I hate dragging my laptop out on those tiny commuter jets. There's never enough room, and I always think my seat neighbor is reading over my shoulder. So it was fortuitous that I was stuck on one of these contraptions this morning with the most recent Forrester Report on US Interactive Marketing Forecast 2009-2014. It actually came out in July and I've just now gotten around to digging into the data.
It is based on interviews with 204 marketing executives from firms with more than 200 employees across multiple industries. What is says is fascinating and should serve as a heads up to all of us in communications A few of the more interesting conclusions:
- "The majority of marketers find that interactive tools are more effective than traditional ones. When faced with budget cuts .. these marketers find that interactive tools are less expensive, more measurable and better for direct response than traditional media.
- Empowered consumers today expect a customized, interactive brand experience…42% of online adults and 55% of online youth want to engage with their favorite brands through social applications.
- CMOs will begin to buy their own technology... solutions like campaign management, web analytics etc.
- Consumer readership of newspapers and magazines has dropped 17% and 6% respectively. Ad revenue is down 20% in 2009.
- When asked "how will you fund increases in your companies interactive marketing budget 60% said that they will "increase budget for interactive by shifting money away from traditional marketing" The top three losers: Direct mail, newspapers, magazines and television.
- 86% of marketers expect to create social media assets before the end of the year.
- In a typical week people are spending more time on the internet, more time listening to the radio, and less time watching TV< newspapers reading magazines.
- More than 80% or marketers embrace paid search and SEO
- Advertisers prefer pay per click over impression-based ones. In 2009 58% prefer performance-based measurement, and this is expected to grow to 66% by 2014.
- Forrester expects a 34% compound annual growth rate in the next 5 years for social media.
- Traditional agencies will expire
But if all print and traditional media is being valued less by marketers, why are we devoting so much space and intellectual energy debating how to better value something that marketers are abandoning in droves.
I agree that whatever method we use to "evaluate the medium" should enable us to judge which is the best, most effective medium for clients to get their messages across. I don't see how WMC enables us to make an informed decision as to whether one should be paying more attention to The Economist or the Planet Money Blog or my Facebook page. If it can do that, I'm all for it. But given the fact that marketers are pulling money out of traditional media and putting it into Facebook, Twitter and other interactive media by the millions, I worry that we are working hard to measure something that won't matter in 5 years.