Marketing Report
Commerce leads the way to quarter-over-quarter digital media spending growth, report

Commerce leads the way to quarter-over-quarter digital media spending growth, report

Skai, an omnichannel platform for performance marketing, has published its Q3 2023 Digital Marketing Quarterly Trends Report, an in-depth analysis of the digital marketing trends that defined the second quarter of this year, along with an interactive infographic detailing key analysis.

Spending levels in 2023 have risen nearly every quarter in every channel of the analysis, driving year-over-year (YoY) spending higher in some cases.

Strong sequential spending growth across channels
Quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) spending grew 10% for retail media, 3% in paid search and 27% in paid social. Spending in Q3 also exceeded that of the first quarter of 2023 in each of these channels.

Increasing consumer demand and higher prices drive YTD growth
Since Q1, retail media CPC is up 14%, paid search CPC has increased 18% and paid social CPM rose 8%. These increases in ad prices are a key factor in understanding spending growth throughout 2023 and are likely to continue through the end of the year as the holiday season builds on increasing consumer confidence, competition between advertisers and relatively low prices in 2022.

Healthy overall outlook for ad spending
Year-over-year (YoY) spending accelerated from +3% to +5% in paid search, while retail media extended its run of robust growth rates at +34%. Short-term growth and increased spending in key segments reinforced the consensus opinion of a rebound in paid social advertising, even as YoY spending growth of -3% in the channel was a clear outlier to the overall market trend.

Social spending grows up the funnel
There is a clear split in our data between growth rates of social campaigns based on program objectives. Upper-funnel tactics like branding and awareness increased spending by 13%, and mid-funnel objectives like post engagement were up 12%. These segments are shown to be heavier users of video ads and Reels placements.

Chris Costello, Senior Director of Marketing Research, Skai: "So far 2023 has been remarkably consistent in that advertisers are continuing to grow spending in the key walled garden publishers from month to month and from quarter to quarter. In Q3, it looks like the positive spending trends in retail media and paid search earlier in the year spilled fully into paid social. In particular, when we look at commerce advertising through a more omnichannel lens–which is to say one that is inclusive of relevant publishers beyond just retailers–social spending seems to have fully flipped the switch going into the second half and the holiday period once the growth in those other channels was fully recognized."