Adobe has released their Q3 2012 Global Digital Index Report, which analyzes and reports the findings on social engagement and paid searches.

Adobe is pretty focused on the customer experience. The provider of digital marketing solutions conducts a lot of research into trends in its industry. In August we saw research pointing to the growth of mobile for online shopping.

Now we dig deeper into the what's happening in the digital advertising industry today and where it is headed next year. The data in this report (Q3 2012 Digital Advertising Update) came from over 260 billion impressions for 338 companies and the activity of 70 million fans -- taken from Adobe AdLens and Adobe Social.

Search Trends

Web traffic has started to shift in more of mobile route with the increase of smartphones and tablets. At the same time, search spend is also increasing in the US, UK and Germany, despite a bad economy, demonstrating how important search still is in the marketers arsenal of advertising tools.

ROI and Spend

  • Searches and ROI has been growing in the U.K, U.S and Germany over the past year. In the US search spend was up by 11 percent, and ROI improved by 26 percent. In the UK and Germany spend was up by 36 percent and 25 percent, respectively, YoY.
  • The percentages that were related to specific search engines in the last quarter didn’t change much. Bing/Yahoo! increased by one per cent, while Google declined by one per cent.


Click Volume and CPC

  • Click volume had a surge of activity over the last quarter. Google, which was down in the last quarter has slowly been improving. Their average for this quarter was up 21 percent YoY, while Bing/Yahoo decreased to 11 percent YoY.
  • Google CPCs were down 10% YoY, and the report points to the increase in mobile clicks as part of the reason for this.

adobe bing yahoo.jpg

Mobile Devices

Overall search spend has increased across all devices, but conversion rates, CPCs and ROI varies widely. Conversion rates vary by device and OS, with iOS nearly double those of Android. This supports the idea that marketers need to organize their search spend differently across devices.

Social Engagement

Facebook has become a key source for companies to spread their brand. According to the advertising update, engagement, which is defined as likes, comments and shares, on the social network grew about 896 percent YOY. It was determined that increased engagement is partly a result of platform updates (specifically Timeline), new metrics for acquisition and engagement, and more effective social marketing. 


Forecasting Search

Adobe is expecting search to have a strong retail season, with a prediction of 15-20% growth in both the US and Europe. It also expects CPCs to increase due to the holiday season and to Google Shopping transitioning to a paid model. Paid search clicks are also expected to continue to increase from mobile devices (smartphone or tablet). And finally, expect that Facebook advertising will grow.

Report Conclusions

  • Social Engagement is becoming a key and valuable tool that should be used when marketing a product to a general or specific audience.
  • Search should also continue to be part of the marketing tool set as it continues to grow, especially on mobile devices.
  • Marketers should spend time forming a plan on how to make search spend part of their tool set, as it is becoming important to digital marketing