January 13, 2011, 1:59 PM

Interactive marketing budgets are rising to reach cross-channel shoppers

Mobile and social will lead an increase in marketing spend this year, Forrester Research says.

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43% of marketers plan to increase their spending on interactive marketing this year, while only 6% plan to cut back on that spending, Forrester Research Inc. says in a recent report. Interactive marketing includes search, e-mail, social media and mobile marketing.

Mobile and social media channels will grab the largest spending increases, as marketers turn to innovative means of reaching consumers, Forrester says in the report, “2011 Interactive Marketing Predictions” by analyst Emily Riley. “With more money flowing into emerging channels, marketers will be funding innovation more than at any time in the past three years,” the report says.

Forrester also points out, however, that the most effective interactive marketing campaigns will be coordinated across multiple marketing channels, such as paid search and e-mail, based on consumers’ shopping behaviors, rather than just trying to reach consumers separately in a single channel at a time. It notes that marketers are likely to take more advantage this year of marketing technology systems that enable them to see how consumers respond to advertising and promotional campaigns across each of several venues. “Dozens of new vendor offerings that span interactive and traditional channels will finally allow interactive marketers to stop allocating budgets by channel and start planning according to customer behavior,” Forrester says.

In the meantime, Forrester adds, marketers will be pressed more than ever this year—by consumers as well as by the federal government—to provide clear and effective ways to let consumers opt out of behavioral-targeting advertising programs. Such programs typically use software cookies to track consumers’ online browsing behavior with the aim of serving them targeted online ads. The Federal Trade Commission has recommended a system under which online consumers could easily opt out of behavioral-tracking programs, and the advertising industry plans to launch its own program this year that reveals advertising policies and enables consumers to opt out of being tracked or targeted.

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