Brands Will Nearly Double Marketing Data Budgets While Tripling Mobile Ad Spend in 3 Years

New study has a positive outlook for social, too

The ad world's data movement isn't going anywhere—in fact, it's going to almost double in the next few years.

Brands will allot 11.7 percent of their marketing budgets for analytics by 2018, up from 6.4 percent currently, according to Duke University's survey of 288 chief marketing officers.

"We observe that companies under-utilize the marketing analytics that they've requested and have available for decision making," said Christine Moorman, a professor at Duke's Fuqua School of Business and director of the research. "It's clear that using marketing analytics remains a distinct challenge for companies—beyond the production of these sophisticated data."

Here is another eye-opening finding from Moorman's academic group: Mobile advertising currently takes up 3.2 percent of marketing budgets but will almost triple to 9 percent in the next three years.

And below are other key predictions from her team.

  • Digital marketing dollars should increase by 14.7 percent in the next year.
  • Brands expect traditional advertising budgets to fall by 1.1 percent in the next 12 months.
  • Social media now accounts for 9.9 percent of spending, though it should grow to 22.4 percent of budgets in the next five years.
  • Here's an obvious pain point: Only 13 percent of marketers said they can effectively measure social media, though 61 percent reported that they experience pressure from higher-ups to do so.
  • And here's likely a good sign for all: Brand marketers are more optimistic about the economy than at any point since the recession hit, with an average outlook that's 22.2 points greater than six years ago.
  • Marketing budgets should lift by 8.7 percent in the next year, the biggest year-over-year growth since 2012. "Compare that to the [.5] percent growth that they expected in February '09, and their confidence in markets is very clear," Moorman added.

Lastly, here's a video explaining more of Duke's data.

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