Forrester report highlights the likely conflict within agencies and the growth in importance of strategic marketing

Forrester report highlights the likely conflict within agencies and the growth in importance of strategic marketing

During the summer of 2009, Forrester produced a paper “US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2009 To 2014” highlighting the enormous changes marketers and their agencies will encounter in coming years. At its heart the paper highlights that interactive marketing spend will continue to grow rocketing to $55bn by 2014 representing 21% of all media expenditure. This growth in expenditure in areas such as search marketing, display advertising, email marketing, social media, and mobile marketing will come at the expense of traditional media as budgets are cannibalized.

Indeed, Forrester go one step further and say that the likely long term impact is that advertising budgets (but not necessarily marketing budgets) will actually decline as money is allocated to those interactive channels with clear ROI – gone will be the days of spending 80% of your advertising budget on ineffectual campaigns with the remaining 20% only actually proving effective.

I can vouch for this from personal experience. I now manage the email marketing and interactive campaigns for a number of principally financial services companies and have seen a significant switch in budget towards digital at the expense of other channels. The implication, as highlighted in the Forrester report is clear. Traditional agencies with little or no experience of delivering effective interactive marketing campaigns are doomed. The results will speak for themselves and account security will no longer be dependent on a handshake and the witty bonhomie of your neighbourhood media director.

Of course, in the financial services space, some companies are slower to adapt to change than others and many agency CEO’s may sleep soundly at night knowing that many of their clients aren’t that switched on – but how long is this ‘model’ sustainable. Financial services marketers need to ask themselves a simple question – can you justify spending $200k driving 10,000 anonymous visits to a website when a targeted and well executed email campaign can deliver the same result for $500 – (and you know exactly who these 10,000 visitors are)? hmm that’s a tough one!

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