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November 26, 2008

Want to Know the State of the SEM Industry?

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I mentioned this Monday, but it’s that time again. SEMPO, the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, has opened its annual State of the Market Survey. Through December, the organization will be accepting responses to questions that, once analyzed, will enlighten us about spending and resources devoted to search marketing across the board.

Last year’s survey, based on responses from 900 marketers, found that SEM spend in North America was projected to grow to $25.2 billion in 2011 and that Internet marketers were gaining budget by poaching dollars from print magazine spend. It was also reported that paid placement was receiving more than 87 percent of online advertising spend, while organic SEO got 10.5 percent and paid inclusion saw less than 1 percent.

Why is this important? The economic forecast is not pretty, people! Don’t you want to know everything you can to make informed decisions regarding budgeting and revenue projections? With projections changing every year, can you afford to base your decisions on out-of-date data?

See how this chart tells a story that every marketer should know?

The holidays are here and that’s a sad reality for retailers. What is usually a happy time of year for those pursuing the consumer is looking gloomier by the day. eBay traffic is on the decline. Online retailers are waging price wars. Some stores began offering Black Friday pricing up to a month before Thanksgiving. That hot, sweaty aroma you’re picking up is desperation.

From The New York Times:

To exacerbate matters, a major expense for online retailers seems to be rising: the cost to advertise products on the search engine Google, the source of considerable traffic and visibility for most e-commerce sites.

So it’s ugly out there. Now what?

Now you make sure you’re the most persuasive, most effective, most efficient marketer you can be. In your traditional advertising channels, make sure you’re addressing all the essential elements of online advertising: attract interest, present your offer, select your audience and get the click-through.
Also, remember that when budgets are tight, it’s the best time to try new, less-costly Web 2.0 technologies like social community building, Web site syndication, gadgets and RSS feeds that are easy to use and often free.

And of course, to be efficient, effective and persuasive, you need to be acting on the most current information available. This isn’t the time to stay silent or hoard secrets. Participating in surveys like SEMPO’s will help you make educated plans for the future.

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