Digital marketers will invest more time and money into creating content for brand experiences during the next five years as they begin to focus on quality over quantity, a new study by Forrester has forecast. Digital media spend is predicted to reach $118 billion (£94 billion) in the US by 2021, but investment is expected to slow down slightly during that time.
Forrester’s US Digital Marketing Forecast: 2016 to 2021 anticipates trends in spending on digital media during the next five years. The report claims that spend on content marketing and digital advertising across search, display, video and email will increase by 11 per cent to almost $119 billion, though growth will ease somewhat later in that period.
Forrester VP and principal analyst Shar VanBoskirk said: “This is not the experimental ‘spend on anything to see what works’ investment we saw between 2008 and 2012. Marketers are more mature now with capable measurement practices. They will spend judiciously on just what works for their goals. And many are prioritising non-working investments in data, technology and customer experience.”
The report notes that paid search will emerge as the primary advertising activity and will consume the majority of budgets, with a compound year-on-year growth rate of eight per cent. Display and online video will also feature heavily in ad spend, and both of these will have a better growth rate of 13 per cent and 18 per cent respectively from this year onwards.
While digital marketing spend will grow overall, brands and publishers now have access to better measurement tools, which will optimise their expenditure. A shift to marketing experiences and a larger spend on data and tech will also play a major role in digital marketing investment easing to a certain degree. However, several macro factors, such as the ongoing shift to mobile and the growing dependence on digital media, will help to drive overall digital growth.
VanBoskirk added: “Within the next five years, we anticipate investment in ad impressions going down. Instead, marketing budgets will go towards brand experiences, CX and in-store experiences and knowledge of sales agents — the things that will help demonstrate brand promise. Many companies now are wasting impressions, which can annoy customers.”