Merkle (www.merkleinc.com), a leading technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing agency, announced today the release of its Q1 2018 Digital Marketing Report (DMR). The report analyzes trends across paid search, social media, display, and organic search, while providing insights into the performance of major industry players like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Bing, Yahoo, and Instagram. In support of the research findings, Merkle is hosting a complimentary webinar on Monday, April 23 at 2:00 pm ET.
Google, the platform that accounts for the largest share of digital advertising dollars for most brands, saw the growth of its paid search spend slow in Q1 2018 to 20%, as click growth continued to decelerate for the third straight quarter. However, Google Shopping spend grew 40% Y/Y, as both pricing and click growth accelerated. Shopping ads now make up 82% of all non-brand Google paid search clicks for retailers.
One of the highlights of the Q1 2018 DMR is the investment and subsequent growth of Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon. Increased pricing and ad engagement continue to drive Facebook spend up, with 48% Y/Y spend growth for the median advertiser in Q1. Investment on Instagram continued to grow even faster than Facebook for brands advertising on both platforms. The ad spend gap between the two platforms will likely become smaller over the next several quarters as Instagram continues to roll out new advancements.
Amazon advertising sustained impressive growth rates and continues to grow rapidly, with spend across Sponsored Products and Headline Search Ads increasing 96% and 90% Y/Y in Q1, respectively. Sponsored Products accounted for 86% of all Amazon Marketing Services spend for the quarter.
“The Digital Marketing Report offers incredibly accurate, data-informed insights and predictions so marketers can plan their media investments with confidence in 2018,” said Dalton Dorné, SVP, Marketing for Merkle Americas. “The Q1 2018 report shows how Facebook ad spend has weathered recent headlines about the social media platform and discusses the key drivers of performance for Google, Amazon, and other major platforms.”