Advertisers face challenge engaging customers online

Engaging customers online is becoming an increasingly challenging task for advertisers, a new study conducted by Forrester Consulting has found.

The study, conducted on behalf of Autodesk Digital Media, a 3-D design firm, interviewed executives at 12 leading digital agencies in the United States and Europe. The conclusion was that “rich digital media is not just a trend; it’s the future of advertising. Agencies leveraging innovative design tools and technology have proven their effectiveness in driving higher engagement online in a cluttered Web environment.”

Forrester found that advertising and digital agencies with media design capabilities have a distinct competitive advantage over firms without similar resources.

“The fire starter is always storytelling. If both the story and experience are good, people will talk about it in their social networks,” said David Ericksson, CEO, North Kingdom, a Stockholm-based digital agency. “3-D content creation has always been core to what we do, and having access to the same tools as the bigger studios makes us competitive in the global arena.”

Video advertising is the fastest-growing segment within interactive marketing, Forrester found. The independent research firm expects interactive marketing spend to approach $77 billion by 2016, a 100 percent increase over what companies invest in interactive marketing today.

The study revealed that agencies are using rich digital media in eight key areas: virtual photography; animation and motion graphics; interactive displays; product demos; game-like experiences; social media drivers; online and mobile advertising; and video production.

Forrester found the expansion is being driven by a confluence of elements, which include increased consumer access to professional video programming online; rapid growth in the tablet and mobile device market; and increased consumer expectations for high-quality content.