Marin Software Research Reveals Shifting Patterns in Digital Ad Spend


Marin Software Research Reveals Shifting Patterns in Digital Ad Spend

SAN FRANCISCO – April 23, 2019Marin Software, a leading provider of digital marketing software for performance-driven advertisers and agencies, today released research findings from its global Q1 2019 Digital Advertising Benchmark Report. Marin Software’s research confirms that Instagram continues to grow its share of Facebook spend, while newer ad formats like responsive search ads (RSAs) dominate as advertisers seek growth across channels and devices.

Marin Software presents its full Q1 2019 research and takeaways in an interactive format that allows viewers to analyze ad spending trends by region, industry, and publisher. Key findings include:

  • Responsive Search Ads Rise in Popularity: 24% of advertisers are running RSAs, a dynamic, automated search ad format Google introduced less than a year ago that puts machine learning capabilities into the hands of every advertiser.
  • Search CPCs Softening: There was a 6% decrease in CPCs YoY across all verticals worldwide, as inventory became less expensive outside of peak holiday season and lower-cost mobile formats consume a larger piece of the pie.
  • Facebook Spend Evolving: Messenger had the highest CPC of all Facebook-owned inventory—including Facebook, Audience Network, and Instagram. Meanwhile, an overall year-over-year CPM decrease of 14% across all Facebook properties signifies Instagram Stories diversifying the number of Facebook placements and Instagram’s growing popularity among advertisers. Instagram Ads now command 20% of total Facebook spend share with 34% of those ads being Stories.
  • Shopping Ads Continue to Dominate: 22% of advertisers are running Google Shopping Ads, with the format capturing 39% of search budgets.
  • Mobile Remains King: Mobile accounted for 43% of spend share across all verticals, highlighting the growing importance of mobile search. This data also further supports the fact that search engines like Google favor mobile-friendly websites in search results.

“Up-and-coming ad formats like Shopping Ads, Responsive Search Ads, and Messenger Ads rose in popularity this quarter as advertisers looked for ways to capture consumer attention in this evolving digital landscape,” said Wesley MacLaggan, SVP of Marketing at Marin Software. “The lines across search, social, and eCommerce are more blurred than ever with the recent introduction of features like Checkout for Instagram or shoppable ads on Google Images. We look forward to tracking how these changes impact the industry in quarters to come and guiding current and future clients through the ever-evolving landscape of digital advertising.”

To create its Q1 2019 Digital Advertising Benchmark Report, Marin Software aggregated data from customers who invest billions of dollars in combined annualized ad spend on paid search, social, mobile, and eCommerce. Marin Software only includes those advertisers active on its platform for the past five quarters, measuring key performance indicators on a year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter basis, and removing any outliers with significant YoY or QoQ changes.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including, among other things, statements regarding Marin’s business, research, and product capabilities. These forward-looking statements are only predictions and may differ materially from actual results due to a variety of factors including, but not limited to, our ability to grow sales and marketing capabilities, retain and attract personnel, develop and release new features, increasing competition in our market, fluctuations in our operating results and inability to forecast financial metrics, and other general market, political, economic, and business conditions. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and are subject to uncertainties and changes in condition, significance, value, and effect as well as other risks and uncertainties detailed in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent report on Form 10-K, recent reports on Form 10-Q, and current reports on Form 8-K which Marin Software may file from time to time, all of which are available free of charge at the SEC’s website at Any of these risks could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations set forth in the forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements in this press release reflect Marin Software’s expectations as of April 23, 2019. Marin Software assumes no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any obligation to update, any such forward-looking statements after the date of this release.

About Marin Software

Marin Software Incorporated's (NASDAQ: MRIN) mission is to give advertisers the power to drive higher efficiency and transparency in their paid marketing programs that run on the world's largest publishers. Marin Software offers a unified SaaS ad management platform for search, social, and eCommerce advertising. We help digital marketers convert precise audiences, improve financial performance, and make better decisions. Headquartered in San Francisco with offices worldwide, Marin Software's technology powers marketing campaigns around the globe. For more information about Marin Software, please visit

Media Contacts
Wesley MacLaggan
Marketing, Marin Software
(415) 399-2586

Emily Adams
SHIFT Communications
(617) 779-1891

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