Thursday, March 26, 2009

Be Aware – Brand Awareness Tops Online Sales For Search Marketing Purpose

SEMPO recently released the results of its 5th Annual State of Search Survey for 2008. The survey covers a wide range of search marketing topics and provides perspective as it presents data from advertisers/companies engaged in search as well as from search marketing agencies like DBE.

One of the advantages of an annual survey is that it provides the opportunity to spot subtle yet significant shifts in trends. One of this year’s trend shifts that caught my eye was on this slide showing how advertisers responded to the question “What is your company using search engine marketing to accomplish?”

For the first time, the answer “To increase/enhance brand awareness” outscored the previous number one response “To sell directly online.” Granted the score was close (63% to 61%), and it was weighted by advertisers with over 500 staff, but still this is significant. In fact, the fact that the larger advertisers showed an even greater spread between awareness and sales (70% to 56%) just illustrates the point further – search is more and more a mainstream medium.

Reinforcing this shift is the continuing trend of search marketing poaching dollars from traditional media as reported in the survey as well as the dedication of budgets directly to search as a stand-alone line item.

I’ll let you chew on this for now and post some more observations soon.

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