SEMPO, Search Marketing’s professional body, has released its hotly anticipated annual report. The report provides a valuable analysis on the state of the Search Marketing industry, based on feedback from over 800 respondents across a variety of sectors including retail, business services, electronics manufacturing and financial services.
The last few years have all been a familiar story of success, growth and predicted prosperity, however this year’s report has been more anxiously awaited than its predecessors. Global economic conditions and emerging trends were expected to play a significant role in the picture painted by this year’s analysis.
Whilst marketing, like many business services sectors, has been hit hard by the economic downturn, the report points to continued growth in search engine and online marketing. The analysis forecasts that SEM spending will grow from a projected $14.7 billion in 2009 to $26.1 billion in 2013.
SEO continues to be the search marketing option of choice, with 90% of respondents using organic optimization over the last 2 years.
As marketing budget conservatism reigns supreme in the tougher economic climate, more accurate targeting in search has emerged as the key focus for seasoned search engine marketers. This was highlighted by the number of respondents who were willing to pay premiums for better targeting.
Online advertisers are embracing new marketing platforms and showing an increasing willingness to pay more for targeted reach through behavioral targeting and local search, and to expand marketing channels through video and mobile search
Behavioral Targeting has always been discussed as an important part of online marketing strategy, and this year’s report suggests marketers are now prepared to pay for it.
Advertisers, on average, would pay 10 percent more for demographic targeting and daypart targeting, and 13 percent more for behavioral search targeting.
We’ve been proclaiming the virtues of local for some time, and this year’s report reaffirms the industry is in agreement.
Almost a third of respondents has tried locally targeted search ads and thinks “it works great.” About a third (34%) had tried locally targeted search and thought “it works okay.” More than three out of five marketers (62%) are willing to pay a premium of 1%-5% for local targeting, up from two in five advertisers last year. Beyond that, one in five claim they are willing to pay between 6%-10% premiums, dropping from one-third in 2007.
The other areas to watch, based on the reports predictions, include mobile (which will be a key influence in the continued growth of online advertising spend), video and social media.
To digest the report in its lengthy full version, visit the SEMPO research section. Note: access to the report is only available to SEMPO members.