July 31, 2018 /

SEMPO State of Search Industry Report Reveals Amazon Ad Buys, and Voice Search Are Emerging Trends for Agencies and Marketers

WAKEFIELD, Mass.– Jul. 31, 2018 – SEMPO, the world’s largest nonprofit organization serving the search and digital marketing industry and the marketing professionals engaged in it, announced today the results of its 12th annual 2017-18 State of Search Report, based on a survey which was conducted in partnership between the SEMPO Research Committee and Forrester Research. The report highlighting the results of the survey is available exclusively to SEMPO members to download at no charge. Search marketing professionals are encouraged to register online to gain actionable insights.

Conducted in late 2017, the 2017-18 survey was completed by nearly 300 in-house marketer and agency respondents, providing a unique look at the digital marketing shifts taking place by comparing this year’s findings to three years of historical survey data.

“The State of Search Report offers digital marketers both a reality check and a forward-looking perspective on a constantly changing landscape,” said Forrester Analyst Collin Colburn, who authored “The Five Search Marketing Trends to Know In 2018,” based on the survey’s data. “By surveying and segmenting results, marketers, agencies, and ecosystem suppliers can confirm and plan for many of the trends and challenges they’re witnessing in the marketplace.”

The SEMPO Research Committee and Forrester recently previewed the report’s initial findings during the SEMPO monthly chat titled Research State of Search & What’s Trending. Some key results from the 2017-18 report include:

  • 63% of agencies and 30% of marketers are trying to get a jump on voice search; with 34% of agencies looking to increase buying ads on the mega marketplace Amazon.
  • 85% of marketers and 66% of agencies and say that better measurement across all channels is their number one priority in 2018, with attribution and video advertising taking the number two and three spots, respectively.
  • 73% of marketers report they will shift focus to social media advertising and other in-house paid channels, while 71% of agencies continue to focus on paid search advertising.
  • Challenged by ROI, 46% of marketers have difficulty breaking down silos between channels, while 44% of agencies have challenges hiring the right talent and creating competitive differentiation.

“Our industry is constantly evolving, and the State of Search Report remains a touchstone for digital marketers looking to assess where they stand today and where they can succeed tomorrow,” said the CoChairs of SEMPO’s Research Committee: Marc Engelsman, Vice President, Strategy and Analytics, Digital Brand Expressions and Cristie Reed, digital marketing strategist, FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters. “We’d like to give a special thank you to our members, partners, and sponsors who make it possible to advance search marketing best practices.”

About the SEMPO Research Committee and Report

Developed by the SEMPO Research Committee and based on a survey conducted in partnership with Forrester, the report captures the continually evolving role of search marketing as part of an integrated marketing mix. The report comparatively tracks agency and marketer opinions on the evolving strategic role of search in today’s digital marketing mix and the issues affecting its tactical implementation. The SEMPO Research Committee and Forrester promoted the survey to their respective audiences, offering a complimentary copy of their respective reports as the incentive for taking part.


SEMPO is a global non-profit organization serving the search and digital marketing industry and the 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. SEMPO includes thousands of professionals across 50 countries. The organization’s mission is to represent the common interests of companies and consultants worldwide and provide them with a voice in the marketplace. SEMPO’s education and outreach initiatives are funded in part by Google and Baidu. For more information or to join the organization, visit www.SEMPO.org.


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