Here Are 7 Intriguing Digital Marketing Stats From This Week

SXSW data, social habits of Saudi Arabians and March Madness

South by Southwest Interactive combined data with creativity, and we took note of the best stats at the festival.
Merrick Ales

South by Southwest Interactive is just behind us, and that’s one of the reasons it’s been a good week for online marketing data. Check out seven stats that grabbed our attention:

1. Arabs are really social
Yousef Tuqan, group vp of brand marketing and loyalty at Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, gave an interesting speech at South By called “Arabs Be Like: The Modern Middle East.” There, he revealed that Saudi Arabia has 8.3 million daily Snapchat users, while Instagram has 12 million users in the country. Here’s the full slide—with more stats from the Middle East—that Tuqan presented.

2. Digital booms and booms and booms
We already knew online marketing was exploding, and then news came down the pike that that reality isn’t likely to change anytime soon. On Tuesday, eMarketer forecasted that digital ad spend in the U.S. would grow 15.9 percent this year—the equivalent of $83 billion in revenue. Within that growth, Facebook’s ad revenue is projected to jump 32.1 percent, while advertisers’ spend with Google will increase 14.8 percent. Overall, Google controls 40.7 percent of the U.S. digital ad market, followed by Facebook with 19.7 percent.

3. Slam dunk marketing
Capital One, a March Madness sponsor for a number of years, has really stepped up its social media game going into this year’s college basketball tournament. In the week before the tourney, the financial brand’s mentions rose by 8,877 (from 4,123 to 13,000), or a 215.3 percent increase, compared to the same week in 2016, according to Origami Logic.

The brand landed at the top of the software company’s analysis, and you can check out more of its March Madness stats here.

4. Livestreaming and totally going for it
At SXSW on March 11, The Honest Company’s social media lead April DeWitt said her brand orchestrated 85 livestreams in 2016. That seems like an impressive number for the nascent space.

“People want to see the imperfect,” DeWitt said. “They want to see the real.”

5. It takes a village to be data-smart
This November, Princess Cruises’ ship, the Regal Princess, will debut the company’s Ocean Medallion initiative, which it looks to roll out to hundreds of sister-brand boats next year. Guests will be able to opt in to getting alerts via the medallions about more than 100 activities on the ship, everything from pilates to poker classes and shopping events. The guests can keep the quarter-sized medallion in their pocket or wear it as a necklace or wristband to get alerts about the activities.

“Some people don’t want to carry around their phones,” Princess Cruises president Jan Swartz remarked. “A real-time algorithm will send them notifications about certain activities, some complementary, some for a charge. That algorithm gets smarter every minute.”

How many partners does it take to put together such an interesting program? “We have over 70 technology vendors that contribute with everything from satellite connectivity to Compass, which is our digital interface,” Swartz said.

6. High-volume responders
The Transportation Security Authority gets more than 1,000 questions a day via its Twitter @AskTSA handle and Facebook Messenger, the governmental org told Adweek at SXSW. Check out our story about the TSA’s cool Instagram marketing game here.

7. A code for better social ads?
New Balance tested a joint program by tech players Tongal and SocialCode in the fall, and the sneaker brand revealed this week that it saw a 20 percent lift in ad recall for a Facebook campaign that was part of a larger social initiative called #GreaterThantheWin. According to Tongal, its optimization tools helped the client company generate ad content specifically for each user based on SocialCode’s data.