Although online marketing has taken a hit from the recession, new figures from eMarketer show that digital advertising is expected to increase significantly over the next four years.

The US Advertising Spending: The New Reality report from the marketing analysis company forecasts that the industry will increase by almost 10 percent this year and continue with double digit growth through 2013 – culminating in a 15.2 percent annual rise.

David Hallerman, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new study, says that the shift from traditional advertising like print and television to more online marketing began before the current recession. But he says the current economic climate has sped up the process and caused traditional outlets to compete though cost-cutting means.

"Digital marketing offers compelling benefits, especially for cash-conscious companies," he says. "Marketers can more readily measure the results of internet advertising than with most traditional media. This produces more-efficient advertising and higher ROI, which in turn pushes traditional media to compete with lower pricing."

A report last month from IBM found that over the last decade, marketers have been shifting their spending to online formats as audiences have been drifting more and more online. According to the findings, 63 percent of global Chief Marketing Officers say they will increase online spending this year. By contrast, 65 percent of respondents say they plan to decrease their spending in traditional media.