[Webinar] How to Crack Christmas

Join us on Wednesday, the 30th of August, 2017, at 12:00 pm (GMT) for our webinar on tackling your Christmas campaigns this holiday season. While it may still be summer, it’s important to get the jump on planning your Christmas strategies so that you’re not left in a lurch by the time holiday advertising gets into full swing. Our webinar will help you get ready for the busiest time of the year.

You will learn:

How to phase your activity in-line with purchasing patterns,

When to start your Christmas advertising (it’s earlier than you think),

How to target gift buyers who are unsure of what to purchase,

And so much more!

Make sure to register, and get the jump on the competition and ensure a successful holiday season.

 

 

Case Study: Search Automation Finds the Back of the Net for Fanatics

Automation can change the way advertisers manage repetitive tasks and refine their campaign optimisation within their search strategies. It has the ability to handle a multitude of tasks including, bid management, reporting, routine checks, and pulling data. Furthermore, its bespoke nature can be used to fine tune your paid search campaigns to your personal goals.

Our very own Will Hamilton, PPC Analyst, shares why automated search campaigns can drive campaign performance on an even greater scale,

“Within the digital marketing industry search automation is becoming increasingly important. Having the ability to make automated and reactive adjustments to externally influencing factors can allow for maximum performance efficiency. Changes to the market or consumer behaviour can be capitalised on in a fraction of the time compared to non-automated activity. This not only helps maximise performance but also allows account managers to spend more time focusing their efforts on expansion opportunities and strategic planning.”

NMPi has been working with Fanatics International for the past three years, offering them international and domestic strategies and solutions for successful paid search campaigns. Fanatics International are the leading e-commerce partner for many of the world’s top football teams including Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester United.

See how search automation has improved revenue and driven real results for Fanatics.

Challenges

Account performance for football merchandise fluctuates significantly based on how individual players perform in matches. The majority of games are played on weekends and in the evenings, making it difficult to keep paid search ads up-to-date and as relevant as possible.

Our Objective

NMPi set out to build a solution that allows us to optimise our paid search activity based on live player performance.

Our Solution

NMPi created a bespoke Google Script that automated the bidding process, enabling us to continually optimise campaigns for every football match played in the UK. As player performance affects the sale of their football kit online, the script would adjust keyword bids based on the live point system from the official Premier League Fantasy Football API. These points determine the impact a player has on a match using goals, assists, clean sheets, cards received, minutes played and additionally awarded bonus points. This data was used to increase bids for players who performed well and decrease bids for those who did not, ensuring the optimal ad rank was achieved. The script was set to run an hour after each match played in May 2017 and bids were altered for 15 different players, as well as for non-player specific keywords using the team performance as a whole.

The Result

Month on month the account experienced a 21% increase in revenue and a 47% rise in traffic. For player specific keywords, traffic grew by 294% during this period. Revenue and sales experienced an uplift of 284% and 189% respectively. With the success of this campaign, we will now be rolling out the script to international markets.

“NMPi has been handling over 15+ of our accounts in numerous languages, since 2014. During which time it has grown under NMPi’s care. In May this year, the team suggested an innovative approach to bidding which really showed their understanding of our industry. This approach has seen even greater uplift and I am thrilled with the success of the campaign. NMPi has been a great agency to work with, helping to expand our PPC accounts into other territories.” ~Sahida Aarndell, Acquisition Executive at Fanatics

Meet Philip Mostert, Managing Director of NMPi Asia

After announcing yesterday that Clicks2Customers has rebranded to NMPi, we are pleased to introduce the Managing Director of NMPi Asia, Philip Mostert. Philip has over 12 years digital marketing and project management experience and is a keen observer of trends. In 2010 he was the digital syndicate lead for the Soccer World Cup in South Africa, working with South African Tourism across the globe.

He is a strong commercial thinker with the hunger to the drive business forward, constantly seeking out opportunities of growth. He lives by a simple motto ‘Keep Moving Forward”.

We had a chance to sit down with Philip to discuss the recent growth of NMPi and the future of digital.

Q. What innovative technologies and strategies do you think NMPi will gain from adding an Asian perspective to their digital offering? Conversely, what insight will the Asian market gain from partnering with a global digital agency such as NMPi?

Let’s break it down by the numbers. There are 4.436 billion people living in Asia, and over 648,053,399 living in South East Asia alone, which makes up for about 8.62% of the world’s total population. Numbers that are simply staggering and hard to comprehend!

The value that one can derive from this volume of data is simply limitless. Innovation lies within building custom algorithms that are intuitive in nature, especially when optimizing media for large scale efficiencies.

Q. What do you think are the strengths of the Asian digital market right now? Where does it excel?

Its strengths are also some its greatest weaknesses.

Social media is at the heart of all campaigning. We see incredibly strong performance metrics from social media channels. Advertisers in Asia seek out that holy grail of virality. Some get it right but sadly most get it horribly wrong. With this in mind, many marketers rely on influencers in the market to own and drive their communication strategies forward. This is a highly risky and costly exercise should it not work out as desired.

Mobile penetration is another one of Asia’s great strengths, but mobile addiction is also a societal concern that will have a long lasting impact. To what extent, has yet to be identified.  

Q. What are your plans for continued growth in digital marketing?

AR is an exciting space and perfect for the Asian markets. This is indicative of the fact that QR codes are everywhere and in deed habitual for most WeChat users [Asia’s leading IM platform]. We intend on driving this as part of the performance space whereby linking it back to DoubleClick in years to come. We have some exciting plans afoot, which will be revealed in the next few months.

Q. What are the challenges facing Asian digital marketers in the coming twelve months?

Asia faces a highly competitive landscape which constantly changes and is incredibly fragmented. What might work in Indonesia may not work in Malaysia etc.

This is compounded by the fact that the e-commerce space will be largely dominated by Alibaba, 1st to market(s), who are building an entire ecosystem for advertisers where Google have zero clout. In line with this, Amazon has been pegged to launch in Singapore within the next few weeks which will make for a very interesting showdown between two massive behemoths.

Many companies will also seek to take skill in-house and grow IP without the need of 3rd party vendors. Transparency is the key to sustainability.  

These challenges, of course, present some interesting opportunities for agencies who position themselves strategically.

Q. What do you look forward to most with this expansion?

Leveraging global resources applied within local nuances. This is a formidable formula of success.

Q. What is the most exciting recent development in digital marketing in Asia?

Malaysia has been identified as the potential digital hub for all of Southeast Asia. Alibaba has launched a large scale initiative with the Malaysian government, the Digital Free Trade Zone. This has fundamentally been designed to promote the growth of e-commerce by providing a state-of-the-art platform for SMEs and enterprises to conduct the businesses and services. The benefits of this will, of course, be translated into more ad spend coming online.

 

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/philipmostert1
Twitter: @philipmostert

NMPi moves into Asia

In keeping with our global growth strategy, NMPi has launched offices in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

The expansion into the Asian market takes advantage of our current international relationship with Clicks2Customers, who have operated in the Asian market successfully for over 7 years. Since October 2016, NMPi has launched offices in Australia, South Africa, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. We’re pleased to finally realise the next step in our global strategy by entering the lucrative Asian market.

“We are excited about the name change as it forms part of the group’s ambitious growth plans for the Asian market. At NMPi we understand that it is important to align to a global marketplace but it is equally important in understanding the local nuances across this region of the world. For this reason, we have localised teams based throughout the ASEAN markets” – Philip Mostert, Managing Director of NMPi Asia.

Our Asian offices bring together an exceptional team of Account Managers, Consultants, and Digital Analysts, who have worked with a number of international clients including, Time Magazine and Standard Charter.

Managing Director, Luke Judge echoed these sentiments, stating, “We have achieved a remarkable amount in the past nine months as we pushed to expand internationally. This expansion allows us to provide our clients with an even greater level of international expertise and local knowledge. It’s been a thrilling year and we still have more planned as we set our sights on the US.”

We offer our clients a full range of digital marketing services: digital strategy and planning, display marketing and media buying, real time bidding (RTB), paid search (PPC), social media marketing, analytics, and data intelligence.

For more information about our services and solutions, click here.

Pitney Bowes Chooses NMPi to Deliver Superior Digital Marketing Solutions to their Clients

We are excited to announce today that NMPi has entered into a strategic business relationship with global technology company, Pitney Bowes Inc. NMPi is helping Pitney Bowes strengthen its industry-leading global e-commerce offering with our enhanced consumer marketing solutions, including international paid-search campaigns, display advertising, social media advertising and fully optimised Google shopping experiences.

“Driving demand, and ultimately purchases, is one of the most unique and important things Pitney Bowes does for its clients,” said Jonathan Kapplow, Senior Vice President, Consumer and Merchant Solutions at Pitney Bowes. “We’ve worked with NMPi to develop successful marketing campaigns for many leading retailers who have taken their business cross-border. This formal relationship will allow us to innovate together and bring new performance-based digital marketing solutions to all of our clients.”

Optimising digital marketing campaigns for 220 different countries and territories can be challenging for retailers looking to grow revenue through cross-border e-commerce. Pitney Bowes and NMPi have worked with clients around the globe and in a wide range of industries including fashion, retail, finance, and travel to elevate their digital advertising capabilities to better reach and engage with consumers.

Pitney Bowes’ Complete™ Cross-Border offering is the industry’s most proven, capable and scalable end-to-end global e-commerce solution that can handle all facets of enterprise retail cross-border expansion. With the addition of NMPi’s innovative technology and talented team of digital analysts, Pitney Bowes will be able to offer its cross-border clients best-in-class digital marketing solutions, as well.

“In today’s competitive global environment, retailers need every measure of help they can get in driving top-line growth and running their day-to-day operations. Cross-border revenue streams driven by effective digital marketing solutions can help alleviate some of that pressure, but it is often difficult to put the right people and processes in place to get that started. Our relationship with Pitney Bowes makes all of that easier for retailers. With Pitney Bowes, we will offer retailers scalable, global digital marketing solutions that meet consumers where they are and guide them to a superior global e-commerce experience,” said Luke Judge, CEO of NMPi.

“We win when our clients and partners win, so we are truly invested in the success of their businesses,” said Kapplow. “By helping drive consumer demand and incremental revenue growth for our retailers, we further strengthen the core growth engine of our own global e-commerce business.”

Mood Tracking & Emotional Advertising: What Does the Future Hold

The term ‘emotional targeting’ has been around the digital marketing world for a few years now, although the idea is nothing new. Emotional targeting was around in a ‘Mad Men’ sort of way for decades before digital marketing exploded. But emotional targeting then and now are different beasts.

There are two ways to look at emotional targeting, the first and more traditional method is to create an ad that ignites a strong emotional response from a consumer which will drive them to take action, whether that’s buying something, sharing, or donating. Emotional advertising is incredibly popular because as studies show, we often rely on our emotions to make purchasing decisions, rather than facts and information. A great example of this is Oxfam, whose ads often tear at our heartstrings, encouraging us to make a difference.

As technology progressed, advertising has developed ways to not just ignite emotional responses but to track them.  Affectiva, is a technology company that has created emotion recognition software that can analyse a user’s facial expressions to determine how they are feeling.

Currently, the technology is used by advertisers and media agents to determine the effect their current advertising is having on the end consumer. But, what if we could tailor ads based on someone’s current emotions?

Well, technically the technology already exists. Earlier this year, Facebook was put under scrutiny when it came to light that they were collecting data that would allow advertisers to target emotionally vulnerable people as young as 14 in Australia. Facebook had been collecting data points from items such as post, pictures, and reactions to determine the emotional state its younger users.

A Facebook spokesperson commented on the leaked research stating, “Facebook does not offer tools to target people based on their emotional state. The analysis done by an Australian researcher was intended to help marketers understand how people express themselves on Facebook.”

So where is this technology and digital advertising heading?

Where It’s Headed

Facial Recognition: Some brands have been quick to try new developments such as eye tracking in an attempt to overcome language biases or lack of clarity.  The drawback here is that this method requires consent – how many people will actually want to be tracked via their webcam by an advertiser? This runs the risk of becoming too invasive. The other issue with facial recognition is that it only gives an initial impression – it’s a partial picture that must be taken with the whole to get an accurate understanding of the customer’s emotional intent.

Wearables and Biometric Data: Watches, bracelets and other tracking devices that detect things like heart rate, and blood pressure – which all change according to our mood – are becoming increasingly attractive to advertisers. Soon, biometric data may be behind all our technologies.

Advertisers are eyeing the possibility of measuring blood alcohol levels and blood sugar. What could this information be used for in an emotional advertising context? Advertisers could deliver restaurant ads when blood sugar is low and a craving hits, or send you an ad suggesting a brand of beer after detecting you had a drink. This can be taken one step further when combined with location data; a food ad would be served for a nearby restaurant when the device detected hunger or that a certain span of time without eating had passed.

Biometric data was used at Wimbledon when Jaguar teamed up with Mindshare to capture spectator’s emotions. The data was collected through cuffs and atmospheric sensors to track global sentiment on Facebook, then shared via social media. This data could be used to target the crowd with ads that align with the emotional state being fed through the sensors.

Video and Voice: Brands that focused on consumers who had the greatest likelihood of emotional engagement saw the most uplift in conversion and purchase intent. With the recent explosion of video advertising, marketers are keen to tap into emotional targeting across this new channel. New Balance targeted viewers in Japan with technology that determined which users were most likely to engage with their videos. The brand saw a 113% increase in campaign completion.  Video has a high rate of engagement, if brands and advertisers better understood, and implemented emotional data from video views, they would see significant increases in conversions.

Voice Search has also recently surged in popularity and advertisers have discovered that due to the greater length, and casual nature of voice search queries, it could often indicate the emotion behind the request. As voice search becomes more adept at picking up on natural speech, the emotional intent will become clearer, enabling advertisers to serve ads/suggest items based on these emotional cues. This platform is still in its infancy so we won’t be seeing anything revolutionary with voice search and emotional targeting for a while.


Emotional targeting has not yet reached its full potential, but it has experienced a resurgence as newer, better technology has evolved to make it one of the most lucrative methods for converting browsers into buyers. Knowing your customer emotionally will always be more lucrative than guess work marketing. Purchases are often made after price comparison, and careful consideration, but marketers can go one step further by building brand loyalties and increasing conversions by developing a strong emotional connection.

Becoming an Agile Leader

At NMPi’s roundtable Senior Marketing Communications Specialist,  Victoria Karo, spoke about how Exact became an Agile Business.

What does it mean to be an Agile Business?

A groundbreaking management methodology, being Agile, focuses on developing people, fostering inclusivity, and encouraging personal growth. To be an agile business, you have to create a space where it’s safe to fail. This seems contrary to everything we are taught in business, from the stringent targets we set to the way we talk about wasted spend. But rest assured, it is worth implementing. It gives employees autonomy, and managers have more time to truly lead, not micromanage. It also creates an environment where innovation can flourish, where ideas you may have never even considered can be tried and tested without fear.

Staying Ahead of the Competition

In today’s ever changing world, to stay ahead of the competition, you need to be the first to make changes in your industry either by using breakthrough technology or creating something that hasn’t been seen before. Sound impossible? It doesn’t have to be; this doesn’t mean that your brand has to reinvent the wheel, it can be as simple as providing the solution to a small, niggling problem.

Karo shared the example of Amazon Prime Wardrobe. People are increasingly turning from brick and mortar stores in favour of online shopping, but many shoppers shy away from these digital marketplaces when it comes to fashion, uncomfortable with the idea of purchasing something without trying it on or dealing with the hassle of returning it if it doesn’t fit.  Prime Wardrobe, which is currently in an invitation-only beta, tapped into that frustration by allowing customers to get the items first, try them on in the privacy of their own home, and only pay for the items they want to keep, thus reducing the barrier to purchase. Amazon has solved a small, but common complaint, while creating a new and innovative means of disrupting the traditional online clothes shopping model.

The Method

Karo also spoke at length about the methods Exact uses to integrate Agile Leadership into their daily work environment:

  • Internal messaging: In addition to an external mission statement, there is an internal message meant to encourage team members to use agile leadership in their day-to-day interactions and activities.
  • Diversified Teams: Vary your teams. Have individuals with different skill sets so that they can bring new ideas to the table and challenge the status quo. Having a varied team also prevents work silos from developing.
  • Skill Share: Transfer skills among team members. Broaden your skill set by learning from each other.
  • Scrums: Agile leadership does away with traditional meetings and project plans. Scrum teams consist of 3-9 people (any more than this and it becomes too difficult to manage effectively). Teams meet daily for no more than 15 minutes to debrief and discuss any obstacles they have encountered and share how they are contributing to the team goal. The scrum leader steps in only to assist overcoming barriers to goal achievement, not to guide the work being done. The team must be able to realise their potential and their goals with minimal interference, even if the manager isn’t in agreement with the method or style of work used to reach that goal.

The Obstacles

Karo acknowledges that this can be a difficult process, and in the beginning, they made many mistakes and had to overcome many obstacles. From our roundtable discussions, we have identified some of the most common problems businesses are facing when they try to implement Agile Leadership:

  • Embracing Failure: Uncertainty is not a word that businesses like. Managers are taught to continuously strive for success, so the idea of embracing failure can be scary, but often, the best takeaways come from our missteps. Allowing your team the space to err, then rebuild and learn from their mistakes not only promotes growth but fosters trust and confidence.
  • Flexibility: Many businesses lack the flexibility to implement agile leadership in their organisations. Some are hampered by budget constraints, unable to find the leeway to move budgets around to buffer for setbacks or accommodate longer test times. Another obstacle to flexibility is having to wait for change as it moves slowly down through work silos. Many organisations are still operating in departmental silos so implementing changes can be slow going as the process gets held up by different departmental directives.
  • Measurement: Implementing proper attribution models to measure success can often be confusing and overwhelming with the sheer amount of stats you can track and report on. We all know the last click attribution model is flawed, yet, it is still a method being used by many companies. An Agile Business requires accurate measurement, because whilst it is all about testing and trying new ideas it is also necessary to understand what true failure and success looks like.

Remember, change takes time and in order to change the culture of a business you must commit to new methods and get buy-in from not just owners and management, but from staff.

The Agile Leadership system strongly promotes trust and allows individuals to flourish in a team setting. Team members come up with their own ideas and work parameters. This can be difficult for many managers as it forces them to relinquish control to allow for testing, experimentation, and failure, but can also help organisations grow, create and stand out from the competition.

NMPi Wins ‘Most Innovative Strategy’ at IAB Programmatic Awards

We are thrilled to announce that NMPi has won in the “Innovative Strategy” category at the first IAB Programmatic Awards in The Netherlands. Advertising industry specialists looked forward seeing this year’s groundbreaking entries, and we were excited to be counted among the prestigious nominees for our case study: Real-Time visibility of Snow Heights for Transavia.

The IAB Programmatic Awards are important because they are voted on by industry experts in recognition of agencies that deliver outstanding results.

NMPi Netherland’s Managing Director, Gerard Moussault, commented: “This is a real testament to the excellent work done by the NMPi team. Over the next year, we are going to continue to grow and push the limits of digital innovation.”

Transavia’s Direct Sales Manager, Nick Brandts commented, “Our campaign team is always looking to reach our audience in a better, more relevant way. Together with NMPi, we investigated the (technical) possibilities of creating an innovative campaign. In our partnership we have a shared goal: to challenge each other to create new innovative elements for every campaign. It is wonderful to see this effort pay off with positive campaign results. The Programmatic Award for ‘Most Innovative Strategy’ for our Wintersport Campaign is recognition we are very proud of!”

NMPi Netherland’s Head of Consultancy, Quintijn van Kessel added: “The IAB Award recognizes our work over the last couple of months in close cooperation with our client, Transavia. It’s great to see this acknowledged with this Innovative Strategy win”.

This award comes on the heels of NMPi’s RAR+ (Recommended Agency Register) win for ‘Best Search’.

The second half of 2017 is set to be even more exciting, with this award acting as a springboard to further success!

NMPi Wins Best Search Award at RAR+ Digital Awards

NMPi is delighted to have won in the “Best Search” category at last night’s RAR+ Digital Awards.  The RAR+ award is especially important because it recognises agencies who deliver outstanding results as voted for by clients on a measure of overall satisfaction, rather than being judged for a single campaign case study.

NMPi’s CEO, Luke Judge, commented, “I am immensely proud of our brilliant team at NMPi; their hard work and passion for doing outstanding work with our clients has been deservedly recognised by this important award win. I am also grateful to our clients for their kind survey feedback in supporting us”.

Director of Biddable, Sophie Harkness added, “We have always prided ourselves on going the extra mile for our clients, so it’s great to see this acknowledged with this Best Search win”.

Head of Performance Marketing, Max Flajsner commented, “I believe our client happiness, and therefore this recognition, is a direct consequence of the high levels of innovation that we have brought to our client’s campaigns over the past twelve months”.

This award win follows closely after NMPi was ranked in top place in the Drum’s UK Elite Media Agency rankings. This kicked off an expansive year for the company, which has so far seen the launch of three new NMPi offices in Zurich, Sydney and Cape Town.

The second half of 2017 looks set to be even more exciting, with this award acting as a springboard to further success.

What if You Had to Pay For Google?

Will Google search ever be a paid service?

Google search has been around for nearly 20 years now and plays an important part of our everyday lives.  Many of us could not imagine a day without it – think about the number of times a day you do a Google search.  So what if Google started charging us to use it? Have you ever thought about this? Well, we did.

Let’s start by considering how Google would work if it was a paid service.  We think the most feasible option for payment would be based around a monthly or yearly subscription service, where the user pays a fee for unlimited use of their services.  But why would Google do this? Google earned $57.80 billion in 2016 from advertising and this number has been increasing Year-Over-Year, so surely they would want to stick to their existing (highly successful) business model, but maybe not?…

How much would it cost?

Let’s stick to the idea of a Google search subscription service.  How much do we think Google would charge? We’ve tried to estimate how much we, as the user, would have to pay.  How did we do this? First, we have to understand that Google would only want to switch to a subscription model if this would bring them more revenue.  So, if we use the revenue they generated last year, and divide it by the number of worldwide users, we can calculate the minimum cost per annual subscription.  This is shown below:

We calculated the number of Google users as the number of total internet users in 2016 multiplied by Google’s market share in 2016.  This equation therefore turns into the following:

This really doesn’t seem that much for a service that we use all the time! However, we need to consider the number of Google users who have ad blocking software set up on their devices, since these users will not be clicking on the paid search ads. In 2016, ad blocker use meant that only an estimated 70% of the Google users in 2016 actually saw search ads on their results page.  The calculation above therefore needs be changed to:

As mentioned earlier, Google would only switch to a paid model if it generated more money than it did in the previous year.  They would also have to compensate for sunk costs in setting up this new search engine and the costs of losing existing Google users switching to free alternatives.  So we would expect the subscription would be slightly higher at around $45/year (which still doesn’t seem that much!) to compensate for those factors.  However, we can’t quite imagine that this would be a flat rate around the world considering the variation in average wages globally.

Why would you pay for Google?

It’s all good and well to estimate how much Google would charge users, but we are missing a crucial factor in why users would pay for this service.  There would have to be some sort of additional benefits that come along with paying. What could these benefits be?

Privacy has been a huge topic of debate for years, and many users express concern about how their personal information is used and who has access to it.  The Google subscription service could, therefore, include a full privacy agreement whereby no data about the user is collected.  This could ease privacy concerns, but could also place consumers at a disadvantage as this data is currently used by Google to improve the user experience – they often show you what you want or need before you even know it’s needed!

Additionally, Google may offer their paid service as an ad free search platform.  This could have benefits for the user in terms of streamlining the search results pages, although users would lose valuable price comparison figures that are currently available through Google Shopping. Could this mean the end of paid search on Google?!

If yes, this would have significant implications on other search engines. We would expect average CPC’s would rise as competition for ad space would become even more fierce, because these search engines would gain users switching from the now-paid-for Google service.   There would also be a significant impact on traffic for Google search partners, who could potentially lose their Google search capabilities.

Why wouldn’t Google work as a paid service?

Currently, the Google business model is based on mining data.  It collects and uses information from our browser history, device settings, and locations to show us the most relevant information when we need it, which is ultimately supposed to be beneficial for the user.  If Google were to switch to a paid service model, which includes a privacy agreement, this valuable data would be lost. Google would have no way of tailoring information towards its users, meaning all users would see the same things.  This would be a huge barrier for Google. Why would users pay for a service which offers them less?

Why would Google want to change their entire business setup when it already works so well?  It would be a huge risk and could cause massive losses due to the fact that people are wary and cautious when it comes to change, especially when it comes to paying for something that used to be free.  A great example of this comes from The Times newspaper’s paywall, where they began charging users to view their content.  This resulted in 62% drop in visitors and a 90% fall in page views when it was introduced in 2010, and it took a long time for the user level to pick up again.  These percentage drops were extremely large, so introducing a subscription service could be a huge risk for Google if they were to follow suit.

If we consider the search engine industry as a whole, Google may be the most powerful and popular source of gaining information quickly, but it is not the only way.  Bing now accounts for 21% of the search market share, followed by Yahoo with 12%.  If Google were to switch to a subscription service, there are definitely readily available alternatives that consumers could switch to as a way of obtaining information at no cost.

Conclusion

Even if we don’t pay at the moment in monetary terms, Google in its current form is not completely free. We pay as we go by feeding Google with all the valuable information about us, such as things we are searching for, websites we visit, videos we watch, ads we click or tap on, our location, information about our device, IP address, and cookie data. That’s just the beginning. Google stores our emails, contacts, calendar events, photos, and the videos we upload. Within our Google account, we share our name, email, date of birth, gender, telephone number, and country. Sharing this valuable data is the price we pay, and it seems a price we are prepared to accept. We get more targeted information and Google gets a slice of our privacy pie which earns them so much money!

The question remains: How long would it take for Google to reach a big enough volume of paying users to hit, or even exceed the current profit made by charging advertisers? Google would have to come up with a value proposition enough users would happily pay for.

One way or another, paying to use Google search would mean a fundamental change not only to user behaviour and the advertising industry as a whole, but also to the way Google operates. Would Google risk losing more than it gains? Only time will tell, but we would be surprised if this happened anytime soon!