My last enter was in March 2003. 1 Year, 1 Month Later SEMPO is a significant player in the industry. The organization has 215 members, including most of the large SEM firms in the United States, Canada, and the UK. Google, Overture and Verizon SuperPages have contributed funds to become sponsors of the organization. When all the excitement? Because all of us would like to see more companies spend more money on search marketing. Has SEMPO had an effect on this?
I believe that SEMPO provides part of the reassurance to big brand companies and small businesses that SEM is a legitimate and valuable way to drive sales and leads. Google of course is exciting the whole world with their public announcements of financial disclosure that is pending. But even Google can't convince the traditional advertisers and marketers that SEM should be a player or larger player in the media mix.
SEMPO's articles, case studies and editorials published at http://www.sempo.org/search-engine-marketing-resources.php provide the public with proof that SEM works. The goal - to move money from other online marketing budgets and offline media to SEM campaigns.
Members derive benefits now from SEMPO - access to a list of 'request for services', posting on an active job board (SEM companies really, really need help!), and discounts to many industry events that they can pass on to their clients.
SEMPO is now being represented at many conferences and seminars around the world. At SES Toronto, I am giving the Introduction to Search Engine Marketing talk that will provide attendees with a overview of the industry and advertising opportunities. At Ad-Tech in San Francisco in May, myself and two Board Members (Kevin Lee and Fredrick Marckini) and one Sponsor (Overture - he signed the check!) will debate the issue of Branding and SEM. At SES London we will announce the formation of a European arm of SEMPO, a committee if you will, as well as one for the UK. A group of Japanese SEM companies has proposed SEMPO JAPAN to educate the marketing managers in Japan who have not yet caught on to the hot opportunities.
Next step - to provide research to the members that SEM truly is a mature offering.
I must admit - I never expected the rapid growth of SEMPO and the ground-swell of SEMPO. We got our non-profit status from the government and have a Program Manager for membership on board and an executive administer. I am working about 3 hours a day on running the organization. We are the trade association for the industry. WOW!