At the Chicago SES conference last Dec, there was a SEMPO reception that disclosed some preliminary numbers for the SEMPO State of Search Marketing Survey. It was hard to hear since there was some very loud jazz music playingd and no one seemed to be able to turn it down or off. However, the one number that stood out from Kevin Lee was that search marketing spending in the US and Canada grew from $4 billion to 5.75 billion. Spending is estimated to reach $11 billion by 2010.
As in the past, the majority went to paid search (83%) and the rest to SEO (11%) and paid inclusion (4%). However, SEO was more popular than paid search with 4 out of 5 respondents reporting using SEO tactics and 76% reported using paid search.
Bigger companies are more concerned with using search marketing for branding and smaller companies are more focused on selling products. I think the numbers are tough to validate because the small companies tend to use the least sophisticated web analytics packages.
Results from the 2004 State of Search Marketing survey are here.