U.S. Marketers Increase Programmatic Buys 43% During Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend 12/08/2014.

U.S. retail marketers spent 43% more on programmatic display media buys during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend compared with the prior year. Conversions rose 58%, as advertisers delivered fewer, more effective ads, per one study.

On Thanksgiving Day investments rose 46% on 102% higher conversions, per IgnitionOne data, based on its clients’ spend. Programmatic display media buys on Black Friday fell to 40%, but conversions rose by 77%. Cyber Monday saw a 43% increase in spend, but conversions fell to 29%.

The holiday weekend saw increases in programmatic display spending in the U.S. retail segment that supported a strong increase in conversions. The report notes that impressions decreased and eCPMs rose across the board — triple digits in some cases. The company attributes the change to increased competition in the marketplace. Advertisers are delivering fewer, more targeted ads that are also more effective.

The data is part of IgnitionOne’s mid-Q4 2014 quarterly report. As other reports note, smartphones dominated U.S. search. Cyber Monday data reveals a significant surge in the amount U.S. marketers spent on paid-search advertising helped to push up impressions. Impressions on phones grew at 157% year-over-year, compared with tablet growth was much slower at 26% YoY.

Marketers spent more on mobile phone campaigns on Cyber Monday as well — up 272% YoY — and up 30% for tablets on the same day. During the Thanksgiving weekend, the marketers that IgnitionOne supports spent 57% on desktops, 24% on smartphones, and 19% on tablets.

Interestingly, U.S. marketers spent the highest percentage of search spend — 29% — on Black Friday. Cyber Monday followed with 27%, Thanksgiving with 17%, Sunday with 14% and Saturday with 13%.

U.S. paid-search spend grew significantly this holiday, at 47.5% year-over-year YoY. This shows a consistency of increase, steady with the 52% growth from 2012 to 2013.While U.S. paid-search spend had a solid start to the holiday shopping season for retail marketers, impressions showed little growth compared to the 2013 shopping weekend.

Impressions were flat comparatively, up 4% YoY. While every day of the holiday weekend saw an increase in spend compared with 2013, most impressive was the increase in Black Friday numbers at 77% growth followed by a 50% increase in Saturday spend. IgnitionOne attributes the spend to an increase in average CPCs due to advertisers opting out of the Google Search Partner Networks, which provided less-expensive, although not typically as effective, options. As marketers pull out of partner networks, expect average CPCs to increase, per the report.


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