Inside Paid Social Mobile with Greg Johns

Greg Johns and Erica JohnsIn this episode of the FIR B2B Podcast, Paul Gillin and Eric Schwartzman discuss the critical role online advertising plays in building demand for products and services with Greg Johns, SVP, Senior Director Digital Strategy at Initiative and new research by Joseph Turow (@joeprof) and Michael Hennessey from Annenberg (@APCCPenn) and Nora Draper (@NoraADraper) the University of New Hampshire that finds most Americans do not believe ‘data for discounts’ is a square deal.

“It’s a misnomer that people don’t trust the media,” says Greg Johns. “The truth is that people rely on paid media quite a bit to make decisions, and they rely on brands to help guide them.”



As an expert in paid digital media services, Greg should know. In this interview he digs into some of the details of how paid media, loyalty marketing, database marketing work, and how those channels can be combined with ads on social networks. The recipe for success in both B2B and B2C paid media is similar to the formula for success in earned media – it’s about knowing and targeting your most profitable customers, he says.

Data mining firms like Acxiom (@Acxiom) and Datalogix “probably know more about us than we do,” he says. They specialize in personalizing communications without violating privacy guidelines, and are remarkably good at it. In the US, privacy violations can be exceedingly expensive, which is why we certify marketers in Social Media Privacy Awareness.

What makes the social networks so powerful is they have actual profiles of prospective customers. That enables advertisers to personalize messages and target the most profitable customer segments at an unprecedented levels, which is what’s contributing to the rapid growth of social networks as ad platforms.

New data mining technology is even enabling advertisers to correlate behavior online and in physical stores. But in all cases, use caution, Greg advises. “When used for good, targeting is capable of providing value to customers,” he says. “But we need to be introspective about our behavior.”

Image: Greg Johns with wife and VP at Collective Erica Johns at the Mobile Media Summit in Beverly Hills, California