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:
- Statistics about – or for – the CMO;
- Statistics about digital and B2B marketing;
- Statistics about PR or media relations; and
- Statistics about content marketing.
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.The 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.
2) The marketing budget as a percentage of revenue.
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.
3) The CMO priorities – according to CMOs
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
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.”
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.
6) On average buyers examine 5 sources in decision making.
7) Buyers cool to new ideas as they slide down the funnel.
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.
9) The purpose of marketing metrics
- 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
16) Creativity as an employable skill
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.
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.”
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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.
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