-moving, diverse era of ecosystems that span consumer electronics, business computing, fixed-location clients and mobile clients."

The research follows the release of a joint study from IAB Europe and IHS Screen Digest last week, which suggested that global mobile adspend had passed the $5bn barrier in 2011, reaching $5.3bn for the year.

Moreover, fast-growth markets in Asia-Pacific had driven much of this increase, with the region's mobile ad sector valued at $1.4bn, versus $1.2bn for North America and $991m for Europe.

Recent Gartner forecasts indicated that mobile will account for 4% of ad budgets by 2015, up from just 0.5% in 2010, according to figures contained in Warc's Mobile Marketing trends report.

In its new report, Gartner urged organisations to exploit this shift by adapting their ad campaigns to work seamlessly across multiple screen sizes and operating systems.

The report also recommended that brand owners adopt a "mobile-only" or "mobile-first" mindset when developing digital products.

Smith added that this process could involve more usage of mobile-only features such as touch-and-gesture interfaces and spoken commands.

"The exploding interest in, and use of, mobile devices across consumer and business markets means that mobile interfaces are setting expectations for the usability, appearance and behavior of future systems and applications," he said.

Data sourced from Gartner; additional content by Warc staff