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Marketing stats for 2017 that will surprise you

Marketing stats for 2017 that will surprise you Drew Hubbard

In marketing, statistics are a dime a dozen. (That's .83 cent per stat.) And behind each stat is a story -- a deeper tale regarding the state and momentum of our fine industry. As 2017 gets into full swing, consider these data points regarding things to come -- and the underlying trends that you need to keep in mind.

2017 global marketing spend will top $1 trillion

Yep, that's the Big T. One trillion dollars. Sure, it's just another number, like any other. But it's a threshold that you can't help but appreciate. For the first time, we as advertisers will be a part of a worldwide trillion-dollar industry in 2017, according to the latest forecast from WPP's GroupM, the world's largest media investment management group.

That trillion dollar figure encompasses $552 billion in ad spend -- up 4.3 percent over 2016 -- plus other marketing services. Obviously contributions vary by country quite a bit. After spending recent years in the double-digit growth arena, China's ad growth is declining, even though it's expected to sit at a still-impressive 7 percent in 2017. However, that means the U.S. reclaims its seat as "the leading contributor of global ad growth."

Worldwide, digital is still going strong, with an expected growth rate of 12 percent in 2017. Its growth rate is tapering off as it continues to represent a larger part of the overall marketing pie. Digital will represent a third of ad investments in 2017. Its growth continues to cannibalize print expenditures, but GroupM points out that TV has remained resilient.

Social networks will claim one-fourth of all U.S. digital ad spending in 2017

Almost one-quarter of all U.S. digital ad dollars -- $19.31 billion, that is -- will go to social networks in 2017. That represents more than 25 percent growth for social network ad revenues, according to eMarketer.

In addition to its spending projections, eMarketer released a number of fascinating social media predictions for 2017. A few worth keeping in mind include:

  • Strong organic reach for brands on Instagram will become a thing of the past in 2017. The platform has already started to slash visibility for brands, and it's looking like Snapchat could follow suit in 2017 as well.
  • Influencer marketing will encounter hurdles, as marketers will likely face increased enforcement of FTC regulations covering sponsored content in social media.
  • 2017 will be a big year for live streaming, as social networks, digital video platforms, TV networks, and publishers rush to stake their claim. Marketers will find themselves with a daunting number of options by year's end.
  • Apps that foster real-time engagement around interests like music and video -- apps like Musical.ly, YouNow, and Snow -- will be the social break-out stars of 2017.

Influencer marketing: Measuring ROI is a challenge for three-fourths of marketers

Seventy-eight percent of marketers cite measuring the ROI of influencer marketing as a top challenge for 2017, according to a survey by Linqia. The concern is a valid one when you consider that nearly 60 percent of those same marketers plan to spend more than $50,000 on influencer marketing in 2017. As spend increases, so must accountability. Yet 61 percent of marketers say they're currently measuring the success of influencer marketing through audience reach, which is a metric that's notoriously easy to game with purchased low-quality followers.

Facebook and Instagram are overwhelmingly dominating the influencer marketing space, with 87 percent of marketers citing both platforms as being among the most important to their strategies. The nearest competitor was blogs at 48 percent, with Twitter behind that at 44 percent. Given the difficulty of obtaining organic reach for brand posts on Facebook, and the increasing difficulty on Instagram as well, that's likely money well spent.

Another fun fact from the Linqia report: Only 12 percent of marketers confess that they don't require influencers to comply with FTC regulations when disclosing sponsored content. However, 45 percent of marketers admit that they don't know what the most recent regulations actually are. Hmmm.

73 percent of B2C marketers expect to produce more content in 2017

OK, so that stat -- taken from the Content Marketing Institute's annual B2C content marketing benchmarks report -- might not be very surprising on its own. But then consider the fact that only 42 percent of those marketers expect to increase their content marketing budgets next year. Sound familiar? Yep, it's the old "doing more with less" pattern reluctantly practiced by so many marketers.

It's worth noting, however, that even the Content Marketing Institute isn't advocating content volume for the sake of content volume. The key is in consistency -- whatever that means for your organization. CMI's Robert Rose has wisely advised in the organization's newsletter that marketers should publish "as little as you can and still have the impact you desire."

On average, respondents to this year's B2C survey are spending about 26 percent of their total marketing budgets on content marketing. The most commonly cited content marketing goal for the next 12 months was brand awareness (74 percent of respondents), followed by engagement (71 percent).

Design and content salaries will see the biggest growth in 2017

In 2017, the average starting salary for marketers is expected to increase a modest yet respectable 3.6 percent, according to a recent salary guide from The Creative Group. But certain positions are poised for bigger leaps. The ones expected to land the biggest bumps include front-end web developers (7.2 percent), mobile designers (6.8 percent), UX designers (6.1 percent), and content strategists (5.4 percent). The first three aren't terribly shocking. If you've spent time trying to hire quality folks into those types of roles, you understand why. But I'll admit that the content strategist forecast did pleasantly surprise me. With so many professionals fleeing the publishing realm right now, you would think marketing organizations would have their pick of content folks. But, I suppose, much like the design and development side of the industry, true quality in these roles is very much worth an investment.

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Drew is mainly a dad, but he's also a social media and content marketing guy. Originally from Kansas City and a graduate of The University of Missouri, Drew will gladly discuss the vast, natural beauty of the Show Me State. Drew and his wife,...

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