Information aids in strategizing. The more information one receives, the better strategies he devises. Marketing insights are information, obtained by processing raw data. Such insights are extremely useful to marketers.

The Advertising Age has released 2016 marketing fact pack, which delivers valuable insights to marketers around the world. Some of the findings in the pack are hard to believe while some others fall in line with predictions made earlier.

Internet as advertising medium

It’s no secret that internet is a place for doing business. The pervasiveness of this medium has been unknown till the release of the fact pack as it shows Internet as an advertising medium has grown over 18% in 2015. If you haven’t included in the list of the existing ad mediums, then you are missing out on potential leads as well as on resulting sales.

Offline medium are alive

The fact pack show more than 52% marketers are using print and other offline platforms as ad mediums. Not everyone is online, especially in countries with emerging economies. Global brands use newspaper and billboard ads to reach out to those people. The wise thing for brands is to include online as well as offline ad mediums in their campaigns.

Content marketing

2016 is believed to be the year of content marketing. But the fact pack shows neither B2B marketers nor B2C marketers are taking it seriously. In 2015, content marketing accounted for 1-9% of a company’s marketing budget.

This is difficult to believe in the face of content marketing’s emerging importance, but the stat pack shows this to be the case. Spending more on content marketing can secure a business a rock-solid footing because its competitors are undermining content.

B2B social channels

It’s hardly surprising that LinkedIn is the most prevalent social channels used by B2B marketers. LinkedIn is a den of B2B clients. What I found surprising is Slideshare is nowhere among the top B2B social channels.

Slideshare has been a medium where B2B marketers can upload their presentations and inform potential leads what they can offer. YouTube is there in the list, and that’s quite expected. The explainer videos hosted on YouTube can be used to raise brand awareness. Twitter is also in the list.

Increased B2B spending

The fact pack hints at an imminent increase of B2B spending. Among the B2B marketers, 48% said they will increase spending on digital advertising and marketing in 2016.

While B2Cs have readily embraced digital media, B2Bs are far behind. The interaction between two companies still takes place in old-fashioned ways. The visiting cards, the telephone calls and the closed-door meetings still get the job done. But hopefully, as the stat pack shows, the B2B’s approach will change and within next few year, we’ll see them prioritizing digital channels more than anything.

Google as ad seller

We all know that Google provides the biggest advertising platform. The fact pack points out that Google’s dominance in the ad selling space remains intact when the device changes from desktop to handheld. Google’s AdMob is the mobile equivalent to AdSense. In 2015, this ad interface has fetched Google more than $10 billion as revenue from advertisement.

This finding is undoubtedly important but before a brand jumps on to put ads on AdMob, it needs to remember that app market is a rough terrain. SEO pundit Rand Fishkin explained why the app marketing vertical is lopsided. According to him, top twenty-five to fifty apps get almost 80-90% of traffic. Unless an app is high quality, there’s no point marketing it.

Top B2B priorities

The fact pack came up with an interesting finding. The top three online marketing priorities for 2016 among the B2B companies are content marketing, social media marketing and branding. It seems B2B brands have wised up to understand the value of content and social media marketing.

What they are yet to understand is the blend between social media and content marketing is more effective than any of these two in isolation. A study done by BuzzSumo and Moz revealed 50% of all articles on the web get eight social shares or less. Writing quality articles is not enough, people across social channels need to share it as well, informing Google that it’s a quality article.

Apply them

The findings give you all the relevant insights you need. It’s up to you how best you can apply the insights. To get a handsome ROI, you need to create an executable plan involving content and social media marketing – a plan that appeals to its audiences and give them a captivating brand experience, so they become your customers.

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