All the stats, research and opinion pieces I have read lately show that online marketing is rapidly gaining a bigger piece of the marketing. Personally I think the overriding factor that enables marketers to justify online spend while cutting back on offline spend is measurability and ROI, specifically identifiable ROI.
With online marketing campaigns, such as Google AdWords campaigns, we can track just about everything to do with each “click” and each “keyword” therefore being able to make daily, weekly and monthly changes that ensure that your budget is being spent in the places that actually deliver direct results.
If you you are selling a service and the actual transaction takes place via a differnet channel (i.e.therefore not trackable online) you would be wise to make sure that you develop a system that can also match the online leads/enquiries to actual sales. Most online specialists will have some experience in this process and if asked should be able to offer valuable insight into how to set-up this process.
No more needs to be said about the value of tracking the advertising cost for each sale! A marketers dream!
This article by Paul Vecchiatto on ITWeb offers insight into the e-marketing boom despite the economic downturn: