SEMPO 10th Annual State of Search Industry Report Shows Continuing Rise in Google Use, Wider Differences between Agencies and In-house Marketers

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Report available exclusively to SEMPO members

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"For an industry that is constantly evolving, our report is a touchstone for digital marketers looking to assess where they stand today and where they should be looking tomorrow," said Marc Engelsman, SEMPO Board member and Vice President of Research

SEMPO, the leading international, non-profit organization for the search and digital marketing profession, today announced the results of its 2015 State of Search Report, the 10th annual edition. The report, the results of a survey carried out in conjunction with Third Door Media (publishers of Marketing Land and Search Engine Land), provides a detailed look at valuable data and insights regarding search strategy and tactics.

The report is designed to capture the continually evolving role of search marketing as part of an integrated marketing mix. Questions included topics such as channel-specific budget increases/decreases, objectives, and metrics. Separate tracks for in-house brand advertisers and for agencies or consultants generated thought-provoking results.

Like past State of Search surveys, this year's report offers interesting comparisons between agencies and in-house marketers. Other findings will be viewed as confirmation of what was likely already suspected: for example, the continued rise of investment in Google for paid search. Additional findings show significant differences between agencies and marketers in specialization, use of tools, and, perhaps controversially, in levels of compensation.

Some key results from 2015:

  • Search still leads digital marketing efforts
  • Marketers are outpacing agencies in email use, 86% vs. 50%
  • Mobile activities across the board are lower than might be expected, at 48% and 42%
  • Agencies are relied on for more expertise in specialized segments of paid search
  • Marketers are comfortable handling social media in-house; agencies are more likely to use social advertising on Facebook
  • Agencies are managing more of the "second tier" of image-oriented social media channels
  • Biggest SEO Challenges: for marketers it is measuring SEO ROI; for agencies it's obtaining budget for SEO efforts

"For an industry that is constantly evolving, our report is a touchstone for digital marketers looking to assess where they stand today and where they should be looking tomorrow," said Marc Engelsman, SEMPO Board member and Vice President of Research, and Director, Strategy and Analytics at Digital Brand Expressions. "Our unique approach of surveying and segmenting results for both corporate marketers and agencies provides perspectives and insights not easily found elsewhere. We are grateful to everyone who took the time to complete the questionnaire."

Conducted in late 2014, the 2015 survey was completed by nearly 600 in-house marketer and agency respondents. SEMPO and Third Door Media promoted the survey to their respective audiences, offering a complimentary copy of this report as the incentive for taking part. SEMPO members may download the 2015 State of Search Industry Report at no charge.

About the SEMPO Research Committee

The SEMPO Research Committee is tasked with conducting primary research on the impact and importance of "search" as part of an integrated marketing toolbox, as well as with engaging in research regarding related issues.

SEMPO's annual State of Search Report is unique in the way it comparatively tracks agency and marketer opinions on the evolving strategic role of search in today's digital marketing mix and the issues affecting its tactical implementation. Industry members benefit and learn from this data and use it to spur dialogue among consultants, clients, and vendors involved with growing digital marketing initiatives.

About SEMPO

SEMPO is a global non-profit organization serving the search and digital marketing industry and the marketing professionals engaged in it. Its purpose is to provide a foundation for industry growth through building stronger relationships, fostering awareness, providing education, promoting the industry, generating research, and creating a better understanding of search and its role in marketing.

SEMPO includes thousands of professionals across 50 countries. The organization's mission is to represent the common interests of companies and consultants worldwide and provide them with a voice in the marketplace. SEMPO's education and outreach initiatives are funded in part by Google and Baidu. For more information or to join the organization, visit http://www.SEMPO.org.

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Brooke Weldon
SEMPO
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