UPDATE - August 26, 2011 - Shar VanBoskirk commented on the post. Please make sure to read her thoughtful response to this post (15 comments down).
Yesterday, Forrester Research released a report US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2011 To 2016: Spend Will Near $77 Billion As Interactive Gains Legitimacy In The Mix written by Shar VanBoskirk
The executive summary reads:
By 2016, advertisers will spend $77 billion on interactive marketing — as much as they do on television today. Search marketing, display advertising, mobile marketing, email marketing, and social media will grow to 35% of all advertising spend as they are embedded in the marketing mix. We expect this growth to help firms become adaptive, kill off daily deals, re-emphasize marketing's "p's," and turn consumer electronics into audience-targeting tools.
I violently disagree with how VanBoskirk and her colleagues continue to equate "advertising" with "marketing" as they have done in the report. (Re-read the title of the report and the executive summary and pause on the words "advertising" and "marketing" to see what I mean.)
I first wrote about this issue back in 2007 in a post called Forrester Research misleads CMOs by confusing advertising with marketing in new research report
Marketing is not Advertising
Prior to the web, organizations had only two significant choices to attract attention: Buy expensive advertising or get third-party ink from the media. But the web has changed the rules. The web is not TV. Organizations that understand the New Rules of Marketing & PR develop relationships directly with consumers like you and me. That costs zero (unless you count the human resources cost).
We now have a tremendous opportunity to reach niche buyers directly with targeted information that costs a fraction of what big-budget advertising costs.
A representative of Forrester sent me a copy of the current report. There is certainly a great deal of interesting information in it. I'm sure the data will be valuable for CMOs and executives as they plan 2012 budgets.
However, I wish that Forrester analysts would look at the new ways that companies can reach people online as more than just a check box that you can spend advertising dollars on.
I also wish that they would not continue to intermix the terms "advertising" and "marketing" as this makes it difficult for CMOs to make the transition to a world where there are alternative ways to reach an audience other than spending buckets of money on expensive advertising campaigns.