Retail Media Advertisers Lead Q1 Digital Spending Growth, Search and Social Ad Dollars Also up Over Last Year

New Skai infographic highlights key marketing trends, full report to follow next week

Today, Skai, a leading commerce intelligence platform, is publishing its Q1 2022 Digital Marketing Quarterly Trends Infographic, an in-depth analysis of the digital marketing trends that defined the last quarter (Q1), with a full report to follow next week. Overall, spending decreased from Q4 to Q1 as the market recovered from the holidays; however, spending grew compared to the previous year and extended many of the fundamental trends established over previous quarters.

Overall spending growth continues
Retail media spending growth accelerated in Q1 to +38% year-over-year (YoY) as advertisers increased investments on Amazon and broadened their programs to other retail media networks. Paid search (+15% YoY) and paid social (+10% YoY) grew, but at a slower rate, with paid search reaching the tail end of last year’s growth spurt and paid social continuing to face IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) headwinds even as advertisers began implementing solutions to data loss.

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Big spenders double down across channels
There continues to be a segment of advertisers who grow investments at a high rate in each paid media channel. At least one out of 10 search and social accounts doubled ad expenditures YoY in the first quarter, while retail media nearly doubled that rate at almost one out of every five accounts.

Non-branded search keyword prices level off after 2021 increases
The average cost-per-click (CPC) for non-brand keywords in paid search has remained flat for the last three quarters after rising over 50% from Q1 to Q3 of last year. Spending in this segment grew 11% YoY, less than the overall channel.

Social video increases momentum over last quarter
Across impressions, clicks, and spending, social video ads picked up from Q4 to Q1 both as an ad format and as a campaign objective. This is consistent with both post-IDFA strategic behavior and as a response to the emphasis on short-form video content across social media networks.

Apple Search Ads continue positive trajectory
Same-advertiser spending on Apple Search Ads grew 67% YoY. The lower-funnel ad placements have been very attractive to app advertisers who are looking to drive installs and engagement.

Other findings include:

  • Retail media impressions were down 7% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) and up 16% YoY
  • Retail media clicks rose 2% QoQ and grew 32% YoY
  • Retail media CPC dropped 14% QoQ and increased 5% YoY
  • Paid search impressions dipped 9% QoQ and rose 6% YoY
  • Paid search clicks declined 12% QoQ and were down 4% YoY
  • Paid search CPC decreased 11% QoQ and grew 20% YoY
  • Paid social impressions grew 5% QoQ and dropped 5% YoY
  • Paid social clicks were down 11% QoQ and declined 6% YoY
  • Paid social CPM dipped 24% QoQ and increased 15% YoY

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“There has been a lot of attention on paid social spending in the wake of IDFA, and while those headwinds continue to affect growth rates, we’re starting to see signs of how that ecosystem is adapting,” said Chris Costello, Senior Director of Marketing Research at Skai. “By focusing on data within the walled gardens that can be used to retarget audiences later, like video views or clicks on product ads, marketers can replace data that used to come from communication with other apps. Meanwhile, we see retail media spending pick up where it left off before a structurally challenging fourth quarter, and paid search settling down after increases in click price drove spending sharply higher last year.”

Analysis is drawn from a population of approximately $7 billion in advertising spend, comprising more than 3,000 advertiser and agency accounts across 40 vertical industries and more than 150 countries running on the Skai™ platform on Google, Microsoft, Baidu, Yandex, Yahoo! Japan, Verizon Media, Amazon, Walmart, Instacart, Criteo, Apple Search Ads, Pinterest, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and the Facebook Audience Network. Except where noted, only advertisers with 15 consecutive months of performance data are included. Some additional outliers have been excluded. Ad spending and pricing have been translated to USD at the time the spending was incurred, where applicable.

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