Forrester: Marketers Curious About Blogs, But Not Spending

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A recent study by Forrester Research claims that firms will spend $26 billion on Internet marketing by 2010.

The study, "Interactive Marketing Channels to Watch in 2006," found that marketers are putting most of their money in e-mail, search, behavioral and contextual targeting, and rich media. More than 65 percent of those surveyed plan to invest in each of these mediums in the next year.

"Marketers are very curious about social channels like blogs, but are not putting their money in that space," said Shar VanBoskirk, a research analyst at Forrester Research, Cambridge, MA. "Instead, the momentum is really in behavioral targeting and in rich media."

Media and communication firms lead in exploring adopted channels. More than 60 percent of them use or plan to use e-mail marketing, social marketing, rich media e-mails and display ads, contextual and behavioral targeting, blogs/social networks, RSS and mobile marketing within the next year.

Forrester suggests that companies designate a team member to explore emerging channels.

"A good takeaway is, if you don't look forward you'll never be in front of your customers," Ms. VanBoskirk said. "In general, marketers react to things that they see their customers doing and that's fine. But if you wait until all your customers are using mobile marketing, for example, then you'll never have time to understand that medium and see if it works for you."

Many marketers avoid techniques that don't fit their industry. This is particularly true for advergames/in-games, rich media, blogs/social networks and mobile marketing. Only 38 percent of those surveyed are piloting or expect to pilot blogs/social networks.

Another reported reason for not investing in particular channels was no internal support for the technology, especially for behavior and contextual targeting.

More than 250 interactive marketers were surveyed online from October to November 2005. Of the companies represented, two-thirds have revenue exceeding $1 billion, and 30 percent have more than $30 billion in sales. The marketers worked across industry areas including financial services, media and communication, and business equipment, technology and services.

Based on this survey, Forrester is finishing an investigation into advergames and plans to look further into mobile marketing trends as well.

"The intent is to dig deeper into some of the channels we began to hear about in the study," Ms. VanBoskirk said.

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