7 Stats to Guide Your Marketing Strategy in 2017

January 22, 2017

In our book The Big Data-Driven Business, Russ Glass and I demonstrated how marketers of all kinds can use data to better understand their customers and their markets. Some data you have to dig to find. Other data is hiding in plain sight.

This post highlights seven publicly-shared data points that show marketers what trends appear poised to dominate in 2017. Read on to see what these statistics reveal about social media advertising, content marketing, account-based marketing, employee advocacy, and other trends that marketers can’t afford to ignore in the coming year.

80% of marketers say they will invest in on social media advertising in 2017

The number of marketers using paid social media advertising, much of which is native, in-feed advertising, is poised to surge this year. Last year, 38 percent of marketers said they invested in social media ads, according to Gartner. This year, 80 percent of marketers say they will invest in social media ads — meaning that 42 percent of marketers will invest in social media advertising for the first time in 2017.

Companies that blog are 13x more likely to generate positive ROI

In this era of Snapchat, artificial intelligence, and other shiny objects, relatively staid content marketing tactics, such as blogging, can sometimes take a back seat. But effective marketers are maintaining blogs as the centerpiece of their content marketing, and with good reason. Companies that prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to generate positive return on investment, according to this infographic from Socialee Media. It’s one reason why Jason Miller, alluding to “The Big Lebowski,” calls the blog the social media rug that ties room together.

63% of companies will operate employee advocacy programs in 2017

Employee advocacy — which is the practice of providing employees with tools enabling them to share their company’s message on their own social networks — will surge this year, according to Gartner. Currently, about one-third (36 percent) of marketers say they have employee advocacy programs in place. In 2017, 27 percent plan to add employee advocacy programs. LinkedIn is a believer in this trend, and our Elevate product is designed to streamline employee advocacy.   

Indian Internet users will reach 600 million by 2020

Marketers must keep an eye on the Asia-Pacific market, and that includes India. By 2020, the number of Internet users in India will reach 600 million, almost doubling the current figure, according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India. The Indian market is poised for continued growth, and B2B marketers who can have a presence in Asia ignore it at their peril.

70% of SMBs plan to boost digital marketing spending

A study from GetResponse published in SocialTimes found that 70 percent of small- and medium-sized business plan to increase their spending on digital and web-based marketing in 2017. Sixty percent of SMBs will be spending on social media, and about 30 percent of this group said that they planned to boost their spending “considerably” in 2017. In increasing spending on digital, SMBs are not alone. No matter their size or their industry, businesses are boosting digital marketing budgets as evidenced by third quarter 2016 U.S. spending on interactive advertising which hit a record $17.6 billion, up 20 percent over the same period in 2015, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau

84% of Millennial B2B buyers say their mobile device is crucial

Increasingly, B2B buyers are relying on their mobile phones. A Salesforce survey found that 84 percent of Millennial B2B buyers said that their mobile device was crucial for their jobs. Only 60 percent of B2B buyers from the Baby Boom generation agreed, but more Millennials are becoming business decision makers with every passing year. Making sure your content is mobile optimized is essential; without it, you might as well be invisible to those researching products and making purchase on smart phones.

70% of marketers say they spent more on ABM in 2016

Spending on account-based marketing grew last year. A report from SiriusDecisions found that 70 percent of marketers said they invested more of their budget in ABM in 2016 than they did in the prior year, according to this blog post from Terminus. Moreover, 80 percent of marketers measuring their ROI said that ABM outperforms other marketing investments, according to research from ITSMA. One of the key benefits of ABM is that it brings marketing and sales departments into better alignment, which offers powerful financial benefits of its own.  

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