Interactive marketing spending to be more evenly distributed among channels, Forrester predicts

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Cambridge, Mass.—In contrast to years past, interactive marketing during the next five years will not be dominated by a single channel, according to Forrester Research’s U.S. Interactive Marketing Forecast, released Thursday.

Forrester said interactive spending will total $18 billion this year and jump to $24 billion next year. By 2012, it will reach $61 billion, the research firm said, driven by marketers that leverage multiple channels: e-mail, search, display advertising, online video and emerging media ad channels such as social and mobile.

Principal analyst Shar Van Boskirk said search has been “the powerhouse that was garnering all of the new money” invested in interactive marketing, “making up about half of the online spend.” But that will change, she said, with the maturing of interactive marketing.

“What’s driving the growth … is marketers investing more across channels,” Van Boskirk said.

She added : “It’s true search is still really important today, but as we go forward, it will share more of the overall pie with other channels. [Marketers] have reached a point where they realize that they have an entire set of tools they can use to reach customers and accomplish their goals.”

E-mail will remain an important element in that tool set. E-mail spending is expected to total $2.7 billion this year, and Forrester predicted it will increase 19% to $3.2 billion next year. By 2012, it will total $4.3 billion, Forrester said.

Forrester surveyed 344 marketers online for the report.

—Carol Krol

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