Online marketing is growing ever faster – if you’re not on the Net, you’re off the ball

I consider it very interesting that your article (Marketers rate outlook as grim, MW June 16) made no reference to the online marketing medium: according to research conducted by both Forrester and the Interactive Advertising Bureau recently, this area has by far the largest growth potential within marketing.

According to Forrester, for instance, in 2003 US households spent more time with the internet than they did with television, newspapers or radio. In the UK, things are similar: the internet is now the second-biggest form of media by consumption, but attracted only 2.5 per cent of marketing spend in 2003. Online marketing in the US grew by 32 per cent, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, reaching $10bn (£5.7bn). Since then, growth has accelerated, with many observers suggesting it doubled in 2004.

Of course, such figures are still a small fraction of the overall marketing spend. But those organisations that are getting online marketing right are reaping disproportionate benefits from their investment, and allocating further money online as a result.

As you rightly suggest, “it is more important than ever for marketers to keep abreast of current thinking to ensure they continue to deliver maximum value,” in which case marketers need to wake up to this new environment – and fast. The old techniques of targeted ad placement and one-to-many messaging no longer apply in the same way. If marketers have not yet woken up to this new world then is it any wonder the industry is headed for a sharp slowdown?

Organisations that fail to integrate online marketing into the overall mix will indeed find themselves increasingly disenfranchised. In the new, internet-enabled, mobile world, it is becoming very apparent that people who don’t understand online marketing no longer understand marketing.

Justin Opie

Event director,

AD:TECH London

Chertsey, Surrey

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