A new report from iProspect, conducted by JupiterResearch, the "Search Engine Marketer Job Function Study," reveals that executives responsible for search engine marketing perform an average of five other job functions in addition to search engine marketing.

The study found that website design (58%) and e-mail advertising (57%) were the most frequently cited non-SEM job functions performed by search marketing professionals.

Search engine marketers are either overworked or under-appreciated. Whichever it may be, iProspect hypothesizes that the additional workload shows that companies are not yet serious about investing human resources in the management of search engine marketing.

"While this finding was troubling — given the complexity of the medium and the quality of the results it delivers — it may only be reflective of the limited pool of experienced search engine marketing talent available in the marketplace, and the need for some organizations to develop this skill set internally," said Robert Murray, President, iProspect, "It also suggests that search marketing is still relatively new at some organizations, and the lack of dedicated resources to the channel are likely due to the absence of enough early results to warrant investment at this stage."

He continued, "Whatever the reason, organizations should be mindful that search marketing is complex, time intensive and requires dedicated resources — it is the rocket science of marketing."

Beyond the number of job functions, the study showed that 26% of search marketers also perform IT functions. The implication is that at least a quarter of search engine marketers probably work for the information technology department rather than the marketing department.

More here.