The 45 Most Important Advertising Statistics of 2021

ByGoran
January 28,2021

Advertising has evolved over hundreds of years to become a key driving force behind the modern economy. The third decade of the 21st century will see the industry enter a new age of technological possibilities. Virtual and augmented reality will bloom as advertising gets a face-lift, with outdated approaches destined for the scrap heap. 

To paint a better picture of the current landscape and identify growing trends within the industry, we pored through an array of reputable advertising studies. We then used that information to compile this authoritative list of advertising facts and statistics.  

Interesting Advertising Statistics – Editor’s Choice

  • Social media advertising budgets have doubled worldwide, from $16 billion in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016.
  • Acknowledgment is key: 77% of Twitter users appreciate a brand more when their tweet is responded to. It takes about 10 hours on average for businesses to respond to a tweet, even though customers want a response within four hours.
  • Average advertising costs for small business operations that use Google Ads as part of their online advertising strategy are between $9,000 and $10,000 per month.
  • 76% of marketers fail to use behavioral data for online ad targeting.
  • The average person gets bombarded with over 1,700 banner ads per month, but only sees half of them.
  • 84% of people expect brands to create content. About 45% of B2C marketers believe visual content is their most important type of content, while 88% of B2B marketers agree that creating content makes their audience view the organization as a credible and trusted resource.

Amazing Advertising Facts

  • The most expensive advertising campaign of all time was created by Chanel. It cost $33 million, of which $3 million was paid to Nicole Kidman, who starred in the video.
  • As soon as chewing gum ads started showing people chewing two pieces of gum at once, sales doubled instantly. That's because people also started to chew two pieces at a time, just like they’d seen on TV.
  • In 1450, Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type printing. This led to the birth of a new era of advertising in the form of the handbill. The lithographic process was perfected in 1796, giving rise to the illustrated poster.
  • One of the more mind blowing facts about advertising is that most watches displayed in advertisements are set to 10:10. Why? Because the watch’s hands frame the brand name and create a smiley face.
  • Advertisers often use a technique called “affective condition” where they take a product and place it next to other things consumers feel positive about. For example, detergent brands often associate themselves with babies, sunshine, and flowers, even though detergent doesn’t have anything to do with those things. Repeatedly displaying the brand alongside feel-good images makes people think more positively about the product.

Online Advertising Statistics

Google and Facebook still hold the largest share of total U.S. digital ad spending, with 37.2% and 19.6% respectively.

(eMarketer)

Even though both companies’ market share is declining thanks to competition from companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook remain the two most dominant forces on the market.

70-80% of users ignore sponsored search results.

(Search Engine Land)

This shows the advantages of ranking organically instead of paying Google to pin your page to the top of search results. Not only do most users ignore sponsored search results; they’re also more likely to distrust the brand that’s advertising itself.

(Forbes)

Trends over recent years have shown that well-crafted, compelling video content is among the most powerful online advertising tools. People remember videos for longer and share them more frequently than they do other media.

About 72% of all online shopping carts are abandoned.

(MarketingSherpa)

Advertising fast facts show that customers are indeed hasty to abandon their online shopping carts. This has been a big issue for online businesses, since only 8% of users return to finish shopping after they initially abandon their cart.

(Secret Sushi)

While some people show loyalty to certain brands, most potential customers prioritize the best products and the lowest prices above brands they know. This is one reason why the market is more competitive than ever before, and explains why quality internet advertising is vital to any business’s success.

In the span of just one year, from 2018 to 2019, the total number of devices around the world with ad blockers rose from 142 million to upwards of 615 million.

(PowerTraffick)

Consumers don’t necessarily hate all advertisements, as 83% of them wish that they could just filter those they don’t want to see instead of blocking them all. The problem lies in intrusive, bad ads that ruin user experience, which is why a smart approach to designing and implementing ads is becoming increasingly important.

There is a hacker attack every 39 seconds, and 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses.

(Small Business Trends)

One of advertising’s least fun facts is that small businesses represent a natural target for hackers. These companies usually have minimal security infrastructure and are easy prey for data sharks. Cyber attacks can be extremely destructive, which is why both large and small companies should do everything they can to protect themselves.

Small businesses earn an average of $3 in revenue for every $1.60 they spend on Google AdWords.

(PowerTraffick)

When it comes to pay-per-click investment on internet ads, businesses usually make double what they spend on Google ads. If your company’s return is significantly lower than this, maybe it’s time to make some tweaks. The average click-through rate on paid search ads using AdWords is about 2%.

90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business.

(Bright Local)

Customer reviews also influence 67.3% of purchasing decisions. Interestingly, people trust them as much as personal recommendations, which makes them extremely important for all businesses, especially those that work locally.

Worldwide digital ad spending is predicted to reach over $375 billion by 2021.

(eMarketer)

The total amount of money spent on digital ads has been rising over the years, even though the rate of increase has fallen slightly. Experts predict that over the next two years, this spending will increase by a staggering $75 billion.

76% of marketers fail to use behavioral data for online ad targeting.

(Adweek)

Advertising facts suggest that marketers are slow to act on behavioral user data. This is because they’re mostly using older technologies to drive consumer segmentation. Marketers also believe that companies are still struggling to translate the collected behavioral data into better, more customized user experiences.

Small businesses that use Google Ads spend between $9,000 and $10,000 per month on PPC.

(WebFx)

Statistics about small and medium businesses show that the most competitive PPC keywords relate to the financial and legal industries, as well as insurance services. These types of businesses spend more than $1.2 billion per year in PPC advertising on Google.

84% of people expect brands to create content.

(Havas)

Research by Havas shows brand engagement is extremely important for consumers. People want content that engages them through storytelling, provides useful solutions, and creates entertaining experiences.

Youtube Advertising Statistics

While people are spending much less time in front of a TV, they’re watching more YouTube than ever before.

(Think With Google)

As the second-most-visited site on the internet and the main platform for Google video ads, YouTube has seen incredible growth. More and more people spend increasing amounts of time watching content on the site. In 2015 alone, 18- to 49-year-olds spent 4% less time watching TV and 74% more time watching content on YouTube.

(Think With Google)

YouTube has proven to be a remarkably important web advertising tool for consumers who seek to better inform themselves before choosing a product to spend their money on. With almost 2 billion monthly users and a huge number of content creators, there is always an expert opinion to be found on any product or service worth buying.

Over 70% of YouTube watch time comes from viewers on mobile devices.

(eMarketer)

Mobile phones are a major entry point for internet access in many markets across the world, and have also become the most popular devices for watching video content. Almost a quarter of the world’s population will watch a video on a phone this year.

YouTube mobile ads receive viewer attention 83% of the time.

(Ipsos)

This is one of the most startling online advertisements vs traditional advertising statistics, seeing that TV ads only get attention 45% of the time. Television ads simply last too long, and TV watchers regularly check their phones during breaks in sports games and other televised events.

Since 2016, twice as many small and medium-sized businesses are advertising on YouTube.

(YouTube)

Given that YouTube’s robust advertising tools can successfully analyze your target audience and reach the most valuable potential customers, it’s no surprise that the number of small and medium businesses creating online ads for YouTube is rising steadily.

On their mobile devices alone, people watched more than 50,000 years worth of product review videos on YouTube between 2016 and 2018.

(Think With Google)

In the digital age, customers are increasingly using video content to inform themselves before making purchases. This trend of researching other people’s opinions and experiences gives good products exposure and helps increase revenues.

Social Media Advertising Statistics

Nowadays, 3.48 billion people use social media, up 9% from last year. That means 45% of people on the planet now use social networks.

(Hootsuite)

Social media has proven to be a potent market for advertisers. The steady increase in the number of users in 2019 indicates that the peak of investment in social media is still to come.

More than 40% of digital consumers use social networks to research new brands or products.

(GlobalWebIndex)

With the astronomical rise of the “Stories” feature on Instagram and similar social media networks, advertising online has never had a bigger reach than it does today.

The top brands on Instagram are seeing a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21%, which is 58 times higher than on Facebook and 120 times higher than on Twitter.

(HootSuite)

This is one of those digital advertising statistics that shows just how powerful Instagram has become as a marketing tool. The platform has become a giant in the social media space and experienced record growth and engagement numbers in 2019.

80% of users follow at least one business on Instagram, while more than 200 million people visit at least one business profile every day.

(Locowise)

Interestingly, about two-thirds of these visits come from people who don’t already follow the businesses’ profile. This shows that investing in Instagram advertising has huge potential for attracting new customers.

71% of consumers who are happy with the customer service they get via social media are likely to recommend that brand to others.

(The State of Social Customer Service)

Social media can be a great tool for increasing brand engagement and attracting new customers. One of the best ways to achieve this is to offer outstanding customer service via your social platforms. A good reputation among users and their word-of-mouth recommendations will help you lower your internet advertising costs, allowing you to invest the money you save into other things.

While 80% of businesses that have an online presence believe they deliver great customer service via their social media channels, only 8% of their customers agree.

(Smart Insights)

As far as advertising stats go, this is a real punch in the guts. It can be easy to think you’re doing a good job from inside your office, but it’s your customers’ opinions that really matter. Don’t overestimate the quality of your customer service, and most importantly, don’t ignore what your customers are telling you. If you strive to be better, you’ll benefit from your users’ word-of-mouth recommendations.

Facebook has 80 million pages for small and medium-sized businesses.

(Facebook, Inc)

This is one of the more impressive Facebook advertising facts, representing a 23% year-on-year increase. The number of businesses that advertise on the platform has now reached 6 million.

Facebook owned 24.5% of all digital video ad spending in 2018.

(eMarketer)

Facebook (including Instagram) received nearly 87% of U.S. social media video ad spending in 2018. That same amount translates to one quarter of all U.S. video ad spending. It’s a crowded market, but as video ads grow, Facebook continues to be a popular channel.

The average engagement rate for Facebook video posts is 6.01%.

(We Are Social)

This shows that videos are by far the most engaging posts on Facebook. Video content engagement has been rising, while engagement with photo content, link posts, and status posts are on the decline.

Global social media advertising spending increased by 32% in 2018.

(Hootsuite)

This spending is predicted to grow by 73% over the next five years, making social media platforms even more powerful when it comes to reaching new customers across the world.

As recently as a few years ago, social media marketing budgets doubled worldwide, from $16 billion in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016.

(Statista)

Social media has taken over the world, and marketing investment in these platforms has increased rapidly. In 2017, it already represented more than 16% of all digital ad spending in the world.

77% of Twitter users appreciate a brand more when it responds to their tweet.

(Twitter)

It’s also worth noting that customers on Twitter want brands to respond to their tweets sooner. At present, it takes about 10 hours on average for businesses to respond to tweets. Customers, however, expect a response within four hours.

TV Advertising Statistics

Investing in TV can increase advertising effectiveness by 40%.

(Thinkbox)

Whether in the short or long term, TV still delivers great bang for your advertising buck. It’s one of the lowest-risk methods of investing in advertisement, with a high likelihood of profit return. That likelihood is 70% between three and six months, and 86% over three years.

Experts predict that TV advertising spending will grow steadily to $75 billion by 2022.

(MarketingCharts)

TV remains the best form of advertising for cashed-up marketers who are willing to spend large amounts on ad campaigns for mass audiences. However, as audiences shift to digital media and advertisers pursue more multichannel campaigns, it’s getting tougher to make TV work for your business. Brands need to create TV ads that catch viewers’ attention and keep them engaged.

Teens and millennials watch 40% less traditional TV than they did five years ago.

(MarketingCharts)

The amount of time 18- to 34-year-olds as a whole spent watching traditional TV – both live and time-shifted – in Q3 2018 dropped by about 17.2% from the previous year. Younger people are watching less and less television, which is bound to have a negative impact on TV advertising effectiveness.

The average adult spends five hours and 24 minutes per day watching videos.

(MarketingCharts)

Television remains one of the best media for marketers to use product placement and other subtle advertising strategies. When you consider that people watch nearly 5.5 hours of video per day, TV’s effectiveness makes sense. Surprisingly, though, this figure is actually three minutes lower than the previous year. This includes traditional TV, TV-connected devices, and video on computers, smartphones, and tablets.

Mobile Advertising Statistics

Mobile searches for “best” have grown 80% in the past two years.

(Think with Google)

This is one of those digital advertising trends that shows how much consumers value search engines as a tool for helping them make smart purchases. People are turning to their phones for advice, however large of small their decision may be.

Global mobile ad spending is projected to reach $247.4 billion by 2020.

(Connext Digital)

This information reflects the growing dominance of mobile devices compared to desktop computers, with up to 70% of total web traffic and 72% of digital ad spend now taking place on mobile. In-app advertising will rise to a staggering $201 billion over the same timeframe.

68% of companies have integrated mobile marketing into their overall marketing strategy.

(Salesforce)

Targeted advertising facts show just how profitable mobile marketing has proven to be as part of a cohesive brand strategy. Now, 71% of marketers believe mobile marketing must be at the core of their business-development plans.

88% of consumers who search for a local business on their mobile call or visit that business within a day.

(Social Media Today)

This staggering statistic shows the importance of making a good first impression on customers. What’s more, 18% of all local searches lead to a sale within 24 hours. It’s important to cater to your local clientele, as 72% of people who visit a physical shop choose one within five miles of their location.

In 2019, more than two-thirds of the total U.S. digital advertising budget was dedicated to mobile devices.

(Hollywood Reporter)

Amazon is emerging as the new ad powerhouse in this digital world, and the company’s focus on mobile devices is no coincidence. Advertisers on Amazon have unprecedented access to consumer behavior data and targeted advertising statistics, and are given access to purchase data in real time.

Email Marketing Statistics

Email marketers in the U.K. reported an average return on investment of 3,800%. That means that for every dollar invested, the average return was $38.

(Salesforce)

This astoundingly high return rate has to do with the low cost of implementing email campaigns, which is what makes this one of the most effective advertising solutions out there. It’s worth noting that since the arrival of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation in 2018, this figure has likely declined for businesses that serve customers in the EU.

Adding videos to your email can increase click rates by 300%, while interactive email content increases the rate of click-to-open by 73%.

(MTA)

This is one of those facts about advertising that you absolutely shouldn’t ignore. Spicing up your emails with animations, videos, and interactive content is becoming increasingly important in boosting customer engagement.

49% of consumers say they would like to receive promotional emails from their favorite brands on a weekly basis.

(Statista)

It turns out your loyal customers do like to hear from you, and their preferred method of receiving business news is via email. If you take advantage of this, you can build brand loyalty through quality weekly content.

73% of email marketers send emails at least once a week.

(The Manifest)

Depending on your industry, sending out daily email marketing campaigns may not always be a bad thing. Research shows 32% of businesses send emails every day, while 41% send them on a weekly basis.

91% of consumers check their email daily.

(Forbes)

People are much more likely to see an email from a business than they are to see a social media post. This is especially true when it comes to mobile devices, where a large percentage of users keep their email notifications turned on. As such, they receive an alert every time they get a new message.

Final Words

The advertising statistics above show beyond doubt that this industry is in a state of rapid flux. As marketers adapt to technological advancements, a whole new world of possibilities has opened up. Advertising is more competitive than ever before, and you need to be on top of your game if you want your business to stand out from the crowd.

Sources

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Two years later, leads list/database, social selling, account targeting, and skills training and recruiting were added to the list. With six tools in regular use, the sales sector started to see more opportunities for leveraging technology to better cater to customers.  91% of consumers would like to see interactive content in marketing emails. (Hubspot) A Litmus report dubbed 2021 State of Email reveals most respondents feel that only interactive content in marketing emails can get their attention. However, only 17% of marketers actually use such content when advertising their products or services. Depending on your target audience and relevant sales information and analytics, you can add interactivity into your emails by including an embedded video, animated GIFs, a form, faux video, or carousel. Think about creative SMS content, too, or employ mass text software to help you create one with catchy phrases.  An average of 18 calls is needed to connect with buyers. (Gartner) Reaching potential buyers isn’t always easy. Consumers are generally suspicious when it comes to calls from sales reps and tend to avoid them by hanging up or not answering the phone at all. Likewise, only 23.9% of sales emails are opened, and others usually end up in a bin. The sales numbers indicate that more investment is needed into technologies that help locate potential buyers and improve the quality and quantity of communication. 60% of all contacted buyers reject the offer four times before saying yes.  (Invesp) Follow-up calls can make all the difference. But almost half of the salespeople (48%) never make a single follow-up attempt. Statistics that expose this passive trend among sales reps also indicate that consumers tend to change their minds if called at least four times. An astounding 60 percent of contacted prospects agree to buy a product or service during the fifth call, according to sales follow-up statistics compiled by the US consulting company, Invesp.  57% of people prefer buying from sales representatives that do not hassle them. (Invesp) Even though follow-ups are essential for convincing customers to purchase your product, more than half of the respondents said they prefer buying from sales representatives who aren’t too pushy. Salespeople have a reputation for hassling potential consumers, and these figures show that they would improve their chances of making a sale if they change their approach.  70% of businesses agree that retaining customers is cheaper than acquiring new ones.  (Invesp) Prospecting statistics reveal that even though most newly established businesses have to focus on acquiring new customers, the long-run focus should be on retaining them. Namely, it costs five times as much to gain a new buyer than to keep an existing one. Unfortunately, despite the convincing figures in favor of focusing on retention, only 40% of companies and 30% of agencies cultivate the same approach to acquisition and retention.  The American auto industry was showing signs of recovery in the summer of 2021, with nearly 1.2 million cars sold in July. (Goodcarbadcar) Following a sharp decline that saw sales plummet from 17 million in 2019 to just a little over 14.5 million in 2020, the car industry started showing signs of recovery by mid 2021. But according to United States car sales statistics, the positive trend failed to extend into the spring, with only 589,743 automobiles sold in October. Those are the lowest monthly sales figures in years.  California accounts for the highest number of car sales in the US. (Statista) Research from 2019 shows that the state of California registered more than 14.8 million automobiles that year alone. The state is also the biggest market for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and for used car sales. Statistics by state reveal that Texas had the second-highest number of automobile registrations, with just over 8.3 million cars registered. Texas is followed by Florida (7.8 million) and New York (4.4 million). Handgun sales in the US in 2020 rose by 65% compared to 2019. (Statista) The US gun industry is having a good pandemic, with Americans buying handguns in record numbers. Research shows that in October 2020, around one million handguns were sold, marking a 65% increase compared to the same period in 2019. Gun sales statistics also reveal a spike in handgun sales in June 2020, when 1.511.710 items were sold. The American trade book market recorded a 9.7% increase in revenue in July 2021. (Association of American Publishers) During the pandemic-induced global lockdowns, many people turned to books. Perhaps unsurprisingly, book sales generated $750.7 million in revenue in July 2021. Reading once again became a favorite pastime in many American households, who contributed to the 9.7% growth in this sector, compared to July of 2020.  According to book sales statistics, eBook revenues in July 2021 went down 16% compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, Paperbacks went up by 30%, generating $274.3 million in revenue. Video game sales amounted to $4.93 billion in July 2021, marking a 5% year-over-year increase. (Statista) Video games had a huge 2020 with more people than ever buying and playing games during the pandemic. Sales soared to $177.8 billion - an increase of 23.1% from 2019. The future looks equally promising, with some forecasts suggesting that the global gaming market will be worth $268.8 billion by 2025. Video game sales statistics for the US market in 2021 show that the industry is maintaining its upward trajectory. 2020 has seen a significant decline in draft beer sales, while canned beer sales went up. (NBWA) The forced closures of bars and restaurants during the pandemic had a significant impact on alcohol sales. Draft beer’s share of total volume declined from 10% in 2019 to around 6% in 2020. Beer sales statistics also show that demand for canned beer rose from 60% in 2019 to 67% in 2020. At the same time, sales of beer in glass bottles remained relatively unchanged, accounting for 29% of the market share in 2019 and 28% in 2020. Toilet paper sales in the US spiked by 845% in 2020. (Business Insider) Toilet paper hoarding in 2020 resulted in a spike in sales of 845% in March 2020, compared to 2019, with a total of $1.45 billion sold in a single month. In March 2020, 73% of all grocery stores ran out of toilet paper. By May, that figure dropped to 48%. Toilet paper sales statistics in 2020 exposed a somewhat disturbing and equally commercial side of consumer behavior in times of crisis.  Girl Scout cookies sales amount to around $800 million during each cookie season. (Girl Scouts) Selling Girl Scout cookies has been a tradition in the US since 1912 and has become a lucrative business for many. Girl scouts sell about 200 million boxes of cookies each season and earn nearly $800 million in revenue. According to mouth-watering girl scout cookie sales statistics, the most popular variety is Thin Mints, followed by Samoas, Caramel deLites, and Tagalongs/Peanut Butter Patties.  Sales: the Bottom Line In the choppy waters and hazy horizons of the pandemic-hit world, steering your business in the right direction isn’t easy. There are many challenges facing sales teams and managers, especially when it comes to locking down customers and promoting products and services. On the other hand, some industries are doing better than ever. Business sales statistics show that demand for canned beer, video games, and guns has never been higher. But that doesn’t change the fact that the future is uncertain for everyone, and the new business world is yet to shape out.
By Danica Djokic · November 10,2021

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