Industry Size and Growth Stats

Digital marketing advertising spend will reach $146 billion by 2023, growing at a 9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), according to a recent Forrester report.  The total digital marketing services space (inclusive of services such as content development and SEO) is over $700 billion according to Borell research as businesses work to automate and influence the customer through the sales funnel.

With the proliferation of marketing channels, communication devices, data, systems, technology and even more to contend with it’s easy to understand why many marketing executives are looking for strong digital agency relationships to help navigate this continuously evolving digital landscape.

Let’s take a look at some recent trends driving this industry growth.

Programmatic Display

Programmatic or Real Time Bidding (RTB) has revolutionized the way display advertising is bought and managed in recent years. Rather than placing a booking for advertising directly with a website, advertisers will manage their activity through a technology platform (Demand Side Platform) and bid to advertise to people in real time across multiple websites based on targeting criteria. This year, US advertisers will spend nearly $60 billion on programmatic display. By 2021, eMarketer estimates almost 88%, or $81.00 billion, of all US digital display ad dollars will transact programmatically.

Micro-Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing (an estimated $6.5B industry that grew 41% last year) is a form of social media marketing involving endorsements and product placements from influencers, people and organizations who possess an expert level of knowledge and/or social influence in their respective fields. While traditional influencers are typically thought of as celebrities or big brands with large amounts of social media followers, micro-influencers are “everyday people” with a much smaller group of followers made up of family and friends. Surveys suggest that micro-influencer marketing works because its less expensive and people trust advice and recommendations from other people that they know and trust.

Omni-Channel Marketing

Omni-channel marketing is a multi-channel approach to connecting with customers and prospects in a way that creates an integrated and cohesive customer experience no matter how or where a customer reaches out.

Online Video Marketing

This year, internet video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic according to Cisco. The growing consumption of video content combined with the niche targeting capabilities of online video creates multiple opportunities for content publishers and marketers.

Voice Search

Voice search essentially allows users to speak into a device as opposed to typing keywords into a search query to generate results. Forbes estimates that by 2020, half of all online searches will be made through voice search which has escalated the importance of organic search optimization strategies.

Micro Moments

Micro-moments occur when people turn to a device, such as a smartphone, to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped. Advances in data storage and computer power now makes micro-moment target possible which means marketers must now rethink the linear buyer funnel.

Chat Bots

A chat bot is a computer program that simulates human conversation, or chat, through artificial intelligence. Chat bots are used in applications such as ecommerce customer service, call centers and Internet gaming. Many customers prefer interacting with chatbots as they are responsive 24/7, give answers promptly, accurately recall your entire buying history, and never lose patience. Gartner estimates that chatbots will power 85% of customer service by 2020.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence maybe the biggest commercial opportunity for companies, industries, and nations over the next few decades, according to a recent report from PwC. The use of AI will increase global GDP by up to 14% between now and 2030, the equivalent of an additional $15.7 trillion contribution to the world’s economy.


Marketing automation platforms combined with data such as purchase history, consumer behavior and clicks now make it possible to deliver highly customized campaigns and content to audiences. Personalized campaign experiences result in an 80% higher likelihood of purchase according to Epsilon.

Blockchain Technology

A blockchain is a data structure that makes it possible to create a digital ledger of data and share it among a network of independent parties. The use of blockchain technology is far more reaching than just cryptocurrency in the financial world. Blockchain technology is now being used to track media buys, verify online identities, protect personal data and more.