When was the last time you remember hearing that marketers were actually more satisfied with a marketing channel today than in the past?

The annual survey released by Marketing Sherpa, the leading source of Practical News & Case Studies on Internet Advertising, Marketing & PR finds that marketers are happier today than 1-year ago with the results generated from Paid Search Advertising.

In fact, they found that 43% of readers felt that PPC ad results were “very effective.” compared to 34% of readers who felt PPC results were “very good” in July 2004 — and that’s a nine-point jump in satisfaction.

MarketingSherpa surveyed 3,271 marketers in July 2005, who revealed an extraordinary amount of real-life data on their own search marketing experiences. Here are some of those highlights:

30% of marketers in both groups indicated they planned to hold spending steady

According to the same survey satisfaction with search engine optimization did not fair quite as well as Paid Search. Last year 31% surveyed marketers said results were very good, this year, however, the survey indicates that 33% say SEO is very effective, that is only a 2% increase year over year.

Non-search tactics still have ground to gain, such as e-mail marketing, with a 25% “very effective” rate, and affiliate marketing with a 22% “very effective” rate.

So how do those surveyed plan to spend their marketing dollars for the next 12-months?
(Increase in search engine optimization and paid search spending in the next 12-months according to US Markerters, 2005 (as a % of respondants)

B2B Marketers
SEO Big Increase – 23%
PPC Big Increase – 20%
SEO Small Increase – 36%
PPC Small Increse – 36%

B2C Marketers
SEO Big Increase – 29%
PPC Big Increase – 22%
SEO Small Increase – 35%
PPC Small Increase – 43%

And roughly 30% of marketers in both groups indicated they planned to hold spending steady. Some 4-5% of the respondants anticipated a decrease in SEO spending. Meanwhile, about 12% of B2B and 8% of B2C marketeres are planning to cut PPC budgets in 2006.

Other notes of highlight:

Click rates fell in 2005 to 2.6% from 3.0% in 2004.
Google Cost per click increased in 2005 to $1.61 from $1.29 in 2004.