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Search a Favored Tactic for Marketers Worldwide

While widely used, search adoption saw minimal year-over-year gains

April 20, 2017 | Advertising & Marketing

Search continued to lead digital marketing efforts for companies worldwide in 2016. And this was the case in spite of internet users’ widespread engagement with social. Research shows at least eight in 10 agency and marketing professionals said they continued to carry out search efforts last year, ahead of social and other marketing methods.

Digital Marketing Tactics Used by Agency Professionals vs. Marketers Worldwide, 2015 & 2016 (% of respondents)

While the majority of marketers, polled by the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), said they used search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising in 2016, the data showed only small increases in the use of these techniques compared to the prior year.

Social media advertising is the exception, the data showed much greater adoption from 2015 to 2016 compared to search.

For the most part, social lagged behind search in the proportion of marketers and agency professionals who reported using it.

This finding supports data that has shown that budgets could be shifting from search to social, as well as industry speculation that the two disciplines might work well together.

—Danielle Drolet

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Worldwide Ad Spending: The eMarketer Forecast for 2017


Paid media advertising outlays worldwide will increase 7.3% in 2017 to $583.91 billion. Growth will be roughly on par with previous estimates, and spending will rise at a steady pace throughout the forecast period, driven by increased investments in digital and mobile ads. Preview Report


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