This afternoon I had a conversation with Shar Van Boskirk, the author of the Forrester US interactive marketing forecast report that I talk about below and Tracy Sullivan, Senior Public Relations Specialist at Forrester Research. They also sent me a copy of the report.
I want to thank them for reaching out to me. Clearly Forrester is monitoring blogs and engaging bloggers. Good for them. Very few companies that I talk about in this blog contact me.
Van Boskirk provided some additional information and clarification about the research which was designed as a way to do market sizing of social media. As she explained, in many cases (such as YouTube) the only way to measure how much marketing activity is going on is to measure advertising and use that as a proxy for total spend. After all, it’s not like companies have a YouTube budget that could be quantified. Forrester analysts also looked at things like agency fees and spending on technology.
I agree. It is difficult to measure marketing in many social media and advertising spend is a decent proxy for the interest in the area among marketers. However, I still believe marketing and advertising are very different and some aspects of the way the report was described in the news release and landing pages was misleading.
Sullivan said that the press release has been added to the media room pages.
Some of the highlights of the report include:
> "Interactive Spend Will Better Align With Consumers' Media Behavior"
> "Interactive Marketing Will Top $61 Billion By 2012"
> "Search Marketing Will Triple In Five Years"
> "Online Video Ads Perpetuate A Virtuous Cycle Of Growth"
> "Social Media Will Drive Emerging Channels To $10.6 Billion By 2012"
While this data is certainly interesting, I am dismayed that the statistics refer to interactive advertising spending. In my opinion, it is misleading for Forrester to use MARKETING when they really mean ADVERTISING.
OLD RULES -- buy your way in with advertising and beg your way in with the media NEW RULES -- publish your way in on the Web for free
As far as I can tell, this report is about the old rules of marketing (buying your way in) but just applied to the web. As I've said many times, marketers have long-term ingrained habits. Many of us assume that we must spend money to play the game. We equate marketing with advertising (as Forrester has done).
However, as many successful marketers know, on the Web, marketing is not the same as advertising. Marketing is all about creating great content. For free. To be successful, you must unlearn what you have learned.
It's not about advertising on YouTube, it is about making a YouTube video. It's not about advertising on social media sites like Facebook, it is about participating by creating profiles, groups and events on Facebook.
I like Forrester's work. In my last corporate job as VP marketing for a technology company, I was a Forrester client. Some of the companies I work with are Forrester clients. I have found their research valuable.
There is something deeply troubling in VanBoskirk's quote at the end of the press release. "These changes will not only affect the budget structure of marketing organizations, but it will also give interactive marketing professionals a more legitimate seat at the marketing table," VanBoskirk continues. "In fact, with interactive marketing gaining executive visibility as much for its popularity with young consumers as for its measurability and cost effectiveness, we see a class of marketers emerging who will involve themselves with a few high-profile interactive experiments in order to catapult themselves into the CMO seat."
Businesses certainly don't need trade CMOs who know TV ads with those who know how to run banner ads on YouTube and Facebook.
Instead, we need CMOs who know how to resonate with potential customers. We need CMOs who are skilled at creating products and services that people want to buy. Instead of dreaming up "creative" ads to interrupt people and shout "buy my product," we need CMOs who are Tuned In to their marketplace. We need CMOs who connect with buyers by publishing great content on the Web.