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Digital Marketing Stats from 2015: The Good, the Bad and the Intriguing

Author's avatar By Robert Allen 24 Nov, 2015
Essential Essential topic

We look at stats to inform your marketing in 2016 showing the leaps forward and hurdles still to be overcome for digital marketers

A decade or more ago, digital marketing, or internet marketing as it was more frequently referred to back then (see digital marketing vs internet marketing), used to be a wild-west like frontier (and websites looked like this!). Opportunities were everywhere, and there were also plenty of people getting it horribly wrong with 'under construction' signs commonplace. In the past 10-15 years, things have changed markedly, and in-general things have been getting a whole lot better for digital marketers with the tools and techniques available to support organic inbound marketing, albeit with an increasing need to 'pay to play' such as on Instagram.the good the bad and the ugly Much like the past 15 years, 2015 so far has brought plenty of good news for digital marketers; increasing digital ad budgets, increased focus on content and SEO has given them plenty of opportunities to show their worth and marketers. The stats that have come out so far from various studies and compilations this year demonstrate this clearly. However, they also show there are problems with digital marketing that companies are still not overcoming. Big data has been a big trend for a few years now, but it is clear that many businesses are not able to turn data into insights effectively. Accurate measuring ROI remains a problem for many, whilst some are still failing to get tangible results from Social Media.

That's why we thought we'd present some of the best and worst of digital marketing stats of the year thus far. The good show how fast digital marketing is growing and getting ever more effective, whilst the bad stats demonstrate the challenges that still remain.

All the surveys and research that generate these stats often throw up some interesting tidbits of data that are often fascinating. We thought that we'd add these intriguing stats from some reputable sources into our compilation for good measure.


  • One third of businesses are planning to introduce a Digital Transformation programme and one third already have (Source: Smart Insights and TFM&A)
  • Content marketing in 2015 generates 3 times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less. (SourceHubSpot)
  • Content creation and management now claim the second-largest share of digital marketing budgets. (Source: KaPost)
  • On average, 60% of a marketers' time is devoted to digital marketing activities, fuelling demand for digital marketing skills (SourceSmart Insights and Ecommerce Expo)
  • 28% of marketers have reduced their advertising budget to fund more digital marketing. (Source: CMO Council)
  • 73% of B2B marketers use video as a content marketing tactic, and 7% of marketers plan on increasing their YouTube marketing.
  • 71% of companies planned to increase their digital marketing budgets this year (Source: Webbiquity)
  • 78% of companies now say they have dedicated social media teams in 2015, up from 67% in 2012 (Source: iScoop)


  • 50% of companies are using digital marketing, but they don't have a plan! (SourceSmart Insights and TFM&A)
  • 62% of companies did not agree with the statement ‘we have the analysts we need to make sense of our data’ whilst 63% did not agree with the statement ‘we have a good infrastructure in place to collect the data we need’. (Source: Adobe/Econsultancy)
  • Nearly three quarters (71%) of businesses creating more content in 2015 compared to 2014, but only 12% feeling they have an optimised content marketing strategy. Quality is still a challenge with 68% still rating their content marketing as basic or inconsistent (Source: HubSpot and Smart Insights)
  • 70% of marketers were not confident in their companies ability to measure the return on mobile ad spend. (Source: Adobe/Econsultancy)
  • 52% of Americans think that most online shopping sites need improvement, whilst 79% of Brazilians and 87% of Chinese people think this.(Source: Adobe/Econsultancy)
  • 83% of consumers reported that they have had a "bad experience with social media marketing". (Source: Webbiquity.com)
  • The top three social networks used by B2B marketers are LinkedIn (91%); Twitter (85%); and Facebook (81%). However, just 62% of marketers say that LinkedIn is effective, while 50% say the same for Twitter and only 30% of B2B marketers view Facebook as effective. December 2014 (Source: CMO Council)
  • Only 8% of companies have an email marketing team, despite the fact it is often rated as the platform the delivers the highest ROI of any digital marketing tactic. (Source)
  • Almost half– 48%–of all emails are opened on mobile devices. Yet 39% of marketers say they have no strategy for mobile email, and only 11% of emails are optimized for mobile (Source)


  • 15% of Google searches have never been searched for before. (source)
  • 60% of all Internet activity in the US originates from mobile devices and about half of total Internet Traffic flows through mobile apps. (source)
  • 50% of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results, and 61% of those searches result in a purchase. (Source)
  • The most followed brand on Twitter is Facebook (source)

Well, that's all for now! We hope you draw some inspiration from these for increased focus on digital marketing in 2016. If you want to research your own stats we have this compilation of the top 10 sources for statistics on digital marketing.

Auhtor's avatar

By Robert Allen

I was the Editor of Smart Insights between 2015-2017. I managed the blog and you will find blog articles on a range of subjects- Marketing Technology trends and latest tech developments are a regular focus, as well as exploring key marketing concepts. You can get in touch with me on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn. The new Editor is Carolanne Mangles.

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