Our recommendations on the top 10 free digital marketing statistics covering secondary data sources for Global, European, UK, US, Asia and Latin America
Online marketers love statistics about digital marketing. Us too. They allow us to review the growth in customer adoption of the latest digital platforms and technologies, make the business case for investment in marketing and allow us to benchmark our growth and performance against competitors.
This post is aimed at helping you if you're looking to compile your own stats since we share our experience of 10 of 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 5+ years now since the best sources change. I've also tried to make the best international marketing sources for different regions and countries clear. If you're looking for specific digital marketing growth stats to include in your blogs, assignments or presentations, see our 100 must-see digital marketing stats for 2018.
To help readers of our blog keep 'up-to-speed' with the most significant, best sources of marketing stats we have daily 'Chart of the Day" posts we feature in our digital marketing statistics post category and flag them as #DigitalInsights on social media and in our e-newsletter. From reviewing thousands of stats sources over the years, we've found that there are a very small number of quality online marketing statistics sites and sources which are updated at least annually and have a representative sample size from different countries.
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.
1 Global and country Internet usage breakdown - International Telecomms Union
ITU is THE global and by country source with the biggest sample size for the big picture of digital device usage and trends by continent and use of fixed and mobile broadband access by country per 100 people. This is their latest release from the end of 2016 showing the growth opportunity for Internet access and higher-speed smartphone use across the world.
2 Global use of social media sites and devices - Global WebIndex
Global Web Index is a paid service giving insights on consumer use of social network sites globally and different countries from their own panel of 18 million (which they claim to be the largest worldwide), but they regularly feature very specific social media stats on their blog (although they stopped releasing reports on Slideshare to encourage purchase of their subscription product).
This research shows the potential of video marketing in 2017 by looking at consumption across different age groups.
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 compares US online retail popularity in one sector, clothings.
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 in Focus series of reports covering the UK, US, several European countries, Canada and Brazil - these are released each year and can be accessed by their articles tagged demographics. This result from the panel shows the importance of multiple platforms although some, such as Google follow a 'Mobile first' mantra which can be misleading in our experience. See our Mobile marketing stats research compilation for the latest data on smartphone growth.
5 European Union Digital Marketing Statistics
The EU statistics site Eurostat is the best source for overall European use of digital technology and in individual countries. The Information Society page is the best starting point.
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 their international benchmark report. For example, here we can see the latest data on relative popularity of different social networks in different countries.
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.
Emarketer.com is another well-established compilation of digital statistics for online marketers - more US oriented. It includes a paid option, but many free statistics are published on their blog.
10 Ad Spend and media investment - IAB Research
Research reports on online advertising effectiveness from the UK IAB , US IAB and European IAB (AdEx) and IAB Europe (AdEx).
Recommended Smart Insights marketing statistics compilations
Using these research sources and others we have these compilations of benchmarks to compare the effectiveness of other channels which we will keep updated through 2017:
Alternative digital marketing statistics sources
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:
- Think with Google
- Google Consumer Use Barometer - Internet usage by country with 1,000 per country sample - check the latest survey (early 2017 at time of writing)
Statista is a newer compilation source that has become popular over the past few years which it's worth bookmarking. Here is their summary of digital marketing growth statistics - they tend to base their nicely produced charts on the sources we've identified here - which is good, but they can be dated, so take care you find the latest!