April 8, 2009, 12:00 AM

New search venues and increased targeting driving more ad spending online

A new survey sponsored by the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization finds rising interest in behavioral and demographic ad targeting plus social and mobile search.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

A survey commissioned by the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization projects spending on search engine marketing will reach $14.7 billion this year and $26.1 billion by 2013, fueled by advertisers` increasing willingness to pay more for more targeted reach and to expand participation in newer search venues such as social media and mobile platforms.

"Online advertisers are redefining the touch-points which extend search and keyword targeting, all of which provide additional opportunities to reach consumers," says Kevin Lee, SEMPO board member and chairman and chief executive officer of search engine marketing firm Didit.

75% of the online advertisers and interactive agencies polled in SEMPO`s 2008 State of the Market survey say they`d pay more for pay-per-click advertising that is targeted. On average, those surveyed said they`d pay 10% more for demographic targeting and day part targeting, which is the practice of serving ads only at designated times of the day; and 13% more for ads that target online consumers based on behavioral data. Two in five of those surveyed said they are not currently targeting searchers but plan to do so in the next 12 months.

Approximately one-third of respondents said they`d tried locally targeted search advertising and reported high satisfaction with program results. 34% had tried local search and deemed the results "okay," according to the survey. 62% said they would pay 1% to 5% more for local targeting and one in five would pay premiums of 6% to 10%.

54% of those surveyed expressed interest in using contextually targeted advertising attached to video search results, with two in five saying they`d pay the same for video search as they currently pay for traditional search. Among those willing to pay a premium, most would pay 20% or less.

48% said they`d be interested in contextually targeted ads served on mobile platforms, with two in five willing to pay the same for mobile search as they pay for traditional search. Those willing to pay a premium for mobile targeting would not pay more than an additional 30%.

More than 40% of the respondents reported they are actively promoting their brand on social media, with Facebook the social network cited by most, four out of five.

The survey, conducted for SEMPO by Radar Research and Intellisurvey, was based on results from 890 search engine marketers, mostly based in North America.

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