cimaI interview the Chicago Interactive Marketing Association’s (CIMA) partner analyst Troy Mastin about their newly-released 7th Semiannual Interactive Marketing Survey, and we discussed what the findings say about the emphasis that agencies are giving to online video and search marketing for business.

How did this survey and panel event get started?

Troy Mastin, Partner Analyst – CIMATroy: I came up with the idea of the survey three years ago, when I was working as an analyst for a firm in Chicago called William Blair & Company. I thought that it would be a good idea to get some proprietary differentiated information. I also felt that this could get some attention and it could become something bigger by adding some sort of a discussion element to it, rather than its one-directional communication.

This survey you’ve presented is meant to be “state of the industry” in Chicago. What is a good way to describe the makeup of the CIMA survey group?

As you can see from our pie chart, our group is pretty heavily skewed towards media sales. So, kind of agency advertiser are about 40% might be one way to put it; media sales are about 40% and other, which I would presume to be a combination of technology companies, that type of thing.


According to your survey respondents, search engine optimization (SEO) and SEM continue to be identified as the most effective internet marketing methods.

SEO is 12%, SEM is 12%, SEO got one more vote than SEM; contextual targeting is 12% with one fewer votes so those three together make up 36% which is kind of interesting.  I always find something interesting here is that all this new stuff that everybody is so enamored with tends to score relatively low – like media exchange is at 1%; blogging, Twitter at 5%…


Why do you think some of these “new school” tactics are considered less effective?  Is it because of their novelty or that they haven’t really been proven yet to be as effective?

I think it’s probably both, but I think probably more often than not, people are more often enamored with new; and in reality, new isn’t as good as old.  Now, I think clearly when it comes to the Internet, in general, that was maybe the case early on. If you go back eight or nine years to when we kind of had a dot-com implosion but, so many times I’ve witnessed companies pursue acquisition strategies – investment strategies, focused on the new, and the reality is the new just doesn’t measure up. 9 times out of 10, I would guess that the new doesn’t pan out to be as robust as expected, at least at certain times.

This question is interesting because it really talks about what’s happening in the businesses today; and what this says is that what drives results are really those things that have been around awhile. For these newer things – either the model hasn’t been figured out yet, or perhaps there never will be a model that will drive results for marketers.

From this survey data, what connection can you make to video and its driving results with search?

I know we didn’t directly ask questions connecting the two (video and search), but yes, video and search regularly perform well. As you can see in one of our slides, the two highest scoring results are rich media and search. That said, we did add mobile and I think mobile outscores that now – and certainly the fastest growth in the coming year.

Would you agree that at least for now, rich media and search are more accessible to a larger business audience than mobile?

I agree. Mobile will be important, but will it be a key driver of search and video? Yeah, to a certain extent I suspect it will be for search, but for very specific searches – certain classes of search. Certainly, location-based searches will be increasingly relevant for mobile – but I think a lot the search activity will probably never go into mobile, and same with video…

CIMA’s next event will be taking place on Thursday November 19, 2009, titled 2009 Industry Review & 2010 Predictions, at the Westin on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago.

Special thanks to our contributing guest reporter, Erika Blackwell, for her on-site coverage of this event.