By 2015 at least 80 percent of consumers' discretionary spending will be influenced by social and mobile marketing.
Mass marketing is no longer a long-term strategy for marketers, said Gartner in a report released on March 29.
Consumers are paying less attention to the campaigns they are spoonfed through mainstream media and more attention to the brands that actively engage with them on the web or on their mobile phones.
"Mass-marketing campaigns have a 2 percent response rate and are on the decline, whereas by 2015, digital strategies, such as social and mobile marketing, will influence at least 80 percent of consumers' discretionary spending," said Adam Sarner, research director at Gartner.
By 2014, 6.7 billion devices will be connected to the internet, predicts Gartner, providing more opportunities for marketers to capture a captive audience.
In many senses, this shift from mass media to mobile and social marketing will have a positive impact on the way brands interact with consumers.
Instead of being bombarded with emails and click ads, consumers can look forward to a future in which brands gently sway them towards products and services. Ads will be transformed into customized, localized messages that are tailored to consumer wants.
"Today, activity on the Internet has shifted back to its roots in interaction and participation. The hard sell isn't working in this new environment," said Adam Sarner, research director at Gartner.
During a panel at CTIA Wireless 2011, James Citron, CEO of mobile video marketing company Mogreet, explained how location-based mobile phone marketing will help generate two-way conversations that are mutually beneficial for brands and their customers.
While speaking at the CTIA panel on the future of mobile advertising, Consulting & Marketing company Bradley A. Hensley & Co. reported that Citron told the crowd, "nine out of ten people who enter a store want to buy something, but only one out of ten actually get to transaction."
"A mobile phone can prompt people with personalized messages like 'You look like you like high heels, you may want to buy skinny jeans to go with them,'" added Citron.
Word-of-mouth marketing is particularly effective in today's social media-centric landscape too, and that's great news for consumers.
Now, more than ever, brands are trying to connect with their consumers - offering special deals and perks to those that follow their brand online - in the hope of building a team of loyal customers that blog, tweet and share their positive shopping experiences with their social network.