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Companies that Spend on Search Are Frustrated

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July 21, 2009

Despite the bad economy, search engine marketing (SEM) spending continues to grow in the US.

According to the “Search Engine Marketing in 2009” report by [x+1], 65.4% of senior-level SEM executives plan to spend at least as much on SEM in 2009 as they did in 2008.

Change in Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Spending in 2009* According to US Senior-Level SEM Executives (% of respondents)

In fact, 13.1% percent want to increase spending by more than 20%.

Nearly one-half of the executives (49%) said the economy had no impact on their SEM budget.

However, while 60% of the companies were using search to generate leads, not all were satisfied with the results.

Only 20% of executives expected SEM to perform very well this year (6 and 7 on [x+1]’s scale).

Expected Performance* of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) in 2009 According to US Senior-Level SEM Executives (% of respondents)

The most common ratings were 1 and 2, indicating that a majority of the companies using search felt they weren’t getting what they paid for.

“Clearly, while digital marketing professionals and decision-makers find value and look for performance gains in online marketing and advertising through the use of SEM,” wrote the authors of the report, “the reality is not matching expectation levels.”

To improve results, the study recommended the use of dynamic landing pages, so that “users who click through find content, images, messages and offers that are customized and highly relevant to them.”

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