With increasing demands in opportunity, budget and training with search marketing, the benefits of networking and advocacy have correspondingly increased. Informal networks are prevalent within the SEO business connected by IM, email, private forums etc.
However, as more formal SEM budgets and cost centers are created within organizations looking to expand their search marketing effectiveness, the platform for harvesting collective wisdom and resources often comes in the form of an Association.
A few years back, there weren’t many regional search or interactive marketing associations and some have disbanded. However, I think it’s safe to say there’s been a bit of a spark the past two years and especially in 2007. I’ve had a post planned about this for several months but it was an email from Li Evans about the newly formed Internet Marketers of the Delaware Valley that got me thinking a bit more about it.
I’ve even wondered in the past whether it would make sense to have a Search Marketing Association for Minnesota, knowing it’s not something I could not devote much personal time to. There’s already MIMA which has grown by leaps and bounds, with SEM programming competing with all the other disciplines and interests of a vibrant Twin Cities interactive marketing community.
In the interest of developing a good list of search and interactive marketing organizations, I am posting this list of interactive and search marketing organizations as well as a few organized meetups. If you are aware of others, please leave a note and URL in the comments. I’ll review and add them to the list.