For local-business marketers, two new reports give some direction on where the brick and mortar economy and the online economy are heading:
JPMorgan Chase Institute Local Consumer Commerce Index
Chase tracks the credit and debit card local purchases for its customers in 15 cities, and the recently released December figures show a slight uptick of 2.3% over the previous December, good news after a down year in 2015. About three-quarters of the growth came from small, local businesses. Young consumers and the least-affluent consumers accounted for 40% of the growth. Atlanta grew the fastest of the 15 cities, at 5.1%, while Detroit was the hottest spot for small business growth, up 9.2%.
Merkle Q1 2016 Digital Marketing Report
The Merkle marketing agency says that digital ad spending was healthy in early ’16, with Google taking in the bulk of the cash. Paid search ad buys on Google rose 25% year over year. Mobile spending was the accelerator: Phones and tablets produced 57% of Google paid search clicks in Q1.
Another impact of mobile: Organic search visits declined 7% year over year, as more mobile traffic moved to paid listings. Mobile traffic share has been flat for organic search in the past year, but rose 10% for paid search.
On the social side, Facebook advertisers spent 38% more in the quarter over the previous year, a bit less than the 44% growth in Q4, 2015.