I review a lot of marketing studies and surveys – and write about the one I think will be helpful for readers. For the last few years, I go back through every post and pull out the most interesting statistics to roll up in a single post in December. It’s something of a readout on the year in PR and marketing. Here’s a reverse-chronological look at how 2019 shaped up.
1) The average blog post is 1,236 words.
How long is the average blog post? 1,236 words; 55% of bloggers report an average post exceeds 1,000 words; and 28% say their average post is greater than 1,500 words.
How long does it take to write the average blog post? 3 hours and 57 minutes; 38% of bloggers report it takes more than 4 hours to write a post; and 19% say it takes six or more hours.
2) The average content marketing budget is $185,000.
The average reported annual budget, reported across all respondents, came in at $185,000. The most successful content marketers invested more, with an average of $272,000, while the least successful content marketers spent less at $109,000.
3) Multimedia boosts press release views.
“A multimedia release can boost engagement by up to 12% and can increase follow-on articles up to 25%.”“A multimedia release can boost engagement by up to 12% and can increase follow-on articles up to 25%.”Click To Tweet
4) Marketing budgets fell but expected to grow again.
Budgets fell modestly this year from 11.2% of revenue to 10.5% but most CMOs (61%) expect “their budgets to rebound in 2020” according to The CMO Spend Survey by Gartner.
5) Has freedom of the press deteriorated?
“49% of journalists globally believe the freedom of the press has deteriorated in their home countries” according to a survey of reporters by Cision. In addition, “36% are concerned about journalist safety.”
6) CEOs think CMOs are doing just fine.
A survey by Deloitte of 575 C-suite executives found “For every metric captured, nearly 50% of CEOs think their CMOs are highly effective.”
7) Contributed articles are often your best shot at earning coverage.
“19% of publishers requested articles, 13% requested infographics, 12% requested mixed-media pieces, and 11% requested data visualizations.”
9) Twitter is the social network of most value to reporters.
“Journalists again cited Twitter as the most valuable to them (up from 70% last year), followed by Facebook (up from 22% last year),” according to a survey of reporters by Muck Rack. Here’s how the numbers break down specifically: 83% of reporters said Twitter was most valuable; 40% said Facebook; 26% said LinkedIn; 21% said Instagram; 13% said Reddit; 12% said YouTube; 8% said WhatsApp; 5% said Signal; and 1% said SnapChat.
Another survey of reporters by Ogilvy had similar findings: “Twitter is the social media platform that most often informs reporters’ coverage, ranked first by an average of 48% of reporters worldwide compared to 29% of those who cited Facebook or Instagram.”
9) Senior marketers expect budgets to grow.
Overall, most marketers expect their budgets to grow by 8.7% over the next 12 months. For B2B product companies that number came in at 7.1% and for B2B services it was 10.1%.
10) Business leaders that understand PR value it more.
A survey of 300 leaders in businesses with more than 1,000 employees found about one third did not understand the duties of their communications shop – and even fewer saw the value. However, “Of those execs who did have a good understanding of comms, 80% thought it delivered good value. In other words, the greater the understanding of comms, the greater its perceived value.”
11) Earned media still reigns as the most credible.
Most people find independent journalism and earned media to be the most credible source of information. Blogs, including independent and corporate blogs, can be credible. Advertising is a distant third. A study that included both a focus group and a survey which found:
- 67% of the focus group participants and 48% of the survey panel indicated journalism was the most credible source of information; and
- 23% of the focus group participants and 46% of the survey panel indicated they view independent bloggers as credible.
12) The most effective digital marketing tactics.
For B2B companies, earned media and branded content ranked as the most effective digital tactics. The survey found 30% of B2B respondents cited news coverage as the way they “people learn about new products online that they can use for their day jobs.” Branded media, defined in this report as blogs, social media and video weren’t far behind with 27%.
13) The average email open rates and CTRs.
What is the average email marketing open rate? An analysis of data shows the average email marketing open rate ranges between 16.74% and 21.09% across all industries and markets.
What are the average email click-through rates (CTRs)? An analysis of data shows the average email marketing click-through rate (CTR) ranges between 2.61% and 7.43% across all industries and markets but most marketers will see CTRs at about 2-3%.What are the average email click-through rates (CTRs)? An analysis of data shows the average email marketing click-through rate (CTR) ranges between 2.61% and 7.43% across all industries and markets but most marketers will see CTRs at about 2-3%.Click To Tweet
14) The best time to send a press release.
According to Prowly, “The best day to send a press release is on Thursday when the average open rate jumps to over 26%…The worst days are Wednesdays and Fridays when even 85% of your emails get lost in the journos’ inboxes.”
15) More PR pros report to the CEO than to the CMO.
A survey of 223 PR and communications professionals found more respondents (38%) say the communications function reports to the CEO than to the CMO (35%).
16) Marketers gate content for justification.
Registration forms are a measurable source of potential sales prospect; 44% of B2B marketing organizations say they gate content and of those “close to two-thirds (62%)…cited earning qualified leads as their reason for doing so.”
17) Marketing has a growing responsibility for innovation.
Technology and innovation may be intertwined, but marketer leaders say their responsibility for both have grown. A survey of 218 marketers by Target Marketing asked about these two items separately and here’s how the answers stacked up:
- 65% say they have “more” or “much more” responsibility for innovation; and
- 77% say they have “more” or “much more” responsibility for technology.
18) Spending on marketing tech and innovation grows.
Coverage stemming from the 2018 CMO Survey by Gartner how tech and innovation get lumped together in the same category. Writing for Marketing Land, reporter Jennifer Cannon noted:
- “Marketing technology now accounts for almost a third of marketing’s budget, while in-house labor investment loses shares;” and
- “One in every $6 spent by CMOs is invested in innovation, despite doubts in the skills and capabilities available to support these programs.”
19) The market size for PR tech and martech.
The PR software market is estimated at $4 billion, according to a report by consulting firm Burton-Taylor. By comparison, the research site WARC placed the larger category of marketing technology across North America and the UK at $52 billion in late 2018. Gartner says about one-third of the CMO budget goes to marketing technology.The PR software market is estimated at $4 billion, according to a report by consulting firm Burton-Taylor.Click To Tweet
20) Should brands take a stand?
Forty-nine percent of respondents – less than a majority – said brands should not weigh in on political issues while about one-third (29%) said brands should. Another 22% said they were unsure.
An analysis by age group shows a compelling correlation between age and the viewpoint on this question. Younger people, ages 18-29, were more likely to say brands should take political sides publicly (56%), while those ages 60 or older were more inclined to say brands should abstain from politics (59%).
21) Traffic from media coverage outperforms other sources.
Web traffic originating from media coverage outperforms other sources. Traffic from earned media was 56% more likely to complete a goal (i.e. registrations, subscriptions and downloads) and these sessions lasted 33% longer.Web traffic originating from media coverage outperforms other sources. Traffic from earned media was 56% more likely to complete a goal (i.e. registrations, subscriptions and downloads) and these sessions lasted 33% longer.Click To Tweet
22) A gap between the top executive and PR.
A survey more than 1,500 respondents by the Center for Public Relations at USC Annenberg found very wide gaps between CEOs and their PR teams:
- 44% of CEOs said selling products and services was the top communications goal while just 25% of in-house communicators identified sales as the top goal;
- Just 40% of the CEOs surveyed said they were likely to communicate about social issues compared with 69% of in-house communicators; and
- 33% of the CEOs surveyed identified customer experience as a communications area they’d like to improve with technologies – compared with just 18% of in-house communicators.
23) The top 10 PR technology providers.
When a survey of PR pros asked respondents which communications technology vendors they viewed as most familiar and favorable – here were the top 10 answers:
- 80% said PR Newswire [press release vendor]
- 59% said Business Wire; [press release vendor]
- 59% said Cision;
- 39% said Meltwater;
- 39% said PRWeb; [press release vendor]
- 22% said BurrellesLuce;
- 17% said TVEyes;
- 15% said Critical Mention;
- 15% said Muck Rack;
- 12% said TrendKite;
24) Few CEOs have marketing experience.
Just one in every three CEOs has experience in marketing, according to The CMO Survey. Similarly, CMOs struggle to translate marketing results to financial outcomes: 64% said demonstrating the impact on financial outcomes was the top c-suite communications challenge facing CMOs.
25) What top-performing CMOs do differently.
The consulting firm Accenture surveyed about 935 CMOs and 564 CEOs and identified what the top-performing CMOs do differently:
- 26% more likely than peers to claim ownership of the customer journey from the first contact through to sales and service – and “benefit from the insights derived from that data.”
- “29% more likely than their peers to be in-sourcing new capabilities.”
- “21% more likely than their peers to be experimenting with new and innovative solutions.”
- “17% more likely to be expanding beyond traditional agency partners.”
- “18% more likely to be engaged with the possibilities offered by digital platforms.”
26) Median PR salary steady at $95,000.
The median salary for public relations professionals in the last 12 months came in at $95,000, which in line with broader economic trends, remained flat compared to the year prior.
Corporate positions tend to pay more than agency positions. Here are the median salary breaks down across corporate, agency and non-profit sectors of PR as follows:
- Corporate communications median salary was $127,100;
- PR agency median salary was $96,000; and
- Non-profit communications salary was $85,000.
Read more: find the most current public relations salary data.
27) What metrics are communicators tracking?
When it comes to metrics, the most common measures communicators say they use involves a mix of old and new measures. Here are the top ten:
- Web traffic / web analytics: 73%
- Impressions: 66%
- Estimated site traffic: 60%
- Number of 3rd party mentions or placements: 57%
- Email open rates: 52%
- Executive feedback: 45%
- Clicks and CTRs: 43%
- Employee engagement surveys: 36%
- Conversions / registrations / downloads: 33%
- Customer satisfaction surveys: 31%
28) Media Relations is hard and getting harder.
A majority (68%) of PR professionals say media relations is getting harder or much harder. That is up 17% from last year where 51% said media relations was getting harder.A majority (68%) of PR professionals say media relations is getting harder or much harder. That is up 17% from last year where 51% said media relations was getting harder.Click To Tweet
29) What are the business goals of influencer marketing?
A Talkwalker survey asked respondents about the goal of their influencer marketing programs. Here’s how most of the answers tallied up:
- 66% said to increase visibility;
- 17% said to drive more leads and sales;
- 10% said to aid creative campaigns; and
- 4% said to drive loyalty.
Another 3% said “other” which the report said, “revolved around thematics such as recruitment, education, thought leadership and attempts to change brand perception.”
30) Companies build in-house creative agencies.
A study by Forrester Research and the In-House Agency Forum (IHAF) found “Advertisers with in-house agencies increased to 64% of the survey’s respondents from 42% a decade ago, according to the study.”
However, those teams need to be better aligned with marketing. According to another study – 2019 In-House Creative Management Report – by inMotionNow and InSource, “Just 47% said the relationship between creative and marketing is better this year than last. Collaboration between marketing and creative didn’t fare much better with just 51% saying collaboration was effective.”
Disclosure: inMotionNow is a client.
31) Digital marketing sometimes drains creative quality.
“Nearly 70 percent of marketers surveyed believe that ‘digital growth in advertising has come at the expense of the quality of creative.’ Meanwhile, 84 percent say A.I. means nothing without the creative to support it.”
32) The cost of advertising in the Super Bowl.
A 30-second spot cost $5.25 million in 2019, which by my math, works out to about $17,000 per second for airtime. Does it work? Maybe. One study showed brand recall fell in 2017 but ticked back up in 2018: “78% of viewers were able to correctly identify the brands behind the ads.”
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And that’s a wrap on stats for 2019. Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas!
More 2019 year-end roundup posts:
- 30 Pragmatic Marketing and PR Predictions for 2020
- 9 Quotes from PR and Marketing Pros in 2019 that Will Still Be Relevant in 2020 and Beyond
- The Most Interesting PR Tech Announcements in 2019 [PR Tech Sum]
Posts summarizing statistics from prior years:
- 18 Marketing and PR Statistics that Read Like a Meta Description for the Year 2018
- 33 Statistics Summarizing the Year 2017 in Public Relations, Content Marketing, Social Media and SEO
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Two Reasons PR Needs to Budget a Little Paid Social Budget Next Year
Image credits: Unsplash and respective studies.