A trio of advertiser and merchant-related surveys bubbled up (or bubbled up to me via an email from Danny) earlier today. They all in one way or another discuss search marketing and/or traffic driving strategies and online spending. There’s a lot of interesting data here for consumption. There are varying sample sizes, populations and methodologies involved. I’m going to touch only on some highlights. Links to the data are provided for those who want to go deeper.
BusinessWeek conducted a recent survey of select agencies and media buyers (n=121) in conjunction with the New York American Marketing Association. Here’s the article write-up of survey results and here’s the slide presentation.
Among the highlights:
- Across all ad budget levels, the top media to see the biggest intended increases in the next year are “online brand,” TV and search in that order. Interestingly, search was to see the largest increase in the category of advertisers spending $750+ million or more on marketing.
- More than three-quarters of respondents (77.7%) didn’t feel that paid search was as effective a branding medium as TV.
- Traditional media (TV, newspapers, magazines) were slated to “take the biggest hit” over the next couple years in spending allocation. Note the apparent contradiction with the intended increase in TV spending in the first bullet above.
- A majority of agencies and a substantial minority of clients (marketers) had experimented with social media marketing.
- A majority of respondents saw YouTube as a desirable marketing vehicle and thus a “friend” rather than a “foe.”
InternetRetailer has conducted online marketing/search surveys of retailers for the past three years. This year’s survey involved 245 retailers who sold products online.
Here were the top-level findings:
[S]earch engine marketing drives more than 50% of sales for 30.2% of responding e-retailers. 82.8% of all survey respondents also have no plans to reduce their overall spending on pay-per-click search engine marketing this year.
The survey notes that web retailers view their paid and natural search engine marketing programs as a better sales and advertising tool than other forms of marketing, including affiliates, e-mail and direct mail.
Of the 142 virtual merchants, 50 chain retailers, 33 catalogers and 20 consumer brand manufacturers taking part in the research, 57.4% maintain that search engine marketing performed better or somewhat better than their other marketing programs. 17.2% say search marketing performs as well as other forms of marketing. 12.7% said it performs worse, and no one said it performs much worse. 12.3% don’t know how search compares to other forms of marketing.
There is a great deal of interesting, specific data in the article (scroll to bottom) for those interested in pursuing it further.
Yahoo Publisher Network conducts ongoing surveys of its members/users about traffic and online marketing strategies. The question for this survey was, “How do you plan to drive traffic to your site(s) in 2007?” Here were the results:
Answer Response (%)
Paid advertising (e.g. sponsored search, contextual or graphical advertising) — 17 Actively getting links to your site on other sites — 26 Outbound emails – 1 Viral efforts (e.g. Tell A Friend, bookmarking) – 10 Organic search engine optimization (SEO) — 33 Offline activities (e.g. mailers, PR, local ads, etc.) — 4 Other — 9