By Graeme Grant, VP Predictive Intelligence, former president and COO at CQuotient

Forrester recently published its “US Digital Marketing Forecast, 2014 to 2019” report, offering insight into a slew of important topics – like search marketing, display advertising and social media – to help marketers plan their spend over the next several years.

A key takeaway from the report is that digital marketing spend, as a whole, will surpass TV marketing spend some time in 2016. This is a major milestone for digital and tells us that marketing has fully moved into the digital age. Personally, I was particularly interested in what the report had to say about email marketing because this component of digital marketing is an important side of the story, too. In order to provide real value to customers, brands need to move beyond the email tools of yesteryear and adopt strategies that deliver relevant, tailored content to each individual.

The report makes it clear that email will remain a key tactic for marketers to connect with their customers across all channels, yet email will only grow at an 8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next 5 years. That is slower than the growth rate of search, display and social marketing over the same time period.

So, what is going on? Is this the “death of email” that has been foretold so many times before?

Not at all! Here’s why:

  • The total amount spent on sending emails will drop 30% over the next 5 years.
  • The total amount spent on analytics will almost triple over the same time period.
  • Sometime around 2017, email marketers are going to spend more on making email smarter (analytics) then they do on sending (delivery).

If anything is dying, it is the batch-and-blast / spray-and-pray approach. And it will be replaced by intelligent emails that offer targeted messages that matter most to the customer. This is a great evolution – and I say that both as an ecommerce technologist and as a consumer who would much rather receive good emails from my favorite retailers than bad ones.

To learn more about the report, head over to the Forrester website.

You can also read this on the Demandware Commerce Innovations blog here.