Our recommendations on the top 10 free sources for Global, European, UK, US, Asia and Latin America digital marketing statistics
Online marketers love statistics about digital marketing. They allow us to review customer adoption of the latest digital platforms, make business cases for investment in marketing and allow us to benchmark our performance against competitors.
To help readers of our blog keep 'up-to-speed' with the most significant, best sources of stats we have regular posts each week in our digital marketing statistics post category and flag them as #DigitalInsights on social media and in our enewsletter.
For Expert members, we compile a regularly updated set of usage statistics to use in presentations - it's updated each quarter so all the latest stats are categorised in a single place for including in presentations.
This post is aimed at helping you if you're compiling your own stats by sharing, the best, most reliable free and paid sources. Everyone has their favourites, but I thought it would be useful to share the ones that I go back to most often each week as I research the updates for Smart Insights members and readers of my books.
We have been keeping this post updated for nearly 5 years now since the best sources change. We have a couple of new additions this year - Global Web Index and Similar Web. I've also tried to make the best sources for different regions and countries clearer.
Quite a few readers have added to the suggestions in the comments - thank you for adding to this free resource with your recommendations!
Top 10 sites for digital marketing statistics
These sites cover global stats including UK, Europe, US, Asia Pacific and Latin America. Thanks for adding the other suggestions to the comments - well worth checking out for anyone searching for statistics sources who passes this way. I've added these to the custom search engine too.
1 Global and country Internet usage breakdown - International Telecomms Union
ITU is the source with the biggest sample size for the BIG picture of digital device usage showing top-level trends by continent and use of fixed and mobile broadband access by country per 100 people.
2 Global use of social media sites and devices - Global WebIndex
Their latest 2015 digital device stats show that for the 40,000 Internet users they survey across 32 countries in the Americas, EMEA and Europe, smartphone the majority of adults (16-64) now personally own a desktop or laptop AND a smartphone with nearly half owning a tablet. It shows the importance of providing experiences across multiple devices.
3 For benchmarking sites within a sector for sources - Similar Web
SimilarWeb is a freemium tool for benchmarking the number of visits to sites and mobile app usage. It shows traffic sources for individual sites (good for student projects) with categories and keywords in the paid Pro version. This example shows the ongoing importance of brand strength, search and partnering with other sites in driving visits.
4 Consumer media use in individual countries - comScore
For detailed insights of consumer Internet usage and ad spend by country, The comScore press releases summarising their panel data are one of the best sources of the latest stats releases. Their blog can also be helpful - I have included within the custom search engine. A similar service based on panel data included in this search engine is Nielsen Insights.
comScore have a Digital Future series of reports covering the UK, US, several European countries, Canada and Brazil - we have a post on Online media statistics from comScore summarising this.
5 European Union Digital Marketing Statistics
6. Best UK source for consumer Internet usage statistics - Ofcom
The Office of Communication Communications Market Report Statistics has in-depth reports on adoption of digital media including telecommunications and the Internet (including broadband adoption), digital television and wireless services in the UK. They also have comparisons to other major developed countries in benchmark report.
7. UK National Statistics and consumer trends
The UK Government Office of National Statistics site is an alternative source - there is no themed area on Internet use any longer, so search on 'Internet access' or 'Ecommerce'
8. US digital marketing statistics - Marketing Charts and Pew Internet
Marketing Charts is a long standing aggregator of information about consumer and business adoption of technologies and approaches. Care has to be taken of sample sizes and it tends to focus on US data - it's rate for it to include any of the sources above.
They often feature Pew Internet Statistics which are one of the best sources for the latest statistics on how Americans use digital media and technology.
10. Ad Spend and media investment - IAB Research
Digital marketing statistics search engine
To save myself time sourcing the latest stats for Smart Insights and my books I have created a custom Google search engine covering all these sources. I hope you find it useful too:
We will keep this list updated as sources change. Here are some that were formerly useful, but where less digital marketing research tends to be shared today:
I hope you find this compilation useful - there are also useful suggestions in the comments - please add to them.