State of Digital Marketing Report

Marketing and advertising insights for digital marketers.

We analyze data from thousands of online businesses to help marketers understand overall marketing trends and offer ideas to further improve marketing ROI.

2022 Q4 Report Highlights

The global economy in 2022 faces unprecedented challenges including supply chain bottlenecks, high inflation, and the conflict in Ukraine. Here are the highlights of our analysis comparing key eBusiness metrics in 2022 to the previous year:

Year-over-Year % Change Q1-Q3 2022 vs Q1-Q3 2021

  • 19% Increase Advertising
    Costs (CPM)
  • 11% Decrease Website
    Visitors
  • 18% Decrease Conversion
    Events

Advertising Costs (CPM) Trend

Median CPM20212022JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec20212022

CPM was up 19% on average in the first 9 months of 2022 compared to the year before. Most of the CPM increase happened during the first half of the year, before the Fed accelerated its interest rate hike. In Q3, the CPM increase slowed but it maintained at about the same level as last year. We expect the CPM will increase again in Q4 due to holiday seasonality, following, if not above, the trend line from last year.

Website Visitors Trend

Median Site Visitors20212022JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec20212022

The number of users visiting websites was down 11% in the first 9 months of 2022 compared to the year before. However, it started to trend upward in August and September was the first month that the 2022 visitor number surpassed that of 2021, indicating increasing consumer activities as businesses pushed their holiday promotions earlier.

Conversion Events Trend

Median Conversion Events20212022JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec20212022

Conversion events were down 18% in the first 9 months of 2022 compared to the year before, and the trend has been consistent. While the visitor traffic increased in August and September, it hasn’t translated into more conversions in any noticeable way yet. We expect the conversion number to increase as we approach the peak of the holiday shopping season but this may be a sign businesses need to work harder to convert their visitors into customers.

“Facing a potential recession and rising advertising costs, optimizing ROI across marketing channels is a top priority for marketing leaders. Marketing channels can no longer work in silos. They need to work collaboratively to deliver an integrated customer experience and business results.”

Vibhor Kapoor, Chief Marketing Officer at AdRoll.

Vibhor Kapoor Chief Marketing Officer @ AdRoll

Ideas to Consider

Rising advertising costs coupled with a decrease in consumer sentiment presents a bigger challenge for businesses in this holiday season compared to last year’s. Here are some ideas to help marketers further improve their campaign ROI.

  • Diversify your advertising channels and optimize your channel mix. Different channels have different characteristics and cost structures. If you’re struggling to maintain your ROI while growing your reach, it’s a sign your current channel mix has reached its optimal point. Consider expanding into new advertising channels or new campaign types in your current channels.
  • Adapt an integrated marketing strategy to your paid and owned channels. Especially on social media, it’s more effective to take a holistic approach to your paid and organic campaigns. Your advertising and email campaigns can also work together to generate as much as 2x conversions. Creating synergy across your paid and owned channels helps further boost your ROI.

Industry Spotlight

In 2022, the general economic trends apply across most industries in our data, with the exception of the travel industry. Our data shows an increase of 94% on visitor numbers and 98% increase on conversion numbers in the first 9 months of 2022 compared to the prior year for the travel industry. After two years of travel restrictions at various degrees across the globe, the travel industry is booming this year, as travel restrictions eased and countries started to open their borders. In the US, some experts predict that the air travel cost during this holiday season will be among the most expensive on record.


FAQ

What is the AdRoll State of Digital Marketing Report?

The AdRoll State of Digital Marketing Report aims to offer marketers insights into the business and marketing trends, based on AdRoll’s performance statistics of nearly 3,000 online businesses across Finance, Beauty and Fashion, Fitness, Technology, Travel and other industries.

What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) reported in the AdRoll State of Digital Marketing Report?

The AdRoll State of Digital Marketing Report shows three Business KPIs:

  • Advertising CPM - the median advertising CPM (cost-per-mile) during the reporting period compared to the same period in the prior year
  • Visitor - the median number of visitors to a website during the reporting period compared to the same period in the prior year
  • Conversion - the median number of conversions during the reporting period compared to the same period in the prior year
What is considered to be a conversion?

On the AdRoll platform, the definition of conversion is set by customers. It can vary based on the business nature of the customer and the type of campaigns. For ecommerce sites, it usually refers to an online purchase. For other types of eBusinesses, it can be a subscription sign-up or a lead capture event.

How often will the information in the AdRoll State of Digital Marketing Report be updated?

The information in the AdRoll State of Digital Marketing Report will be updated on a quarterly basis.