Report from IBM highlighting that online ROI and brand activity are converging

A new report released Monday, “Beyond Advertising: Choosing a Strategic Path to the Digital Consumer,” by IBM Global Business Services flags that the distinctions between advertising and marketing have blurred as new forms of communication ‘converge’ allowing marketers to achieve both brand building goals while also achieving transactional objectives.

“Digital formats such as social media, online video, mobile communications, gaming and advanced TV enable companies to simultaneously meet transactional and brand-building objectives,” according to the report.

Alternative marketing channels, such as online advertising and word of mouth marketing, are expected to grow to 27% of overall marketing expenditures by 2012, up from 7% in 2002, says the report. Traditional ad formats, such as print and broadcast TV, are expected to drop from 47% to 32% of share in the same time frame.

The challenge for financial services marketers in this increasingly disintermediated marketplace is going to be how to tap into both the transactional / ROI elements highlighted in the new report while also benefiting from the brand building aspects. Of particular interest will be the willingness of consumers to engage with financial brands in light of recent market turmoil, the direct result of mismanagement on a massive scale by certain financial companies.

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