A recent survey has revealed that digital and online marketing services are in high demand amongst businesses and companies looking for help with their website optimisation.
Econsultancy have worked with SEMPO to create a State of Search Marketing Report 2011, which has revealed some interesting findings into the trends of PPC, SEO and social media marketing amongst companies using agencies across 66 different countries around the world.
The survey showed that the number of businesses using in house digital marketing services fell. Specifically, SEO fell from 51% to 44% between 2010 and 2011, whilst PPC services followed this trend with 47% of businesses dealing with this in-house in 2010 compared to 38% in 2011. Regarding social media, the number of companies using in-house social media services also dropped from 62% of companies in 2010 compared to 55% of companies in 2011.
What is interesting is that a growing number of companies are looking to outsource their digital marketing needs to agencies, as opposed to bringing these activities in house. Are these signs of austerity measures? The need for SEO, PPC and social media services are imperative for branding and increasing exposure online. Therefore companies and businesses are setting aside budgets to allocate for this, and it seems the ROI from agencies is much higher than within an in house marketing department.
There are a whole host of other reasons why businesses are looking for outside help, and according to Econsultancy the popular reasons include: a lack of in-house skills, too time consuming, and a lack of in-house tools and technology.
It would appear the reason for choosing digital marketing agencies, is an issue related to time and cost. Full-time staff need training and create overheads, by outsourcing you invest in ready-made experience and expertise as well as having a more adjustable contractual commitment (for instance, I wouldn’t think that an in-house SEO would be too happy about not being paid for a month or moving to a lower package if you run into difficulties).
However caution should be exercised towards businesses looking for agencies as a lot of them are built on false promises and dodgy tactics. For example, the US retail giant JC Penney were recently penalised by Google for their SEO practitioners’ dubious tactics [See: Looking for a Black Hat? Good luck finding one at JC Penney]
Whilst this is great news for SEO services and digital marketing agencies, the advice for the growing number of businesses contracting out these services is to be careful with whom you choose [See: Can SEO Ever Really be Cheap?], as not all agencies keep to their promises or abide by the rules. However there are plenty of benefits if you do choose the right SEO company, which is no doubt why so many are now choosing to do so.