Tracking the amount that marketers spent on paid search and shopping campaigns during the first quarter of 2018, agency reps from agency Merkle and platform provider Kenshoo joined Raymond James analysts on a conference call Thursday to share the data and provide insight into what their clients spent to capture the attention of consumers online.
In a research note published late Thursday, analysts wrote that Kenshoo estimates about 10% year-on-year growth in search overall, similar to the rate of growth seen in the past four to five quarters, and Merkle expects Google’s paid search to increase about 20% YoY compared with 23% in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Merkle also expects Google to report 7% click growth and 13% CPC growth.
Similar to past quarters, Merkle continues to see Google Shopping and product listing ads (PLAs) represent about 55% of Google’s search ad clicks, with 40% YoY growth. Text ads grew at about 4% in the first quarter in 2018.
Marketers continue to spend more on mobile search ads. Merkle estimates marketers spent 33% more on mobile search ads in the first quarter of 2018. They spent about 20% more on desktop ad campaigns. Media buys for tablets fell 11% YoY.
Among Kenshoo’s clients, the total share of spend was 44% for mobile and 47% for desktop.
And while desktop campaigns have traditionally seen higher costs per click, compared with mobile, both now move in parallel.
The agency execs from Merkle and Kenshoo also chimed in about the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica data breach. Both said they have not “seen evidence that advertisers were pulling back spend from Facebook in the wake of reports that Cambridge Analytica improperly harvested private information from more than 50M users,” according to the research note.
For the first quarter in 2018, Kenshoo estimates its clients will spend 40% more, similar to the fourth quarter of 2017.
Merkle noted a different approach. Their clients slowed the amount spent on Facebook during the first quarter in 2018, compared with the last quarter in 2017. The strong growth came from Instagram, about 100% YoY.
Quick note: The 44% for mobile and 47% for desktop were share of total spending, not YOY growth.