August 25, 2011, 1:47 PM

Marketers will spend more than $8 billion on mobile efforts by 2016, report says

Mobile will grow the fastest, but web marketers will still spend the most on search.

Allison Enright


Lead Photo

Advertisers will spend $76.62 billion on all forms of interactive marketing by 2016, about the same amount marketers spend on TV ads today, according to a new report from Forrester Research Inc.

The near $77 billion spend in 2016 will represent 35% of total ad spending, up from $34.46 billion and 19% of total ad spending today.

Investments in mobile marketing will grow 38% annually through 2016 to reach $8.24 billion, according to Forrester’s “US Interactive Marketing Forecast 2011 to 2016” report, but marketers will continue to spend far more on search. Forrester forecasts spending on search marketing will grow 12% annually through 2016 to reach $33.32 billion, accounting for nearly 44% of all interactive spending, less than the nearly 55% it accounts for today. Mobile, meanwhile, will account for about 11% of all interactive spending, up from the less than 5% today.

Marketers will include other media, like mobile and social, in their ad strategies in an effort to reach consumers in places beyond search engines, writes Forrester analyst Shar VanBoskirk in the report. Still, she says advancements in search ad formats, such as search results that include photos or resemble display ads, will keep marketers active in search.

Forrester forecasts spending on social media marketing will grow 26% annually through 2016 to reach $4.99 billion, up from $1.59 billion today. In 2016, social will represent 6.5% of interactive marketing spending, up from 4.6% today. While growing, spending will remain moderate, VanBoskirk writes, because social media marketing is cheap and social networks have limited room for paid ad inventory.

Display advertising and e-mail marketing will also grow; display at a rate of 20% annually and e-mail at 10%. Display will account for 36% of interactive marketing spending, up from about 32% today, and reach $27.6 billion in 2016. E-mail will account for about 3% of interactive marketing spending, down slightly from about 4% today, and reach $2.47 billion in 2016. VanBoskirk says e-mail’s low cost is the primary reason for its low growth rate.

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