10 Life-Changing Marketing Stats We’ve Heard This Year

April 9, 2018

lifechanging marketing stats

As the 2015 conference season comes to a close, we’re looking back at all of the crazy stats we’ve learned from industry leaders throughout the year. Here are the top 10 most ground-breaking digital marketing stats that we’ll be using to drive our strategy in 2016!

#1: People form first impressions in about 17 milliseconds – Angie Schottmuller, Three Deep Marketing

Ever since we were kids, my little sister has always been a disaster. Regardless of the occasion, her glasses are always smudged, her clothes are wrinkled and her hair is a frizzled mess. I find it endearing, but it drives my mom nuts. I can’t tell you how many tirades I’ve witnessed my mom ranting that “first impressions are everything,” to which my sister scoffs that just about anyone can look past her perpetually disheveled state. Well, according to Angie Schottmuller, my mom was right all along—first impressions really do matter.


first impressions matter

For PPC marketers, this is an important data point to take to heart. We invest a great deal of time and resources to connect with new, qualified prospects. However, if our landing pages aren’t engaging, we risk losing their attention in less than a second. Advertisers should optimize their landing pages regularly to ensure they are always putting their best foot forward.

#2: More than 86% of time on your phone is spent within an app – Samantha Yeh, Bitly

I was pretty shocked by this statistic until I considered my own mobile behavior. The reality is that I rarely do anything other than Google searches in my phone browser—and for good reason. Apps generally offer a significantly better user experience than mobile websites.

Take JetBlue, for example. Booking a flight through their mobile website is nothing short of painful. The interface is outdated, making a selection involves an exhausting amount of scrolling and it takes every fiber of my body not to give up when I make it to the credit card input section.


jetblue site experience

Try finding a flight to Washington D.C. on the mobile site. Brutal.

 On the flipside, the in-app experience is seamless.

jetblue app experience

Not only do I have the opportunity to search within the app, I can also jump to different sections alphabetically or use my location to identify airports nearby.

Since apps tend to be newer and more sophisticated than mobile websites, it’s no surprise that they typically yield higher conversion rates. Smart business owners know this and do everything in their power to redirect site visitors to their apps. For paid search advertisers who have already built an app, promoting it through app extensions is a no brainer. For those who do not have an app, it might be worthwhile to build one in the coming year!

#3: Emails with a single call to action increased clicks by 371% and sales by 1,617% – Ellie Mirman, Toast

Pretty astounding figures, huh? It’s clear that, for this particular case study, hammering home one call-to-action was the way to go. By offering a singular call-to-action, Ellie’s team made things easy for the reader. Rather than requiring him to decide his course of action, they dictated exactly what they wanted him to do.

Sure, these are just the results from one case study, but the takeaway here is that you should always be testing your copy to see what works best with your target audience. Ellie explained that oftentimes it’s the most minor changes that yield the biggest results.

#4: The average person spends 2 hours a day on Facebook – Larry Kim, WordStream

When Larry first shared this stat, I couldn’t believe it. So, I started tracking my personal Facebook usage and sure enough, I do fall in the camp of social media addicts that spend FOURTEEN HOURS a week perusing old coworkers’ wedding albums, friends’ new baby photos, ex’s profiles updates (come on, you know you do it too) and the like. While I can’t say I’m proud to be a social media junkie (I have since vowed to start reading more, I swear!), this is certainly a positive trend for marketing professionals.

facebook addiction

Given Facebook’s impressive usage stats, it’s a great venue for PPC marketers to display their ads. Even better, Facebook advertising offers lower CPCs than AdWords and super-specific targeting option—a win-win for advertisers.

#5: Asked to “pick one thing you could ask your phone to do for you,” 45% of teens selected “send me a pizza” – Greg Sterling, Local Search Association

I stand by the teens of America on this point but, before I get too distracted talking about pizza, let’s consider what this means on a broader scale. As Greg pointed out, this is an indication of an evolving mobile landscape. Nowadays, with the advent of digital assistants like Cortana and Siri, users want their phones to do more than simply generate search results. They want these voice-driven programs to understand the context in which they are searching, anticipate their needs and even complete transactions on their behalf. It’s still unclear what this trend could mean for the search landscape, but it’s bound to unfold in the coming year, as these services gain popularity.

#6: Click-to-Call Commerce Will Reach $1 Trillion in 2015 and Double by 2019 – John Busby, Marchex

As more searches occur on mobile devices, advertisers can no longer afford to ignore mobile PPC optimization. If the uptick in mobile traffic hasn’t pushed you to step up your game, this fact should.

Advertisers should be positioning themselves to capitalize on click-to-call commerce by implementing call extensions or click-to-call campaigns. These give searchers the option to make phone calls directly from the SERP, bypassing the mobile landing page experience altogether. Since this enables searchers to connect directly with a representative of the company, call center staff training will take the place of landing page CRO for these advertisers.

call center girls

There are various ways to prepare for an influx of PPC-driven calls. Advertisers should run mock calls, or use a call recording system, to understand the caller experience and identify areas in which their employees need additional training. They must be staffed to handle an uptick in call volume, to prevent call abandonment. If they don’t have round-the-clock coverage, they can set up day-parting so that call buttons are only displayed during business hours. Most importantly, they should be tracking all PPC-generated phone calls so they know exactly which keywords and ads are producing phone calls that convert.

#7: 66% of marketers are still using a single-touch attribution model – Mark Irvine, Wordstream

Ever hear John Wanamaker’s quote “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the trouble is I don’t know which half”? As a data scientist, that’s precisely the problem that Mark Irvine is looking to squash. The good news is that online advertisers are finally starting to use attribution to drive their PPC strategy. In fact, according to a recent study conducted by AdRoll, 89% of marketers agree that attribution is important. Unfortunately, the majority of that group is using a single-touch model, meaning all of the credit is assigned to a single event. This method often yields inaccurate results, because it does not acknowledge other factors that led to the action. In the next year, we’ll be encouraging advertisers to adopt a more sophisticated model and take their reporting to the next level.

#8: 92% of HubSpot’s blog-sourced leads came from older posts – Corey Eridon, Hubspot

With a readership of over two million marketers, the HubSpot blog has accrued its fair share of data. Not only were we shocked to learn that the majority of the leads it produces come from older posts, but we were also surprised to learn that more than three-quarters of its monthly views come from old articles.

So what is it that makes this “unicorn-status” content so popular? It’s truly high-quality, unique information that will provide ongoing value for years to come. Corey explains that far too many bloggers rush to be the first person to publish news-style articles. However, these have a quick shelf life. Instead, they should focus on developing lasting, evergreen content that people will refer back to frequently. Before publishing a post, she recommends rereading it to see whether there are still unanswered questions about the topic. Every piece should be comprehensive, eliminating the need for the reader to do additional research upon finishing your article.

At WordStream, we’ve noticed a similar phenomenon, so we’re exploring new ways to get even more traction out of our most-popular old posts. On a regular basis, we analyze old blog content to identify the pieces that have generated the most social shares, elicited reader comments and produced a high number of conversions. To introduce these posts to a broader audience, we re-share them on our social channels with new images, link to them in related posts and include them in monthly wrap-ups and email blasts. For articles that reference outdated trends or products, we create updated versions or follow-up posts with new information. Since adopting this strategy, we’ve seen an impressive uptick in conversions coming from older content.

#9: 50% of Search Queries are 4 Words or Longer - Casie Gillette, KoMarketing

That’s right! People are not just typing keywords into Google. Oftentimes marketers think solely about keyword optimization rather then what their customers are actually searching for. Casie Gillette, Director of Online Marketing at KoMarketing, gracefully explained that the problem lies in marketers not communicating enough with their support team.

“Your support team is the direct line to your customers,” Gillette says. “They field the questions that aren’t on your website.” Casie also recommends using tools like Quora and Spice Works to identify and manage questions people are asking, then ask yourself if you’re answering these questions on your website. Are you optimizing these FAQs for paid search and SEO?

The main takeaway here is that you should be thinking in phrases and questions that  your customers are actually asking, rather than just keywords.

#10: People forget 90% of what we share with them – Carmen Simon, Rexi Media

I can’t say I’m too surprised by that stat. In fact, I’m happy to hear that I’m not the only who is struggling on the whole memory front. There are so many marketing messages pummeled at us online through articles, ads and email—it’s impossible to retain it all!

This is frustrating for marketers whose content drives tons of impressions, but very little interaction with their brand. Luckily, Carmen shared her secret sauce for creating memorable content. She recommends pairing shocking information alongside one consistent, memorable message. This way, you can attract your audiences’ attention AND drive home your brand recognition across all marketing channels.

buff picture of einstein

To demonstrate this, she used the example above. There’s no doubt that the topless hunk catches you eye, but I’m willing to bet you still recognize that face!



Erin Sagin

Erin Sagin

Erin Sagin worked at WordStream for five years with roles in Customer Success and Marketing. She lives in California.

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