The two organisations reported that total marketing operator revenues from brand activation rose by 6.7% on an annual basis to $337.2bn in 2016, with further growth expected in 2017.
Content marketing – which includes single-channel and hybrid content marketing for digital and print, as well as product placement and graphic packaging – logged the fastest pace of growth.
More specifically, marketing operator revenues in this area, the ANA and PQ Media revealed, climbed by 11.3% last year – the highest annual growth rate across the six brand activation categories in their analysis.
Influencer marketing registered the second-highest growth rate, with an annual lift of 8.7% to $49.1bn. And while this strategy is often connected to working with YouTube content creators, the PQ Media/ANA report served as a valuable reminder that it extends from social media and word-of-mouth marketing to PR, customer service and even telesales.
Revenues from experiential marketing – consisting of event marketing, sponsorship, business-to-business live events, trade-show promotions, cause-related initiatives and grassroots marketing – jumped by 6.7% to $50.6bn.
Elsewhere, relationship marketing – a category that includes direct mail, catalogs, list management and database-led initiatives, plus email, search, loyalty programs, and lead generation – enjoyed a 6.6% increase.
This lift was particularly impressive given that operator revenue came in at $140.6bn, by far the largest net figure in the brand activation universe.
Promotional marketing – extending across sampling, rebates, coupons, contents, sweepstakes and more – recorded growth of 1.7%, taking it to $52.1bn.
Overall, the analysis continued, business-to-consumer initiatives accounted for 62.3% in operator revenue (having grown by 6.9% to $211.3bn), with business-to-business programs yielding 37% (up 5.2% to $126bn).
Data sourced from Association of National Advertisers; additional content by WARC staff