SEMPO Releases 2012 State of Search Marketing Report

SEMPO’s “State of Search Marketing Report” — now in its eighth year — is based on a global online survey of nearly 900 companies and agencies spanning a wide range of industries and focuses. The report produces key industry findings while also providing insights into the questions and challenges facing search marketers today.

What Do Search Marketers Care About?
So what is keeping us search marketers up at night? The rise of the mobile internet! Eighty-eight percent of survey respondents described it as “significant or highly significant,” up from 79 percent in 2011. Other top challenges for search marketers include getting budget set aside, as well as integration and measurement.

The report also mentions that brand and reputation management continue to be a top objective for most agencies when evaluating their client’s goals for paid search as well as search engine optimization. Social, on the other hand, is shifting away from brand-related goals toward customer service/cost reduction and traffic generation.

Additional Key Findings

  1. Changes to the Google algorithm affected a large percentage of marketers.
  2. Lead generation and traffic still dominate the top goals for marketers, but agencies increasingly report that clients are including brand/reputation as a measure for the success of their search engine marketing (SEM) efforts.
  3. Integration and measurement continue to challenge marketers, especially those concerned with the larger question of attribution.

We all know search is growing. SEMPO estimates the North American SEM industry will reach a value of nearly $23 billion in 2012 — up 19 percent from 2011 ($19.3 billion). As spend continues to rise, there will be greater impetus put on understanding the total impact of all search-related channels. The end goal being a greater — and more complete — understanding how these channels relate to each consumer’s journey.

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Dave Werner
Dave Werner