Searching to regain leadership and respect lost throughout the years, the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) continues to regroup helping its members create partnerships with advertising holding companies, search agencies and other nonprofits to build collective strength. The idea requires building bridges across organizations supporting display, social, content marketing, programmatic, and a variety of other media. After all, search no longer lives in a silo, but has become the building block of many digital campaigns.
Mention SEMPO among friends and colleagues, and you might not always hear positive feedback. Some call it an obsolete dinosaur. Board members want to change that perception. So the non-profit plans to build stronger partnerships with well-respected companies like Econsultancy. The two released results from a study suggesting only 3% of marketers' digital marketing budgets are allocated to mobile — even with 45% identifying mobile as significant when it comes to generating business value. (Marketing Pilgrim shares a bit more here.)
Next year, search marketers could see a SEMPO industry trade show launch through partnerships. Mike Gullaksen, Covario co-CEO, and newly elected SEMPO president, tells Search Marketing Daily that in the first year the organization is looking to partner with other shows or organizations that do not have a strong focus in the tactical side of search engine marketing, but complement the media. He believes it will become one way to grow its membership.
SEMPO also plans to partner with the Online Marketing Institute to bring back certification for search, although it's not solely driven by the organization. Gullaksen admits the organization failed in the past because the eight board members couldn't keep up with algorithm changes from Google and Bing.
One such change occurred this week when Google began rolling out callout extensions giving marketers another 25 characters in the engine's search ads. The change, which Google expects to become available to all advertisers within the next few weeks, aims to highlight specific information about products and services.
"We hope the community-based Web site will have all the information marketers need, but we're trying to re-energize some local groups, too," Gullaksen said.
Partnerships in the works with local marketing associations will enable SEMPO members to build a voice as a collective group. A new Web site will house video training sessions, and special interests groups made up of members will determine the organization's focus. Look for special interest groups on retargeting and programmatic, adds Mike Grehan, SEMPO chairperson and Acronym CMO.