That's not a statement, but rather fact if you believe the just-released, 2009 Media Survey Results & Analysis.
According to the eMarketer news item, Media Dollars Shift to Digital in Downturn (published September 16th, 2009): "While a majority of respondents said they would hold budgets for each medium except print steady in 2009 compared with 2008, digital was still the clear winner. Budgets were more likely to be cut than increased for traditional media such as TV, radio and direct mail, but more respondents said they would up their investments in e-mail marketing, search and interactive than said spending would be reduced."
It's interesting to read that they're not talking about Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or any of the more "Social Media" types of channels. By the looks of this news item, Marketers are going to be hunkering down deep into web analytics and pushing their CRM systems to go digital.
How telling of a quote is this?...
"E-mail marketing was the channel most likely to see an increase in spending in 2009, and print was the biggest loser. The across-the-board shift from traditional to digital media is no surprise--it represents a general reallocation of marketing budgets to newer media channels."
What this really means is that 2009 and 2010 are going to very interesting years for both brands and agencies. Those who have digital competencies are going to have to up their game when it comes to real, tangible and measurable programs (time to get even more serious about brand strategy and ROI), while the more traditional agencies are going to have to realign their structure if they want to continue to post record profits. Whichever side of the fence you're on, there are going to be both challenges and opportunities.
My personal prediction?
We're going to start seeing more and more pure-play Digital Marketing agencies become lead as agency of record, and we're going to a whole lot of action on the acquisition front from traditional agencies and the major networks. Regardless of that, as the Digital Marketing component moves the needle and takes on more of the overall advertising budgets, the big question still remains: who is going to do all of this work? There simply is not enough Digital Marketers who have the skill, talent and experience to deliver all of these programs. As an industry, we're going to have to band together, head out the colleges and universities and get the word out that being a Digital Marketer is not only a great career move, but a profitable and a smart one. On top of that, we're going to have to help our current teams to get much smarter and more acquainted with tools like Google Analytics and email marketing systems (even though that sounds so very 2006).
Who is with me?