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Merkle Q1 2019 Digital Marketing Report Released

We are excited to announce the release of the Q1 2019 edition of the Merkle Digital Marketing Report today for download. For the 30th straight quarter we've put together a comprehensive examination of the most important trends shaping up in digital marketing, featuring in-depth analyses of key platforms including Google, Facebook, Amazon, Instagram, Pinterest, and more.

Below are just a few of the insights included in the report pulled from the executive summary. For further data points and explanations of these and other key trends, download the Q1 2019 Merkle Digital Marketing Report.

Paid search spending growth slowed for the fifth straight quarter, as Google spend growth decelerated to 16% Y/Y and spend across Bing and Yahoo declined 3% Y/Y. Google’s spend growth deceleration has coincided with slowing growth in cost-per-click (CPC), but an acceleration in click growth since Q2 2018 has helped keep spend growth strong.

Merkle Q1 2019 Paid Search Overall

On the organic side, Google continues to dominate visit share, particularly on mobile devices. However, DuckDuckGo has seen the strongest growth of late, and in Q1 2019 saw visits increase 54% overall and 78% on mobile devices. This is especially impressive given how difficult its been for other search engines to gain mobile share with Google’s position as the default search provider on most mobile devices.

Merkle Q1 2019 Organic Search Visit Growth by Engine

Outside of traditional search, Amazon advertisers saw sales attributed to both Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands more than double Y/Y, as spend grew 19% and 77% for those formats respectively. Sponsored Products accounted for 85% of all Amazon spend, with over half of spend on the format coming from placements other than the top of search results. While Sponsored Brands (formerly Headline Search Ads) are featured in more placements than last year, spend share for the format has held roughly steady.

Merkle Q1 2019 Amazon Spend Share by Format

Facebook spend growth excluding Instagram dipped into negative territory for the first time in the history of this report, declining by 2% Y/Y. Facebook continues to derive meaningful growth from Instagram, which saw a 44% increase in ad spend Y/Y for the quarter and now accounts for 19% as much spend as Facebook for advertisers active on both platforms.

Merkle Q1 2019 Instagram Growth