Category Archive: Get to Know SEMPO

  1. The Future of Digital Is Here and It Is Targeted

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    Here at SEMPO we’ve been thinking a lot this month about how digital has evolved so far this year and how we expect it to continue to evolve over the second half of 2014. There are many angles from which we could write about the topic—from Matt Cutts’ statements on the changing nature of guest posting, to Google’s de-emphasis of Google +, to the penalization of content networks and more.

    With this article I want to focus on one specific way in which digital is changing, specifically, how we target and address our audiences.

    The graphic below is from SEMPO’s State of Search research study. The ‘peaks’ in each section represent where marketers are developing a keyword strategy based on the position in the buying cycle of their audience. Although the degrees to which this is occurring vary widely based on the activity, the presence of the peaks—and the inclusion of the question in SEMPO’s annual report for the first time—reflect a mindset shift for marketers towards a more targeted approach in addressing their audience.SEMPO_Future of Digital

     
     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    In 2014, what we are witnessing is the next step in the maturation of digital marketing. Carried by the renewed focus on content marketing, digital is evolving from the old ‘cast one wide net and see what lands’ to the new ‘cast multiple focused nets’ with a clearer expectation of not only what will land, but what will drive the prospect to the next step in the buying cycle, culminating in a conversion event.

    The ‘multiple nets’ approach applies not only to content focused on speaking to your audience based on their specific needs based on their position in the buying cycle, but it applies to evolving from speaking to a broad ‘audience,’ to speaking to individual personas who each have their own unique pain points, desires, and motivations for evaluating your product or service.

    Oracle Study Foreshadows the Future

    In the same way the ‘peaks’ in the graphic above portend the writing on the wall when it comes to a shift from ‘broad’ targeting to ‘specific’ targeting, the chart below from an Oracle/Eloqua study foreshadows a coming shift to specific targeting.

    Nearly half of marketers surveyed say they are in the process of learning to align content with strategy and better map it to the buyer’s journey. The fact that this group–those ‘learning to align content’–is the largest group of all respondents shows that change is one that is occurring now. Yes, respondents to an Oracle survey likely skew to the enterprise, but changes in the enterprise often foreshadow coming to mid-market and SMB’s and this is a case where all digital marketers should be aware of what’s coming.

    SEMPO_Future of Digital 2

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    What Does it Mean for You?

    Certainly there’s no expectation that you transition overnight from broad to targeted digital marketing. But you can start thinking about who the personas are that you are addressing, what their pain points are, and how you might better map your content and SEO efforts to target them. If you do so, you are likely to find that better targeted content results in higher click-through, consumption, and conversions.

  2. State of Search Marketing Infographic – Measuring Performance

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    SEMPO is excited to present the State of Search Marketing Infographic on Measuring Performance. This infographic shows the ability to measure ROI continues to be a struggle for social and mobile marketing. While marketers are confident in their ability to measure paid search and email, more needs to be done to improve the ability to calculate overall ROI of all digital marketing programs separately and in an integrated fashion.

    The State of Search Marketing Report showcases changes from 2012 and offers insights into what to expect in 2014. This annual report is a critical touchstone for digital marketers looking to assess where they stand today and where they should be looking for success tomorrow.

    The infographic is a visual representation of the 9th Annual State of Search Marketing Report, which was fielded by the SEMPO Research Committee in conjunction with Econsultancy.

    (Click to Enlarge)

    SEMPO_State of Search_Measuring Performance

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    SEMPO members can download the State of Search Marketing Report here.

    If you would like to become a SEMPO member, please click here.

    Past State of Search Marketing reports can be viewed here.

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  3. The Half-Year Update: Standout Social Media Changes That Have Impacted The Search Industry So Far In 2014

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    It’s hard to believe but six months of 2014 have already passed. As important as check-ins and analysis are for any program, it’s equally important to take a step back and look at the broad picture of what’s happened in the first six months of 2014. As search and social become more intertwined, it’s key to note where the social media industry currently stands and where it is moving. Here are a few of the social media developments that will likely impact search and other digital initiatives as the year moves forward.

    Pinterest Web Analytics

    Pinterest introduced Pinterest Web Analytics, which allow site owners to see insights about how people are interacting with pins from their website. Users can get information on how many people:

    1. pinned from their website
    2. have seen these pins
    3. visited their site from Pinterest

    The most repinned, most clicked, and most recent pins features give users insights into the most popular pins. This change signifies the upward movement of Pinterest as a key player in the social space. Offering analytics demonstrates the impact social media plays in website traffic.

    Facebook Algorithm Changes

    Facebook rolled out a new algorithm to the News Feed that removes what Facebook considers “spammy” posts. Like-inducing posts, links that lead to a website full of ads, and frequently circulated content have been reduced on Facebook’s News Feed in order to combat spam behavior.

    Facebook is concentrating on making quality posts, such as status updates, legitimate articles, and links appear in the News Feed. Businesses and brands must now focus on generating a quality conversation on posts to improve their appearance in the News Feed. Content that includes comments and conversations will appear on fans’ feeds more frequently.

    With algorithm changes and increased brand competition, there is less space on the News Feed resulting in declined organic reach. As the algorithm moves forward, brands will need to adapt to these changes and consider implementing social media ad budgets to focus on engaging fans and making the most out of social media marketing.

    Twitter Profile Updates

    Not to be outdone by Facebook changes, Twitter introduced a new profile redesign in the first half of 2014. The design features a larger header image and more dynamic features, like pinning tweets to the top and larger tweets for higher engagement. As Twitter’s first major overhaul in years, this change was a big move for the established Twitter.

    Google+ Business Pages

    Google enabled Google+ business pages to connect their page to their local business listing on Google Maps. Business owners will no longer have two independent Google properties to maintain, creating a more streamlined Google experience. This change demonstrates the continued integration of all Google properties and features.

    What changes have you seen make an impact in the first half of 2014?

     

  4. State of Search Marketing Infographic – Budgeting Trends

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    SEMPO is excited to present the State of Search Marketing Infographic on Budgeting Trends. The infographic shows that as search marketing increasingly becomes an integrated discipline, companies will need to be more agile in shifting their budgets to stay ahead of their competition.

    The State of Search Marketing Report showcases changes from 2012 and offers insights into what to expect in 2014. This annual report is a critical touchstone for digital marketers looking to assess where they stand today and where they should be looking for success tomorrow.

    The infographic is a visual representation of the 9th Annual State of Search Marketing Report, which was fielded by the SEMPO Research Committee in conjunction with Econsultancy.

    (Click to Enlarge)

    SOS_Budgeting Trends
     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    SEMPO members can download the State of Search Marketing Report here.

    If you would like to become a SEMPO member, please click here.

    Past State of Search Marketing reports can be viewed here.

     

  5. State of Search Marketing Infographic – Companies vs. Agencies

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    SEMPO is excited to present the State of Search Marketing Infographic comparing the digital marketing approach of companies and agencies.

    The State of Search Marketing Report showcases changes from 2012 and insights into what to expect in 2014. This annual report is a critical touchstone for digital marketers looking to assess where they stand today and where they should be looking for success tomorrow.

    The Companies vs. Agencies Infographic reveals that companies have a more generous perception of their approach to digital marketing than agencies give their clients.

    The infographic is a visual representation of the 9th Annual State of Search Marketing Report, which was fielded by the SEMPO Research Committee in conjunction with Econsultancy.

    (Click to Enlarge)

    Sempo State of Search_Companies Agencies

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    SEMPO members can download the State of Search Marketing Report here.

    If you would like to become a SEMPO member, please click here.

    Past State of Search Marketing reports can be viewed here.

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  6. State of Search Marketing Infographic – Mobile Trends

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    SEMPO is excited to present the State of Search Marketing Infographic on Mobile Trends.

    The State of Search Marketing Report showcases changes from 2012 and insights into what to expect in 2014. This annual report is a critical touchstone for digital marketers looking to assess where they stand today and where they should be looking for success tomorrow.

    The Mobile Trends Infographic reveals mobile is likely to play an increasingly important role in marketing plans, yet marketers have not set aside significant budget dedicated to mobile marketing.

    The infographic is a visual representation of the 9th Annual State of Search Marketing Report that was fielded by the SEMPO Research Committee in conjunction with Econsultancy.

    (Click to Enlarge)

    SEMPO_State of Search_ Mobile Trends

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    SEMPO members can download the State of Search Marketing Report here.

    If you would like to become a SEMPO member, please click here.

    Past State of Search Marketing reports can be viewed here.

     

  7. State of Search Infographic – Overview

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    SEMPO is excited to present the State of Search Marketing Infographic.

    The State of Search Marketing Report showcases changes from 2012 and what to expect in 2014. The report includes data from both company and agency respondents. This annual report is a critical touchstone for digital marketers looking to assess where they stand today and where they should be looking for success tomorrow.

    The infographic is a visual representation of the 9th Annual State of Search Marketing Report that was fielded by the SEMPO Research Committee in conjunction with Econsultancy.

    (Click to Enlarge)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Share this Image On Your Site

    SEMPO members can download the State of Search Marketing Report

    Click on the link if you would if you would like more information on SEMPO membership and benefits.

    Click on the link to view past State of Search Marketing Reports.

  8. And Our 9th Annual State of Search Survey Says…

    Author: | 1 Comment

    SEMPO is pleased to release our 9th Annual State of Search Report.  For an industry that is constantly evolving, this report remains a critical touchstone for digital marketers looking to assess where they stand today and where they should be looking to succeed tomorrow.  Plus, our unique approach of surveying and segmenting results for both companies and agencies provides perspectives and insights not easily found in other reports.

    The 2014 State of Search Report is no different in this regard but we did make some significant changes in the survey approach to be able to capture today’s reality of search marketing’s integration into the overall digital marketing mix. Here are some of the key elements that we implemented to further enhance our ability to provide meaningful and relevant data:

    - The survey was shortened to be more strategically oriented – focusing more on objectives, metrics, and ROI and less on resources and tactics.  This appears to have produced the desired result as 70% of our company respondents either manage or contribute to strategy, budgets, and direction of marketing.

    - We added social media marketing questions to the survey several years ago as it was becoming clear that search engines were evolving their algorithms to include social signals. This year we added more digital channels, including mobile, email, and display. The results illustrate the degree to which content marketing integration is still more of a strategic concept than tactical reality – somewhat more particularly with companies. We think you will also find it interesting to compare key objectives, metrics, challenges with emerging trends, and ROI perceptions between channels as well as between companies and agencies.

    - Budget questions were included as in the past but this time we drilled down a little deeper to understand allocation/aggregation between digital channels as well as flexibility to alter spends based on more real-time ROI assessment.

    - There are also a few new questions around how much time digital marketers are investing in learning/researching the latest trends and how experimental they are in testing new techniques/technologies by channel. We were a little surprised to see that both companies and agencies are less experimental with search engine optimization than all the other channels except email. Another sign of the maturation of SEO or more of a reflection of last year’s developments regarding Google’s algorithm and analytics “enhancements?”

    SEMPO members can access the complete report here. We look forward to your comments and the ongoing conversation around the report as we dig deeper into the findings and surface more observations.

    Finally, sincere thanks to our members and sponsors for their participation and support of this survey and for their continued commitment to advancing search marketing best practices as part of today’s integrated digital marketing mix.

     

  9. 2013 Salary Survey Infographic

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    SEMPO is excited to present the 2013 Salary Survey Infographic.

    What are search marketers getting paid? What is the job growth for search? How many search marketers are in agencies? Discover the answers to those questions in the 2013 Salary Survey Infographic. The infographic is a visual representation of the 4th Annual Salary Survey that was fielded by the SEMPO Research Committee in conjunction with ClickZ.

    SEMPO members can download the 2013 Salary Survey here.
    If you would like to become a SEMPO member, please click here.
    Past Salary Surveys can be viewed here.

    Sempo_Infographicv4 2

  10. Growing the Search Marketing Ecosystem

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    This post comes to us from Scott Smigler, Chair of the SEMPO Boston Working Group, and CEO of e-commerce marketing firm Exclusive Concepts, Inc.

    Last summer, Andrea Wasik and I met with Googlers Seth van der Swaagh and Katherine Allan to propose a crazy idea. We pitched a series of one-day “Search Summits” at local Universities throughout the country that would encourage its best and brightest students to consider pursuing careers in search.

    Our logic was simple.

    On one hand, the Search industry is composed of technology companies and agencies of all sizes that are starved for talent. On the other hand, the unemployment rate amongst millennials (Americans aged 18 to 29) is over 13%.

    We suggested that by bringing these two groups together for a day of learning and networking, we could help grow the search marketing ecosystem while empowering young people to discover meaningful career paths.

    We later summarized the grander mission as follows:

    Grow and strengthen the “search” ecosystem by advocating “search” to the best and brightest college students throughout the country.

    Seth and Katherine didn’t need much convincing, and began helping us to flesh out what would become our first Search Summit at Boston University (watch the video).

    Seth helped marshal resources from Google (including both dollars and many volunteers including Whitney Moskowitz who project-managed the event), and we proceeded to sign on Microsoft and Yahoo! as joint sponsors of the event.

    We then recruited speakers for sessions that included:
    - Search industry overview (both Google’s and Bing’s perspective)
    - Career panel discussions from recent grads
    - SEO – “Designing and Delivering Great Content”
    - SEM – “Effective Marketing Strategies”
    - Social Media

    In one breakout session, students were given an overview of search marketing strategies, and then asked to create an impromptu presentation for their imaginary CEO. I was amazed how quickly they picked up what seemed to me to be esoteric jargon and relatively complex concepts!

    We also signed on 6 local agencies (Digitas, AMP Agency, Gupta Media, RKG, iProspect, and my company Exclusive Concepts), which participated in a networking lunch that connected students with 45 open internships.

    130 students in total registered to attend the event, which surpassed my expectations. That was thanks, in large part, to the incredible support we received from the Boston University School of Management, its Dean (Kenneth W. Freeman), and Tony Tristani.

    I believe the event went incredibly well, and that it could easily be scaled to cater to students and businesses throughout the country, but don’t take my word for it. Here’s what the students told us in the post-event survey:

    - Attendee likeliness to recommend the event to peers: 8.56 (avg from 1-10 scale)
    - 92.3% of attendees “more likely to pursue a career in search marketing”
    - 76.9% of attendees pursuing an internship with a company they met at the summit
    - 100% at least somewhat likely to join SEMPO

    SEMPO Working Group leaders from other cities who would like to organize a similar event can feel free to email me with questions, or for the planning materials we used. My e-mail address is Scott@ExclusiveConcepts.com.

    Once again, I would like to thank Google for its incredible support. They provided a lion-share of the resources that made this event possible, in addition to the SEMPO Boston Working Group members Michael Flint (Metropolis Creative), Seth van der Swaagh (Google), Andrea Wasik (Skyword, Inc.), and Pavel Khaykin (AMP Agency).

    Again, you may watch a recap of the event below:

    Scott Smigler
    Chair of SEMPO Boston Working Group
    President of Exclusive Concepts, Inc.