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18 Marketing and PR Statistics that Read Like a Meta Description for the Year 2018

18 Statistics that Read Like a Meta Description for the Year 2018 in Marketing and PR

Every year I pour over dozens (hundreds?) of studies and surveys – some of which I had a hand in producing – dissecting the results and connecting dots where it looks appropriate.

As we close in on the year’s end, I looked back over these marketing and PR statistics in an effort to surface those points that in some way, shape or form, help to summarize 2018 as a year.  Some of these are more like factoids than statistics, but are interesting just the same and can be grouped are heavily weighted along the following topics:

Each statistic links to the blog post that covered that particular study or survey which provides attribution and a path to the underlying source. In many cases, I’ve included a graphic from the original post or study. Here are those statistics in the order cited above:

1) CMOs as agents of trust.A CMO peer review by the C-Suite-TrustThe C-Suite views the top marketer as a publicly facing agent of trust.  They used words like “critical” and “paramount” and “loyalty” to describe the CMO and the function of marketing.

Read more: Habits, Capabilities and Peer Reviews of the Modern CMO

2) The marketing budget as a percentage of revenue.

Marketers from B2B product companies say their budgets grew 6.2% over the last 12 months. Over the course of the next year, they anticipate this budget growing by 9.3%.

As a percentage of revenue, B2B product organizations invest 6.3% of revenue in marketing, compared with 7.9% overall. As a vertical, technology companies invest 9.7% of revenue in marketing.

Read more: 5 Datapoints from the CMO Survey for B2B Marketers

3) The CMO priorities – according to CMOs

The CMO PrioritiesA survey by the IBM Institute for Business Value asked CMOs for their top priorities over the course of the next year, and then categorized them in this order:

a) Increasing sales revenue;
b) Improving the omnichannel customer experience;
c) Reinventing customer experience through channel innovation;
d) Demonstrating the ROI of marketing initiatives; and
e) Championing a customer-centric corporate culture

Read more:  Top of Mind Among Senior Marketers: Cliff Notes to 3 Significant Surveys of CMOs

4) The composition of marketing spending is changing

It’s changing because of several interrelated challenges. On one hand, competition is fierce (56%), people are increasingly intolerant of advertising (46%) and “information overload” is a genuine problem (44%).

The evolution also attributed to the fact what we consider “media” is evolving: “The definition of media is changing and has moved beyond distribution channels alone. CMOs also choose to define it more broadly across technology (48%), content (44%), distribution channels (41%) and data (38%). Each of these provides a potential source of consumer insight and a more holistic way of using media to reset strategy.”

Read more: Top of Mind Among Senior Marketers: Cliff Notes to 3 Significant Surveys of CMOs

5) The CMO role in the 4Ps may be changing.

A survey of CMOs out of Duke suggests the composition of marketing is changing:

  • 72% of CMOs say they have a leading role in promotion;
  • 34% of CMOs say they have a leading role in new products;
  • 31% of CMOs say they have a leading role in pricing; and
  • 25% of CMOs say they have a leading role in market selection.

Those statistics track closely to the 4Ps of Marketing – product, price, place and promotion. The 4Ps is the classic construct that articulates the four traditional levers available to drive growth.

Read more: A CMO Survey Shows Us How Classic 4Ps of Marketing Are Changing

6) On average buyers examine 5 sources in decision making.

“Buyers use multiple resources when researching products because none are perfectly adequate or trustworthy,” according to a study, which put the average number of resources reviewed at five (5).

Read more: Trust is a Flywheel of B2B Marketing and a Key Point of Differentiation

7) Buyers cool to new ideas as they slide down the funnel.

Is the Buyer’s Journey Becoming Passé-2

A survey of buyers found “71% said they want to hear from vendors when they’re looking for new ideas and possibilities to drive stronger results to improve their business… a majority (62%) said they want to hear from vendors when they’re actively looking for a solution to fix what’s broken or solve a problem. Buyers were more intent on hearing from vendors in both of those cases than when they’re identifying and evaluating possible providers (54%).

Read more: Is the Buyer’s Journey Becoming Passé?

8) Executives use personal emails in registration forms.


“C-level executives at companies with at least 5,000 employees used their personal email 51% of the time [when registering for gated content], with business emails used the remaining 49%.”  Personal email addresses might be better too since they don’t bounce when a person leaves a company for a new position.

Read more: Thinking Different about Registration Forms and Personal Email Addresses

9) The purpose of marketing metrics

Metrics to measure in creative and agile marketingA survey by Spiceworks found the purpose of metrics marketers cited most often were:

  • 79% said to optimize future campaigns;
  • 77% said to evaluate the most effective channels;
  • 62% said to measure the success of messaging;
  • 58% said to prove marketing success to the business;
  • 57% said to course-correct existing campaigns;
  • 51% to refine goals or objectives; and
  • 42% to maintain or secure additional budget.

Read more: How Creative, Agile and Metrics can Sing in Marketing Harmony

10) Growing challenges of media relations

A survey of communications professionals found more than half (51%) said media relations is getting harder. About one third (32%) said it’s about the same and 14% are unsure. Just 3% said it’s getting easier.

Read more: Is Media Relations Getting Harder?

11) The media is the least trusted institution.

According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, 7 in 10 people worry about fake news; 63% say the average person can’t discern journalism from rumors or falsehoods; and 59% say it’s harder to tell if news was produced by a respected news organization. Importantly, people define “media” as both content and the platforms – search and social media – on which they are distributed. Trust in platforms declined 11 points in this year’s study.

Read more: PR and Content Marketing Insights from the Edelman Trust Barometer

12) Reporters say getting the story right matters more than getting it first

Most (59%) of U.S.-based reporters said, “fake news is making readers more skeptical than ever about what they read and see” and … “A majority (78%) of U.S.-based reporters said, “ensuring content is 100 percent accurate is the most important” in their organization.”

Read more: 7 Statistics from an Annual Survey of Reporters that Gives PR a Glimpse of their Mindset

13) Storytelling the hottest trend in PR in 2018

In January, a survey of communications professionals found most felt the following concepts would be more important to PR in 2018: 79% of respondents said storytelling; 71% said content marketing; and 67% said thought leadership.

Read more: New Survey Identifies the Hottest Trends in Corp Comm and PR

14) Most respondents say brands should stay clear of politics.

Nearly half (49%) of overall respondents said brands should not weigh in on political issues. However, it’s not a majority because about one-third said they believe brands should get involved, while another 22% were unsure. Sentiment analysis around this question suggests context matters.

However, if the quality, convenience or price of a product or service is better than the competition, respondents said they would still buy from a brand even if they took a political position with which they disagree.

Read more: New Study: Should Brands Take a Public Stand on Politics? (also see why?)

15) PR salary growth remains flat.

The median salary in the last 12 months came in at $95,000.  This is more or less flat with the $91,000 median reported in 2017 and the $92,125 reported in 2016. Median salaries across corporate, agency and non-profit positions break down as follows: Corporate: $132,000 Agency $88,000 Non-profit: $78,300.

Read more: Breaking Down the Results from the 2018 PR Salary Survey

16) Creativity as an employable skill

Can you teach creativity?Creativity will be among the top skills employers’ desire by 2020 According to the World Economic Forum.

Read more: Is Creativity a Skill or Talent? And How it can be Learned and Lost

17) Combining analytics with creativity drives growth


A study by McKinsey found businesses need both art and science to drive growth. It found analytical creatives do three things:

  • “They treat creativity and data as equal partners.”
  • “They make integration a way of life through an agile marketing operating model.”
  • “They seek ‘whole-brain’ talent” – that is both left- and right-brained.

Read more: How Creative, Agile and Metrics can Sing in Marketing Harmony

18) Successful content marketers put the audience first.

“Nearly all of the most successful B2B content marketers (90%) prioritize the audience’s informational needs over their sales/promotional message, compared with 56% of the least successful.”

Read more: 5 Important Planning Considerations from a B2B Content Marketing Study

* * *

The summary of statics from last year is also an interesting read: 33 Statistics Summarizing the Year 2017 in Public Relations, Content Marketing, Social Media and SEO.

Are you looking for a content marketing agency partner that can both
bring creative ideas and execute them?
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If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
7 Reasons Your B2B Content Marketing Program Fails to Deliver that You Probably Haven’t Heard Before

Photo credit: Pixabay

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