Marketers Wary of Emerging Media

NEW YORK While professing interest in new Web channels like social networks and video games, most marketers have no plans to use the venues in the next year.

Forrester Research, in a survey of 253 interactive marketers, found a reluctance to shift from more tried-and-true online channels like search and e-mail marketing.

While in-game advertising and advergaming has received much attention, 72 percent of marketers do not plan to use it in the next year. The story is the same for mobile marketing, which is used by 11 percent of respondents and 57 percent of whom say they do not plan to try it in the next year. Just 13 percent reported using blogs or social networks in marketing, and 49 percent said they had no plans to do so in the next year.

Shar VanBoskirk, a Forrester analyst, chalks up the reluctance to get involved in new Web opportunities to the already complex digital media landscape, where marketers are struggling to manage existing efforts. They are also finding tactics like search and e-mail to be effective and efficient, she said, while being constrained by limited resources to learn about emerging channels.

“There’s curiosity but not a lot of activity,” VanBoskirk said. “At this point, they’re not ready or don’t have the resources or haven’t thought through how it works for their business.”

While marketers expressed reluctance to try the newest forms of social media, they plan to beef up their spending on new targeting options for finding customers. Nearly three quarters said they either use or plan to try behavioral targeting in the next year. Similarly, 69 percent said the same for contextual targeting.

“The momentum, efforts and goals are shifting to the more data-driven marketing,” VanBoskirk said.