Merkle, a leading technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing agency, has released its Q1 2019 Digital Marketing Report (DMR). The full report analyzes key trends in paid search, organic search, display, and social, providing insights into major players like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Merkle is hosting a complimentary webinar on Thursday, April 25 at 2 p.m. ET to further discuss these findings.
Top takeaways from the report include Facebook spend, excluding Instagram, dipping into negative territory for the first time in the history of the DMR, declining by 2% since Q1 2018. Facebook continues to derive meaningful growth from Instagram, however, which saw a 44% increase in ad spend year over year for the quarter and now accounts for 19% as much spend as Facebook for advertisers active on both platforms. Additionally, paid social spend growth continues to outpace traditional display advertising, growing 24% year over year compared to 12% for display advertising.
Paid search spending growth slowed for the fifth straight quarter, as Google spend growth decelerated to 16% year over year and spend across Bing and Yahoo declined 3% in the same period. Google Shopping was once again the primary driver of click growth, as spend for the format increased more than 40% year over year for the second straight quarter. Part of this expansion can be attributed to the growth of variations of the ad format, such as Showcase Shopping Ads and Local Inventory Ads.
“Our quarterly Digital Marketing Report continues to showcase important learnings for marketers,” said Erin Hutchinson, senior vice president of marketing at Merkle. “The report breaks down valuable data from the key media platforms and provides valuable lessons from some of the most impactful updates these platforms saw in Q1. As the marketing landscape continues to evolve, our team at Merkle is committed to ensuring our clients have thoughtful analysis and insight into the trends impacting their business.”
Additional insights from the report include Google’s continued domination of organic search visit share, particularly on mobile devices. However, DuckDuckGo has seen the strongest growth, with visits increasing 54% overall and 78% on mobile devices year over year.
Outside of traditional search, Amazon advertisers saw sales attributed to both Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands more than double year over year, as spend grew 19% and 77% for those formats respectively. Sponsored Products accounted for 85% of all Amazon spend, with over half of spend coming from placements other than the top of search results.
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Merkle is a leading data-driven, technology-enabled, global performance marketing agency that specializes in the delivery of unique, personalized customer experiences across platforms and devices. For more than 30 years, Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to maximize the value of their customer portfolios. The agency’s heritage in data, technology, and analytics forms the foundation for its unmatched skills in understanding consumer insights that drive people-based marketing strategies. Its combined strengths in performance media, customer experience, customer relationship management, loyalty, and enterprise marketing technology drive improved marketing results and competitive advantage. With 9,000+ employees, Merkle is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, with 21 additional offices in the US and 29 offices in EMEA and APAC. In 2016, the agency joined the Dentsu Aegis Network. For more information, contact Merkle at 1-877-9-Merkle or visit www.merkleinc.com.