TV, move over: Interactive marketing spending to hit $77 billion by 2016

By 2016, companies are on pace to spend the same amount of money that they do on television today on interactive marketing.

According to a new report from Forrester Research, advertisers will shell out $77 billion on the promotional tactic. They will also increase their budgets for search, mobile and email marketing, display advertising and social media over the next five years. Those channels will account for 35 percent of advertising expenditures by 2016.

Shar VanBoskirk, the co-author of the report, noted that interactive marketing is gaining “legitimacy” among the suite of marketing ploys, and is moving from the experimental stage to a real tactic for “creating rich customer relationships.”

Forrester also expects that paid search and search engine optimization marketing will continue to be a major force in interactive marketing, but that its share will shrink as other techniques become more popular.

Ad agencies report that they’ve seen higher demand for interactive marketing. One such firm is ExactTarget, which specializes in combining various promotional channels. The company announced it had seen 180 percent growth between 2007 and 2010.

ExactTarget’s CEO cited the demand to “connect with consumers in real time across email, mobile, social media and the web” as a contributing factor to its success.