Social technologies are enabling marketing professionals to engage in low-cost, low-risk innovation during the current recession, according to best practices shared among more than 600 attendees at the Forrester Research Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) Marketing Forum this week in Orlando, Fla.

Marketing budgets are following the innovation trail — social media spending in the US will grow from $716 million this year to more than $3.1 billion in 2014, a 34 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR). That’s a significantly higher rate of growth than the future spending on other interactive marketing channels. Overall, interactive marketing spending in the US will grow from $25.5 billion in 2009 to nearly $55 billion in 2014, a 17 percent CAGR, according to a new Forrester forecast previewed at the Marketing Forum. The forecast is part of a larger Forrester report to be published later this spring.

“Marketers don’t need to start revolutions in order to innovate, they need to solve problems,” said Forrester Research Vice President and Research Director Christine Overby. “For consumer-facing companies, that means tapping into consumers’ increasing expectation that they will participate with your brand; for B2B firms, it means leveraging the power of innovative customers who are increasingly engaging with their peers to solve their problems. Social technologies allow for accessible innovation where the risks and costs are not as high, but the return is significant.”

Industry leaders who spoke at the Marketing Forum included:

  • Rita Bargerhuff, Vice President of Marketing, 7-Eleven
  • Greg Clayman, Executive Vice President of Digital Distribution & Business Development, MTV Networks
  • David Christopher, Chief Marketing Officer, AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets, AT&T
  • Craig Dewar, Director of Community Marketing, Microsoft Business Solutions, Microsoft
  • Annis Lyles, Vice President, Media and Interactive, Coca-Cola North America
  • David J. Reibstein, The William S. Woodside Professor and Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
  • Marty St. George, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Commercial Strategy, JetBlue Airways
  • Erica Thompson, Vice President of CRM and Internet Strategy, PetSmart
  • David Verklin, Chief Executive Officer, Canoe Ventures

Attendees took part in nearly 300 one-on-one sessions with Forrester analysts, peer networking, and a technology showcase where 35 sponsors — including platinum sponsor Harte Hanks and gold sponsors Aprimo, Blast Radius, Experian, Merkle, Organic, Responsys, and [x+1] — shared their solutions.

More than 115 Forrester Leadership Boards members met in Orlando, Fla., representing the CMO Group, the Customer Experience Council, the Direct Marketing Council, the eBusiness Council, the Interactive Marketing Council, the Market Research Council, and the Technology Marketing Executive Council. More information on Forrester Leadership Boards is available at:

For more information about future Forrester Events, visit: