Marketing in a recovery:
H1 2021 by the numbers

Data is the name of the game

88% of marketers say collecting first-party data is a top priority in 2021, but many are experiencing "data paralysis" (source: Merkle)
28% of advertisers think syndicated data provides actionable insights, and 18% believe this data is easy to customize (source: Kantar)
63% find it hard to generate insights on competitors' media activity, a concern given the priority placed on benchmarking against it (source: Kantar)
50% of agencies outsource their consumer and B2B data (source: Stirista and Thrive Analytics)

CTV and streaming soar

73% of CTV buyers said they're shifting their spending from broadcast and cable TV (source: IAB)
35% of advertisers expect to increase CTV video ad spending this year (source: IAB)
6.3B Hours watched on Twitch in Q1 2021, up 97% year-over-year (source: StreamLabs and Stream Hatchet)
1.4B Hours watched on YouTube Gaming in Q1 2021, up from 1.1B year-over-year (source: StreamLabs and Stream Hatchet)
1.1B Hours watched on Facebook Gaming in Q1 2021, up from 0.6B year-over-year (source: StreamLabs and Stream Hatchet)

Brand purpose and diversity

Marketers' priorities are misaligned with consumers' willingness to receive social and political messages (source: Iterable)
87% of consumers said they're more receptive to a brand's messages if they know the company's beliefs and values, but 83%of marketers said their company should remain politically neutral (source: Iterable)
89% of marketers say the importance of working with diverse marketing and advertising suppliers has increased over the past year (source: Iterable)
58% of that cohort says the increase is significant (source: ANA)
54% of consumers say last summer's racial reckoning made an impact on which brands they support, as of May 2021, up 11% from June 2020 (source: Engine Insights)

There is waning support from consumers for specific steps taken by brands to address racial inequality. Compared to a year ago: (source: Engine Insights)
50% of people feel positive about a brand that engages in diversity hiring —10%
49% feel positive about a brand that requires racial sensitivity training —12%
46% feel positive about a brand that donates to causes for racial justice —11%

CMO challenges

78% of CEOs bank on CMOs and marketing leaders to drive growth (source: McKinsey & Co.)
35% of digital marketing leaders predict 2021's biggest challenges will come from within their organizations (source: Gartner)

Zooming in on loyalty

75% of consumers abandoned brands they were once loyal to and/or adopted new habits during the pandemic (source: McKinsey & Co.)
89% of brands prioritize digital experiences in 2021, but 58%of customers think most brands' digital experiences have little to no impact on what they buy (source: Gartner)

Some of the biggest "brand fails" consumers say impact loyalty in 2021: (source: Alchemy Worx and YouGov)
39% — Receiving communications from a brand after opting out or unsubscribing
37% — Being lied to about sales or stock levels to convince them to buy
35% — Receiving too many emails from a brand

Changing ad creative

COVID-19 changed everything, including the type of visuals, copy and emoji advertisers use in their campaigns (source: Pattern89)
84% The appearance of the word "mask" in ad headlines dropped as vaccines rolled out from January to June 2021 (source: Pattern89)
37% "Safety" in ad headlines appeared more often (source: Pattern89)
22% Growth in images of smiles in ads (source: Pattern89)

Extra Gum splashed onto the #PostPandemic scene with the ad "For When It's Time." (source: Brandwatch)
3,000% The spot boosted the brand's daily online conversation
2,000+ Brand mentions in the week after the video hit YouTube
6.4M Views as of press time

Shifting budgets

25.5% U.S. digital ad spending is forecast to rise this year — the fastest growth rate since 2018 (source: eMarketer)
$455.3B Global digital ad spending forecast, up 20.4% (source: eMarketer)
$545M The Super Bowl's total in-game ad spend was up $110M from 2020 (source: Kantar)

Mobile habits stick

Worldwide smartphone sales grew 26%in 2021 Q1 (source: Gartner)
Top device brands by market share: (source: Gartner)
  1. 20.3% Samsung
  2. 15.5% Apple
  3. 12.9% Xiaomi
  4. 51.3% Others

Snapchat advertiser overlap with Facebook

$34B Quarterly app spending hits new record (source: App Annie)
$7B Jump in spending year-over-year signals the start of a global economic rebound (source: App Annie)
24.5 hours a month TikTok surpassed YouTube for monthly per user engagement in the U.S. (source: App Annie)
18M HBO Max's U.S. monthly active users in May 2021 (source: App Annie)
$673M Global user spending on at-home fitness apps in Q2. Connected devices like Peloton and Fitbit were the top breakout apps by consumer spend for the quarter (source: App Annie)
Lead Editor
Design & development