Spring is the time of year where everything changes. New life begins. It used to be the time of year when new homes were sold. It apparently is also the time of year for market research to blossom in the online marketing space. Everyone and their brother is coming out with something that proves something else to someone. If you are a regular reader here you know that I am a high skeptic on these things.
So not to be outdone, SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization) has released findings from research conducted with Econsultancy in its “SEMPO’s State of Search Engine Marketing Report 2010”. The report ((this link is for a purchase of the report. Please note: MP gets no compensation related to its sale and SEMPO members and report participants get the report for free) looks at last year’s ‘real’ numbers as compared to 2010’s predictions for search and social media spends and trends etc. Respondents represent agencies and client side Internet marketers alike. Here is the methodology used for the findings
The State of Search Report is based on an online survey of nearly 1,500 client-side marketers (advertisers) and agency respondents, which took place in January and February 2010. SEMPO and Econsultancy promoted the survey to their respective members, offering a complimentary copy of this report as the incentive for taking part.
It should be pointed out that this year’s survey was carried out slightly later than in previous years, with previous surveys going live before the end of the year.
Some highlights given in the pre-report press release:
The rise of social media marketing budgets, although still modest compared to search engine optimization and paid search, represents the biggest opportunity for search marketers this year.
OK, I’m going to stop there for a moment and ask my own informal polling question here. Should it automatically be assumed that search marketers have a right to social media budgets? Do they even have the same skill sets?
I asked Andy Beal the same question. His response:
An SEO has no more SMM skills than he does PPC. He can learn both, but knowing one well, does not mean he can just jump straight into the other.
It looks to me that the search marketing world is making the assumption that the social media budget of their clients is there for the taking as well. It appears that the client side is already thinking this way and is responding accordingly since search marketers are not exactly “top of mind” for handling social media campaigns for now.
There are plenty of other statistics in the report including:
-The research highlights Google’s dominance as a search engine, with 97% of companies paying to advertise on Google AdWords. Nearly three quarters of companies (71%) pay to advertise on the Google search network while 56% use the Google content network (keyword targeted).
-More than half of advertisers (56%) and agencies (62%) say that Google keywords have become more expensive over the last year. Meanwhile, only around a third of advertisers noted an increase in Yahoo (32%) and Bing (29%) keyword costs.
-From a range of trends and marketplace developments, company respondents are most likely to say the personalization of search results is having an impact. Just under a third of companies (31%) say this is “highly significant,” and a further 44% say it is “significant.” Agency respondents felt the “rise of local search” was the most significant emerging trend with 38% saying this was “highly significant” with 47% labeling it as “significant.”
There are no real surprises in the report. There is a ton of data to mullover but the takeaway I am seeing is this perception from the search industry that search marketers are also social media marketers by default. Do you see it that way?
If you are a consultant or an agency are you looking to secure both social media and search marketing dollars? It can be done, don’t get me wrong, but it takes the right kind of approach and people to make this happen.
Search and social media practitioners: One in the same or two different animals? What’s your take?