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


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.

Related reading

Four initiatives B2Bs must tackle now to win in 2020
Optimizing for position zero: The future of voice search
Capitalizing on paid social in B2B industries