Companies ‘investing less in paid search ads across the majority of industries’

Aug 10, 2021 | Online advertising, Paid search, Search

Online media, higher education, and automotive industries are slowly pulling away from Google Ads and moving to other marketing channels, according to new research.

The study, from martech firm Improvado also revealed insurance, real estate, and financial services are increasing their paid search budgets to keep afloat in the third quarter of 2021.

The report found that due to a shift toward normalization following the pandemic and the high vaccination rate globally, companies are slowly reallocating their digital ad budgets to other channels.

Although some industries, like insurance (+7.48%), internet (+2.48%), and financial services (+12.65%), have experienced a slight growth in digital ad spend, the majority of large industries, such as online media (-31.11%), higher education (-28.56%), legal services (-8.46%), and automotive (-2.52%), have reduced their paid search budgets in Q2 2021, according to new research from Improvado on August 2nd, 2021.

Among the industries that experienced lower growth in digital ad spend are computer & network security (3.28%), internet providers (2.48%), nanotechnology (1.27%), publishing (1.21%), and oil and energy (1.12%).

However, many industries have cut their budgets and redefined their marketing strategies. The industries that experienced the largest decrease in digital ad spending are investment banking (-65.74%), motion picture and film (-59.66%), government relations (-48.37%), graphic design (-44.08%), online media (-33.11%), and higher education (-28.56%).

Large industries that actively utilized paid search ads, like consumer services (-17.12%), business supplies and equipment (-15.71%) and facilities services (-15.01%), have experienced a lower but still notable decrease in their digital ad spending. Such a decrease may be caused by the renewed popularity of outdoor advertising and a surge in clients due to the easing of COVID-19 regulations.

The purpose of this research was to find non-obvious trends across different industries and determine how companies are managing their marketing budgets as we begin to move toward a post-COVID world. Having analyzed information about marketing spend across 30,000 US-based companies, 42,000 British companies, and 45,000 EU companies, Improvado noticed that global spend for paid search ads across all industries decreased by 15%.

For industries struggling with the impact of COVID-19, Dmitry Nasikanov, CTO and co-founder of Improvado, recommends upgrading their marketing analytics stack to get more value from their data. “There’s no more time to waste. Having analyzed today’s trends, it becomes obvious that marketing stands at the door of great changes. Companies have to pull themselves together from the COVID-19 heat and invest in data analysis technologies that help them stay on top of tendencies and skyrocket their revenue,” says Dmitry Nasikanov.

Fabio Marastoni, Chief Strategy Officer at Improvado, commented that the companies most open to change and to explore alternatives are more likely to survive in today’s reality. “The ecosystem is changing quickly – with new players and products from one side, and significant changes regarding the Consumers’ privacy from the other. Adopting an agile business mindset and radical thinking will enable you to change priorities quickly and keep track of the market evolution.”

Improvado has also uncovered similar trends to those mentioned in the recent Gartner report on marketing budgets. By analyzing and comparing findings from the current Improvado report with the company’s previous research on COVID-19’s impact on digital marketing, Improvado has highlighted how the situation has changed since the start of the pandemic.

For more insights and trends on what this research revealed, see here.

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