In-House SEM Budgets, Salaries and Experience
Posted on 01.10.2008
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The Search Enginge Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) has published their first ever, in-house SEM survey, and the findings may surprise you. Perhaps the biggest surprise was that nearly one-third of in-house SEMs are managing a monthly budget of $200,000 or more. That far outweighs what SEMPO expected before the results came in. “We anticipated a lower ceiling of monthly spend closer to the $100,000 range so
we were pleasantly surprised,” says Duane Forrester, co-chair of SEMPO’s
In-House SEM Committee and Lead SEO Program Manager with Microsoft. “The $200K
monthly spend is a healthy barometer of the search marketing industry and it
syncs up with SEMPO’s current trend projections that SEM spending will double by
2011, to more than $18 billion.”
The data was collected from 656 completed surveys and consisted of entry, mid- and upper-level in-house managers and analysts. While SEMPO membership was not a requirement to take the survey, chances are good that most respondents were SEMPO members - which means that many of these respondents were coming from larger corporations. Some findings:
Three major take-aways from this study:
- 64% of respondents have 5 years or less SEM experience.
- Senior managers and directors earned an annual salary of $75,000 - $100,000.
- In-House SEMs with 0-3 years of experience earned as much as $200,000 annually (0.8%) to less than $30,000 (14.5%). The majority (58.8%) earn $60,000 or less.
- The majority of In-House SEMs with 5-7 years earned $90,000 or less annually. 34.7% earned $100,000 or more.
- While one-third of respondents have monthly SEM budgets of $200,000 or greater, 26.6% have budgets of up to only $25,000 monthly.
What I would really like to see in this study is a comparison of ROI for those companies spending $200,000 or more per month versus those spending $25,000 or less.
- SEM can be a profitable job if you commit at least five years to it.
- The industry, or at least those placing "Search Engine Marketer" on their resume, is still very young.
- Companies are already committing large portions of their budgets to search and it doesn't look to slow up anytime soon.
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