Although organizations are investing in search engine marketing despite the economic downturn, they are unhappy with the performance of SEM, according to a report from [x+1]
More than half (57%) of senior-level SEM professionals from a cross-section of industry sectors gave SEM performance in their organization a low ranking (1 or 2 on a scale of 1 to 7); only 20% gave it a high rating (6 or 7).
Nevertheless, nearly two-thirds of respondents—65.4%—said they would spend the same or more on SEM in 2009 than in 2008, with 13.1% saying they would increase spending by more than 20%.
Among the report's other findings:
"While search engine marketing is without question a key business strategy for driving the online channel in 2009, our report shows a high level of dissatisfaction among SEM pros in key performance categories," said Ted Shergalis, cofounder and chief strategy officer of [x+1].
Among the recommendations of the [x+1] report: Use dynamic landing pages; and rely on an integrated system for outbound media (display ads) and inbound search (Webpages), allowing for common data, reporting, and analytics.
The [x+1] report , "Search Engine Marketing in 2009: Reality Not Matching Expectations When it Comes to Performance," is based on a March online survey of senior-level SEM professionals.
Just over half of respondents said they have decision-making authority on spending and allocation of search; 35.6% said they were at the director or VP level or above in marketing or advertising. Two-thirds of them came from companies with sales of $100 million or less; 16% reported $1 billion or more in sales.
Ann Handley is an 11-year veteran of creating and managing digital content to build relationships for organizations and individuals. Currently, Ann is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, which provides strategic and tactical marketing know-how for marketing and business professionals through a full range of online media and live events. She also blogs at Annarchy, her acclaimed personal web log.