How did the first quarter of 2021 look for digital ad growth? After an unusual holiday season, e-commerce stayed strong amid the momentum of COVID-19 vaccine distribution and the short-term income influx from stimulus payments. Find out which areas for Google, Amazon, and others ramped up and what industries saw the most positive rebound.
Since its launch in 2011, the Digital Marketing Report (DMR) has become one of the most highly regarded and frequently cited reports in the digital marketing industry. Here’s a snapshot:
Google paid search Y/Y growth accelerated in Q1, with spend increasing 20% over Q1 2020, marking the highest spend growth experienced since the start of the pandemic.
Amazon’s Sponsored Brand ads growth remained strong Y/Y, with clicks up 38% and spend up 26%, though Sponsored Brands’ relative sales-per-click compared to Sponsored Products fell 75%.
Retail click growth on Google actually strengthened in Q1 when compared to Q4 2020, with retailers facing fewer shipping and inventory challenges than they did during the holiday season.
Investment across Facebook and Instagram continues to grow Q/Q and Y/Y, with Instagram maintaining the more cost-efficient CPMs.
Each quarter, the Digital Marketing Report (DMR) takes a detailed look at performance across digital channels, including paid search, SEO, product ads, CSEs, programmatic, and social media. It also provides insight into major digital trends including share of traffic for search engines, digital platforms, and across devices. Using many of our long-standing clients as an index, Merkle has compiled these reports since 2011 to provide the industry with a set of trustworthy benchmarks that can be leveraged to inform analysts and improve advertising.