Googles’ Two Networks

John Hope-Johnstone

John Hope-Johnstone


Google’s two advertising networks are divided into “search” and “display”. They have two very different functions. The Search network responds to keywords typed in by a potential customer that your ad and landing page also includes. Display, on the other hand places your ad within or beside other peoples’ content (websites, videos, articles) that reflect the contextual targeting for which you are looking. Although not totally accurate think of people as searching (search network) and as browsing (display network).

Search is more effective for Direct Response marketers. This can be done by selecting keywords, topics which are referred to as contextual targeting. If you want specific sites or pages for your ads to appear, then by adding “managed placements” you can show your ads on selected web pages, videos, game, RSS feed, mobile sites and yes apps. You can block your ads from sites you don’t think are relevant.

These publishers and content suppliers upon which your ads will be seen, are taken from Adsense Publisher Network, Doubleclick Ad Exchange and Google owned and operated sites and are paid for their participation. There are four major types of ads you can create for the display network: 1: Text ads (same as for the search network). 2 Image ads (ads that have some creative within them). Rich media ads (ads with flash or a moving component) and Video ads.

Happy Marketing, John.

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10 Social Media Trends for 2012

By buzzmaster on January 5, 2012  | Edit

Happy New Year!! Okay, crystal ball in one hand, bottle of Whisky close by, I am ready for my 2012 annual prognostication. Some are ours from HPR Social Media, others dutifully borrowed (and credited) from brains I admire:

1: Marketing Integration: Way back in the day, long before the Internet, I wrote a series

Buzz Master, John Hope-Johnstone

of articles about how marketing needs to integrate its various disciplines to be effective. 2012 is the year marketing needs to integrate social media into the mainstream and not be off in a silo. Marketing loses most of its oomph when the message becomes bifurcated. (HPR Social Media)

2: Marketing Actions: Marketers will move from just gathering tons of analytics from their social media campaigns to asking “so what do we do with all this information?” Turning social media “likes” or “reach” metrics into profitable marketing actions will be a major trend in 2012. (HPR Social Media).

3: Concentrate on the Consumer NOT the Social Media Platform: Marketers will begin to relate their social media analytics to the consumers’ buying stages: 1: Brand awareness, 2: Information fulfillment 3: Conversion. Adjusting their social media strategy as they see the purchasing funnel going up or down. (HPR Social Media)

4: Distribution: Content creators will also become content distributors! Comedian Louis C.K. recently released a comedy special on the Web instrad of a major cable network. He cut out the TV Networks by selling his latest special directly on the Internet and then promoted it via the very cable networks he had shunned. It earned him a cool million in only a few days. (Star Phoenix)

5: Social Media Outsourcing: Creating increasing amounts of content will become a bigger and bigger drain on corporate resources. Marketers will need to find sustainable resources for creating great content including more outsourcing. As social media matures, efficiency will become an increasingly important factor. (Nichole Kelly, founder of As reported by Social Media Examiner

6: Conversion: Permission based texting will become increasingly mainstream and in some instances will become be a true metric of actual conversion, especially when combined with QR codes, (or the next gen of QR codes), and location based marketing platforms. (HPR Social Media)

7: Political:  In 2012, the major political campaigns will be even more dependent on social networks, possibly to the extent that effective social campaigns will be more important than broad-stroke and increasingly expensive TV ads. Certainly, no candidate will be able to succeed without a strong following on each of the major social networks. Rafe Needleman CNET

8: Google+ Struggles:  Google+ has a lot of good features, but it needs much more than that to take on Facebook and Twitter. Even Google’s tacit promotion of Google+ on its other services and toolbars won’t be enough to make it part of the daily diet of social networks for the hundreds of millions of users that Facebook has in its thrall. (CNET)

9: Outsourcing through Crowdsourcing: Crowdsourcing has so much potential but also carries a stigma of unfair labor practices. Based on growth rates calculated by, it looks like this has the potential to finally take off on an enterprise level if companies can be assured of politically-correct and fairly-paid sources of labor. Mark Schaefer

10: Social + TV convergence. There’s something major happening with apps, such as Get Glue. You can “check in” to a TV program and then have conversations with people around the world who are watching the same thing. It allows you to review the shows, talk about what’s happening, and listen to what others are saying. It works for movies and music, too. Plus, if the rumors are true and Steve Jobs’s last project was iTV, this will become huge next year. (Ragan’s PR Daily written by Gini Dietrich)


Why are Social Media Platforms so Popular?

John Hope-Johnstone

Although I have no empirical proof, I don’t believe social media would have been the phenom back in the 1950s as it is today, even if we had the technology.

The reason is simple, we were a different society back then. We were closer geographically to our families and friends. We were working more in manufacturing and most expected to stay with the same company for a long time.

Today 38% of Americans believe they are their own brand and hold no allegiance to any employer, as their employers have show little allegiance to them.

We have become a nation of small businesses, mostly service industry, and we have become our own personal brands. We search for that 15 minutes of fame to help promote our brand, and gossip seems to rule the day.

Steve Rubel, EVP of Edelman stated duruing a recent presentation at the Mashable Connect 2011 as reported by Erica Swallow, that we are entering an era on the Internet, where users are looking to find “validated” sources within the mist of the information overload that we all experience.

I agree with Mr Rubel. In our HPR Social Media Marketing Seminars we offer two sociological reasons why people respond to social media marketing:

1) Social Validation: Social Validation occurs when consumers do not have enough information to make independent opinions and so hunt for external clues such as; popularity, trust, rankings, etc.

2) Social Badging: Social Badging occurs when people validate their persona through the purchase of brands, or by the organizations with which they align. (40% of people who join a facebook business page do it for Social Badging. Exact Target and CoTweet Study 2010).

As Mr. Rubel stated in his speech: “The reality is, there’s too much content and not enough time.”  He related a startling fact “more content is created in one day in 2011 than existed in entirety prior to 2003. It’s no wonder that people are looking for “validation”.

Edelman publishes an annual “Trust Barometer” which gauges attitudes towards business, governement, NGOs and media across 23 countries.

In 2006 their study found that people trusted their peers the most when forming opinions about brands. Rubel points out the rise of social media to explain this finding.

In 2011, the Trust Barometer showed a dynamic shift, with academics, experts and technicians becoming the most trusted sources. The trust in comments by peers has declined by 4% since 2009.

This shift in authority Rubel proposes that people in 2011 are searching for validation or authority in content, through a cloverleaf of different media:

  1. Traditional media which encompass the big media companies that have survived and thrived in the digital era
  2. Tradigital Media, which include digitally native media companies that are often niche-focused blogs and have high social amplification.
  3. Owned Media, this is content created by the brand themselves.
  4. Social Media Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, driving increased engagement between consumers and brands and by pushing consumers to other trusted media spheres.

Rubel points out that there are five steps to using this new “validation” or “trust” clover leaf:

  1. Elevate your Experts: Those that have street-cred and have followers who respect their opinions already.
  2. Curate to Connect:  The word “curate,” lofty and once rarely spoken outside exhibition corridors or British parishes, has become a fashionable code word among the aesthetically minded, who seem to paste it onto any activity that involves culling and selecting. So in this aspect it means to search, obtain and code the most valid and important content in your field. Hence, becoming a trusted thought leader.
  3. Dazzle with Data: “People on the Internet do not read” Rubel says. They will read 20% of a Web page before moving on;  57% never come back to that page. “We are a blobal planet of fruit flies.” Data and informational must become more visually entertaining.
  4. Put Pubs on Hubs: Publish your company’s content where the fish are, rather than expecting the fish to find you.
  5. Ask & Answer: Be a thought leader, be a source of good information. Empower all of your staff to be thought leaders and encourage them to ask and answer as much as possible. It builds staff knowledge and respect.

What’s Working and What’s Not in Social Media?

John Hope-Johnstone

Sometimes it is a good idea to stop and ask what is working and what is not in marketing.

With social media being the new kid on the block, I wanted to take this post and ask does corporate America believe social media is fulfilling expectations.

The following, from eMarketer (a great source of Social Media information), the following graphs show the key social media activities that corporate marketers are using:

According to this July 2009 study, building “brand awareness” is the top reason an organizations will use social media. This would place it squarely in the court of Public Relations. Second, is networking and third is  customer services.

Now, nearly two years later it is valuable to ask if  organizations are satisfied with their social media efforts.

Brand development, expressed in this chart as “awareness” seems to have done moderately well with only about 13% points lower than initial expectation. This can be explained, possibly, by the dissatisfied organizations NOT having a strategy, or not the right one. It is still a reasonable satisfaction level for brand awareness.

Identifying and attracting your next customer, which in the 2009 study could be related possibly to “networking”, shows a higher level of dissatisfaction with an 18% percentage point difference between initial expectations and final results.

Staying engaged with customers seems to be the most effective use of social media in the eyes of the marketing executives. With people feeling that this category exceeded expectation by three percentage points.

A majority of the early fans of a business facebook page will be the organization’s present consumers. This is only natural as they are easy to target and have a built-in positive bias towards the organization. Keeping in contact with your top consumers is a vital role for any marketing executive and one in which social media excels.

As far as this study is concerned, the two areas of marketing that social media has reached expectations are: 1) Brand awareness, 2) Maintaining customer contact.

MarketingProfs survey of business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers, as reported by eMarketer, found that the marketing tactics most often used on social sites are not necessarily the best ones.

The most common marketing tactic used on Facebook was attempting to drive traffic to corporate sites through status updates. The most effective tactic for consumer-oriented companies, as reported by eMarketer, was creating Facebook applications, which was done by less than one-quarter of total respondents. Both B2B and B2C companies also reported that surveying their fans was an effective tool; fan surveys were the third-most-common tactic attempted.

Thanks to eMarketer and Marketing Profs for this insight. I hope this has helped you get a grasp on what other organizations find works or does not, in social media.

Your viewpoint and comments are always appreciated. Thanks for reading. We invite you to subscribe.

Social Media Leaders Podcast

John Hope-Johnstone

Hola, I have been having great fun with Podcasting recently. Since my early days were spent in radio and television as an announcer I tend to gravitate towards the ease of Podcasting. In addition, it allows me to meet and chat with some very special people who are leaders in social media in their fields.

The follow is an interview recorded on September 8th 2010 with two top leaders in social media marketing for tourism. Mo Sherifdeen, @mosherifdeen, who oversees all things digital for Travel Oregon, the tourism marketing agency for the State and Troy Thompson, owner of Travel 2.0 Consulting, a well known blogger and tourism consultant. Mo and Troy have been co-writing the well read blog Travel 2.0 for a few years and are both highly respected in social media arena. They discuss the challenges that destinations have in maintaining their leadership role through the constant demand for new content. They will also discuss how tourism marketing budgets are changing to accept the importance of social media and also the concept of marketing destinations via QR (bar) codes and bar code readers on smart phones. Click on the Podbean logo below to listen to the fun interview and learn lots:

Our next Podcast interview on Social Media Leaders is with Bill Geist and will be posted on on Monday September 27th 2010. Bill is President of Zeitgeist Consulting, a firm specializing in strategic planning, marketing and legislative issues for DMOs. Bill is renown in the tourism field and one of the earliest adopters of social media.

Do Consumer Generated Reviews Work?

John Hope-Johnstone

Olá!  In 1995, when  first began letting customers post reviews of products, many people, (myself included), thought the Internet retailer had lost their collective marbles. Letting consumers rant about products in public was a recipe for retail suicide we thought. Now, almost 15 years later, customer reviews are as common as hyperlinks, and a retail Web site that does not have feedback loops is considered irrelevant. In fact, more than 5 million consumers have posted tens of millions of reviews on, reports the Seattle company.

Do consumer generated reviews effect business? Yes says the Nielson company in a July 2009 study of 25,000 consumers in 50 countries. Ninety percent of consumers surveyed noted that they trust recommendations from people they know, while 70 percent trusted consumer opinions posted online.

Jonathan Carson, President of Online, International, for the Nielsen Company was reported as saying, “The explosion in Consumer Generated Media over the last couple of years means consumers’ reliance on word of mouth in the decision-making process, either from people they know or online consumers they don’t, has increased significantly.”

The 2009 report gives this graph as example of consumer trust:

Nielson Trust in Advertising

Back in 2007, comScore, Inc., a leader in measuring the digital world, announced the results of a study conducted with The Kelsey Group, a leading research and strategic analysis firm focused on local media and advertising, that examined the impact of consumer-generated reviews on the price consumers were willing to pay for a service delivered offline. The study, based on a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. Internet users in October 2007, revealed that consumers were willing to pay at least 20 percent more for services receiving an “Excellent,” or 5-star, rating than for the same service receiving a “Good,” or 4-star, rating.

The study reported the non-Internet sales impact of online reviews for restaurants, hotels, travel, legal, medical, automotive and home services. Nearly one out of every four Internet users (24 percent) reported using online reviews prior to paying for a service delivered offline. Of those who consulted an online review, 41 percent of restaurant reviewers subsequently visited a restaurant, while 40 percent of hotel reviewers subsequently stayed at a hotel.

More than three-quarters of review users in nearly every category reported that the review had a significant influence on their purchase, with hotels ranking the highest (87 percent). Ninety-seven percent of those surveyed who said they made a purchase based on an online review said they found the review to have been accurate. Review users also noted that reviews generated by fellow consumers had a greater influence than those generated by professionals.

The report went on to say that, “comScore asked the study participants how much they would be willing to pay for a particular service based on the quality of the service. The results showed that consumers were willing to pay between 20 percent and 99 percent more for an Excellent (5 star) rating than for a Good (4 star rating), depending on the product category.”

This underscores the need in the service industry to not just give good service (which is expected by the consumer) but to give outstanding service that is “remarkable” by the consumer. This then becomes part of the purchase “bragging rights” whereby the consumer creates “buzz” about the purchase to others not only about the product but the service that went along with it.

To support this hypothesis that consumer generated reviews really do affect buying behavior, a 2007 study by Deloitte & Touche USA reported that;  “almost two-thirds (62%) of the respondents to an online poll said they now read online product reviews written by other consumers. More than eight in 10 (82%) of those who read reviews said that their purchasing decisions have been directly influenced by those reviews. People have used the reviews both to confirm initial buying decisions and to change them”, the study found.

While the percentages were slightly higher for younger shoppers, all age groups are reading and acting on online reviews, according to Deloitte. In addition, 69% of the respondents said they have shared online reviews with friends, family or colleagues, the report stated.

But what about negative reviews. Even the best of brands will receive negative reviews at some point. According to a study by Euro RSCG Worldwide, 20 percent of consumers reportedly lash out at or about companies or their brands, due to the anonymity of social media. But that leaves 80 percent of consumers who do not. In other words, 20 percent makes up those who are unhappy with your products or services; if you only have 10 unhappy customers out of the 1,000 you serve, then less than one percent of your customer base is likely to lash out.

Ignoring any negative comments is foolish, it only feeds the problem. Respond, and respond immediately. Inspect the problem being reported, fix it if it exists, and report back. Keeping the dissatisfied consumer in loop all the way.

Today, we are not teaching new employees to “complete the loop”. Completing the loop simply means whom ever you pass the negative comment onto, YOU never negate contacting the complainer back yourself and keeping that customer in the loop every step of the way. You cannot overkill communications to a dissatisfied customer and all of their followers on the consumer review site.

I hope this has brought some thought to you about consumer generated reviews. Please post a comment or some additional information about consumer generated reviews. Thanks for reading.