U.S. Paid Search Spend Sees First Drop in Six Years: IgnitionOne’s Q1 2016 Digital Marketing Report


U.S. Paid Search down 5%; Impressive Rise in Mobile Impressions; Facebook Dominating Programmatic Display.

IgnitionOne, a global marketing cloud company, released its Q1 2016 Digital Marketing Report, demonstrating both steady trends and surprising changes in digital advertising metrics.

Q1 marked a drop in U.S. paid search spend for the first time in 6 years, down 5% year over year (YoY).

Mobile continues to be the star of search, demonstrating the largest jump in impressions in several years at 19% year over year. Programmatic display is up 10% YoY, with Facebook dominating Google in growth, up 51%.

Key findings in the report:

o Search spend decreases for first time in over six years

o U.S. Google paid search, for the first time since 2009, decreased YoY. Following a year of strong and steady growth, Q1 2016 saw a decrease of 5% in spend. A drop in CPCs in mobile due to additional advertising real estate and a poor start of the year for financial markets are likely to blame.

o Mobile continues to be bright spot in search.

o Though spend was down for the quarter, US paid search impressions and clicks built on Q4 2015’s rebound. In fact, Q1 saw the largest jump in impressions in three years, up 19% YoY while clicks increased 15%. This trend is driven by mobile where impressions and clicks were also both up robustly (73% and 86%).

o Programmatic Display grows as Facebook dominates.

o U.S. programmatic display saw an increase in spend of 10% YoY in Q1. The quarter also saw Facebook again outpacing Google in terms growth, up 51% YoY while Google spend decreased 10% YoY.

European Website and Score Trends

o Across a wide range of European clients, we saw an increase in website visitors in Q1 2016, up 12% compared to a year earlier. In an effort to convert these visitors to leads, personalized interactions were served. The interactions increased 56% YoY, driving growth in leads of 22% overall. Additional breakdowns by key verticals (automotive, retail and finance) as well as mobile device usage are included in the report.

“For the first time in years, Google paid search is down in our report. But do not mistake this for the sky falling,” said Will Margiloff, CEO of IgnitionOne (pictured top left). “Search remains one of the most effective tools to drive results for marketers and the shift to mobile search is creating both opportunities and efficiencies.”

A follow-up to this report will be released in the coming weeks including Q1 data from Bing. A webinar hosted by IgnitionOne and Bing unpacking the results of the report will be held later this month.

Digital marketing figures are released quarterly by IgnitionOne, which manages more than $1.5 billion in digital spend and tracks over $30 billion in revenue for its customers. This is the longest continuously running quarterly report on digital marketing trends and is the latest in a series from IgnitionOne, reviewing trends across the online advertising landscape. This and previous quarterly reports can be downloaded in full at http://www.ignitionone.com/thought-leadership/.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here