Marketing Sherpa has formally announced their latest Search Marketing Benchmark Guide for 2008 with over 270 pages of fact filled goodness. For both in-house marketers and SEM agencies alike, this guide provides up to date insight into essential search marketing industry trends. Of particular interest to me was the special report on the challenges of bringing SEM in house. The trend is to continue using outsourced help with search marketing for part, not all of campaign implementation.
Also of interest was that the PPC and SEO disparity in budgets continues: Search marketers are spending about one-fifth as much on their SEO efforts compared to paid search
Other nuggets you’ll find in this year’s report include:
- Expected Search Spending for 2008 – It’s going up but not for the reasons you’d expect
- How Search ROI Stacks Up Against Other Tactics – Guess which tactic BEATS search marketing?
- Difficulty in SEM Staffing Rated by Job Function – SEO specialists are hard/good to find
- A New Way to Evaluate Clicks and Click Fraud – Can you say, “probability”?
The guide makes some ambitious promises including:
- Gain the power to set your PPC and SEO budgets for the coming year that make sense for your search marketing.
- Forecast results â€“ including clicks, conversions and costs â€“ more accurately. (Also includes practical tips on measurement.)
- Select which SEM tests you should conduct to improve results for your current campaigns and which ones may not be worth the time or effort.
- Defend your search marketing plans to your CEO (or to clients if youâ€™re an agency.)
- Train new staff more easily.
The survey was conducted during June and July 2007 with 2,475 marketers who conduct or supervise search marketing for their own companies. There’s more information on the guide at the Marketing Sherpa web site and Search Engine Land posted this article by Research Director Stefan Tournquist on the challenges of bringing search in-house.