Annual Advertising and Marketing Study 2017: B2C Advertising

Author: Randy Giusto

Date: June 8, 2017


This report focuses on the B2C results from Outsell’s Annual Advertising and Marketing Study 2017. By observing the results of US marketers at consumer-facing brands, we provide insight on how they will allocate and spend their marketing budgets across 26 categories. This offers the most comprehensive view into consumer marketers’ spending patterns and their challenges.

According to our Annual Advertising and Marketing Study 2017: B2C Advertising report, spending on consumer-focused advertising and marketing will slow, reaching $322 billion, or 66% of total advertising and marketing spending. Digital now represents 49% of all spending, growing 13% this year. Digital spending will continue to rise, surpassing print, TV, and events combined, as more focus shifts to mobile, video, and social efforts.

While consumer-facing marketers shift their focus towards mobile, they’ll need to create more compelling content and reevaluate their budgets to fuel these efforts. Learn more about key advertising and marketing spending trends, marketer objectives and pain points, and the skill sets needed in consumer marketing in the year ahead as well as what will be required from the companies that serve this space to ensure success.


Outsell fielded a web-based survey to 748 US marketers and advertisers in February and March 2017 across 26 spending categories. Respondents were responsible for advertising and marketing spending or for specifying budgets. Of the total respondents, 373 were B2B-focused while 375 were consumer-focused marketers. This report focuses on the 375 consumer-facing respondents and looks at five key media types and the methods or tactics within each, including:

  1. Digital: Company websites, search, specialized search, banner and display advertising, e-mail, social media advertising, own social engagement, webinars, mobile, and video (non-mobile) advertising.
  2. Print: Magazine advertising, custom print, newspaper advertising, direct mail, directories, and newsletters.
  3. Events: Exhibitions and trade shows, conferences, and company events.
  4. TV, radio, and cinema.
  5. Other marketing: Public relations, sales collateral, marketing research, and out of home or outdoor advertising.

We used scaling factors to convert the distribution of marketers and advertisers participating in this study into a mix (by size of the advertisers’ firms) that represents the total population of US marketers and advertisers. Outsell’s segmentation of total spend and preferences by marketer type, and efforts by size of firm and marketer age is unique in the industry.

Outsell Inc. Annual Advertising and Marketing Study 2017: B2C Advertising

Table of Contents

Why This Topic

Key Observations and Implications

2017 Consumer Advertising and Marketing: Dollars, Share, and Growth

B2C Spending by Category

Key Pain Points of Consumer Marketers

Digital Driven by Mobile, Social, and Video

Mobile’s Ascendance Comes at Display and Print’s Expense

TV and the Shift to Video

Marketer Objectives and Focus Points

Brand Building Effectiveness

Social Effectiveness

Marketing Services Mix

Marketing Tools Usage

Essential Actions

Master Table 1. Total US Advertising and Marketing Spending, 2016-17

Master Table 2. Total US B2C Advertising and Marketing Spending, 2016-17

Related Research

About Outsell


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