According to Shar VanBoskirk, vice president and analyst at research company Forrester Research, in her US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2009 to 2014 whitepaper, marketing dollars will continue to shift from traditional media to interactive marketing.
Forrester surveyed 204 marketing executives from firms with more than 200 employees and that span multiple industries, and found that marketers plan to increase their use of interactive marketing. The research indicates interactive marketing spend will near $55 billion by 2014.
With that in mind, VanBoskirk offers these trends in interactive marketing for the coming years.
- Smarter, bigger search programs. More than 80 percent of marketers embrace paid search and search engine optimization, and nearly two-thirds spend to manage search programs through advanced tools or outsourced partners, VanBoskirk notes. Marketers will expand search efforts into more markets and business in the coming years.
- More inventory. Consumers are searching more than ever, and marketers are expanding their use of multikeyword/long-tail phrases, meaning more searches are for sale, according to the report. Add the new search engines that pop up and the growing Google inventory, and advertisers have more slots to place keyword ads.
- Increased SEO spend. SEO costs less than paid search, so marketers will continue to invest in it as search becomes increasingly more vital.
- Preference for performance-based media buys. Marketers will favor the immediacy and easy measurement of pay-per-click online buys over impression-based buys.
- Better measurement. As attribution models make it easier to measure the influence of branding, online media spend will increase.
- Rich media. Marketers will use more and pay a premium for rich media that responds to consumer behavior, helping lead customers toward purchase.
- Online video. The proliferation of online video content and advances in video players and ad servers means better inventory, more consumer usage and better measurement for advertisers, notes VanBoskirk.
- E-mail renaissance. E-mail continues to grow as marketers build their lists with the misguided promise of "green marketing"; shift money from direct mail to e-mail; and improve effectiveness by linking e-mail to other channels.
- Growth in marketing due to social inbox. Social network use has supplanted regular e-mail use to an extent, but that may lead to the social inbox—inboxes within social networks and other messaging forums such as Twitter—becoming another place e-mail marketers can reach target audiences.
- Further decline in e-mail marketing costs.