With over 3.2 billion people on the internet, businesses, whether local or global, cannot afford to ignore how digital marketing is changing (Time). Spending on traditional marketing channels is being diverted to digital platforms because digital platforms have a far reach and has proven to be effective and cheap. While digital marketing strategy is pervasive across most businesses and brands today, it can be difficult to navigate in the face of constant change in available technology and consumer behavior.
We’ve compiled the biggest digital marketing statistics to steer marketers in the right direction.
An Econsultancy survey in 2016 sponsored by Oracle Marketing cloud found that digital marketers’ budgets are increasing by 72% (Econsultancy). This growth has been steady for the past five years, reporting a 67% growth in 2011. In 2016, there will only be 1% of digital marketers with a decreased budget and 27% who are aiming for the same budget. Business’ are allocating more resources to digital marketing as it proves to be impactful for sales and brand identity.
In 2015, digital advertising revenue reached $59.6 billion, representing a 20% growth from the year before. This incredible growth can be accounted for by gains in mobile ad spending and social media ad spending. Impressively, mobile ad spending experienced a 66% increase, climbing to $20.7 billion.
Similarly, social media experienced a 55% growth in ad spending, surging to a total of $10.9 billion (AdAge). Mobile and social media have consistently been cited as drivers of digital marketing, and marketers are expecting to continue spending in these fronts.
Digital ad spending is forecasted to surpass TV ad spending in 2017. Digital ad spending will total at $77.37, taking up 38.4% of total ad spending. In comparison, TV ad spending is estimated to total at $72.01 billion, representing 35.8% of total media ad spending (eMarketer).
Moreover, in the global ad market, TV ad sales will drop from 38.4% to 38% (New York Times). Finally, offline media advertising will decline by 3.2%, where digital spending will increase 13.2% (American Marketing Association). As businesses are looking to target an increasingly digital audience, room for television ad spending will begin to diminish.
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Opportunities in social media ad spending are opening up as major social networking platforms are creating more options for advertisers to showcase their content. With over 60% of all people in the US using social media, it follows that social media is predicted to make up over 20% of marketing budgets in the future (Pew Research; American Marketing Association). This represents a fourfold increase from 2009. Currently, the social media spending makes up 10% of marketing dollars, and will increase to 20.9% by 2021 (American Marketing Association).
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With online sales expected to reach $523 billion by 2020 in the US alone, businesses are turning to the digital experience and digital marketing to increase sales online sales (Forrester). Following, 81% of CXOs (chief experience officers) are anticipating more digital interaction by 2020. Within the online experience, 66% CXOs are also expecting to focus on customers has individuals (IBM). This shift towards an individualized digital experienced will lead marketers to explore different options where businesses can approach customers in an authentic, personalized way.
Marketers will need to continue devoting their digital marketing efforts to social media as 67% of consumers find that reading or writing social media reviews and comments will influence their online shopping behavior (PwC). Even more, over half of the respondents agreed that online reviews are a fairly, very, or an absolutely important factor in their purchasing process (Moz). The rise of social media will make digital marketing more nuanced per product or service.
The increasing number of ads online has been followed by a phenomenal growth in ad blocking software usage. In 2016, eMarketer expects 69.8 million Americans to use an ad blocker, representing a jump of nearly 35% since 2015 (eMarketer). Overall, this number represents more than 26.3% of internet users in the US (eMarketer). The rise of ad blockers is detrimental to online advertising campaigns, and marketers will need to find a means to advertise so that it is not automatically blocked by software.
Despite the popularity of ad blocking, recent research from Yahoo shows that consumers are still receptive to advertisements if it comes in the form of valuable content. For instance, 73% of surveyed consumers found that content helps them not only form an opinion of the brand, but helps in forming a loyal relationships if the content has a strong personality (Econsultancy). Further, 74% of consumers agreed that brands that create content they value become like friends on social media (Econsultancy).
The rise of digital marketing, social media marketing, and ad blocking has led many marketers to consider working with social media influencers. Approximately 84% of marketing and communication professionals in the world are expected to take on an influencer marketing campaign within the next year (eMarketer).
Influencer marketing appears to be a solution that addresses the increasing complexities of a constantly changing digital marketing landscape, and addresses the needs of the modern consumer. Not only are businesses able to engage with wide audiences on social media through an influencer medium, consumers will be able to find value in the advertised content.
In light of the FTC crackdown on brands and social media influencers for sponsored native ads, businesses and influencers are becoming more responsible with disclosing social media advertising content. Brands’ hesitance to disclose whether content is sponsored or not is based on the assumption that consumers will be turned away by an overt advertisement. However, recent studies found that placing brand disclosures after headlines will actually increase CTR by 220% (Econsultancy). On mobile, the CTR will increase by an impressive 300% (Econsultancy). Marketers should not be hesitant to use influencers even in the face of increasing FTC regulation, as consumers will still engage even with clear disclosure.
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