More marketers are using social media and emerging communications channels but many remain wary of the return they'll get from those investments, according to a new survey from Forrester Research.
Forrester's annual report on interactive marketing channels, based on a survey of 33 marketers, found strong and growing interest in relatively all new channels such as social media, online video and user-generated content. Tactics involving social networks, podcasts and user-generated content all showed 100% increases in marketer use compared to a similar survey conducted by Forrester last year.
Yet, that enthusiasm was tempered by the pressure to measure the impact of such initiatives in new channels without established metrics. For example, 68% of respondents said they only adopt new techniques "only after they're proven."
That tends to benefit Internet marketing standbys like search and display ads and e-mail marketing, while newer methods of reaching consumers don't fare as well. In fact, Forrester notes that 15% of respondents said they "don't know" their goals for widget and mobile marketing efforts.
That said, measurement is a challenge for most forms of Internet marketing. Over half said they struggle to properly gauge search marketing, reputedly the most accountable online tactic. For online video, 58 percent said measuring effectiveness was the top challenge.
Not all emerging channels fared equally in marketer's eyes, including some high-profile tactics. In-game advertising does not attract much advertiser interest. Just 18% of marketers said they're currently doing it, and 67% said they have no plans to use it. Forrester recorded a drop in activity from a year earlier, when 24%t used game marketing.
Mobile marketing also got a tepid response. Twenty-eight percent of marketers say they're using it, while 36% have no plans. Widgets also scored on the low end, with 37% saying they had no plans in the area.