Greenlight's Magazine: 2012 Search Predictions Edition


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Read our 2012 Predictions magazine with contributions from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and more. Then watch the video where Greenlight's Directors discuss their search and social predictions for 2012.

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Greenlight's Magazine: 2012 Search Predictions Edition

  1. 1. themagazinejon baron | tagman“2012 the year when attribution willmove from being a topic ofdiscussion to a mode of reporting.”See inside for Microsoft, Yahoo! andGoogle’s predictions for 2012.miki clarke | debenhams“The online channel is a major trafficdriver for Debenhams. In 2012, ourchallenge is to continue achievingmore with our budget.” Read morefrom Santander, BSkyB and Dreams.adam bunn | greenlight“It’s time to stop thinking of SEOas a bubble, and time that SEObecomes more than SEO, more thanjust links.” Read more articles fromGreenlight’s Directors.Predictions for 2012 Editionnovember 2011 | Issue 02original cover illustration by Arnold Bryant
  2. 2. THE GREENLIGHT BOARDAndreas Pouros | COOAndreas has been involved in search for 11 years, joining Greenlight in 2003.He is an expert in both business and technological principles and directsGreenlight’s client services and implementation teams. Andreas also plays apivotal role in product development and business growth strategy.1Alicia Levy | CMOAlicia has worked in digital marketing for 12 years and joined Greenlightin 2003 to set up its paid search division. As Managing Director ofPaid Search, Alicia was at the helm of Greenlight’s PPC technology launchesincluding the multi-award winning Adapt. In her current role, Alicia provides astrategic lead in product development, marketing and training.Warren Cowan | CEOWarren has worked exclusively in the search marketing industry for over 13 yearsand founded Greenlight in 2001. He has developed unrivalled search knowledgeand a unique perspective on the growth and movement of the industry, whilstactively directing and driving the company’s 100 strong team in its global growthand product development.
  3. 3. FOREWORDAndreas Pouros | COOAnother similar prediction, one that was inarguablymade but apparently misunderstood, is attributed toKen Olsen, the founder of Digital EquipmentCorporation (DEC) who said, in a meeting in 1977 ofthe World Future Society in Boston, that “...there is noreason why anyone would want a computer in theirhome”. He apparently meant computers that controlledeverything in the home, not PC-type machines. Soundslike a poor attempt to cover up a blunder to me.It obviously came to pass that both of these allegedpredictions were exceptionally wrong; not only wouldevery person on Earth want a computer in their home,two billion of them now exist and if that were notimpressive enough, many of us also own portableadaptations for vital tasks like playing Plants vs.Zombies whilst commuting into work. If ThomasWatson had said that only five people in the worldmight not want a computer, he’d have been vastly moreaccurate.So predictions are funny things - even the experts canget them wrong and routinely do.That said, the Editor-in-Chief of Wired Magazine oncesaid that more predictions are correct than we mightimmediately assume, but it’s the ‘when’ that they missthe mark on. Greenlight’s own predictions this time lastyear for 2011 are a good case in point. Whilst most ofour predictions for 2011 actually came true - from theemergence of display type ads being tested in Google’sresults to QR codes making their way into above theline advertising - several of our predictions haven’t, butmay quite feasibly materialise in the next 12 months,such as our prediction that Google and Bing will offersome type of ‘app search’ functionality in their searchresults.Upon reflection therefore, the first rule in makingpredictions seems to be that you should only predict ayear ahead, two years tops if you’re interested in beingright, otherwise you’re making it incredibly easy for theuniverse to effortlessly embarrass you down the line.The second rule I’ll appropriate from Alan Cox, therenowned British computer programmer, whosaid that if you’re intent on makingpredictions, you should...make lots of them, because that way some of themwill actually come true. And the third rule would be tomake sure your prediction isn’t immortalised in print,otherwise it might be difficult to convince people thatyou were ‘misunderstood’.With these rules in mind, we asked a reassuringly-sizedgroup of notable experts to share with us, and with you,their predictions on what they believe will come to passin the world of search and social in the relativeshort-term, i.e. the next 12 months. To that end, in thepages that follow, we have contributions from some ofour own experts, as well as those that constitute thefabric of our sector – Google, Yahoo, Tag Man andMicrosoft. Last but not least, we have contributionsfrom those at the frontline of online commerce -Catherine Daniel at BskyB, Miki Clarke at Debenhams,Matt Reid at Santander and Gary Robinson at Dreams.Covering off the third rule - making sure there’s nophysical evidence of our predictions - is a tad moredifficult, particularly with all these computerseverywhere. So contributors, thank you for yourcontributions, good luck and no pressure!On behalf of all at Greenlight, we hope you have aprosperous holiday season. - AP2Possibly my favourite prediction of all time is attributed to Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM in the1940s. He allegedly stated that there was a global market for ‘maybe five computers’. Computers at thetime were the size of entire homes, let alone capable of sitting discretely on your coffee table, so you cansee how he’d have come to that statement, if indeed he actually made it.
  4. 4. 3We asked some of our clients and partners to put pen to paper and tell us what they think 2012will bring. Read contributions from Debenhams, TagMan, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Santander,BskyB and Dreams and find out what they think the key industry trends in 2012 will be for searchand social. Amongst other important themes, find out what our contributors think will happen inthe year ahead for Google Shopping, Augmented Reality, Apps and Multi-channel strategies.
  5. 5. 4Catherine DanielDisplay SEO and PPC“An essential for 2012 is amultiple device, cross channelstrategy. Customers areconsuming content/productsacross numerous platforms andengaging with brands acrossmany different channels.“Consumers don’t consciously thinkthat they are switching channels andmany may consume several at onceor in a very short timeframe. In thespace of a day a customer might seea Sky Bet ad on Sky Sports, Google it,register via a PPC link on their laptoppre match, check out predictions onTwitter or Facebook, then later searchon their iPhone, come through anorganic listing and bet live in playusing their mobile. It’s importantthat the strategy is aligned acrossall of these touch points to make theusers’ device transition as smooth aspossible.Products such as Google+ that workto integrate digital channels willbecome increasingly difficult toignore. An aggregation tool that canmonitor sentiment, influence organicand paid search, pull in articles fromacross the web, allow users to sharecontent and stream videos and alsoact as a social media platform couldbecome very powerful, very quickly.As social media channels becomemore powerful and start to genuinelyinfluence other above the line spend(notably PPC and SEO), I think we willstart to see social media budgetsbecome more of a businessopportunity, rather than anafterthought. As a result social mediawill no longer be allowed to besomething brands are sure theyshould do but are not exactly surewhy. It will instead need to be ameasurable activity that deliversreturn on investment.Miki ClarkeSEO ManagerMiki Clarke SEO Manager atDebenhams, shares a snapshotof the exciting things thisleading high street retailer hasbeen up to - from GoogleShopping to Augmented Reality,and why in her view, 2012 willbe the year of exploring newideas in search and social.2012, will be the year ofexploration and experimentation insearch and social. The online channelis a major traffic driver forDebenhams and as we head into2012, our challenge will be tocontinue achieving more with ourbudget. Both search and pay per click(PPC) are becoming morecompetitive. This year, Google hasmade frequent updates to itsalgorithm. This meant we had tochange our marketingstrategies and tactics to line up withthem - just one of the otheradjustments we have had toroutinely ‘build in’ to ensure wemaintain our competitive edge andconvert on what is already a limitedpool of demand.User signals and retargeting toengage and convertUser signals are becoming moreimportant for natural search andwith the paid quality scores, bouncerates are something we are focusingon. We are looking at ways to betterengage users once they get to oursite and improve these, by increasingconversion rates whilst we have theprospects’ attention.User signals and social will continueto grow in importance as people’sengagement with brands develops.Google+ is one approach to trying toramp this right up and getting brandson board – this is something whichI expect Google will really push andstart to incorporate into its algorithmmore.Retargeting, an area still in its infancy,is proving hugely effective and achannel where results can clearly beseen. It is one we will continue to lookto develop. However, a lot will rest onthe final outcome of the recent EUprivacy rulings surroundingcookies which could significantlyimpact retargeting activity. It’s a hottopic, one we will continue to followclosely in 2012.Google Shopping – where local andmobile search are headingDebenhams was one of a limited listof launch partners of Google LocalShopping which launched back inSeptember. I expect it to take off andbecome more widely used by bothbrands and consumers in 2012.
  6. 6. 5Retailers provide Google with an inventory feed whichshows local stores and corresponding stock availability.Searchers using Google can then return a list of retailerswith the corresponding number of products and items- they have in stock. At the moment Google Shopping isstill very much a hidden feature in Google. It is very hardto track whether people actually go into the store andbuy something on the back of having seen availabilityonline. However, this will continue to bedeveloped and ways of getting this data will beestablished.Google Shopping currently works well for White Goods.With clothing however, there are different options andvariations that need taking into account such as sizingand colour. But overall, this is the foundation of whereboth local and mobile search are heading - Google tryingto map against searches and the physical world throughthe browser, perhaps leading to a greater emphasis on‘reserve and collect’. Ultimately, if a checkout service isprovided within this, then all you need is Google!Additionally, this approach is potentially addressing theall too familiar green issue – sourcing locally is better forthe environment all round, surely? And this result willleave retailers happy too.Augmented Reality, Multichannel Retailing andExperimentation2012 will be the year when we see multichannel retailersgrowing at a faster pace than pure-play. Data suggeststhat retailers who have embraced it are profiting from itand capitalising. There will always be certain productsconsumers will want to physically see or try on beforepurchase, so multichannel is the way forward.For Debenhams, next year will see a lot moreexperimentation, particularly in the areas of mobile, anduse of data and learnings - using evidence of what thecustomers like best and running with that.We have also tested augmented reality with our virtualpop up store, combining geolocations with augmentedreality via a clever little app designed by GoldRun whichruns on iPhones or iPad2 devices, incorporatinggeolocation know-how. Shoppers were able to view tenparty dresses (only available at a particular location),virtually try them on, order them and get them deliveredto an address of their choice. So we for one are triallingall sorts, and this is set to continue.In summary, retailers like Debenhams will be investing inmobile and other channels that work – it’s going to be ayear of exploring new areas.TagMan Chief Revenue Officer and Co-FounderJon Baron discusses his predictions for managingcomplexity in today’s online marketing world andthe future for attribution.One of our predictions for 2012 would be ‘complexitymanaged’- that’s to say managing the complexity andvast array of new tools available. The last couple of yearshas seen an explosion of technologies and services, allof which deliver advertisers greater efficiency in theironline marketing activity (Data Management Platforms,Exchanges, Demand Side Platforms, Ad Verification,Online Customer Service, Attribution Management,Retargeting etc.). 2012 will be the year advertisers startto make sense of all these new services - not only in theirminds, but also technologically - using platforms like ourown (TagMan) to house and integrate them to build asingle view of their online audiences, delivering amanaged approach to actually acting on that view.We also envisage 2012, as the year when attributionwill move from being a topic of discussion to a mode ofreporting. In other words, more advertisers will plan theirspend and optimise their campaigns based on attributionanalysis of consumers responses to marketing andnon-marketing channels (direct to site, online chat, callcentre activity from web). Using this, we should, forexample, expect to see the bidding of search and displaystart to work in harmony. In general, display has the mostto gain as full channel attribution analysis willdemonstrate that banners do work as an upstreamchannel, which will redefine development in the displaysector away from its current uncomfortable chase for theJon BaronChief Revenue Officer and Co-Founder
  7. 7. 6“I’m going to start myprediction by winding back theclock a bit, to July 2009, whenGoogle launched its so called‘brand algorithm update’(officially titled ‘Vince’ for thetrivia buffs amongst you).”search for can tell search enginesabout the strength of a brand,because the strength of a branddirectly influences those searches.What is the best means ofinfluencing brand perception online?Right now I would argue social media.At the same time, more and moremarketers are cottoning onto the factthat social media can dramaticallycatalyse SEO campaigns, byincreasing the speed of accrual andvolume of natural links pointing to asite, as I wrote about at length in thelast issue of Greenlight’s magazine.All of this is known information, sohere’s my prediction: next year, theconfluence of user signals influencingsearch engines perception of brandstrength, and everyone being on the“social media helps us build links”bandwagon, will make 2012 the yearof social link building.You could argue that this has alreadyhappened, but I don’t think I’m alonein believing that collectively we’vebarely begun to scratch the surface ofwhat’s possible when SEO and Socialare properly integrated. Sure, peoplehave been creating infographics andpromoting them virally for two orthree years (to the extent that manyinfographics these days are startingto seem a bit “me too”), and the ideaof link bait of all stripes has beenaround for considerably longer. Don’tget me wrong, that kind of activity isstill important as part of a campaign,but what I’m talking about are fullblown, off the wall campaigns thatintegrate innovative content,competitions, blogger outreach,social, PR... the lot. In fact, why stopat online? Make TV shows! Throwevents! I know from some of the stuffbeing planned with our clients thatwe will be, and I’m very excited aboutit.It’s time to stop thinking of SEO as abubble, it’s time that SEO becomesmore than SEO, more than just links.It’s SEO = Digital PR. SEO = yourbrand. Next year marketers whothink like that when planning theircampaigns will win, and those who donot will be “also-rans”.This update attempted toincorporate user search behaviourand click patterns directly into thealgorithm, so that searching forkeyword X, not finding anything ofinterest, then immediately searchingfor a particular Brand Y, would helpBrand Y rank for keyword X evenin the absence of the usual rankingsignals. As it happened, at the timeGoogle turned this new algorithmelement up too high, resulting in toomuch emphasis being put on usersearch behaviour and causing somevery strange search results, such thatVince was rolled back in fairly shortorder.What does any of this have to dowith SEO in 2012? Well, even thoughGoogle bungled the implementationof Vince I think the intention waspretty clear: what userslast view. Also, clients who start toexamine the mix between paid andnatural search will find ‘targetbusting’ efficiencies in both - ifGoogle lets them.Adam BunnDirector of SEOMatt ReidHead of e-Marketing“The media landscape is everchanging, but the next few yearswill see significant developmentsin how organisations buy andplan their media to meetconsumer demand.”Investments in more traditionalawareness channels, be they TV,Outdoor, Sponsorship or indeeddigital display, are all valid andimportant parts of media plans. Butmany companies are going to have tothink hard about these, as there aresignificant changes in the way thatbrands are perceived, and the productevaluation process for customers.We have seen a phenomenal growthin price comparison sites. Now, thesecompanies themselves representsome of the biggest budgets in theUK, some passing theeye-watering £100 million mark.
  8. 8. Equally, customers have less in their pockets, and aredemanding more. Often this includes turning online tolook for vouchers, best buy prices, or just the latestdiscount offer. The proportion of full price payingcustomers at Zizzi’s and Pizza Express, for example, isdecreasing each year.The key question is where is this heading? Whilst pricecomparison is growing, I think this is just a sign of thingsto come. Many of the items we buy and use arerelatively commoditised – the exceptions become lessevery year – perfume, Apple hardware, and some itemsof clothing remain dominantly brand oriented in thepurchase process, but these are at risk of beingcompared if the distribution sources cannot becontrolled.Arguably, only Apple truly falls outside this at themoment – with manufacturing, pricing and distributionclearly locked down and controlled. This stacks up whilstdifferentiation is there, although many will argue thatthis is not sustainable in the long term.Google have tried a lot of things, and arguably onlysucceeded in a few well documented ways. It’s abilityand capability is at the heart of the changes we haveseen. This is the ability of a customer to see what thebest results for their needs are.Growth of comparison, coupled with real time customerinput and feedback will commoditise many brands.Value for a business is hard to find, and will not geteasier.For a company in the UK, spending more on awarenesswill not necessarily improve things, and is harder tojustify as budgets get tighter.What will help businesses to succeed, is to realise thattimes have changed and to accept that there is still muchmore to come.“Search is about to change quite radically. Formore than a decade, search has been stagnant:the core product has not changed much. Usershave changed radically in that time frame. Eventhough the kind of content users consume isdifferent, search engines are still focused mostlyon web pages.”One aspect of all the major engines’ Search ResultsPages that has remained constant over the years are theblue links. In 2012, we could start to see less and lessreal estate being taken up by plain blue links, as enginesmove further into the realms of rich results.This supports the belief that 2012 will bring aninnovation arms race, more competitive than it’s beenfor a long time. Yahoo! and Microsoft are expected toexecute the Search Alliance in the UK next year, and thisshould bring with it a range of product innovations fromboth companies.It’s difficult to write predictions for 2012 withoutmentioning mobile. Advertisers will see increasedconsumer confidence in purchasing big ticket itemsthrough their mobile devices, especially considering the2011 impact of tablet computers. In the first six monthsof 2011, UK mobile web users grew by 25%, but this wasover-indexed by the 40% growth in mobile searches(ComScore 2011). So 2012 may perhaps not quite bethe fabled ‘year of mobile’, but then what exactly are weexpecting when we say that?!Some other predictions worth a thought are:4 Innovation in new ad formats will result in rich ad adoption increasing. Continued on page 9Simon TurnerSearch Business Strategist7Socialise with GreenlightCatch up with us on us on the discussion on
  9. 9. 8Greenlight’s Online Search & Social Interaction Platform (GOSSIP)The GOSSIP platform:Is a managed solution designed to allow global organisations to respond to the search and socialdemands of modern online business.Provides a home for all your media assets – press releases, videos, Twitter and blog posts, guides,surveys, forums, polls, widgets, graphics, podcasts, promotions, voucher codes, and much more.Empowers marketers to engage more effectively with journalists, social networks, and consumers bygiving them direct, rapid publishing power for the first time.Responds directly to the very real danger that big brands will be left behind due to their relativeinability to be dynamic in the online search and social spheres.Essentially, brands are often great at being corporations, but need GOSSIP to build leadership in thefast-paced world of real time search and social media.Greenlight’s solutions are used by many of the world’s best known brands to enhance their performancewhy don’t you join them?4444
  10. 10. 94 Consumer behaviour will be more influenced than ever by their online socialenvironments. This may mean more research before purchase, and higher bounce rates.4 There are around one millionmobile and tablet apps in the Apple and Android stores.App search currently available,is akin to web search back in 1996 – unreliable andunstructured. Advertisers want it to be easier for consumers to find their apps, so we’relikely to see advancements in app search. Yahoo! seem to be leading the way in this particular space.“2011 has been a busy year forthe search industry withGoogle acquiring Invite Mediaand Teracent.”As we head into 2012, Google isabout to officially launch itsDoubleClick Search V3 platform -DS3 - a bid management programmewhich will combine Yahoo! and MSNinto an AdWords type interface, andsignificantly invest in the DoubleClickplatform, specifically DoubleClick forAdvertisers (DFA) and the Exchange.As advertisers will wereally need to invest elsewhere whenGoogle could potentially provide itall? Hannah Kimuyu, Director of PaidMedia explains.One of my predictions in 2008 wasthat Google would, by 2009, haveexpanded into display advertisingfollowing its acquisition of DoubleClick. In 2009, three of my fivepredictions for 2010 hinted at a newwave of display, pegged ‘performancedisplay’. Two years later the DoubleClick acquisition and some incredibledevelopments such as Remarketingand Placement Targeting have turneda once struggling Content Network(AdSense to the Publishers), into asuccess story - one we now know asthe Google Display Network (GDN).Google’s noteworthy acquisitions andinvestments this year combined withthe mighty AdWords suggests thatby the end of 2012, not only will 90%of advertisers search budgets be inAdWords but also that this trend isset to be the case for display as well.Where does this leave other networkssuch as Yahoo!, if Google canpotentially provide it all?The last ten years is evidence thatwhen Google sets its sights onexpanding and changing the digitalspace, it does it properly. However, ifGoogle is creating a one-stop-shopfor all digital advertising, where doesthis leave the other networks? Andas advertisers do we really need toinvest elsewhere when Google couldpotentially provide it all?Interestingly, in the last 12 months,Yahoo! has finally woken up to theintegration of search and display. Itnow strategically places its two teamstogether, making it easier foradvertisers to get into the RightMedia Exchange (RMX) and theDirect Response (DR) networks. Alsowith the Search Alliance finally hittingthe UK in 2012, this should improveHannah KimuyuDirector of Paid MediaYahoo! and Bing’s combined searchefforts. However optimistic this maysound, it is obvious there is a longway to go before Google starts to seea dent in its market share.Assuming Google and Yahoo! pull thisoff; I believe this will support anotherbig subject being debated by onlinemarketers across the UK –attribution - one of the biggest buzzwords for 2011 and definitely a hottopic for 2012. If all of myadvertising budget can be spentin one place (this one-stop shopscenario) then surely it makes myattribution modelling easier and moretransparent.What is clear is that thedevelopments Google has made in2011 and the past few years shouldsee it become a serious authority - ifnot the leader in display, overtakingYahoo!, as well as search by the endof 2012.“If 2011 was the year thattechnology really started todeliver the promises ofreal-time bidding, mobile andsocial advertising, then 2012 willbe the year when we start to seethe beginning of hockey stickspend growth in these spaces.”Recently at IAB Engage, AppNexusColm BrachenGroup Search Manager
  11. 11. 10CEO, Brian O’Kelley predicted that by 2015 over halfof the global display spend will be auctioned and soldthrough exchanges. Mobile advertising, particularly insearch will accelerate even more quickly as smartphonepenetration hits 50% in the UK.One of the most profound recent changes to digitalmarketing will occur on TVs. In the past few weeks, Xboxannounced that a new era in TV will begin this Christmasas nearly 40 world-leading TV and entertainmentproviders will begin rolling out new entertainmentservices worldwide to Xbox 360. In the UK, these willinclude the BBC, Channel 4 and LoveFilm. This will openup a world of opportunities for advertisers as more andmore digital entertainment will be consumed on TVs.The next big thing in search for 2012Without question, search is undergoing a lot of change inhow relevance is being determined. At the heart of thischange will be the humanisation of the searchexperience, as more and more social signals arebeing used to personalise search results. The power ofsocial graph data will be used to create search resultsthat vastly improve the personal search experience.Therefore, optimising social media strategies will play alarge part in ensuring a brand is found on Bing and othersearch engines.A key theme will emerge around the “appification” of theWeb, and in particular in the search domain. Bing willcontinue to find new ways to help users complete tasksand not just return information. It will be more a case of“Search and Do” rather than “Search and Find”.Finally, how we search will change. Search need notsolely be about typing keywords, but rather the potentialto search using sounds and images. With Bing on Xbox,the Mango release of Windows Phone 7 and Siri, voicesearch has shown us how much more naturally we caninterface with technology.Will we see an increase in budgets for both search andsocial in 2012?Indeed we will. Search may have taken a step out ofthe limelight with the recent innovations we’re seeingin Real Time Bidding (RTB), mobile and social. But, newexciting rich ad formats are enabling advertisers to dobrand campaigns. In what will be an uncertain economicclimate in 2012, the value of search advertising will onceagain be sought after. The supply of social mediainventory will increase with the arrival of Twitter, offeringadvertisers yet another headache of figuring outwhere to spend their budgets.Social media spend should be focused on whatever thedesired objective and audience is for that advertiser.This has always been the case and should be nodifferent for social. If you’re looking to find a very specifictype of person, you can achieve this using very advancedtargeting that’s on offer. If you’re looking to broadcastto a large audience, then this is also available to you. Ifyou’re looking to reach an audience across multiple entrypoints, then social (and search) has more to offer thanmost.How will internet usage and habits affect the way yourbusiness operates?For us, our big challenge is to connect advertisers withthe right consumers as they increasingly adopt newtechnology and react to challenging economicconditions. We will continue to innovate across devicesto enhance the user experience but also provideadvertisers with really engaged audiences who areinteracting with advertising in ways we could only havedreamed of in the past.Gary RobinsonHead of e-Commerce“As an online advertiser, we at Dreams havebecome reliant on our spend levels in Google,and to a lesser extent Yahoo and MSN. Over theyears however, more and more advertisingoptions have become available to us to help avoidsaturating the traditional paid search providers,specifically Google, and leaning on it.”Social media advertising options, such as Facebook andLinkedIn, show promise of being able to deliver brandingas well as sales at competitive Continued on page 12
  12. 12. 11At Greenlight, we pride ourselves on being the pioneers of thought leadership withinthe search industry. From our Sector Reports to our Greenlight Academy trainingprogrammes, we strive to offer companies and individuals the unique opportunity togain contemporary and relevant insight into the search industry.The Greenlight Academy is our training division through which we offer the most advancedand comprehensive search training courses in the country.Our programmes are designed to meet the needs of business’s or individuals interested inunderstanding and using search and social media. Our courses on offer range froman ’Introduction to SEO and PPC’ to ‘Link Building Masterclasses’.“I recently attended the Social Media for Business course hosted by Greenlight’s Social MediaDirector, Anna O’Brien. It was absolutely brilliant and I would recommend it to anyone looking tobroaden their knowledge of Social Media for business in the online marketing space.”Our industry renowned sector reports are used within the search industry tobenchmark websites and brands’ visibility against that of their competitors.Each report examines the total search engine audience size; the most visiblewebsites in Google natural search and paid media results; paid media ad copyanalysis; budget allocation strategies and social media analysis.Greenlight AcademySector ReportsWe have now also included a magazine at the back of our reports featuringarticles from the Greenlight Board and Directors of natural search, paid mediaand social media. Our latest edition focuses on the ‘Social Search phenomenon’.RoundtablesIn recent weeks, we have successfully hosted Fashion and Finance themedroundtables. Participants from major brands, including Debenhams, Next,Reiss, Barclays Wealth and Google Finance gathered to discuss whatissues they have experienced with search and social within their sectors.Our filmed roundtable discussions are designed to provide an openenvironment for debate and discussion on a regular basis.Guusje Wentrup | Ecommerce and Marketing Coordinator | MiH Jeans“The Greenlight Fashion Roundtable was really interesting for us as asmall brand. We gained insight into what larger fashion brands and retailsare doing, as well as what we can do better. We’ve learnt a lot.”Ashish Khungar | Search Specialist | Dixons Retail PlcFor further information on Greenlight Academy please contact academy@greenlightsearch.comTo download our sector reports and view our roundtable videos, visit
  13. 13. cost per acquisition (CPA) rates.Meanwhile, display advertisingcontinues to reinvent itself, withmany platforms now offering highlytargeted “performance display”options, rather than the traditionalcost per million (CPM) arrangements.One advertising option that has beenavailable for a number of years, andhas rarely been utilised by themajority of advertisers to its fullextent, is mobile. Since 2006, Googlehas claimed annually that eachsubsequent year will be the year formobile. In reality, advertisers’ take uphas been relatively low.However, it seems mobile is showingvery clear signs of the ‘perfect storm’.With the usage of smartphonesand tablets, the volume of searchesconducted via mobile devices is nowsignificant. This is sign enough for usthat 2012 is the year we will fully seekto embrace mobile search as aserious and viable channel to expandour visibility online to deliver moresales.Finlay ClarkIndustry Managermobiles in the past 12 months, andwe expect this number to rise evenfurther as smartphone penetrationincreases. In some countries, they’llactually bypass the desktopaltogether, and the mobile phone willbe the default internet device.As this shift happens, new typesof online content and services areemerging. If content is king, contextis its’ crown – and one of the mostimportant contextual signals islocation. If you search for sushi fromyour mobile, chances are you’relooking for the directions to a nearbyrestaurant, and not for a Wikipediaentry.Social signals are another powerfuldriver of behaviour. If you’re lookingfor a review of a movie, you might beinterested in what TotalFilm or theBBC has to say about it, but you’realso likely to be interested in whatthree of your friends made of it.We’re still at an early stage oflearning how best to use socialsignals and other taste indicators toprovide more personalised contentand services.The Google+ project has only beenlive to the public since September, butalready we’re seeing ways in whichyou can add a social layer to webactivity. Brands can now holdface-to-face conversations withcustomers via Hangouts from theirGoogle+ brand pages, and use Circlesto tailor specific messages withspecific groups of followers.New technology will continue tocome from nowhere right to theforefront next year, the companieswho ‘leap and learn’ – dive in, trythings and learn to improve them –are the ones which will stay ahead.“The key trends to watch outfor in 2012 can be summed upin three words: social, local andmobile (or So-Lo-Mo for short).”Already we’ve seen huge jumps in thenumbers of users searching on“When I was first asked to writeabout my predictions for socialmedia next year, I panicked. Itseems when looking generally atthe landscape there are a lot ofthings developing, but nothingthat jumps out as the next bigthing.”Some clever things like relocation andaugmented reality are still strugglingto gain the full respect of the techcommunity let alone the generalpublic. This led to much headscratching, deep thoughts of the JackHandey persuasion, and hours trollingblogs for some much neededpersuasion/inspiration.During my inspiration scavenger huntmy mind kept coming back to a quoteby Chris Poole, founder of 4chan, thatI had bookmarked a month or so ago.“[Some social sites] would have youbelieve that you’re a mirror,” he said,“but in fact, we’re more likediamonds.” - multi-faceted. When Ifirst read it, it struck me. And, eachtime I’ve returned to it, I’ve foundmyself equally inspired.I, for one, Anna O’Brien am not thesame person day to day. In the wordsof a 90’s pop song that may be betterAnna O’BrienDirector of Social Media12
  14. 14. 13left unrevived, “I’m a bitch. I’m a lover. I’m a child. I’m a mother. I’m a sinner. I’m a saint. I do not feel ashamed…” Well,that’s not quite true. I do feel ashamed. I feel very ashamed. I am the first to admit that there are thoughts, ideas, anddreams I have that I never want anyone other than my closest friends to know. Still others that I don’t want anyone toknow. Those secrets I am only comfortable sharing with strangers on the internet cloaked in anonymity. These are thejuicy bits that will come in the tell-all book my brother’s sister’s cousin will write. I fear it.What I am getting at in a not so subtle way is that, social media as it stands now, does not support the multitude ofdifferent relationships and personalities we have. While sites like Reddit and 4chan appeal to the user who wishes toshare information [read troll] cloaked in anonymity, Facebook provides a mass audience with live feed that even yourmother would feel comfortable reading. And she will. Often. However, whilst these sites currently thrive, they live atopposite ends of the spectrum and both only currently provide a single use view.When Mr. Poole first made his point, he was attempting to attack mainstream social sites in their approach. What he didinadvertently was attack his own in the discussion. The future of social media and the prediction I am most certain of,is that somehow one of these mainstream sites will evolve to allow you to become more multifaceted. This is more thanGoogle Circles or Facebook friend groups. Those cater to organisation of content rather than the accurate portrayal ofmultidimensional identities.What might this look like? It’s hard to say. Perhaps it will be multiple usernames underneath a single user identity.Maybe it will be the ability to choose to post content to a public feed anonymously. Something tells me that whateverthe solution will be, it is likely going to be much more exciting than that. And that’s a good thing. Personally, I thinksocial media could use a little more genuine innovation and excitement these days.
  15. 15. 14What is your favourite social media network and howoften do you use it?Twitter and I personally use it on a daily basis.How are you using this on a professional basis?We are using Twitter and StockTwits because of the waythey are integrated specifically for traders and thoseinterested in the markets. We have been using these forthe last three years, particularly because of the real-timeelement.What advice do you have for budding CommunityManagers?Ask a lot of questions– people love to offer advice and beasked for their opinion. Be timely – set expectations, sopeople know what to expect. Deliver guidelines that setout when someone contacting you can expect to receivea response. It doesn’t need to be immediate, but set theexpectation of 24 hours for example as standard practicewith a different response time for crisis management.Also make sure you know about your brand guidelinesand that all teams are aware of them and are workingtogether to adhere them.60 Second InterviewAllan Schoenberg - Director of Corporate Communications“Ask a lot of questions– people love to offer advice and be asked for their opinion”What celebrities are you following on Twitter and why?Tony Hawk – professional skateboarder! I follow himbecause he’s a Dad like me; I used to skateboard and grewup with him being in the limelight so it’s good to be able toconnect with him on a personal level. I also like that he usesInstagram, so you can see what he’s up to.Who would you engage with on a social media level topromote your brand if you could have anyone retweet you?There are a few people I could mention: Matthew Bishopfrom the Economist, Howard Lindzon from StockTwits aswell as other journalists from Dow Jones or Bloomberg –all of those that are influential within our market, but thatcould offer third party support for our brand.How do you see the future of SM within the FS industry?We are still in the early stages and there’s a long way to go.I believe the focus will be outside of the traditionalEnglish speaking markets and locations; with a movetowards China, Japan, Latin America and other emergingmarkets looking to build interest and awareness amongsttheir networks.In September, Greenlight hosted its ‘Social Media and Finance’ roundtable, which can be found on ourwebsite. Representatives from major financial institutions, including Barclays Wealth, HSBC, Currencies Directand Google, discussed how search and social media has helped them to market their brands in the online space.We grabbed CME Group’s Allan Schoenberg for a 60 second interview.
  16. 16. Greenlight,Level 14, The Broadgate Tower,Primrose Street,London, EC2A 2EWwww.greenlightsearch.comNatural Search | Paid Media | Social Media | Web Dev | Training | TechnologyT: +44 (0)20 7253 7000 E: