Search engine marketing firm Efficient Frontier says first quarter search spending among its clients was down 13% y/y and 3.3% q/q. But on the bright side, EF’s advertisers spent 6% more on search in March than they did in February.
Why the bounce?
EF speculates that as advertisers cut their spending November through February, they also honed in on more efficient ways to spend their remaining budgets. They began spending smarter. This led to a increase in ROI from 93% in January to 121% in February and 123% in March.
So what does “spending smarter” entail? EF says that as the recession deepens, consumers are searching and clicking more, but buying less; they’re comparison shopping. Search advertisers should respond with ads that are “more price conscious and less brand conscious.”
Here’s a chart illustrating that March spending bump: