Report: Digital Channels to Account for Half of U.S. Marketing Spend in 2016

pieces of puzzle showing internet concept

As marketers realize the potential of digital channels, new research shows that the overall investment in traditional mediums continues to fall. As a result, the “Annual Advertising and Marketing Study” from Outsell has discovered that total digital spending in 2016 will reach approximately $228 billion, accounting for about half of all marketing and advertising spend in the U.S. (about $470 billion).

Mobile showed the highest percentage (38 percent) of year-over-year growth, representing $23 billion of overall annual spend. Print newspapers, print directories, direct mail, and magazines showed the largest declines.

Along with mobile, video and social media exhibited significant growth as well. Video is expected to represent $7.5 billion of this year’s marketing and ad spend, while $33 billion will likely go to social media (organic and paid).

The Shift Toward Digital Marketing

Prior to the Outsell report showing a financial shift toward digital marketing channels, a survey from Ascend2 indicated that marketers were already seeing the benefits of these mediums.

According to data, about 41 percent of marketers claim that social media has been their most effective digital channel. The majority (61 percent) cited email, while 59 percent credited their website.

However, the survey also discovered that marketers face barriers when it comes to accomplishing their digital marketing goals. An inadequate budget (46 percent), lack of internal skills (40 percent) and lack of an effective strategy (35 percent) were cited as their largest hurdles.

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