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Building Brand Awareness Still the Top Goal of Search Engine Marketing Programs, According To SEMPO Survey

San Francisco, CA, April 26, 2006 - While online sales and lead generation are important, large advertisers cite "brand awareness" at the top of their list of objectives for search engine marketing programs, according to the annual Search Engine Marketing Professional Association (SEMPO) survey. The data on online branding was announced today at Ad:Tech San Francisco.

Of the 553 respondents in SEMPO's latest "The State of Search Engine Marketing" survey, 77 percent of the advertisers with 500 or more employees said their primary purpose in using pay-per-click advertising was to increase or enhance brand awareness of their products or services. The survey found that 70 percent of advertisers at larger companies said lead generation was also an objective of their search engine marketing programs, making it their secondary goal.

In contrast, 65 percent of advertisers with less than 500 employees said selling products, services or content directly online was the top objective of their pay-per-click advertising. Nevertheless, 55 percent of advertisers at smaller companies also said building brand awareness was also a goal, making it their secondary objective.

Radar Research conducted the survey which sizes the market, identifies trends and highlights key issues of concern.

"Branding is an evergreen concern, and the need to build brand awareness is just as dramatic online as it is in more traditional advertising venues," said Dana Todd, President of SEMPO. "With the continuing shift of advertising dollars to online, advertisers and brand managers are cognizant of the need to brand effectively and consistently."

Todd added, "It makes sense that branding and lead generation would be large advertisers' key objectives in pay-per-click advertising campaigns, since they tend to have the option of many types of sales and marketing channels which can be leveraged effectively with Search Marketing for maximum impact and integrated market coverage."

Ad:Tech Sessions on Brand Building
Todd and former SEMPO Director Fredrick Marckini will share the stage and their views with John Battelle, Founder and Chairman, Federated Media, and Bambi Francisco, Columnist/Correspondent, Dow Jones, during "The Future of Search" session on Wednesday, April 26, from 10:30 to 11:30 A.M. In addition, several sessions at Ad:Tech San Francisco will be focused on brand and brand building. The keynote presentation on Wednesday, April 26, from 2 PM to 3 PM is entitled "Mastery Series: Brand," and will discuss big brands shifting their television advertising to the Web.

"Global Trends, Newsmaker Brands, and Cool Hunting: Trend Trackers Tell All" will be the topic of a session on Thursday, April 27 from 10:30 to 11:30 AM. Another session entitled, "Tech Brand Special Needs: Creating Trust," follows from 11:45 AM to 12:45 PM. "BtoB Search Marketing Best Practices in Demand Generation and Brand Building" will the top of a third session from 2:00 to 3:00 PM.

About the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO)
SEMPO is a global non-profit organization serving the search engine marketing industry and marketing professionals engaged in it. Its purpose is to provide a foundation for industry growth through building stronger relationships, fostering awareness, providing education, promoting the industry, generating research and creating a better understanding of search and its role in marketing.

Representing thousands in 40 countries, SEMPO has more than 800 members. It represents the common interests of companies and consultants worldwide and provides them with a voice in the marketplace. SEMPO's education and outreach initiatives are funded in part by Yahoo!, Google, SMX, Search Engine Strategies, DoubleClick, Baidu, and MediaPost.


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