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Video ads proved crucial for social advertisers, while mobile drove growth across social and search

San Francisco (January 24, 2017) Kenshoo (, the global leader in agile marketing, today released a new infographic, Skai Digital Marketing Snapshot: Q4 2016, highlighting the importance of mobile, product-focused and video ad types for social and search advertisers during the recent elections and retail-heavy holiday season. Social ad spending increased 64% year-over-year (YoY), supported by substantial growth in video ad (263%) and Dynamic Product Ad (221%) spending. In search, increased spending on mobile ads (58%) and product ads (57%), resulted in a 17% rise in total search spend YoY.

Other key findings include:

  • Social impressions increased 37% YoY and 19% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ)
  • Social clicks increased 79% YoY and 14% QoQ
  • Social click-through rate (CTR) increased 31% YoY but decreased 5% QoQ
  • Social cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) increased 20% YoY and 13% QoQ
  • Social spending on mobile devices increased 79% YoY
  • Mobile devices accounted for 59% of Q4 social ad spending
  • Paid search impressions increased 12% YoY and 14% QoQ
  • Paid search clicks increased 16% YoY and 11% QoQ
  • Paid search click-through rate increased 4% YoY but decreased 1% QoQ

“While Q4 is heavily dedicated to retail around the holiday season, and marketers leveraged the retail-oriented tools at their disposal to get in front of their best audiences and make the most of the opportunity, social media advertising also peaked as a major platform for the U.S. election cycle ,” said Chris Costello, senior director of marketing research for Skai. “Product ads on both desktop and mobile served as the primary drivers of continued growth in both search and social while video broke through for social as retailers showcased their products to consumers and political candidates made their case with voters, driving up CPMs.”

Additionally, social ad clicks have grown faster than impressions or spending as new ad units with more focus on direct response have been introduced and adopted by advertisers. Meanwhile, share of total search from Expanded Text Ads more than doubled since last quarter as Bing began offering the format.

“Throughout the year, but especially during the holiday season, we rely on Skai to keep us ahead of the curve and the competition in terms of adopting, testing and optimizing ads to ensure our brands interact with their customers when and how they prefer,” said Ryan Booth, chief operating officer, Chacka Marketing. “Skai’s offerings enable us to get a complete view of our digital campaigns to ensure we’re spending ad dollars efficiently and effectively no matter the channel or device customers prefer.”

The Skai Infinity Suite leads the way in digital marketing innovation, enabling success for agile marketers by maximizing customer lifetime value. Built upon Skai’s industry-leading and award-winning digital marketing platform, the Skai Infinity Suite delivers infinite optimization to re-engage and grow customers across the world’s leading publishers and all devices.

Visit to download the new infographic, Skai Digital Marketing Snapshot: Q4 2016.


Search and social results are based on five quarters of performance data managed on the Skai platform from over 3,000 advertiser and agency accounts across 50 industry categories and over 60 countries, spanning Google, Bing, Baidu, Yandex, Yahoo!, Yahoo! Japan and the Facebook® Audience Network. Some outliers have been excluded. The resulting sample includes more than 600 billion impressions, 12 billion clicks and $6 billion (USD) in advertiser spend. Ad spending and CPC are measured using Ex-FX or “Constant Currency” adjustments, where results are based on native currency, and only translated to common currency after aggregation.

About Skai

Skai is the global leader in agile marketing. Brands, agencies and developers use the Skai Infinity Suite to direct nearly $350 billion in annualized client sales revenue through social, search, mobile, and display advertising. Skai provides leading native API solutions for ads across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Yahoo Gemini, Yahoo Japan, Bing, Yandex and Baidu. Skai powers digital marketing campaigns in more than 190 countries for nearly half of the Fortune 50 and all 10 top global ad agency networks. Skai clients include Expedia, Facebook, Havas Media, John Lewis, Resolution Media, Sears, Starcom MediaVest Group, Tesco, Travelocity, Walgreens, and Zappos. Skai has 27 international locations and is backed by Sequoia Capital, Arts Alliance, Tenaya Capital, and Bain Capital Ventures. Please visit for more information.

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