Top Marketing Trends from Ad Age's 2015 Marketing Report
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Top Marketing Trends from Ad Age’s 2015 Marketing Report


Whether you’re the in-house marketing point person for your company or the owner of your own small agency, it’s important to understand the trends in your industry. I took a look at Ad Age’s 2015 State of The Marketing Industry Report to help you all hone in on the biggest marketing trends and how to best capitalize on them.

Industry Growth

Overall, things are looking great for the Marketing & Advertising industry – U.S. agency revenues rose by 5.4% in 2014, with the biggest growth coming from digital projects and campaigns (40% of 2014 revenue).

If you’re thinking about getting into the marketing industry, you’ll be delighted to hear that US Ad-agency employment has reached its highest point since 2001! Hiring growth is only expected to continue growing.

New Industry Competitors

The industry’s old-school, classic agencies faced increasing competition within that digital marketing category from consulting and tech-service firms. Keep your eye out for local companies in these spaces; they are increasingly expanding the scope of their work into the marketing category. Overall, the strongest of all marketing trends is digital. Firms with robust digital strategy are expected to become the strongest contenders within the marketing industry.

US Marketing Industry Still #1

The largest global advertising/marketing market is still right here in the US, with 33% share of total spending. Marketing agencies should consider translating their thought leadership content: 6 out of the top 10 countries for marketing spending primarily speak a language other than English (from largest market share to smallest: China, Japan, Germany, Brazil, France, and South Korea). Tap into their marketing interest and increase traffic to your content!

Marketing & TV: Still Going Strong

Some marketing trends are enduring, like American’s love of TV and TV topics. The most popular medium for the marketing and advertising industry is still TV (36% US 39% globally) spend, but Internet/Digital isn’t far behind, representing 25% of total spending in 2014.

If your clients shy away from TV, have them take another look- if the most successful agencies continue to devote a significant portion of their budget on it, TV must still be giving them and their clients a decent ROI. To be sure, watching TV is by far the nation’s number 1 leisure activity, but for the first time, time spent on the internet surpassed time spent watching tv! TV: 273 minutes; digital media: 346 minutes. This is why we here at Funding Gates are major proponents of small businesses adopting some kind of digital content strategy.

Within the digital category, social media accounted for 29% of time, and video accounted for over 25% of total digital time. If you are not already tapping into these two categories for your clients, you should start!

A smart marketing move for your client’s content is to connect your digitally focused pieces to popular TV trends. The most popular things on TV in 2014 included The Super Bowl, Big Bang Theory, NCIS, Empire, Thursdays Night Football, Dancing with The Stars, Madam Secretary, Criminal Minds, and The Voice. The popularity of these shows should also get your mind whirling about the kind of content that most interests Americans.

Marketing Services

Of specific marketing services, Sales/promotions, telemarketing, direct mail and event sponsorship remain the most popular, but event sponsorship shows the most positive growth. This backs up what we often suggest here on the FG blog, that amongst small-to-medium businesses (especially B2B), “in person” events remain the most effective way to meet new audiences and attract new business.

What changes have you seen at your marketing agencies, or in your line of work at a marketer? Share with the class!


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