SEMPO 2012 Survey: Agencies Get Search + Social; Companies, Not So Much

SEMPO has just released its 2012 marketer survey (disclosure -- I am vice president of SEMPO), and there are many interesting findings among categories of spending, practice, and other key industry data. Just as in last year’s survey, there is another point about search and social synergy that sticks out to me, but this time it is not about paid media. It is about how agencies and in-house marketers differ in their approaches to interdependent search and social marketing.

The report states that 60% of companies treat “social media and search marketing separately,” as compared to agencies, where 58% state that “social media is very much a part of our search activity.”   Marc Engelsman, SEMPO Research Committee Lead for the previous two State of Search Surveys, had this to say about the findings: “There is a disconnect between companies and agencies on their respective understanding on the impact of social on search. Agencies have embraced the key ingredient of social in their search efforts, but companies seem to be behind.” He continued, “Companies are actively keeping search and social separated, and it is the exact opposite of what agencies are doing. To me, that’s a huge disconnect.  The question is ‘why?’”



That’s certainly a key question to consider, but only agencies and companies may be starting to determine the answer. If your company or agency has pondered this question at any length, I would be interested in reading your comments below.

Here are some additional key findings from the report:

- 87% of those surveyed say that the Google updates of the last 12-18 months are “significant or highly significant.”

- Rising interest in mobile is still a key concern for marketers, with 88% describing it as “significant or highly significant” -- up from 79% in 2011.

– “Data jockeys” are becoming difficult to find, and even harder to keep due to “new money” that is flowing into the interactive marketing space. Hiring and retaining talent was also cited as an important issue.

- Many companies that experimented with Facebook PPC in 2010-2011 seem to have stopped. There is a sharp drop in those who run paid campaigns on the social giant, down from 74% to 56%. Small and medium-sized businesses lead the pack of marketers who have left the Facebook spending fold.

- 86% of respondents predict growth in their interactive spending budgets, up from 77% in 2011 -- and 37% call this growth “significant.” A mere 4% expect to reduce their interactive spending.

- 55% of respondents predict a rise in SEO spending.

- Google PPC remained a strong and improving player in terms of campaign performance. 64% of companies and 77% of agency respondents noted an increase in Google ad spend, compared to 51% and 38% respectively for BingHoo.

- Only 3% of respondents said they were cutting social marketing budgets, and 43% reported keeping social budgets “about the same,” which is an increase from 32% in 2011.

- 56% of respondents said they are using Google+ for social outreach.





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