Interactive Marketing 2011 to 2016

Summary of Forrester’s Interactive Marketing Forecast 2011 to 2016

Interactive marketing has been one of the most fruitful marketing methods that has been in existence for a long time. With the advent of the Internet and many users spending a lot of time online, interactive means of marketing has become more effective and efficient in terms of both cost and time spent. With over $200 billion spent annually on advertising, interactive marketing is predicted to occupy nearly 35% of the total expenditure by various organisations.

With companies wanting to increase their interactive  teams without increasing the budget certain financial companies have tripled their team size to cover more customers, but the process being followed has remained the same.Since the recession companies have restarted their interactive marketing campaign on mobile, social and video domains resulting in increased revenue by nearly 22% for multimedia companies. With more areas of interaction being created companies are hard at work to create new interactive models to be used by marketers.

Customizing the interactive experience has been one of the major priorities of companies and a lot of investment is being poured into new social media platforms specifically targeted towards tablets and smart-phones. As these platforms provide the ability to get instant feedback and accurate gauge of the effectiveness of a interactive marketing campaign, companies are comfortable with investing in applications for the same.With the smart-phone market reaching out to more than 80 million people by 2015 this investment seems to be a wise choice.

Over the past few years search engines and associated advertisement methods have gained prominence to such a level that almost 55% of revenue is through search. But with people spending more time on social networks and non search related activities like video sites through their tablets, search revenue is bound to get reduced to 44% in another four years. Marketers are aware of the fact that “customers are looking for us in other places” – a nod to the search through social media and other networks.

Another contributing factor would be the presence of companies offering SEO services which provide services that reduce spending by up to 15% when compared to traditional ad agency expenditure.

There are other factors that will sustain the search revenue for the next four years like better user interface and rich advertisement methods will make advertisers to allocate investment earmarked for print or search advertisements making.This fact will enable the revenue dollars to be maintained in the search coffers. The small and medium business segment who cannot spend millions of dollars on advertisements will keep the revenues of search based advertisement models. The SMB’s move away from traditional yellow page advertisements and to paid search advertisements will grow by 25% which is actually greater than normal search growth.

Over the last few years display advertisements have taken a loss of interest with people shifting to search based ads. But with better placement of display ads, the ability to get them to end customers has resulted in a increase of over 20% every year and projected to reach over 35% in the next five years.This increase is also a result of getting more players in the market due to reduced costs through bidding processes that can generate better returns.Online ad exchanges have created a niche market and user inventory that have been overlooked by earlier other advertisement mediums. With the availability of auction based ad buying, there is a better value for the ad investment that companies are making.The planning and execution of creating rich media ads, content, auctioning and targeting is a very complicated sequence of events- one that has been made much simpler by data management platforms that provide better targeting of customer groups and also get feedback from them.

Research in the past had made some predictions and it has been proven to be right when it comes to mobile media and advertisement spending. Mobile ads have the power to take information about a product literally to the customer’s hands and gives immediate results and feedback. With content managers and mobile servers providing excellent support, the process of reaching specific customer groups based on any criteria is very near. With the number of tablet users increasing every year, rich media content optimised for tablet users will take interactive marketing to the next level. Mobile commerce and user numbers are on a cycle of growth feeding upon each other. With organisations recording stupendous growth due to mobile commerce, the revenue is set to top $35 billion in the coming years.

The workhorse of interactive marketing – the e-mail campaign will also see a growth that is lesser than its social and mobile counterparts but a growth of nearly 10% nonetheless. E-mail marketing has the unique distinction of having the ability to string together multiple marketing channels. With the ability to decide the Who, When,Where and What regarding the content, email marketing will see a growth as the returns will be better with better targeting.

Despite popular opinion even though social media has grown exponentially over the past few years , social media marketing will grow only moderately.With relatively lower costs the growth of social media marketing is a little dampened. The main social media sites around which the advertisers design have limited space with regards to rich media content. With huge companies making social media management as a part of their internal responsibilities, one cannot measure the investment from this sector. However there is a hidden growth in the form of intelligence gathering that will begin and companies will integrate these information about their prospective and existing customers into their CRM services.

Based on the above study one can summarize a list of activities that an organisation needs to take for a successful campaign. Planning out a marketing budget is very crucial and rather than going by conventional systems of last year.It would be better if plans are made based on the key audiences and the route that customers take to arrive at the target.Then the marketing cost and the channel cost will give a realistic picture of the investment required. Care should also be taken to make sure that the marketing team does not just go by algorithms and numbers. A good organic and innovative campaign is always required and marketing managers should always take that into account.

Interactive growth driven practice:

With the overload on the customer with multiple ads vying for attention, there is a high chance that people’s buying pattern will change drastically and will result in certain limitations being put up on daily deal advertisements.With the struggle to enter into the loyalty circle of the consumer each company will pay critics to get better reviews, package and place their products in a supposedly better way. Sometimes the product may be offered as an incentive to drive more customers to switch loyalties from a brand. With such a large amount of activity happening on social media front the day is not far off where the product makers – both hardware and software enter into a partnership with the content driven platforms to create a whole new way of delivering the advertisements about various products to the consumer.