The Mystery of Digital Marketing Performance in Q1 2020

If you are reading this post, working from home, your professionalism is affected due to COVID-19. In the same way, businesses that run digitally have seen a performance drop by 20% or more in just two weeks. The unexpected loss in revenue forced firms to cut their budgets to maximize performance in this time of uncertainty.

According to Merkle’s Q1 2020 Digital Marketing Report. The brand site visits generated organically decreased by 15%, and phones organic search visits in Q1 are increased by 52%.

Brands in Q1 2020:

Brands in Q1 2020

Google search ad spend grew 11% in Q1 2020; it is marked as the lowest growth rate that Merkle has seen in the last eight years. The click share rose by 9%, and the cost per click increased by 2%.

Google Local Inventory Ads (LIAs) generated 23% Shopping clicks in Q1 2020, the lowest rate since Q3 2018. And it dropped to zero by the end of Q1.

Microsoft search ad spend grew to 18% in Q1 2020, while clicks fell 11%. Microsoft PPC’s cost per click grew pointedly due to the low traffic from phones in the past year.

Amazon spends by Sponsored Products grew 67% in Q1. The click share rose by 87%, and the cost per click fell 10%. Sales from Sponsored Products ads increased 70% in Q1, allowing all the advertisers to hold return on investment (ROI).

Amazon Sponsored Brand’s ad spend grew up to 118%, the click share raised by 43%, and the cost per click by 52%.

Bing saw a significant decline in organic visits by 26%.Yahoo witnessed a 27% decline in organic visits.

Various Industries in Q1 2020:

Various Industries in Q1 2020

The travel industry has negatively impacted, the ads spend on Google by companies fell 21% in Q1.The retail industry has seen an uplift in ads spend on Google increased by 13% in Q1.

After the COVID-19 pandemic outburst, Merkle saw organic search grow 53% for essential needs, while organic search results fell 31% for fashion and other retailers.

Social Media Marketing in Q1 2020:

Social Media Marketing in Q1 2020

  • Facebook ad spend increased by 19% in Q1, from 15% in Q4 2019.
  • Instagram ad spend grew 39% in Q1, from 38% in Q4 2019.
  • YouTube ad spend generated $4.04 billion in revenue, which is up 33% in 2019.

Desktop vs Phone in Q1 2020:

Desktop vs Phone in Q1 2020

  • Desktop click share fell to 32% in Q1 2020 while the phone click shares rose 64 percent in Q1 2020.
  • Phones generated 44% of ad spend of total search in Q1, from 38% in 2019.
  • Desktop Google click share was 29% in Q1, while phones generated 67% of ad clicks.
  • Desktop Microsoft click share was 71% in Q1, while phones generated 23% of ad clicks.
  • Google decreased 13% in organic search results on desktop and 16% on mobile devices in Q1 2020.


As many businesses moved online amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it generated colossal commerce, ad conversions, and ad spends on Google search.

Due to this critical situation, marketers unable to look beyond and gain a long-term vision. But the ad spends are already increasing steadily from the end of March. Businesses need to realize that this situation is temporary and start their marketing recovery strategies.

Also Read:

9 reasons why today’s market needs digital marketing services?

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