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Merkle Releases Its Q2 2019 Digital Marketing Report

Report Features Microsoft’s Strongest Spending Growth in Three Years and Continued Growth of Amazon Ads Sales

Merkle, a leading technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing agency, has released its Q2 2019 Digital Marketing Report (DMR). The full report analyzes key trends across paid and organic search, display, and social, with insights on major players like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft. Merkle will be hosting a complimentary webinar on Thursday, July 25 at 2 p.m. ET to expand on these findings.

Top takeaways from the report include Microsoft’s Bing Product Ad format delivering its strongest desktop spending growth in over three years. Microsoft also gained search ad traffic that Yahoo was serving through its Gemini platform, and was able to reverse a year-over-year spend decline in Q1 to deliver 16% overall growth in Q2.

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Amazon Ads sales revenue growth has continued to outpace spend growth, up 102% and 53% for Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands, respectively. Brand keywords also play a crucial role on Amazon, accounting for 43% of Sponsored Products sales and 62% of Sponsored Brands sales.

Total spending on US paid search ads grew 14% year over year in Q2, as Google spend growth continued to decelerate. Despite slightly weaker results, Google Shopping remained a key driver of overall Google growth, as advertiser spending on Shopping grew 38% year over year. Advertisers also remain active on YouTube, and in Q2 increased ad spend by 43% with a 16% increase in impressions.

Facebook spend (excluding Instagram) grew 8% year over year for the quarter, as impressions were up 25%, the strongest figure observed over the last two years. Instagram continues to grow faster than Facebook itself, accounting for 35% as much ad spend for advertisers active on both platforms.

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Analyzing organic search trends, DuckDuckGo was the only major US search engine to deliver site visit growth in Q2, as organic search visits fell 6% overall. Phone organic search produced its weakest rate of growth since mid-2016; however, DuckDuckGo saw visits grow 64% on mobile devices.

“Our Digital Marketing Report provides marketers with valuable data and insights into the major advertising and media platforms,” said Erin Hutchinson, senior vice president of marketing at Merkle. “Q2 2019 saw impressive growth and changes across these platforms. Through the data in our quarterly report, we are able to showcase these trends and deliver valuable benchmark data for marketing programs.”

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