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SEMPO Launches 2008 State-of-the-SEM Market Survey

Goal is to gauge planned search engine marketing spend as economy continues its volatility

Wakefield, MA, December 2 , 2008 – SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization) announced today it is launching its fifth annual industrywide survey to assess the economy’s effect on year-to-year online marketing spending and on continuing changes in budget allocation between various media segments.

The survey is open to all search engine marketing professionals working in an agency or in-house corporate position. Participants do not need to be SEMPO members. As an incentive, SEMPO is partnering with Incisive Media, producers of the Search Engine Strategies (SES) conferences, to randomly select one participant who will receive an SES 2009 full conference pass and with producers of Search Marketing Expo for a full conference pass to SMX West in February 2009. In addition SEMPO will give away an iPod Touch to a random participant. Survey participants will be provided access to early survey results via a webcast hosted by the SEMPO Research Committee.

"While there are numerous surveys publishing online spend projections, what differentiates the SEMPO survey is its ability to tap into the largest qualified pool of professionals actively engaged in search marketing,” says Kevin Lee, co-founder and executive chairman of Didit, and a founding board member of SEMPO where he continues to coordinate this annual research project.

"The economy may be significantly impacting spending decisions. However, we also believe search and online marketing will continue, over the long term, to be the most robust growth sector because that’s where consumers are. This survey will provide a factual reality check on not only the current state of search marketing budgets, but also give us a sense of what we might expect in 2009,” says Lee.

Radar Research, a Los Angeles-based research and consulting firm, which conducted the 2005, 2006 and 2007 surveys, is continuing as SEMPO’s survey research partner. SEMPO and Radar Research are conducting the survey through early January 2009. Preliminary results will be available in February 2009 with a full report expected in late Q1 2009.

"One of SEMPO’s initiatives is to expand its role in empirical research. The state of the market survey and the in-house and agency salary surveys are some of the ways in which we are offering unique value to those working in the search marketing field, and to those who need to analyze and report on its impact,” says Dana Todd, SEMPO chairperson and founder, Newsforce.

2007 Survey Recap

Close to 900 respondents answered the SEMPO market survey last year. Here are key findings from the 2007 survey:

  • The North American SEM industry grew from $9.4 billion in 2006 to $12.2 billion in 2007, exceeding earlier projections of $11.5 billion for 2007.
  • North American SEM spending is now projected to grow to $25.2 billion in 2011, up significantly from the $18.6 billion forecast a year ago.
  • Marketers are finding more search dollars by poaching budget from print magazine spending, website development, direct mail and other marketing programs.
  • Paid placement captures 87.4% of 2007 spending; organic SEO, 10.5%; paid inclusion, .07%, and technology investment, 1.4%.

About Radar Research
Radar Research is a Los Angeles-based research and consulting firm aimed at the nexus of media, technology, culture and commerce. It was founded by two former Jupiter Research analysts, Marissa Gluck and Aram Sinnreich. Radar conducts research on behalf of both corporate clients and non-profit organizations, such as DoubleClick, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Nielsen//Netratings, the Online Publishers Association and The Norman Lear Center. For more information, please visit

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 over 30 countries, SEMPO has more than 850 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 Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google,, ABC Search, SMX and Search Engine Strategies.


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