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Merkle Q3 2017 Digital Marketing Report Released

We are excited today to announce the release of the Q3 2017 Merkle Digital Marketing Report for download. The report features key metrics across a variety of digital marketing channels in order to provide a clear picture of how different trends are impacting brands in areas including paid search, SEO, paid social, traditional display advertising, and more.

Featured below are some of the most notable highlights from this edition of the report, drawn from the executive summary. For our complete analyses on which updates and trends are having the biggest effects on advertisers on platforms like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, download the full Q3 2017 Digital Marketing Report today.


Google search ad spending growth remained strong in Q3 2017, rising to 24% year over year (Y/Y) in the US, while dipping slightly to 13% growth in the UK. Mobile and Google Shopping continued to drive growth, but desktop spending remained resurgent following a late 2016 change by Google to allow advertisers to segment desktop and tablet search ad bids.

After it was fined €2.42 billion in June for breaching EU antitrust rules with Google Shopping, Google introduced changes in late September to allow comparison shopping services to compete in Google Shopping auctions. The move happened too late to meaningfully impact Q3 performance, but may further drive up on Shopping CPCs moving forward. In the UK, PLAs produced 57% of retailers’ Google search ad clicks in Q3.


Despite concern over Facebook’s ability to continue growing ad impressions, ad spend on the social media giant rose 40% Y/Y in Q3, while paid social spend increased 29% overall. Advertisers invested 84% of all Facebook spend in ads featured in the News Feed, which have a higher click-through rate (CTR) than ads featured less prominently in the right-hand rail and are a favorite of brands running direct response-focused campaigns.

As has long been the case, mobile devices accounted for most Facebook ad spend, with desktop computers accounting for only 30% of spend. November will mark the one year anniversary of Facebook shuttering FBX, its desktop-focused remarketing solution.


Amazon ad investment increased significantly quarter-to-quarter across all of Amazon’s ad formats. Sponsored Products Ads are clearly the most heavily-targeted format and accounted for 82% of all Amazon ad spend, though Headline Search Ads and Product Display Ads did grow faster quarter over quarter (Q/Q) in terms of spend.