The in-depth report also looks at how companies are using various digital marketing channels, including paid search, search engine optimisation (natural search) and social media marketing.

It follows a survey of over 400 respondents from both companies (client-side advertisers) and agencies, collected in November 2013.

The findings cover the significance of different technologies and trends across paid search, SEO, social media, digital display, email and mobile marketing. The study also contains information on spending, resourcing and untapped potential in digital marketing.

One of the questions asked was “on average, how much time do you spend each month reading, researching and learning about the latest trends in the following areas of digital marketing?”

Of course these are the results from the respondents surveyed by Econsultancy and SEMPO therefore may not necessarily reflect the industry as a whole, but it’s a good indication where marketers are generally devoting their current attention.

Every respondent asked devoted some time in researching SEO every month, which shows how vital a tool it’s perceived to be. Marketing analytics and paid search also figure highly in marketer’s research time.

Analysing this research may help influence training and development plans for digital marketers. As the playing field continues to evolve, knowledge development is likely to be key in developing a competitive advantage. 

In terms of putting that research into practice, we asked our respondents “when it comes to testing out new techniques and technologies, how would you best describe your company’s approach to the following kinds of marketing?”  

Out of the companies surveyed, 24% claim they are the most ‘highly experimental’ when it comes to mobile marketing. Although SEO, social media and paid search follow closely behind.

Companies however are most likely to experiment with social media marketing, with 73% of respondents being either ‘highly’ or ‘somewhat’ experimental, perhaps this is down to the frequency of emerging social platforms and the feeling that any tentative steps towards early adoption would be considered an ‘experiment’.

For more insight, research and trends, download our full 78 page State of Search Marketing Report 2013.