How To Break Through the Personalization Filter

This is a live blog post from the Online Marketing Summit (#OMSummit) presented by Katherine Watier Ong (@kwatier) of

social media and search break through

The Most Important Transition: Google moved from keyword based results to entities and connections based on results.

Google +’s purpose is not to be a social network. It’s not there to compete against Facebook or twitter. It’s there to identify and help Google understand your connections and entity. Think of it like that, not as a social network, but an opportunity to rank more strongly in search.

Search results are now becoming so smart that Google’s figuring out how all your connections work to feed you only the most relevant content specific to you (and your connections, interests, etc). This works especially well when you are logged into google. This is powered by your Google Data (check your dashboard and update your Google account so your search results are most relevant to your personal interests and connections).

There are 40 personalization factors (check out this link for a full list:


Bing Search 2012

Bing is similar to Google, but has interesting integration features with Facebook and Twitter.  You can ask your friends questions dirtily from search. Bing’s results are powered by your Microsoft data.


Personalization on Facebook

Hop on the Beta Facebook Graph Search to be one of the first to experience the direction of personalization. It will also help you figure out personalized data about other people.


Personalization on Twitter

They are in the game too!. This includes your connections, how strong they are, signals you have, recognition of your gender and show feeds most related to you, etc.


Removing Search Personalization

Think about your underlying assumption…. when you non-perslnzed the search results, are you going to see what your target audience sees?

Ask people to send you a screenshot of the same keyword for fun to see the different personalized results they get in Google. 🙂

But the question is, how do you break through the personalization as a marketer?


Create Personas for your Target Audience

  • Demographics
  • Job Level
  • Pain Points
  • Obejctions to attitude chage
  • Routine for a typical day
  • Level of sophistication with technology
  • Online information sources / social networks


Conversion through Conversation – ask questions and find solutions related to the immediate situation and need of your audience.

Create content for your target audience. That content should focus on their needs, desires, emotional motivators, etc.

  • Use all the social buttons on your site
  • Google + !!
  • Use rel=author and other schema markup to increase CTR, build up the Author Rank and following of your company’s thought leaders.
  • Create a surround sound of social media mentions around your target audience.
  • Create and promote high quality content regularly that matches your audiences’s needs.

Intercept them during a prime moment. 76% of online adults it the US have clicked on links to related stories. “There is no arguing good content is in high demand. Consumers spend more than seven hours per week actively looking for it, viewing up to four articles before they make a buying decision.”

Measure  to see if it’s working. Google searches / mo compared to your analytics traffic by keyword. Social media monitoring to view an increase in volume around your brand name and products. – this helps you figure out what your audience is doing. Easy and extremely useful.


Key Takeaways

  • Know your customer. Use their language.
  • Have them test your message
  • Create search personas and measure against assumptions
  • Provide online content that is quality and shareable
  • Build social communities around your brand – especially

Performance Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing Part 2

Affiliate Marketing vs Performance Marketing
A few days ago I posted an article originally titled “Performance Marketing is NOT Affiliate Marketing“, however it caused some confusion as to my position on particular things so I changed it to Performance Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing. The main point of my post was to demonstrate that in affiliate marketing, in this case from a merchant perspective (since most of my readers are advertisers), there needs to be some actual performance and effort attributed to sales. In reality, this goes for any type of affiliate or merchant partner.

From the affiliate side, this is equivalent to signing up and promoting a program that doesn’t convert. In this case, there is no performance from the merchant side.  That was the point of that post. However, upon receiving some good constructive feedback as to how the title and exclusion of some additional points might contribute to an already confusing topic (and I’m always open to positive constructive feedback), I wanted to share a few more points and insights that might shed some light on this subject.


Here are a few more thoughts on the subject:

1. Performance Marketing as a term can encompass many different channels in the digital marketing space. Technically, any marketing program that produces a return that is higher than the return it was receiving before is performance marketing, because it’s performing.

2. Affiliates, merchants, networks, agencies and anyone within the affiliate marketing space call themselves by a variety of names. A post by Missy Ward from a couple of years ago explains these terms and differences well.

3. Todd Crawford, owner of Impact Radius comments “I feel the terms “performance advertising, advertiser and media partner” are better terms for the currently used “affiliate marketing, merchant, affiliate/publisher” if the intention is to move the industry in a direction that aligns it more closely with other advertising like display, search, email, tv, radio, direct mail, print, etc.” I think this comment aligns with the point of my previous post because it shows affiliates and merchants alike needing to perform to provide value to their partners.

4. There will likely still be confusion over the next few years about the term “Performance Marketing” because it can encompass so many things, be part of so many channels and support so many people’s individual views. However it’s a term that stands strong in the affiliate marketing space because it is “performance” driven.

Regardless of whether we want to term the phrase “performance marketing”, “partnership marketing”, “affiliate marketing” or “associate marketing”, in this case, a level of effort and performance to drive incremental value, to me, still stands.



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