1st in a Blog Series on Business Analysis and Benchmarks from DMA’s 2017 Statistical Fact Book

By: Lindsay Hutter and Neil O’Keefe

Lindsay Hutter is DMA’s SVP of Communications & PR and Structured Innovation. Neil O’Keefe is DMA’s SVP of CRM & Member Engagement.

An overwhelming majority (96%) of media and marketing executives report they are deeply committed to leveraging audience data to transform their businesses into data-centric companies. sfb-cover-blogHowever, more than half (59%) said it will be two years before their organizations will be data-centric and less than a quarter (24%) describe their organizations as “extremely data-centric” today.

There is switch to flip to get there but there are accelerators, including industry data and business intelligence to help marketers easily find the facts and benchmark and evaluate existing initiatives as well as to develop business cases and proposals to launch new initiatives and even new businesses. DMA Statistical Fact Book (SFB) hailed by top marketers and solution providers as the “Definitive Source of Marketing Benchmarks”, reveals critical new directions and insights to study. DMA is pleased to present this SFB preview to our members of three trends that should be part of our marketing team strategic discussions.

Digital Marketing Spend Remains Channel Agnostic

When it comes to digital marketing budgets, marketers continue to place their bets on a wide range of channels. The highest spend is surprisingly on paid search (14%), with the next highest investment at 12% in content marketing. However, email and social media are projected to see a sharp uptick, according to DMA’s most recent Quarterly Business Review. Now is the time to benchmark your own channel mix against these competitor data points to gauge if it’s time a shift in tactics and spends while you can still affect current budget year growth targets.


Millennials More Likely to Seek out Ads

There has been much hand wringing throughout the industry about ad blocking, and the threat it poses to advertising and marketing that fuels the digital web. But in Vision Critical’s “Everything Guide to Millennials,” analysis and data in DMA’s 2017 SFB, there is a glimmer of hope as the industry works to deliver higher quality ad offers to consumers. Millennials are much more likely than Boomers or Gen Xers to seek out ads before a purchase and to appreciate ads that are done well. Smart marketers will take note and continue to cater to Millennials’ product research.


Attribution, Attribution, Attribution

Attribution is to marketing’s future is what location is to real estate’s future. Even more so, it’s key to digital’s future and one SFB data point drove this home. Nearly two-thirds of respondents to the “State of Attribution” research by Econsultancy reported that justifying their digital spend is one of their top three highest priorities for marketing attribution in 2017. Justifying is a defensive word, which shows that there is much more attribution power needed and soon for marketers to “justify” current, much less increased digital spends.


This pain point is driving a new DMA Structured Innovation Program initiative on Identity. The new Identity initiative will launch in March and address multi-touch attribution, emerging privacy issues around Identity and other Identity-related challenges for marketers. (For more information on the Identity Initiative, contact Lindsay Hutter, DMA’s SVP of Communications & PR and Structured Innovation).

DMA research and Structured Innovation Programs, coupled with DMA’s new data analytics certificate program, provide marketing organizations the resources marketers need to leverage data to master identity and deepen customer engagements.

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