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9 Data Points for the Marketing and PR Industry

Data Points for the Marketing and PR Industry

How big is the PR market? There are numerous reports and none of them strike me as conclusive or especially authoritative, but the ballpark number I’ve concluded is about $10 billion.

In the course of research, I’ve stumbled on a number of other facts and figures related to marketing and PR and thought it would make an interesting blog post.

Here’s what I’ve found:

1) Marketing skills a top priority.

Marketing Today survey found that 31 percent — a majority of US senior executives reported “marketing will be the most important area of expertise for the next-generation of leaders.”

Operations, finance, sales and engineering trailed with 20 percent, 16 percent, 11 percent and six percent respectively.

2) Political breakthrough.

The marketing spend for political campaigns in 2008 broke a record with a total of $4.5 billion. By my math, which I hope isn’t fuzzy, it seems President Obama single-handedly accounted for 1 percent of that total on Facebook advertisements alone spending a noteworthy $500k.

3) Internet and social networking.

TechCrunch reported that Internet advertising accounted for nearly $24 billion in 2008, while social media is also on the up and up. eMarketer report found that $920 million was spent on social networking in 2007 and forecast a $1.6 billion for 2008.

Citing survey firm, Eloqua, eMarketer reported that nearly 75 percent of marketers would “increase their social media spending during the next three years.”

A GlobalSpec survey also found online marketing on the rise. Thirty-percent of respondents said that more than 50 percent of their 2008 budgets went towards online marketing, while nearly 60 percent of marketers said “online marketing will command a greater portion of their marketing budget in 2008 than it did in 2007.”

4) Word of mouth still reigns.

Social media marketing firm, Bazaarvoice wrote that, “online social network users were three times more likely to trust their peers’ opinions over advertising when making purchase decisions.”

There’s nothing like a referral.


See these related posts:
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Why We Can’t Just be PR Pros Anymore


5) Top tweeters.

With respect to social media, Twitter seems to have drawn users from an unexpected demographic: people ages 45-55 are the top users, while the coveted 25-34 year old market comes in at a close second.

6) Email is king.

The Direct Marketing Association estimated “marketers spent $600 million on e-mail in 2008 and will spend $700 million in 2009. Further, for every dollar spent, the return on investment was more than $45.

Email is still the killer app.

7) Viral video to grow?

Citing the Wall Street Journal, this post [of a now defunct blog] claims “$962 million will be spent on video marketing this year” and that another survey reported, “70% of ad agency and media buying executives plan to increase their budgets for viral video marketing in 2009.”

8) Agency growth.

I’m always amazed at the number of new agencies sprouting in the greater DC and Northern Virginia area, but country wide – the number of firms is astonishing.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “in 2006, there were about 48,000 advertising and public relations services establishments in the United States.”

9) PR Market equals Facebook’s valuation.

A June 2007 Holmes Report survey of more than 300 public relations firms found agencies “booked $7 billion in 2006” — yielding a growth of a little more than eighth percent in 2006.

Separately, the Council of PR Firms reported the industry grew 10 percent growth in 2008.

Based on the data available, I’d venture to say that the PR industry as a whole is approaching a market size of $10 billion, or to put it another way, about the current assessed value of Facebook.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
PR Briefing: Summarizing 3 Recent Public Relations Studies

Photo credit:  Flickr, Keoni Cabral (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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