The Decline of Traditional Advertising and the Rise of Social Media

Forrester Research released its five year forecast that estimates interactive marketing spending from 2009 – 2014. Forrester predicts that interactive marketing in the US will near $55 billion and represent 21% of all marketing spend by 2014 and will include search marketing, display advertising, email marketing, social media, and mobile marketing.

More significantly however, overall advertising in traditional media will continue to decline in favor of less expensive, more effective interactive tools and services.

Forrester analyst Shar VanBoskirk alerts marketing and media professionals with a dire warning, “The cannibalization of traditional media will bring about a decline in overall advertising budgets, death to obsolete agencies, a publisher awakening, and a new identity for Yahoo!”

The majority of budget appears to be earmarked for search marketing, even though the search landscape is rapidly evolving to include real-time updates and also social, community and micro networks. As a marketing professional seeking to tap into spending and visibility trends, take notice to activity in Mobile and Social Media over the next five years.

As mobile devices not only extend the collaboration and productivity capabilities that used to tether us to fixed locations, we’re also seeing the rise of new, highly interactive mobile platforms and networks that increasingly capture our attention and time. Spending growth over the next five years is compounded at 27% which makes it the second most notable growth factor behind Social Media with $1,274 (in millions) expected to fund mobile programs in 2014.

Social Media spending will increase to $3,113 (in millions) in 2014 from $716 in 2009 representing a compound annual growth rate of 34% – the highest percentage gain in the marketing mix. This spending activity also ranks it it as the third most prominent program behind search marketing and display advertising.

Dollars that are moving away from traditional advertising are now allocated towards “un” marketing activities that will earn stature, credibility and ultimately empower a more confident group of influential advocates through investments in innovation, research, customer services, customer experiences, and marketing-specific technology and IT staff.

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Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. More so, he humanizes technology’s causal effect to help people see people differently and understand what to do about it. He is an award-winning author and avid keynote speaker who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation and innovation.

Brian has authored several best-selling books including What’s the Future of Business (WTF), Engage! and The End of Business as Usual. His blog,, is ranked as a leading resource for insights into the future of business, new technology and marketing.

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