SEMPO: North American SEM Industry to Reach $23 Billion in 2012

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The search engine marketing industry in North America will reach an estimated value of $23 billion by the end of the year, according to the State of Search Marketing Report 2012. SEM has grown 19 percent over 2011.

The report, released jointly by Econsultancy and SEMPO, also shows a projected growth rate of 13 percent for 2013.

Finding budget for SEM and social is challenging, especially among smaller organizations, they found. Hiring and retaining talent is also a concern, with 21 percent of survey respondents indicating this is a key challenge.

Marketers continue to struggle to measure ROI, especially those trying to correctly attribute revenue to search-related activities.

Eighty-six percent of participating marketers expect digital budgets to grow, up from 77 percent in 2011. Just 4 percent said they anticipate a reduction.

Overall, said the report, marketers are seeking a more holistic strategy, integrating digital with all other channels.

“Marketers want to centrally manage their channels, see results on a platform that brings in data from across their programs, and to understand how those channels interrelate in the customer journey,” according to the report.

This year’s report included 883 respondents from 36 countries, spanning a variety of sectors. Respondents from B2C and B2B focuses were almost evenly split, at 42 and 39 percent, respectively.

"Rise of Mobile & Local, Google Updates Top Concerns for Search Marketers" offers more analysis and insights from the report.

The State of Search Marketing Report 2012 is available to SEMPO members to download from their SEM Research page.

About the author

A member of the Professional Writer's Association of Canada, Miranda has authored more than 60 e-books, 300 client projects, and thousands of articles and blog posts for clients ranging from SMBs to government agencies and Fortune 100 companies.

Miranda studied e-commerce at Athabasca University and specializes in marketing, business and educational material. She currently assists the Province of Ontario Ministries of Research & Innovation and Economic Development, Trade & Employment with their copywriting and SEO goals. She is one of a handful of Canadian consultants experienced with Ontario's new adult literacy curriculum framework and as such, is contracted by literacy agencies and publishing houses to develop new learning material.