Adobe Releases Report on The New Creatives

TheNewCreativesLogo-pixAdobe’s report on “The New Creatives” is filled with interesting statistics about how creative professionals view their work and their future. Unveiled at the Cannes Lions festival for creative communications professionals, the report is based on a U.S. survey of more than 1,000 creative professionals and 500 students in creative disciplines. The survey included insights into the attitudes and beliefs of graphic designers, web designers, photographers, illustrators, videographers and other creatives who are employed full-time, self-employed.

First, let’s look at the key findings that Adobe highlighted in their press release. Then, let’s call attention to some other noteworthy stats in the full Slideshare presentation below.

From the press release 

Seventy-four percent of creative professionals view mobile technology as transforming the face of creativity and design, with seven in 10 reporting they create specifically for mobile devices,

An overwhelming majority (77%) of creatives believe change within the industry is happening rapidly, with two-thirds expecting their role will be significantly different within three years.

New technologies such as mobile are driving this change: A strong majority (87%) of those who create mobile content believe doing so has had a positive impact on their work.

While creatives still rely on pen and paper for ideation (28%) and brainstorming (36%), nearly half use their mobile devices to capture inspiration on- the-go and 42 percent say they use mobile to create content anywhere. Thirty percent of creatives also expressed a desire to create more on tablets, surpassing desktop computers.

Creatives identified app development and 3D modeling as the skills that will be most in-demand over the next 12 months.

“Creatives are going mobile, and this means a sea change for the creative process,” said David Wadhwani, senior vice president and general manager, Digital Media, Adobe. “The study shows that creatives are very interested in using mobile for idea generation and suggests we will see mobile use in the creation process significantly increase in the years ahead. This underscores that mobile devices can be an important part of the creative process when integrated with existing desktop workflows.”

Creatives are feeling optimistic and highly valued. Ninety-six percent of creative professionals are happy in their careers and 88 percent believe their best days are ahead of them. Eighty-eight percent believe they have a strong influence on their organizations and clients, and 46 percent say they have significantly more impact than they did two years ago. A striking 93 percent believe the value of their contributions is recognized by their companies or clients.

Despite their optimism, creatives have worries, pointing to the need to “create more, at a faster speed than ever” as their top concern.

Creatives also recognize the need to diversify their skills. Eighty percent of respondents believe they must learn new tools and techniques and three quarters say that creatives are increasingly working across multiple mediums and disciplines.

When asked what motivates them most, creatives ranked doing great work (54%) and learning new things (52%) higher than financial rewards (37%).

The survey also exposed new insight into where creatives get their sparks of inspiration. Twice as many view digital sources such as social media (36%) as well as websites and online advertising (33%) as the most influential sources of inspiration over more traditional influences such as fashion and architecture. Creatives are also turning to professional online communities, noting inspiration and collaboration and sharing as the top reasons for participating.

While still mostly trusting their gut (79%) to make decisions, creatives view the impact of technology and digital analytics positively: 75 percent note that technology gives them more control over their professional destiny, and 70 percent feel empowered by analytics.

Creative students share similar views to pros. Students majoring in creative disciplines echoed many of the same trends as professional creatives. Ninety-six percent of students have a positive outlook on their choice of a future creative career, and they recognize that new technologies (31%) and the impact of social media (23%) are some of the driving forces changing the industry. They have also embraced mobile: 79 percent of students have created mobile content. Students’ top interests in online creative communities are job prospecting (30%) and learning new skills (21%).

Other Statistics Worth Noting
Here are a few of the statistics that caught my eye as I read through the report:

  • 70% of creatives believe they need to become skilled in more than discipline.
  • 84% said being passionate about their work mattered. 53% said it was extremely important; 31% said it was very important.

More than 70% of respondents also said it was important to

  • have complete creative freedom
  • stay true to my creative vision despite pressures
  • be proficient in multiple disciplines
  • be able to create from anywhere
  • collaborate effectively with others

About The New Creatives Report

The data points referenced above come from a study commissioned by Adobe, produced by research firm Edelman Berland and conducted as an online survey among a total of 1,048 US creative professionals and 535 students of creative disciplines. Data was collected May 12-21, 2014 by Edelman Berland. The margin of error at the 95% confidence level for the Pro sample is +/- 3.1% and +/- 4.2% for the student sample.


Adobe: The New Creatives Report

Adobe: The New Creatives Report-Student Findings


Freelance Community Helps Match Qualified Creative Pros with Global Marketing Jobs

Full-time, freelance creative professionals who have the skills, multicultural awareness, and desire to work on global advertising and marketing projects should check out the innovative freelance job marketplace established by Creative Professionals Worldwide (CPWW).

Creative Professionals Worldwide is a web-based community of 800+ creative professionals in more than 45 countries. Members of the CPWW community represent more than 75 nationalities. Many have lived and worked in more than one nation.

Currently, most members have skills in graphics, photography, architecture, digital media, industrial/product design, video/motion, and writing. But the site also welcomes creative pros with skills in event management, social media, printing, illustration, packaging, project management, music and sound design, art, and branding.

Through the job marketplace on the Creative Professionals Worldwide website, companies can hire prescreened creative freelancers in countries around the world for global marketing projects and ongoing initiatives. Multicultural freelancers can help clients ensure that planned creative projects have multinational, cross-cultural appeal.

Discover a one-of-its-kind Community & Job Marketplace for creatives from Vanessa Moulédous on Vimeo.

Last week, I enjoyed a Skype conversation with the site’s founder Vanessa Moulédous in Paris. Before starting CPWW, she worked on global branding projects for a design agency in Paris. She started building an active worldwide community of creative professionals while living in Sydney, Australia and Copenhagen, Denmark. Now that she has returned to Paris, Vanessa is devoting her time to raising awareness of CPWW among creative freelancers and the global brands and agencies who can benefit from hiring them.

While the CPWW community is open to students, Vanessa said the job marketplace isn’t really geared for the part-time freelancers or hobbyists who bid for paying jobs through sites such as Odesk and Elance. While these sites offer an affordable way for small companies and solopreneurs to get help with specific, short-term tasks, these all-purpose freelance sites aren’t the most efficient way for agencies and corporate clients to find the super-skilled, dedicated creative professionals needed for larger branding and marketing projects.

To apply for freelance jobs posted on CPWW, you must have the types of business licenses and professional liability insurance that most agencies and global corporations require their contractors to have.

Another differentiator of the CPWW freelance marketplace is that it taps the collective wisdom of experienced creative pros to help clients find the best-qualified candidates. Instead of relying on human-resource generalists to judge which creative professionals might be best for a specific project, members of the CPWW community who have five or more years of experience in a given field can evaluate the qualifications of applicants for relevant assignments and privately recommend the candidates they believe are best qualified.

After the CPWW community recommends three top candidates, the hiring company can interview them and choose the individual they feel would be the best fit for their creative team.

As a creative professional, there are two ways to earn money from participating in the CPWW freelance job marketplace. First, you may get opportunities to work with big, global enterprises that can be difficult to sell services to on your own. Second, if you help the community evaluate and pre-select potential candidates for specific jobs, you can earn monetary rewards if your recommended candidates succeed.

Members of Creative Professional Worldwide envision building a globally integrated creative industry in which creatives are multi-skilled and the richness of the creative projects comes from the mix of expertise and profiles. If this concepts appeals to you, watch the video below, visit the website, and join the community!

Creative Professionals Worldwide- 2013 Crowdfunding campaign_Creative Freelancers supporting us! from Vanessa Moulédous on Vimeo.

Join the Community! 

Even if you aren’t seeking freelance work, you can still benefit from joining the community. Through Creative Professionals Worldwide, you can network with your counterparts throughout the world, share experiences, and ask for help. In some cities, community members are organizing face-to-face get-togethers.


Creative Professionals Worldwide

Creative Group Survey Shows Stable Hiring Environment

A majority of advertising agencies and marketing departments plan to maintain current staff levels in the second half of 2013, according to new research from creative staffing agency The Creative Group.

Fifty-nine percent of advertising and marketing executives interviewed said they plan to hire to fill vacated roles during the remainder of the year. An additional 9 percent anticipate expanding their teams, 25 percent project hiring freezes and 4 percent expect to reduce the size of their staff.

More than half (52 percent) of respondents said it is challenging to find creative professionals today. Hiring managers at midsize advertising agencies (50 to 99 employees) report the greatest difficulty, with 81 percent of respondents saying it is somewhat or very challenging.

Web design/production, print design/production and account services are the top roles executives plan to hire for during the second half of the year.

The national survey was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service for interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals.  The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and involved more than 400 telephone interviews. Approximately 300 interviews were conducted with marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees. About 100 interviews were conducted with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.

In-Demand Specialties

Executives were asked “In which of the following areas do you expect to hire in the second half of 2013?” Their responses:

  • Web design/production: 23%
  • Print design/production: 18%
  • Account services: 16%
  • Social media: 15%
  • Media services: 15%
  • Public relations: 14%
  • Interactive media: 13%
  • Brand/product management: 12%
  • Creative/art direction: 12%
  • Marketing research: 11%
  • Mobile applications development: 10%

“Many organizations brought on new staff at the beginning of the year to position themselves for expected growth in the coming months,” said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group. “Employers are now adding positions, when appropriate, to keep up with new business demands. Web design and production remains a top growth area as companies seek to expand and improve their online presence.”


The Creative Group

Hiring and Salary Trends for Creatives


The Dawn of Creative Mornings in Cincinnati

On April 26, I attended my first Creative Mornings event. It was the second meeting of the new Creative Mornings/Cincinnati chapter and ran from 8:30 to 10 am at our city’s new 21c Museum Hotel.

Creative Mornings is a monthly breakfast lecture series for “creative types.” Designer Tina Roth Eisenberg started Creative Mornings in New York City in 2009 as a way for creative people to meet.  It is now a worldwide network of 49 chapters, each hosting monthly meetings on a designated theme.  Cities with Creative Mornings chapters include Los Angeles, London, Berlin, Boston, Barcelona, Zurich, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Auckland, Sao Paulo, Austin, Chicago, and Milan.

You don’t have to be a designer to attend. Anyone who wants a jolt of inspiration and the chance to meet other creative types can register for Creative Mornings events.

Before Joe Hansbaeur's presentation, creative pros enjoyed breakfast, art, and conversation at the 21c Museum Hotel. Photo: Nick Dewald
Before Joe Hansbaeur’s presentation, creative pros enjoyed breakfast, art, and conversation at the 21c Museum Hotel. Photo: Nick Dewald

Personally, I consider a “creative type” as anyone who is naturally curious about new ideas — even ideas that don’t directly relate to their day-to-day jobs. Creatives can include designers, writers, photographers, artists, architects, engineers, marketers, educators, urban planners, and entrepreneurs. (I have even met creative accountants!)

The Creative Mornings theme for April was “The Future.” Here in Cincinnati, Joe Hansbauer talked about the future of Findlay Market, a city-owned “downtown grocery store” that has been in continuous operation since 1852. The popularity of Findlay Market has surged as more people and restaurants seek wholesome, locally grown food. Hansbauer talked about how expansion plans for Findlay Market will create opportunities for young farmers, food entrepreneurs, and retail and residential developers. Some of the old, unused industrial and residential buildings surrounding the market will be restored for new uses.

Videos of all presentations are uploaded to Vimeo for public viewing. So, to see how speakers in cities around the world view “The Future,” you will be able to watch the videos from the April meetings of Creative Mornings chapters. The global theme for May is “Backwards.”

Starting a Chapter

If there isn’t a chapter in your city, you can request an application on the Creative Mornings site.

The Cincinnati chapter was organized by Jeremy Thobe and Joe Kruessel of the interactive design agency US Digital Partners.

After watching Creative Mornings videos from other cities, Thobe and Kruessel created an application video explaining why Creative Mornings should be held in Cincinnati. The video highlights Cincinnati’s strength as “a brand city” and recent success in building a culture to attract creative, young professionals.

CreativeMornings/Cincinnati Application Video from CreativeMornings/Cincinnati on Vimeo.

“We are all really excited to see the growth and renewed enthusiasm around Cincinnati’s creative community,” said Thobe. “We have so many great people and companies in our city that we really feel Cincinnati deserves to be a part of the global creative conversation that Creative Mornings has started.” (I agree!)

As a writer, I also know that a good way to solve a creative challenge is to step away from the computer for a while. Taking a walk, exercising, or absorbing new sights, sounds, or ideas can be great ways to fire up the imagination. So I was excited to learn about Creative Mornings in Cincinnati.

“I have always been interested in learning about other people and topics that are not necessarily related to my career,” said Thobe. With Creative Mornings/Cincinnati, “We hope to inspire our community. We hope to connect our talent, showcase our successes, and get people excited to go back to work and create something wonderful!”

The 21c Museum Hotel

Cincinnati’s 21c Museum Hotel is the perfect setting for Creative Mornings. Adjacent to Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center and across the street from the Aronoff Center for the Arts, the 21c Museum Hotel combines the amenities of a boutique hotel with a contemporary art museum. The art museum is open to the public (free of charge) to provide “an oasis where art challenges, amuses, stimulates conversation, and provokes new ideas.”

Kentucky natives Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson opened the first 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville and are expanding into Bentonville, Arkansas, Durham, North Carolina, and Lexington, Kentucky. Through 21c Museum Hotels, Brown and Wilson are achieving their goal of collecting and exhibiting the work of living artists and integrating contemporary art into the daily lives of more cities.

In the 8,000 sq. ft. of museum space at the 21c Museum Hotel in Cincinnati, visitors can enjoy curated exhibitions, site-specific multimedia installations, poetry readings, film screenings, artist lectures, and live performances. Shown here are works by American artist Judy Fox in the “OFF-SPRING: New Generations” exhibition.
In the 8,000 sq. ft. of museum space at the 21c Museum Hotel in Cincinnati, visitors can enjoy curated exhibitions, site-specific multimedia installations, poetry readings, film screenings, artist lectures, and live performances. Shown here are works by Judy Fox in the “OFF-SPRING: New Generations” exhibition.

The first Creative Mornings/Cincinnati event at the 21c Museum Hotel featured Bill Donabedian, the organizer of Cincinnati’s Bunbury Music Festival. Tickets to his presentation were snapped up so quickly that the creative types who manage the 21c Museum Hotel provided a larger meeting space to accommodate everyone on the waiting list.

If you are ever in Cincinnati (or another city with a 21c Museum Hotel, I encourage you to check it out!


Creative Mornings Chapters and Videos

Creative Mornings/Cincinnati

21c Museum Hotel

Cincinnati Findlay Market


WCPO Digital posted an article I wrote about the meeting.

WCPO: Findlay Market CEO: New opportunities, spaces, businesses part of growth plan



Reports Provide Insights on Digital Marketing Careers

Do you aspire to a career in the red-hot, fast-morphing field of digital marketing? If so, where in the digital-marketing ecosystem would you feel most excited about working?

Two wildly different resources from SoDA and The Creative Group can help creative pros better understand whether they would prefer to remain as independent contractors or strive to seek employment with a company marketing department, agency, or digital production company. Neither report was intended strictly as a “career guide” yet each provides insights that can help you choose a path that might make more sense for you.

The 2013 SoDA Report: Digital Marketing Outlook

CAWSoDAReportThe Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA) is an international association that that provides a forum for digital marketing leaders to share issues unique to today’s new generation of advertising. The organization’s members include 70 top digital agencies and production companies that have offices in 22 countries on five continents. Their latest report, released February 28, 2013, integrates the results of a Digital Marketing Outlook (DMO) Survey with dozens of articles, interviews, and case studies on topics such as agency ecosystems, innovation, experience design, agile marketing, and the rise of the marketing technologist.

Reading all 238 pages of the SoDA Report can give you insights into the types of people you will be working with in digital marketing. You will see how the client/agency relationship is evolving in a world in which there have never been so many different marketing channels and methods of gaining insight into customers.

The report is brimming with buzzwords such as engagement, micro-segmentation, humanizing data, complex personalization, and the psycho-dynamics of experience design.

You will also get a sense of how disjointed and unsettled the digital marketing world seems to be. One observer finds it exciting that “things are always changing, so that what was an accepted practice one week can seem outdated the next.” Another observer contends that marketers must abandon certain tactics because audiences can tell when they’re being scammed: “The world of marketing has moved to a place where authenticity and doing good work matters.”

The articles were written by SoDA members and guest contributors including CMOs, editors, and senior executives from organizations such as General Mills, Adobe, Dollar Shave Club, Marketing Week, The Art Directors Club, and Econsultancy. The case studies showcase innovative work SoDA members have done on behalf of international brands such as Google, Avis, Coca Cola, Barneys, Nike, Fox, Samsung, Icon Fitness, Unilever, Intel, and Cisco.

The Digital Marketing Outlook Survey featured in the 2013 SoDA Report is based on responses from 814 digital marketing professionals who work at digital agencies, full-service agencies with digital capabilities, digital-production studios, consulting firms, and consumer brand and B2B marketing organizations.

Only 11 percent of clients rely on a lead agency to handle all traditional and digital assignments. More than 50 percent either use a mix of highly specialized digital agencies (search, mobile, social) or a mix of full-service and highly specialized digital agencies.

The survey found that many clients are “insourcing” the set-up and maintenance of currently existing digital services while relying on agencies for highly specialized or innovative services. About 40 percent of the agency respondents have set up innovation labs and incubators.  The survey also found that nearly one-third of agency respondents are providing education and training services to clients who have developed internal groups for digital production and maintenance.

When it comes to hiring and retaining talented people, agencies understand that money isn’t always the decisive factor. In terms of job satisfaction, employees rated the following factors as very important:

  • Interesting Work (76 percent)
  • Culture (75 percent)
  • Good Work-Life Balance (62 percent)
  • Salary/Flexibility (50 percent)

“We believe the 2013 SoDA Report will provoke meaningful dialogue about where the industry is headed,” said SoDA Executive Director Chris Buettner.  A free iPad version of The SoDA Report is currently available for download from iTunes. A free PDF copy can be downloaded through Slideshare and at other sites. Additional tablet and web-browser versions are being developed (of course!).


The SoDA Report: 1H 2013 Digital Marketing Outlook

iTunes: The SoDA Report

About SoDA

The Creative Group Infographic on The Future of Freelancing

If you have in-demand creative or technology skills, maybe you would prefer pursuing project work as an independent freelance professional instead of aligning yourself with a single employer. The Creative Group (TCG) specializes in placing a range of highly skilled interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals with a variety of firms on a project and full-time basis.

“Many companies are strategically supplementing their advertising and marketing teams with freelance professionals,” said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group. “This approach allows employers to quickly get the support they need and access skills that might not be available internally. In many cases, project professionals are able to impart their specialized knowledge to a company’s internal staff.”

A recent survey by The Creative Group suggests that the freelance talent pool has grown stronger. Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of advertising and marketing executives interviewed by The Creative Group said the caliber of independent creative professionals has increased in the last five years. Among those, nearly one-third (31 percent) said it has increased significantly. Respondents cited “access to specialized skills or knowledge” as the greatest benefit of using freelancers.

The research included more than 500 telephone interviews — approximately 375 with marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 125 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.

The research also showed that contract work is an attractive option for many people in the creative industry: Nearly half (49 percent) of advertising and marketing executives said it’s likely they would work as independent professionals at some point in their career.

“Freelancing jobs can pay well and provide greater flexibility and variety of work,” Farrugia said. “We’re seeing more professionals with in-demand skills pursue project work. And if you partner with a specialized staffing firm, its representatives can market your services and manage the administrative side of your business, such as billing and collections.”

The Creative Group published the results of the research in the form of an infographic. Along with  various statistics, the infographic includes four questions that can help you decide whether or not you would be a good candidate for freelance work:

1. Do you prefer consistency or constant change?

2. Do you consider yourself a team player?

3. Can you perform under pressure?

4. Are you comfortable tooting your own horn?

As a freelancer, you must be able to market yourself, work well within a variety of different work cultures and organizations, and understand that freelancers are usually called in during peak work periods when the deadlines are tight.



Future of Freelancing Infographic: The Creative Group

About The Creative Group


How Would You Feel About Working on a Super Bowl Campaign?

If you had the chance to work on a Super Bowl ad, how would you feel? Thrilled? Nervous? Overwhelmed? Considering how much each ad and campaign is scrutinized by consumers and experts alike, would it be possible to feel indifferent, and regard it as just another project?

According to a new survey by The Creative Group, nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of advertising executives and six in 10 (60 percent) corporate marketing executives said they would jump at the chance to work on such a high-profile campaign. About one in 10 executives admitted they would be overwhelmed by all the work.


The national study was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on more than 500 telephone interviews — approximately 375 with marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 125 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.

The advertising and marketing executives were asked, “If given the opportunity to work on a Super Bowl advertising/marketing campaign, which of the following statements best describes how you would feel?” Their responses:

Thrilled to work on such a high-profile campaign
Advertising executives (74 percent)
Marketing executives (60 percent)

Indifferent (it’s just another project)
Advertising executives (8 percent)
Marketing executives (14 percent)

Nervous about the outcome
Advertising executives (4 percent)
Marketing executives (12 percent)

Overwhelmed by all the work involved
Advertising executives (9 percent)
Marketing executives (10 percent)

“Working on a high-profile project, such as a Super Bowl ad, brings with it great visibility and responsibility,” said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group. “Outstanding creative work can generate positive buzz for a brand, but an unpopular or ill-conceived campaign can affect a company’s reputation, which adds pressure for the agency or marketing team.”

Added Farrugia, “All creative professionals find themselves in high-stakes situations from time to time, whether it’s working on an important project or under a tight deadline. Performing well under these circumstances takes focus, organization and steely resolve.”

The Creative Group offers five tips for performing like a pro when the pressure is on:

Prioritize, then strategize. Take a few moments to develop a game plan before diving headfirst into any project. By creating a playbook on the front end, you can sidestep potential hurdles.

Don’t procrastinate. Worrying about a task doesn’t count as working on it. Rather than putting off your most pressing deadlines, tackle them. Getting these assignments out of the way first will lower your stress level and make your overall goal seem more manageable.

Think on your feet. Adaptability is an invaluable skill. If priorities change, embrace the new challenge and demonstrate your ability to execute on the fly.

Request more coverage. Some jobs simply can’t be completed by one person, even if you are a star performer. If you’re doing everything possible to meet your obligations and still see no end in sight, identify duties that can be delegated and ask for backup.

Turn downtime into prep time. After high-intensity projects are completed, take time to decompress and document any lessons that were learned. If deadlines were at risk, what were the reasons? How could you or others have communicated team goals more effectively? Reflective thinking will help take the pressure off in the future and prepare you for the next big game.

About The Creative Group

The Creative Group (TCG) specializes in placing a range of highly skilled interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals with a variety of firms on a project and full-time basis. More information, including online job-hunting services, candidate portfolios and TCG’s award-winning career magazine, can be found at Gain insights into the latest hiring and salary trends in the creative and marketing fields at

Predictions from Various Marketing Communications Experts

Are we all about to be buried under a deluge of content-marketing crap? Maybe. That prediction seemed credible as I read through dozens of the marketing predictions, trends, forecasts that were posted at the end of 2012.

In my opinion, freelance providers of writing, photography, videography, or design services should pay attention to marketing-communications trends simply because so many clients expect us to.  It’s particularly enlightening to search out insights, statistics, and forecasts from multiple sources with different points of view. The more you read, the more you see how the backgrounds and business biases of different sources affect what they are predicting.

Some trends that were mentioned repeatedly for 2013 included the continued growth of content marketing, visual communications, automated marketing software, and “big data.” Plus, now that so many of us repeatedly consult our smartphones everywhere we go, companies will focus on using mobile marketing in a more strategic and integrated way.

Below are a few specific trends and ideas that might help you identify where new opportunities for freelance services might arise this year.

 From IDG Enterprise

IDG Enterprise is a communications company that serves the information needs of the IT and security-focused audiences that read Computerworld, Infoworld, Network World, CIO, and other IDG brands. In 2012, they conducted a survey with the 30,000+ members of the B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn. The survey findings are based on the 740 responses they received over the three-week survey period. The report is entitled “B2B Content Marketing Trends.”

  • Content marketing is expanding dramatically in terms of tactics, forms, and volume of content; 84 percent of marketers say they plan to increase content production over the next 12 months. This includes 30 percent who plan to significantly increase content production.
  • Infographics is the fastest-growing format used by the IDG survey respondents, rising from 28 percent in 2011 to 43 percent in the 2012 study.
  • About one in three companies relies on external agencies and freelancers to create content.
  • The most outsourced form of content production is videos (33 percent), followed by white papers/e-books (32 percent) and case studies (26 percent).

From the Content Marketing Institute

Content Marketing Institute (CMI) is a leading content marketing and education organization that teaches enterprise brands how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multi-channel storytelling. In August, 2012, they teamed up with up with the MarketingProfs online community to electronically mail a survey to a sample of B2B marketers who are members or subscribers of MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute. The survey findings are based on responses from 1416 North American companies.  These statistics come from the report entitled “B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: North America.”

  • More than half (54 percent) of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing budgets over the next 12 months. This includes 9 percent who say they will significantly increase their spending.
  • On average, 44 percent of companies outsource B2B content creation. B2B marketers still use a combination of insourcing and outsourcing to create content, but they are outsourcing it less frequently. The number of B2B marketers creating content in-house has risen by 18 percentage points.
  • Producing enough content is the number-one challenge faced by B2B content marketers (64 percent), followed by producing the kind of content that engages (52 percent) and producing a variety of content (45 percent).
  • The use of video is rising. From 2011 to 2012, the number of companies using videos as part of their content marketing programs jumped from 52 percent to 70 percent.

From Hubspot

20-Marketing-Trends-and-PredictionsHubspot sells all-in-one marketing software designed to make it easier for companies to get found online, convert leads into customers, and measure and analyze the results. They are masters at content marketing and have produced dozens of immensely helpful e-books and blog posts about website design, e-mail marketing, SEO, and how to get the most from various social-media networks.

These three trends were featured in Hubspot’s e-book “20 Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2013 and Beyond” by Jessica Meher.

  • Real-time marketing is in. Marketers will move away from short-lived, themed “campaigns” and use more real-time events and triggers based on inbound marketing activity. According to best-selling author David Meerman Scott, “In 2013, buyers instantly engage with brands on their websites, talk back via social media such as Twitter and Facebook, and follow breaking news in the markets in which they are interested.” As a marketer, “Success comes from engaging your buyers when they’re ready—not when it’s convenient for you.”
  • Content crowdsourcing will grow. Now that marketers have used social media platforms to build networks of fans and followers, Hubspot believes that marketers will leverage crowd creativity to build interesting and viral pieces of content.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words. So that we all can absorb more information in less time, communications will continue to become more visual and less text-based. A lot of the content developed in 2013 will include infographics, photos, picture boards, and video.

From CEB Blog

The CEB (Corporate Executive Board) is a business advisory group that combines the best practices of thousands of member companies with advanced research methodologies and “human capital analytics” to equip senior leaders and their teams with actionable solutions for transforming operations.

In a blog post entitled “10 Marketing Trends for 2013 You Haven’t Heard,” managing director Patrick Spenner made these predictions:

  • Content marketing will experience a sophomore-year slump. “The shine will come off content marketing in some circles. Not because it inherently lacks merit, but because there will be execution problems.” He suggests that jump-on-the-bandwagon adopters of content marketing may lack some of the factors needed to make content-marketing successful: mandate, resources, energy, and savvy.
  • Countless, limp branded social efforts will be abandoned, countless more will be launched: Spenner contends that many brands and products don’t need a Facebook page, YouTube channel or LinkedIn group and many brand social executions have become lifeless zombies.

From Velocity Partners

Velocity Partners is a U.K.-based B2B content-marketing agency. On Slideshare, they published a presentation entitled: “Crap: Why the Single Biggest Threat to Content Marketing is Content Marketing.”

They predict that the growth of content marketing means that “We’re all about to be buried in crap” including:

  • “Me-too” blog posts
  • Three-sentence ideas pumped up into 36-page e-books
  • Video interviews that might as well be subtitled  “yadda-yadda-yadda.”
  • Microsites full of the obvious disguised as the profound.

As we get deluged with crappy content, Velocity predicts that “the people we’re marketing to will start to raise their barriers again.” So, marketers will experience diminishing returns from their content marketing efforts. Velocity believes that “The winners in the Post-Deluge era will be the companies that build something precious.”



Here’s what I think: Anyone who opens e-newsletters or browses online news feeds can see how much repetitious, formulaic crap content is being produced. And yes, we are starting to tune a lot of it out.

Personally, I hope companies will think twice before churning out more cheaply produced content just for the sake of trying to generate “enough” content.  I admire agencies that are actively recruiting the most talented, tech-savvy creative pros they can find.

In 2013, I predict that the quality expectations for all forms of content will rise.  And, companies who aren’t afraid to innovate in the production of original, visually appealing, and useful content will succeed in getting noticed.

For proof, check out how the people are reacting to BMW’s amazing interactive “Window into the Near Future.”