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30 Statistics Digital Marketers Need to Know in 2021

Derek Andersen Senior Content & SEO Specialist, DialogTech

The digital marketing landscape will become more competitive than ever in 2021. To cut through saturated search engine and social media landscapes, digital marketers are prioritizing personalized, omnichannel experiences to engage with their audiences. However, it can be difficult to execute these campaigns, especially with mounting concerns about third-party data privacy. In an environment where every conversion counts, informing your marketing strategy with first-party data from the voice of the customers can be the difference-maker.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of statistics digital marketers need to know as they execute their 2021 strategies.

Digital Advertising is Getting More Competitive

1. Global digital ad spend will reach $389 billion in 2021. While worldwide digital ad spending achieved a modest 2.4% growth in 2021, it’s expected to bounce back with a growth of 17% in 2021. (Source: eMarketer).

2. The average cost per action (CPA) is $49 for paid search and $75 for display ads. These numbers help illustrate how competitive digital advertising can be for many industries. The stakes for digital have never been higher, and neither has the pressure on marketers and agencies to optimize campaign performance to win more customers at lower costs (Source: WordStream).

The average CPA of paid search ads is rising

3. US social media ad spend reached $43 billion in 2020. This was a 20% increase from 2019 (Source: eMarketer).

4. In 2020, US Facebook ad spend exceeded $31 billion. This represents a 5% increase from 2019. (Source: Business Insider).

Companies are increasing their Facebook ad spend

5. In 2019, US LinkedIn ad spend reached $1.02 billion. This is a 40% growth in ad spend since 2016. LinkedIn is quickly becoming a staple advertising channel for B2B marketers (Source: eMarketer).

6. Mobile display ad spend reached $61 billion in 2020. This was a smaller increase than eMarketer projected before the COVID-19 outbreak, but it still represented a 22% increase from 2019 (Source: eMarketer).

Marketers Are Using Ineffective Strategies

7. Only 61% of marketers believe their marketing strategy is effective. Even though many marketers doubt their strategies, they’re still pouring massive spend into digital advertising (Source: HubSpot).

8. 40% of marketers say proving the ROI of their marketing activities is their top marketing challenge. Despite allocating large portions of their budgets to digital ads, many digital marketers are unable to fully gauge their results (Source: HubSpot).

9. 58% of marketers are challenged with targeting or segmenting their audience. Many marketers are unable to tap into all the rich first-party sources at their fingertips — this leaves them unable to personalize consumer experiences (Source: Forrester).

10. 57% of marketers are challenged with optimizing next-best-action marketing decisions. Marketers also lack the data they need to guide consumers through the funnel after their initial brand engagement (Source: Forrester).

11. 80% of marketers report their lead generation efforts are only slightly or somewhat effective. Lead generation is another challenge for digital marketers—especially when they fail to track and optimize every phase of the customer journey (Source: BrightTALK).

12. 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates. Driving leads is only half the battle—in many cases, leads can fall through if sales agents aren’t fully equipped to handle them (Source: Econsultancy).

13. 42% of B2B marketing professionals state that a lack of quality data is their biggest barrier to lead generation. The modern customer experience is fragmented across numerous channels, making it difficult to gain a holistic view of the customer journey. With higher quality, more actionable data that ties the customer journey together, marketers can make smarter optimizations (Source: BrightTALK).

Omnichannel Personalization Is Driving Better Marketing Results

14. In a recent study, omnichannel campaigns saw an 18.96% engagement rate, while single-channel saw just a 5.4% engagement rate. Consumers own more devices than ever before and often bounce between channels during the purchasing process. Marketers need to keep this in mind as they develop their campaigns (Source: ClickZ).

15. Omnichannel campaigns produce a 250% higher rate of purchase frequency than do single-channel campaigns. Keeping your brand top of mind across numerous channels will drive more revenue (Source: ClickZ).

16. Customer retention rates are 90% higher for omnichannel campaigns than for single-channel campaigns. Customers are more loyal to brands that engage with them across channels (Source: ClickZ).

17. 80% of consumers say they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences. If you don’t personalize consumer experiences, you’ll be leaving revenue on the table (Source: Instapage).

Marketers Can No Longer Rely on Third-Party Data to Inform Personalization

18. 81% of marketers are worried that their use of third-party data could raise privacy concerns. In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, as well as data privacy regulations like GDPR and The California Consumer Privacy Act, marketers are worried (Source: eMarketer).

19. 82% of marketers plan to increase their use of first-party data. Since third-party data presents privacy concerns, marketers are tapping into more of their internal data to inform targeting and personalization (Source: Signal).

Instead, Leading Marketers Are Leveraging First-Party Data From Consumer Phone Calls

20. Mobile ads drove over 162 billion phone calls in 2019. It’s a common misconception that, because the world is becoming more digitized, phone calls have lost their importance. This statistic proves that mobile ads and click-to-call features are driving more calls to businesses than ever before (Source: BIA/Kelsey).

21. Calling is the most popular next action for many consumers running Google searches. It is especially common for consumers searching for accounting, hospitals, dentists, and HVAC repair to place a call (Source: LSA).

22. 28% of people who perform a local voice search go on to call the business. In addition to digital ads, voice searches are driving a wealth of inbound calls. Calls are the most popular action after a local voice search. The seamless transition from voice search to phone call—whether on a smartphone or smart speaker—makes this option especially desirable (Source: BrightLocal).

After performing a voice search, most customers will go on to call the business Source: BrightLocal

23. Calls convert to revenue 10-15x more often than web leads. Inbound callers have a high purchasing intent, and they’re usually further along in the customer journey than someone who fills out a web form (Source: BIA/Kelsey).

24. Callers convert 30% faster than web leads. People often call because they need to immediate assistance—they don’t have time to fill out a web form and wait around for a response (Source: Forrester).

25. 84% of marketers report phone calls having higher conversion rates with larger order value (AOV) compared to other forms of engagement. Phone calls are often the most valuable marketing conversions (source: Forrester).

26. 41% of organizations report having increased phone conversion rates by 25% or more in the past 12 months. Not only are consumers calling more due to COVID-19 — they’re also calling with higher intent to purchase. Both the volume and value of calls are increasing for many businesses due to COVID-19 (Source: Forrester).

27. 85% of marketers believe inbound calls and phone conversations are a key component of their organization’s digital-first strategy. Marketers across industries plan to tap into phone call data to better understand their customers and inform their strategies (Source: Forrester).

Tapping into Conversation Intelligence Data from Phone Calls Helps Marketers Deliver Better Personalization and Drive Revenue

28. 48% of marketers have provided or expect to provide enhanced customer experiences as a result of scaling conversation intelligence across the enterprise. With conversation intelligence data, marketers can enhance ad targeting, segment email campaigns, serve personalized website experiences, and more, based on the content of phone conversations (Source: Forrester).

29. 43% of marketers have improved or expect to improve customer acquisition and retention as a result of scaling conversation intelligence across the enterprise. When you tailor consumer experiences based on the content of their phone conversations, you better meet their needs and earn their loyalty (Source: Forrester).

30. Marketers who have scaled conversation intelligence across the enterprise have seen or expect to see improved analytics efficiency, increased business efficiency, improved employee productivity, and seamless integration with existing systems. Conversation intelligence allows businesses to get smarter insights into their consumers and make more informed decisions to drive efficiency (Source: Forrester).

To learn how data from inbound calls can boost your marketing ROI, download our Marketer’s Big Book of Call Tracking Success Stories.

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