15 Mind-Blowing Stats About Digital Marketing

new study released earlier this week by Adobe, CMO.com’s parent company, contains important findings for CMOs. Overall, “Digital Distress: What Keeps Marketers Up at Night?” demonstrates marketers’ lack confidence in their digital-marketing know-how, as well as their organizations’. And it’s little surprise given how quickly the marketing landscape has changed.

Here are 15 stats from the study that CMO.com found most sobering for CMOs:

1. Marketing has changed more in the past two years than in the past 50.

2. Fifty-two percent of digital marketers do not feel proficient in digital marketing.

3. Two in three marketers don’t think their companies are proficient in digital marketing.

4. Only two out of five marketers think their colleagues and peers are proficient in digital marketing.

5. Sixy-six percent of all marketers think that, for most companies, digital marketing approaches are a constant cycle of trial and error.

6. Only 44 percent of marketers say their marketing departments have a great deal of influence over their organizations’ overall business strategy.

7. Sixty percent of marketers expect their companies will invest more in digital marketing technology this year.

8. Fifty-eight percent of marketers say their organizations will up their digital marketing spend next year.

9. Most marketers don’t have formal digital training. Eighty-five percent of marketers acquired digital marketing knowledge on the job.

10. Reaching customers (82 percent), understanding whether campaigns are working (79 percent), and proving campaign effectiveness are the top three concerns for marketing staff.

11. Only 9 percent of marketers strongly agree with the statement, “I know our digital marketing is working.”

12. Sixty-eight percent of marketers feel increased pressure to show ROI on marketing spend.

13. Eighty-one percent of marketers believe marketing has value and that it can be measured.

14. High-performing companies are twice as likely to rate themselves as highly proficient in digital marketing (50 percent) than lower performing companies (25 percent).

15. Marketers don’t feel well equipped to execute e-commerce (43 percent), targeting (53 percent), and measurement (54 percent).


Google Updates Analytics With Improved User Segmentation, Sequence Filters

Google today introduced a number of new segmentation features for Google Analytics that should make it easier for users to isolate and analyze subsets of their visitors or app users. Previously, segments were always based on individual visits. While that can be a useful metric, it doesn’t give you any real insights into the behavior of returning visitors. Now, Analytics users have the option to create user segments that allow them to select all of the visits of a user who fits into a pre-defined segment (based on behavior or demographics).

This update now also allows Analytics users to perform cohort analysis. Google says this allows you to “analyze the long-term benefit of specific groups of customers (for example, customers who first visited within a specified timeframe).” Say you want to look at the analytics data for all the people who first visited your site in December and spent more than $100 on it during the holidays. Previously, that was very hard to do, but now it’s just a matter of a few clicks.

All of this, of course, is only possible because Analytics can now track users across multiple session. This now allows Analytics users to create certain metrics based on user behavior during a single or multiple sessions (say somebody who viewed two pages in a row or who abandoned a shopping cart). This, Google Analytics evangelist Justin Cutroni notes, is especially useful “when you need to see how two actions, either concurrent or separate, impact behavior.”

To make these new features a bit more accessible, Google rolled out a refreshed user interface that takes some cues from the “cards” look the company is already using across many of its other products. The new look, Google writes, is meant to highlight “segmentation as a critical analytics technique with better visibility and readability.”

These updates will slowly roll out to all users over the next few months.



Google Analytics’ Real-Time Stats Now Feature Event Reports, Device Breakdown And Shortcuts

Google Analytics’ real-time feature is very useful for those who don’t need more specialized tools like Chartbeat or Woopra, but still want to get a basic overview of what’s happening on their site right now. Compared to the breadth of features Analytics offers, though, it’s still a very limited tool. Today, however, Google is making a few changes to Analytics’ real-time reports that make it a more powerful and easier to use service.

Analytics, for example, now also shows you a breakdown of how many of your current visitors are on a desktop, tablet or on their phone.

The main feature of this update, however, is the addition of event reports. Google Analytics’ event reporting takes a bit of extra work to set up and is also a major part of the new Universal Analytics feature the company launched as a public beta last week. This feature allows developers to create custom events for interactions that go beyond just loading a site, including downloads, video plays, ad clicks and other actions a developer might want to track on a site. Starting today, website owners can track these events in realtime, too. This, Google says, means “you can now not only see the top events as they occur but also filter on particular event categories (and actions).”

With this update, Analytics also introduces shortcuts for real-time segments, so if you just want to see what your U.S. visitors on smartphones are doing on the site right now, you can create this segment and easily recall it from the Google Analytics sidebar.


The ability to create segments and filter your real-time data this way is obviously a major feature of Google Analytics, but the only way to really fully make sense out of this data is to compare it to your overall traffic. Today’s update adds the option to always see a breakdown of your overall traffic in the background, so you can put the data from your segments into the context of your site as a whole.

New mobile app reports deliver insight on app engagement

2013 Trend:  Invest­ment in Mobile Apps

Accord­ing to a sur­vey of mar­ket­ing man­agers by Gart­ner, invest­ments in mobile apps and tablet apps are among the top pri­or­i­ties for dig­i­tal mar­keters in 2013.  Across all busi­ness ver­ti­cals, mobile apps are a key ele­ment of a cus­tomer loy­alty and reten­tion strat­egy that enables con­sumers to con­nect with busi­nesses any­time and anyplace.

Busi­ness Need:

Given the increased invest­ment in mobile apps, exist­ing cus­tomers of Adobe Ana­lyt­ics have requested enhanced sup­port for mobile app ana­lyt­ics across all lead­ing plat­forms (Apple iOS, Android, and Windows).


With the April release of Adobe Ana­lyt­ics, cus­tomers now receive the fol­low­ing capabilities:

  • Easy access to pre-defined mobile app reports within web user interface



  • Mobile app overview report that includes key met­rics for launches, daily engaged users, aver­age ses­sion length, crash rate, top devices, OS ver­sions, and mobile carriers.


  • Under­stand the lifes­pan of your appli­ca­tion through the mobile app “life­cy­cle” reports. Met­rics and dimen­sion include installs, monthly engaged users, upgrades, install date, days since first use, days since last use, hour of day, and day of week, oper­at­ing sys­tem and device name.  Here is an exam­ple of the “days since first use” report that shows the % of vis­its that have taken place since the app was first downloaded.



  • View and ana­lyze mobile app engage­ment in one place within Adobe Analytics.
  • Eas­ily change and cus­tomize the pre­de­fined reports to match your spe­cific needs.
  • Ana­lyze all “life­cy­cle” met­rics and dimen­sions that flow into advanced seg­men­ta­tion capa­bil­i­ties (Dis­cover) and ad-hoc analy­sis & report­ing (Report Builder).  For exam­ple, see the fol­low­ing blog­post that dis­cusses how to setup mobile “cohort” analy­sis with Report Builder.


How to Access:

  • Clients must imple­ment their app with the ver­sion 3.0 App SDKs to receive the life­cy­cle met­rics and dimen­sions in Adobe Ana­lyt­ics.  Visit the “Devel­oper Con­nec­tion” to down­load the SDK or read the doc­u­men­ta­tion for each mobile platform.
  • From the Admin Con­sole inter­face, your Ana­lyt­ics admin can use the “Report Suite Man­ager” to enable the pre­de­fined mobile app reports for view­ing by all users.


Big Data Is Already Producing Big Results

When we hear the phrase “big data,” we have to ask ourselves, “How big is big? What are we really talking about?”

Let’s take one of the largest retailers—Walmart. Start by visualizing one five-drawer filing cabinet. Now, think of a room filled with 60 million five-drawer file cabinets. That’s how much data comes from all of the Walmart stores every hour. And as retailers install more sensors to add advanced predictive analytics to real-time sales and customer behavior, that figure of 60 million filing cabinets worth of data every hour is going to increase. For example, retailers are beginning to use mannequins with cameras in their eyes so they can see who’s looking at them and whether they’re male or female, pregnant or not, thin or heavy, etc. And that’s just one little data point.

In the past, I’ve written about how we’re using cameras in the stores, not just for security but also to create actionable data on where people go, when they leave, where they stay, what they buy, and what they just look at and move on. All of this is creating an ever-increasing tsunami of data—so much so that we have to realize it is, indeed, big data, and getting bigger.

What’s even more amazing is that if we look back 20 years, from 1993 to a few years ago, the total amount of data that went over the Internet in a year is now how much data that goes over the Internet in one second. It’s important to note that most of that increase has been in the last few years due to the exponential, and predictable, advances in processing power, storage, and bandwidth. And, by the way, a hard trend certainty is that the amount of data is going to increase as data gets bigger and our desire to get real-time high-speed analytics increases.

So we have to ask ourselves, “What are companies doing with all this data? Is it paying off already, or do we have to wait for the payoff?” The answer is, “The payoff is starting to happen already.”

For example, I was in Canada recently and visited a couple of electronics chains, one called The Source and the other called Charlie Brown. These stores are using real-time analytics of sales to make decisions.

They noticed that in all of their stores a purchasing shift had taken place; several specific upscale electronics items that started at about $650 were selling a lot more than the lower price models, which were in the $150 price range. So they started filling the shelves with more of the higher-priced merchandise and greatly reduced the number of lower priced models. Sales in the categories that they made those changes in surged 40% in a very short amount of time.

A 40% surge is not bad. And thanks to the real-time data, they were able to know exactly which products they needed more of. There was no guessing involved. They could zero right in on a shift in purchasing and make the changes pay off immediately.

They also looked at their lower-end items and noticed which specific items were decreasing in volume, so they discontinued them completely. Again, overall sales and profitability rose, because profitability is based not only on the items that are selling, but also the merchandise that isn’t selling and taking up space in inventory.

Of course, retailers have been doing this for a long time—deciding which products to remove from inventory and which to increase. But it wasn’t done in real-time. It wasn’t done with the pinpoint accuracy that we have today. Thanks to the data that we’re getting in from various sources, retailers can make better decisions faster and increase their bottom line.

Ask yourself: How could we use big data and high-speed analytics to make better decisions faster so that we could gain competitive advantage and drive increase profitability?


DANIEL BURRUS is considered one of the world’s leading technology forecasters and business strategists, and is the founder and CEO of Burrus Research, a research and consulting firm that monitors global advancements in technology driven trends to help clients understand how technological, social and business forces are converging to create enormous untapped opportunities. He is the author of Flash Foresight.

Mobile Ad Revenues Will Top $11.4 Billion In 2013, Up 19% On 2012. India, China And Display Fuelling The Boost

The growing popularity of free mobile content — largely in the form of apps — is having a big impact on mobile advertising, the route that many developers and publishers are taking to monetize that content. Gartner has released its forecasts for mobile advertising today, and it predicts that this year, mobile ads will collectively bring in $11.4 billion in revenues, a rise of 18.75% on 2012′s $9.6 billion.

With that growth will also come an evolution in what kind of ads are doing best: display ads will grow faster than search and eventually overtake them, says Gartner. But other things will not change. The Asia Pacific region will keep its dominant position in mobile ads in 2013, and for the next three years, as the global market for mobile ads grows by a further 400% between now and 2016 to $24.5 billion.

Gartner, it should be pointed out, first published these projections in November 2012, but has actually revised them up. ”The mobile advertising market took off even faster than we expected due to an increased uptake in smartphones and tablets, as well as the merger of consumer behaviors on computers and mobile devices,” writes Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner.

The growth of display advertising against search ads is down to a few different factors. The first of these is the increasing ubiquity of smartphones, and smartphone-like feature phones: while there is still an issue that one in every five smartphone owners never uses their device for anything other than basic voice and text, those that are using them for other services are proving to be voracious consumers of apps and mobile internet. That rise in usage means more eyeballs and more inventory for advertisers to fill.

“Smartphones and media tablets extend the addressable market for mobile advertising in more and more geographies as an increasing population of users spends an increasing share of its time with these devices,” writes Andrew Frank, research VP at Gartner. That usage, Gartner says, is currently very strong in native apps, although Gartner is in the camp of people who believe that mobile internet, and web apps, will ultimately become the more popular format over native apps.

The second trend is the fact that there are a number of new ad units that are rolling out to make the display ad experience more engaging: whether it is through reward schemes, or less invasive ways of serving those ads, these are, by many accounts, getting more people clicking on display ads, and more advertisers investing in using them.

The third is the decline of more traditional advertising, for example in newspapers and magazines. As these mediums get used less by consumers, media buyers and brands are turning to the places where consumers are reading more: tablets and smartphones. ”Growth in mobile advertising comes in part at the expense of print formats, especially local newspapers, which currently face much lower ad yields as a result of mobile publishing initiatives,” writes Baghdassarian.

But this does not mean search is disappearing — far from it. The rise of more integrated and functional maps, for example, will give that ad unit another big boost, as more brands and businesses look to buy paid placements on mapping apps. Gartner also highlights augmented reality as a rising category — but I personally remain skeptical that for now this is not more than a nice technology.

In terms of regional domination, Gartner points out an interesting shift taking place in Asia Pacific.

Whereas in the past the region was strong because of Japan and South Korea — two relatively small but early-adopting, mobile-crazy countries — its continuing prominence won’t be solely because of that. It will be down to China and India, two of the world’s biggest mobile markets, where we are seeing a big surge for smartphones and mobile data usage among a “growing middle class” of users.

North America and Western Europe, Gartner says, will “close the gap” on Asia with what Gartner refers to as “360-degree advertising campaigns.” This is another term for the kind of advertising thatGoogle is also pushing, with the idea that ads can follow you regardless of what device you happen to be using. (Creepy but possibly useful too.) Growth in the emerging regions of  Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa will be led by gains in the big markets of Russia and Brazil, as well as Mexico.

Mobile Advertising Revenue by Region, Worldwide, 2012-2016

(Millions of Dollars)





North America





Western Europe





Asia/Pacific and Japan





Rest of the World










Source: Gartner (November 2012)

Can content creators and SEO experts get along?

Sooner or later, content marketers will experience the periodic spat that erupts between content creators and search engine optimization (SEO) professionals.

Content creators claim that SEO interferes with their ability to write creative, attention-grabbing headlines. SEO consultants claim that content creators are wrong to believe creativity alone will draw readers to one’s web content.

Who is right? My answer: they are both missing the point.

Witty, pun-laden headlines can coexist with seemingly dry, SEO-optimized, headlines. These two ideas are not opposing forces. My job as an SEO expert is to facilitate information — to provide a clear path from your potential search engine audience to your content.

If your audience is coming from search engines, and you know they will benefit from a provocative headline, then consider a technical solution that could satisfy both needs:

* Emphasize the attention-grabbing headline visually through an H1 header tag while displaying the SEO-optimized headline below that with an H2 header tag.

* Use the SEO-optimized headline in the title tag.

While my suggestion may not be the optimal solution from an SEO standpoint, it will allow your content to be indexed in the engines the way your audience will likely search. Doing so will also provide the desired emphasis on the fun headline your readers may know you for.

Allow me to break this down in a similar analogy.

Many restaurant and entertainment sites love Flash to a point where they repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot from an SEO perspective. While there are ways to keep a Flash-dependent site crawable to the search engines, the best way to keep your site SEO-optimized is to not use Flash and to create a static site in HTML.

Do you see what I wrote? Did I tell all Flash sites that they should switch everything from Flash to HTML? No. Did I say it was impossible to have a Flash site indexed by the search engines? No.

There is always more than one way to employ SEO skills to attract visitors while understanding the unique nature of each business.

Of the many rules I’ve learned over the years of working in the SEO world, I believe these three “golden rules” resonate especially:

* SEO should not dictate business rules.

* SEO should always provide value to your audience.

*  There are no absolutes.

Great content can and does rank perfectly fine outside of the best practices of SEO. A seasoned SEO consultant will suggest ways to draw in an audience while keeping an eye on the “golden rules.”

SEO experts will always suggest best practices but see obstacles as opportunities to flex their creative SEO muscle. — Derek Thopy

The Digital Revolution – InfoGraphic

One of the challenges of the digital revolution that we’re living through today is its complexity, and the broad range of implications that companies need to wrestle with. Consumers are shopping in different channels, often hopping across them to complete a single purpose – what are the teams you need to have in place to deliver what’s needed across that journey? Consumers are creating showers of data in their wake – how should companies make sense of it, and what skills do they need?

I love this infographic McKinsey created not too long ago because it attempts to paint a complete picture of the implications of this revolution.




As well as being choc full of useful data, it provides a big picture of what’s going on. This kind of broad perspective is more important than ever because the array of challenges and new technologies create huge temptations to focus on narrow issues without understanding how they fit into the broader business. What this infographic really highlights is that it’s so important to get many things right. Great data insights without a great product? Big waste. Great product that your customers don’t want? Big waste. Wonderful execution of a bad product? Big waste.
How are you getting the balance across data, design, and delivery right? Who’s doing this well?

Is banner advertising effective?

Nine months into Marissa Mayer’s tenure, it’s clear Yahoo is once again relevant and interesting in Silicon Valley. Mayer is happy to tout things like a tripling in resumes received, a halving in the rate of people leaving and even the return of former employees to the fold. All the good news, however, can’t disguise the grim reality that the display advertising business — those banner ads that run along the top of nearly every page on the internet — has been going nowhere at Yahoo for a long time and that’s a trend Mayer hasn’t been able to reverse. Unfortunately for her and Yahoo, this isn’t just a failure of execution; it also represents the decline of the format that has fueled free content on the internet since the beginning.

Consider the numbers: Yahoo sold $402 million worth of display ads last quarter, a decline of 11%. The display business has been going more or less nowhere for the past 3 years, but it’s definitely trending down. By comparison, revenues at Google, which relies very little on banner ads sold through its DoubleClick network, will have doubled revenues over the same period when it reports tomorrow. Changing times Over at Digiday, they recently recounted the story of the birth of banner ad back in 1994. The web was barely out of the cradle and Hotwired, the web property of Wired magazine not travel site Hotwire, decided to run advertising to try to pay its own way. The ad, for AT&T, asked: “Have you clicked here? You will.” And 44% of those that saw it would do just that. These days, though, instead of 44 in 100, only about 1 in 1,000 will actually click on an ad. And a significant part of the reason is that we all get bombarded with too many of them. In the U.S. alone, 1.1 trillion display ads are shown online each quarter, enough for each of us to receive 4500 of them — about 50 every day. And we generally know where on the page they’re going to be which has led to a new syndrome dubbed “banner blindness” — the ads are there, but many of us just tune them out. It’s like the commercial skip button on your DVR, but you don’t even have to press it; your brain does it for you. The problem here isn’t just Yahoo’s. More than half of the newspaper websites in the country now charge for some or all of their content after mostly trying to run their sites for free, supported by advertising. While a lot of that has been motivated by the rapid decline of their print businesses, the fact is that the online side just hasn’t delivered enough growth to offset those declines. But the other side of the problem is that the promise of online advertising has only been realized in a small way. While the ads on search pages do fantastically well (and explain why Google is so valuable), the generic display ads you see when you’re reading an article or playing a game haven’t delivered on the promise of the technology behind them. How’d they know I want that? A great deal of the ads you see are targeted directly at you because somehow you’ve tipped off an ad network that you’re shopping for a car, or just had a baby or want to vacation in France. The problem is once they latch onto this information, they can’t let go. You might have been looking at vacations in France because your friend is going, but the ad networks just won’t know. You might be interested in a car, but when you’re participating in a heated discussion in a book-club forum, you can’t be bothered with info on a lease deal. So again, you just tune out the advertising, which simply isn’t good news for the advertiser — nor for the middleman who is trying to sell you those ads. Part of the solution is to run fewer ads, so that the ones that are left on the page are more visible. The theory is that they’ll stick better in your mind even if you don’t click on them and generally will become more visible so that you do.  Yahoo gets this and has been trimming the quantity of ads you see. It hasn’t yet found the right pricing for those that remain to make up the difference, but this is unequivocally a move in the right direction.  ”In terms of the user interface, changes we made in terms of reducing the number of ads; we have seen that that’s actually increased user engagement,” Mayer said. The next step for Yahoo — and other content publishers — is to follow the lead of other trendsetters in online advertising to try to start growing again outside of display in a world where consumers are exhausted from seeing too many pitches. Facebook and Twitter, for example, runs ads as part of the feed. This so-called “native advertising” is fueling Facebook’s growth on mobile particularly after its own display business began to see slower growth last year. It’s the first stage in moving the ads away from where people can easily ignore them. The next stage is making sense of what’s on the page you’re viewing to bring relevant advertising to you when you’re more likely to be receptive to it. It’s a harder problem to solve when you aren’t explicitly searching for something, but it’s part of the next frontier for Yahoo and others if they themselves want to remain relevant.

Facebook, Social Media Interest Dwindling

Teens still love Facebook. No news there. According to a recent study by Piper Jaffray, 33 percent of the 5,200 teens surveyed choose Facebook as their most important social network.

Following behind, Twitter has 30 percent of the vote, while 17 percent of teens say that Instagram is the most important social network.

What’s notable, however, is that interest in Facebook seems to be declining heavily among teens. Though teens still dub Facebook their most important socialnetwork, Piper Jaffray reports that the numbers are down regarding how many teens see Facebook as the most important social media website.

Over the past year, the number of teens who deem Facebook as the most important social media site has dropped from more than 30 percent to just over 20 percent. But it’s not just Facebook. Almost all social media sites have either seen a decline or stagnation in their importance to the teen demographic.

YouTube may usurp Facebook soon as the most important social media site, though it too has shown a decline in importance. As it stands right now, YouTube also has around 22 percent of the vote, but seems to be declining at a much slower pace.

Screen Shot 2013-04-10 at 10.18.40 AM

Both Instagram and Twitter show strong growth, especially this spring as kids gear up for summer.

But in true teenage fashion, the survey group of 5,200 teens made sure to note their favorite social media tools that were excluded from the list. According to the PJC study, teens are intrigued by Wanelo, Vine, Snapchat, Kik, and 4chan, in that order.

Vine has only been around for a few months, but has already risen to number 1 in the App Store. Snapchat is also a no-brainer, considering that teens make up the majority of a demographic that sends over 20 million snaps per day.

Just as much as Twitter poses a threat, so too do these up-and-coming social apps that have taken teens by storm.

However, Facebook Home (a new Facebook-baked Android skin) may prove useful as teens’ interest wanes. Not only will it give Facebook insight into which apps to look out for, as it monitors when and how often users launch apps, but it will put Facebook in front of users at a much more pervasive scale.