The internet has changed the way we trade and do business. Today, nearly every market and industry is online, and the impact is visible in almost every area of life.
One area that has seen the biggest shift is marketing. More and more people are purchasing goods and services online, and marketers are having to adjust their approaches to keep up with the times.
Let’s take a look at the size of the online market in marketing and how it has changed over the years.
The Evolution of Online Marketing
The practice of marketing has always been about connecting a company’s products with a target audience. However, the internet has made this easier than ever before.
For most marketing organizations, the first step is to develop a website. These sites usually feature products from the company, frequently with a call-to-action (CTA) button inviting the user to make a purchase. Some larger businesses may also engage in e-commerce, where they directly sell goods to users via their websites.
To generate leads, many organizations put out content regularly, either through blog posts or online magazines. This is something that traditionally trained marketers would do, as well.
However, as consumers have become more comfortable researching products and purchasing goods online, marketers have had to adjust their methods. Today, many large organizations promote themselves mainly through social media, with large amounts of content posted on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Big Changes, Small Packages
Although the practice of marketing has changed significantly, the tools used to carry out the practice have not. For the most part, marketeers have simply swapped the magazine for the laptop, swapped the TV for the internet and swapped the agency for the in-house department.
Outsourcing has made this possible. With businesses able to contract out work to specialists and experts, the need for massive in-house marketing departments has declined. As the practice has changed, so has the toolbox. But although tools have changed, strategies and approaches haven’t. Marketers continue to look for ways to connect with their audiences and grow their businesses.
Thanks to the internet and social media, marketers now have an entire digital landscape at their fingertips. This includes all the tools and platforms that can be used to grow and promote a business. The possibilities are endless.
Online Market Size
If you’re looking to find out how big the online market for marketing is, you can use a number of different methods.
One way is to examine the amount of money being spent on marketing online. If you take a look at the stats from Statista, you’ll see that advertising and marketing online is a $16.83 billion industry.
By comparison, the offline market in marketing is a little over $15 billion (Statista, 2021). This is a fairly significant lead in terms of internet marketing, but not so big when you consider that most people are still finding their way online.
Another way to find out about the size of the online market in marketing is to examine the number of online marketplaces and compare this to the overall size of the internet. This is the global market size of marketing as a whole, which was a little over 3.7 billion in 2025 and is projected to hit 4.2 billion people by 2027. (Statista, 2021)
It’s a similar story when examining the size of the market in individual countries. For example, in 2020 Germany bought more goods and services online than it did in shopping centres. This trend is likely to continue, and as more people gain access to the internet, shopping through an online marketplace is expected to grow.
Shopping Offline Vs Online
The impact of the internet on traditional shopping has been huge, and many businesses have changed the way they do business in response.
Not only can users find what they’re looking for online, but they can also compare prices and purchase goods with the click of a button. Thanks to this, business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce grew from a $6.63 billion market in 2012 to a whopping $16.83 billion market in 2021. This is a 300% increase in just five years. (Statista, 2021)
To put this into perspective, the United Kingdom online market for retail grew from £11.67 billion in 2012 to £16.67 billion in 2021, a 36% increase. (Statista, 2021)
The impact of the internet on business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce is just as significant. In 2021 alone, global B2B sales were valued at almost $16.3 trillion and are projected to grow to $22.7 trillion by 2025.
The Evolution of e-Commerce Marketing
Now, more than ever, businesses must keep up with the times and transform themselves to stay competitive. One area that businesses must focus on is their e-commerce marketing strategy.
Just like in traditional marketing, online marketers need to connect with their audiences and encourage them to make a purchase. However, given the internet’s influence on consumers, online marketers must focus on multiple platforms, including social media, blogs and websites.
E-commerce marketers build and manage these sites, and use various tools to track the performance of their efforts. The most popular method is SEO, or search engine optimization. This is a form of online marketing that helps websites and online stores appear higher in search results when a user types in a query.
To find out more, check out the 2020 edition of the Aberdeen Group’s Marketing and Media Management Benchmarking Report.
Outsourcing Vs In-House Marketing
The rise of the digital native and the influence of the internet means that marketing has changed, and traditional agencies have not been spared.
Outsourcing has become a common practice in marketing, due in part to the cost-saving effects of economies of scale. However, agencies who outsource their marketing may not have all the advantages that in-house marketing departments have.
Firstly, in-house marketers can make use of all the available data and intelligence on their target audience, which they can draw upon to develop more effective campaigns.
Secondly, marketers who work in-house can implement different marketing technologies, which may not be available to agencies. And lastly, by working in-house, marketers gain experience, which they can then leverage in their future careers.
Where Do I Start?
If you’re new to the world of marketing, it can be a daunting task to jump into this industry and figurehead. But if you take the time to learn the basics, you’ll have a much better understanding of what is going on and a better chance of success.
The first step is to determine the size of the market for marketing. As we’ve established, this is something that is fairly straightforward to do, as most businesses and industries are now focused on marketing, sales and advertising.
Once you have this figure, you can begin to determine the scale and scope of your marketing plan. This plan should include the objectives and metrics you will use to measure the success of your efforts, as well as resource allocation.
For instance, if you’re looking to grow your network, you might want to consider investing in a digital marketing campaign. This could include looking into paying for ads on social media platforms, establishing a blog and using SEO to drive targeted traffic to your site.
The Impact of the Pandemic
The world of marketing took a serious blow due to the pandemic, with many businesses closing down or transforming to adapt to the new normal.
To gauge the size of the marketing market, we look at three key indicators:
#1 Volume Of Traffic. This is the amount of people who visit your website or reach your social media accounts at least once a month. This is also referred to as the Daily Active Users (DAU) figure.
#2 Growth Rate. This is the percentage increase or decrease in the amount of traffic received by your website or social media accounts over a specified period of time.
#3 Cost-Per-User (CPS). This is the average amount of revenue that you earn from each user who interacts with your product or service (i.e., views a product or signs up for a service, etc.). You can find this figure by entering your daily average revenue in the top right corner of your Google Analytics account. Then, under Acquisition>Details>Cost, you can find the amount of cost per user for the past month.