U.S. Advertising and Marketing Budgets Rise to $432 Billion, as CMOs Struggle to Measure Effectiveness of their Investments

Outsell's Ninth Annual Study Reveals Shift to Direct-to-Customer Outreach and Content Marketing, Eclipsing Ads

Apr 16, 2014, 09:00 ET from Outsell, Inc.

BURLINGAME, Calif. and LONDON, April 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Outsell, Inc., the leading research and advisory firm focused on media, information and technology, today released results of its ninth annual Marketing and Advertising Study, which analyzes the investments, strategies and challenges of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) across the U.S. Key findings include an overall 4.3 percent increase in spending to $432 billion, with the majority focused away from advertising to marketing, and a significant increase in direct-to-customer engagement. Despite the many options at their disposal, Outsell's analysis also shows that most CMOs struggle to answer questions about how effective their campaigns are.

Outsell's research offers the most comprehensive insight into advertising and marketing spending in the U.S. Based on an analysis of over four million data points from more than 10,000 advertisers, it provides a complete illustration of the money flow, including external costs (vendors, technology, etc.) and internal investments (i.e., staffing). The data is segmented by industry, company size and B2B/B2C spending, to provide additional benchmarks for marketers and show long-term trends. Overall, the research looks at spending in 35 categories, from television and direct mail to in-person conferences and more. Among this year's findings:

  • Marketing now captures 55 percent of spending ($238 billion), trumping advertising's 45 percent share ($194 billion).
  • At $181 billion, digital spending outweighs other investments, and companies' own websites represent the biggest piece of the pie.
  • Following digital is print ($101 billion), TV, Radio and movies ($95 billion), in-person events ($42 billion), and other marketing ($14 billion).

With content marketing front and center as a strategic tool, advertisers are slowing spending on their own websites in favor of social media, email marketing and other tactics to drive direct customer engagement. This is also leading to the rise of custom print publications even as other print advertising declines.

Though dwarfed by traditional media and relatively small at $27 billion, spending on mobile, social, and video marketing and advertising is accelerating at a pace over five times greater than overall spend. 

In a multi-channel, multi-platform, multi-screen world, CMOs are still struggling to measure the return on their investments and justify additional spend. A majority of CMOs say their top challenges are evaluating campaign effectiveness, engaging prospects, capturing/applying analytics and big data, and dealing with too many options.

"2014 is the year of direct-to-customer communications, and that's both a threat and an opportunity for marketing and media companies," said Chuck Richard, VP and Practice Leader, Outsell. "The winners will be those companies who can address CMOs' problems and pain points, rather than pushing them into preset packages of services and products."

Visit Outsell's Store for more information on the study.  To learn more about Outsell's Leadership Service for Marketing, Media & Analytics, contact Nicholas Suggs at nsuggs@outsellinc.com. Journalists should contact Derek Beckwith at derek@warnerpr.com.

About Outsell, Inc.
Outsell, Inc. is the world's only research and advisory firm focused solely on media, information, and technology. We use a time-tested, quality-proven, top-secret blend of data, brains, community, and pizzazz to produce extraordinary value for our clients. Elite information industry executives from all over the world look to Outsell for trusted advice, bold insights, and confidential access to exclusive intelligence and decision support. Outsell has your back. You'll stay more focused, save time, grow revenue in a fast- changing global digital environment, and sleep better at night. Guaranteed.

CONTACT: Derek Beckwith, 978-922-0818

SOURCE Outsell, Inc.