Forrester is a leader in technology research. They got that way by providing hard data and objective analysis to business leaders for over two decades. As I’ve written about before,brands are built on trust and, for the most part, Forrester has earned it.
That’s why I was so disheartened when I saw a Forrester report made available on LinkedIn a while back. What I found was a noxious blend of shoddy methodology and inane conclusions that were reminiscent of the Arthur Anderson – Enron debacle.
The report,US Interactive Marketing Forecast 2009-2014 (pdf), provides an Executive Summary with conclusions and then a more in depth analysis of the findings including actual data collected, which, theoretically the conclusions are supposed to be based on.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case. What I found was mostly unfounded conjecture.
What the Executive Summary says
The headline of the report is “Interactive Media Will Cannibalize Traditional Media,” which is supported by five factors which they uncovered as the “dug into” marketing budgets.
Poor Economic Conditions: Apparently as they surveyed marketing professionals they found that many companies were experiencing adverse economic circumstances. Forrester surmised that the vast superiority of interactive media under such conditions would entice marketers to more than double their interactive spend to $55 billion by 2014.
That’s a compound rate of about 15%.ZenithOptimedia, which is the primary source for such data, actually estimates a little faster growth historically, but there’s nothing wrong with being conservative. No problem so far.
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