SEMPO Survey: Direct Sales Beats Brand Awareness for SEM Dollars

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The first round of results from the annual Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) marketing survey are in, and apparently marketers are more interested in proving the value of SEM funding through the observable results of direct sales marketing over the often immeasurable effectiveness of brand awareness.

According to the preliminary data, 59% of corporate advertisers see direct sales as the number one goal of SEM campaigns, beating out last year’s emphasis on brand awareness, which fell to 53%, and lead generation at 48%.

SEMPO is also finding that 42% of advertisers now have budgets dedicated entirely to SEM spending rather than ones siphoned off of spending for traditional campaigns. Organic search is the most popular form of SEM, with paid placement charting a close second.

“Search engine marketing has moved to the major leagues. Corporate advertisers are now dedicating funding to SEM and it makes sense they are expecting a clear return on investment from these new budgets,” said SEMPO president Dana Todd in a statement.

SEMPO will continue to collect survey data through the end of December to determine online search marketing trends and the industry attitude towards SEM spending. The organization is asking more than 1,000 marketing professionals to participate. The final results will be published in the first quarter of 2007.

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