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Survey: Search Marketers to Adopt Local Search And Mobile Advertising Aggressively In Next 12 Months

More than a third of Search Engine Land readers expect to add local search and mobile advertising to their media mix in the next 12 months, based on a survey just completed.

This survey was fielded in June and July with invitations to readers of Search Engine Land. There were 138 responses. The incentive was the opportunity to win a ticket to our Search Marketing Expo – SMX Local & Mobile show, October 1-2 in Denver.

An equal percentage of respondents – 36% — said they’d adopt local search and mobile advertising in the next 12 months. Another 4% or respondents said they intend to buy local search after a year; 17% answered that they’d by on mobile platforms a year out or more.

Local Search Adoption

Adoption of Mobile

 The market for local search is more mature than mobile. Currently, 43% of those completing the survey said they already buy local search advertising; only 12% said they’re buying mobile.

Cost-per-click is the most common pricing model for both advertising types; 49% of local search and 38% of mobile advertising was purchased on a CPC basis. Respondents expect mobile to drive transactions; 31% said they currently or in the future expect to pay per-lead. Only 25% of local search buyers said they buy or expect to buy on a per-lead basis.

Local & Mobile Pricing Methods

Just under 40% of readers said the “superior targeting” capability of mobile was the reason they’re currently or expect to buy, about the same as the number who said they aren’t considering buying mobile advertising. Half of respondents said not knowing enough about mobile advertising was the principal impediment to adoption and 36% said return-on-investment has not been sufficiently demonstrated.

Half said targeting was the principal reason why they were buying or intend to buy local search; another 23% said the likelihood that local will drive transactions was the principal motivating factor. Impediments to local search adoption were divided virtually equally between: “ROI isn’t sufficiently proven yet”, “Too difficult to administer campaigns with multiple vendors” and “I don’t know enough about the options.”

Factors Hindering Local & Mobile Adoption

The vast majority of survey respondents said they buy or plan to buy geo-targeted web search, business listings, local business ads and business directory listings; 85% to 87% for each category. 60% said they use or will add geo-targeted e-mail to their media mix. News and weather categories fared poorly. Only 41% said they buy/expected to buy on news sites and 21% on weather sites.

40% Spend More than $500,000 Annually on Media

Of the respondents, 40% said they spend more than $500,000 annually on search and online media. Another 20% said they spend between $100,000 and $499,999. 93% of participants said that they approve, authorize or recommend interactive and search marketing-related purchase.

Just under 80% said they worked in search marketing at an agency (47%) or in-house for a company (32%). 95% said they manage interactive as search marketing (33%) or are directly responsible for those activities (62%).

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