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The Future of Marketing: Social Media (No seriously a $3.1 Billion Future)

July 10, 2009

Forrester Research just released their newest Interactive Marketing Forecast, which paints an interesting picture for the upcoming marketing era.  If you’re in the marketing industry, or interested by the topic, it is important you understand the major findings from their study.  They’re pretty mind blowing.  Here are the released public findings:

We all know that traditional marketing mediums are dying, but this report proves it.

Their report’s main conclusion shows an interesting shift in marketing budgets in the next five years.  According to their study social media marketing spending will reach $3.1 billion in the year 2014.  That is up from $716 million in the current year.

The report shows that social media has gained the most traction out of all the “new medias” because it is the only new media with such an impressive growth in the next five years.  Some other findings include: search marketing and display advertising staying #1 and #2 respectively in spending.

The other main point that Forrester concluded which I also find interesting is that marketing spending will actually decline in the next five years.  This shows that marketers will have cheaper more efficient ways (social media) to connect with their customers.

They will require less capital to accomplish their budgets, which is pretty much unheard of.  This is really a great study which gives legitimacy to everyone that thinks that social media is the future (myself included).

What this means for marketers, is to come aboard the social media train.  Every businessperson needs to have a Facebook and Twitter account at a minimum and have a good overall understanding of both mediums.  Start now, and don’t fall behind – it’s a fast moving train.

This is also GREAT news for Gen Y.  As you know a lot of our posts here on wwwwY are about social media (as it’s so important to Gen Y).  This means that the social networking skills that Gen Yers have developed in the past 10 years will give them an advantage in the real world.

If I am a major company and I know this shift is coming, I would hire some of the most innovative, brightest young social media minds to help move my company into the new era of marketing – the social marketing era.  As a business, you will have much more success if someone familiar with the medium runs it; the traditional marketers then should oversee everything to make sure it is aligning well with the current brand.

Another way to look at this work situation is that the traditional marketers (marketing theory) should direct the Gen Y marketers (marketing application) on the social media medium.  That way you get the abstract and practical marketing input on all the work done.  It’s far from the current status quo, but it’s the future.  You have been warned.

All aboard…

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