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What’s happening in the world of digital marketing at the start of 2017?

Marketers can find out in Merkle’s just released Q1 2017 Digital Marketing Report (DMR). Merkle, a leading technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing agency, has analyzed trends across paid search, social media, display, and organic search, while providing valuable insights into the performance of major industry players like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Yahoo.

The DMR explores the impact of several key market developments, such as recent changes to Google Shopping; Local Inventory Ads; the rise of Amazon’s Sponsored Product Ads; and the transition to Google Expanded Text Ads.

“In Q1 2017, the data shows that Google AdWords spend increased 21 percent Y/Y in Q1 2017, a slight acceleration from Q4 2016. As has been the case in recent years, Google Shopping ad spend grew much faster year-over-year (Y/Y) than spend on text ads,” the Merkle report summary reads.

One interesting find: ads on Google Maps and Local Inventory Ads (LIAs) (a variation of Google Shopping units which include information for when a product can be picked up in-store) are having a growing impact as well.

Some highlights of Q1 2017, according to the report, include:

  • Google search ad spending rose 21 percent YOY in Q1 2017, up from 19 percent growth in Q4. Clicks increased 20 percent, while cost per click (CPC) rose 1 percent.
  • Google Shopping spending grew 32 percent YOY, while Google text ad spending rose 12 percent. Across formats and engines, phone and desktop spend increased 51 percent and 12 percent, respectively, while tablet spend declined 23 percent.
  • Bing Ads and Gemini traffic share is greatest on desktop computers, where the two platforms combine to account for 19 percent of clicks.
  • Total organic search visits fell 4 percent in Q1 2017 as a slight YOY increase for Google was offset by a small decline for Bing and a 28 percent decline for Yahoo.
  • Social media sites produced 3.3 percent of all site visits and 3.8 percent of mobile site visits in Q1, as mobile accounted for 66 percent of site visits produced by the social channel. Facebook accounted for over 70 percent of social site visit volume.

There’s a wealth of information in the report, including a comparison of shopping engines from Amazon to eBay and beyond.

Want to know more? Download the report here.

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