That is the inescapable conclusion from the latest figures from eMarketer. Although they are from the US, the takeaway is incredibly clear, and is no surprise.
When asked to name their most successful ad channel, in terms of ROI, Google search came out ahead for nearly half of all those surveyed. Facebook was just behind, cited as top for ROI by nearly one in three (30%). So three in four marketers have agreed that Google and Facebook are way out in front when it comes to ROI.
In fact, Instagram and YouTube only get a vote of confidence for just under one in twenty marketers. Twitter gets half of that support. It represents the best ROI for just 2% of marketers. Ad exchanges surprised me. They're in third place, still a long way behind the top two. With 8% of marketers saying they represent the best ROI, they're twice as popular as the aforementioned social giants.
It's hardly a surprise that Google and Facebook dominate, although the degree to which they outrank rivals is a little surprising. People looking for "stuff" online are a great audience because they're obviously online and looking for something, you can't get more 'lean forward' and pre-qualified than that.
It's a similar story with Facebook. No tech giant (other than Google) can know more about its users and put the most relevant ad social content in front of them. Of course, we're going to see a lot more advertising on the site, given the latest tweak to the algorithm that dialled down commercial posts again, as well news stories. Brands and publishers have a stark choice to maintain -- or increase their exposure to social media users. Spend more or be seen less.
Most people who write about marketing ask themselves the same question. What would they do if they had the marketing budget? Where would it go? My answer is always PPC and Facebook advertising before anything else -- and it looks like that hunch backs up exactly what marketers spending real money are reporting back.
So there is an inescapable truth here. People will talk about challenging the duopoly that is soaking up half of digital marketing spend in the UK -- a lion's share that is set to increase. However, the point is that the duopoly get one in two of every pound spend on digital advertising because they work. They simply deliver ROI that is off the scale compared to rivals.
A Forbes article last year pegged online sales at between 5%-10% share.
Bit it all depends on how you define and measure ROI as to what is the most effective. There is a (worrying) growing trend to 100% of sales attribution to the last point of contact - which is increasingly on-line and tends to generate the reported results in this article.
But given that physical stores still dominate the economy, I'd have to say that if you follow the last point of contact logic, then the checkout operator has to be way up there in the ROI stakes!