When Your Exact Match Isn’t Your Exact Match…

Google announced important changes coming to Exact Match last month and implemented these changes last week. Google is including (and excluding) function words, such as ‘a’, ‘the’, ‘and’ in an effort to reduce the workload for advertisers, and swapping terms in an attempt to make it easier for shoppers to find what they’re looking for online. But is this really a positive change? 

The move can go both ways. One the one hand, it can make it more expensive for advertisers because of the sudden increase in generic search terms triggering for brand keywords, which are more competitive, resulting in higher CPCs. NMPi Account Manager, Sophie Worton, noted, “Looking at brand exact in the UK after the first few days of this roll out, the close variants have 15p CPCs, and Exact Match has 7p so it’s a big increase.”

In terms of word swapping, it can also negatively impact conversion rates since user intent is not the same: i.e., ‘The Perfume Shop’ (brand) and ‘perfume shop’ (any perfume shop, or ‘shopping for perfume’) – the intent here is unclear as to whether the user is searching for the brand, or for a generic perfume search. If advertisers set up an exact match keyword in the headline of the ad, word swapping can decrease the relevance.

As for the idea that this will alleviate advertiser work loads, it’s been the opposite. Google has tried to sell this as full coverage, so that advertisers no longer have to create a lot of keywords, but this latest tweak has actually increased workloads. Before the change, advertisers were able to allow exact match terms to run, now, they must perform negative SQRs across all exact matches focusing on brand terms to ensure accuracy. 

It will be interesting to view the results three months down the road.  It’s still ‘early days’, so whether the change is a blow to advertisers, and a boon to shoppers remains to be seen. 

 

 

NMPi Continues to Grow in Benelux: Appointing New Managing Director, Gerard Moussault

We are extremely pleased to announce that Gerard Moussault will be joining the NMPi team as Managing Director Benelux. In his new role, he will grow NMPi’s digital agency brand in the Benelux market. Gerard takes over the role from Pieter Slingerland who will now focus on DQ&A.

Gerard Moussault will be bringing with him over 15 years experience in the online world. Previously he was responsible for Online Media, and Strategy and Development at Sanoma, VNU Media, and eBay. In 2012, Moussault joined IPG Media Brands in the position of Managing Director Cadreon, a branch responsible for programmatic solutions, where he grew the brand quickly.

“After five years of working with a lot of fun people at IPG Media Brands, I am very excited for this new step. There was a direct match in expectation and ambition. This function gives me a great opportunity to grow and distinguish NMPI.”

“We’re pleased to welcome Gerard to the NMPi team,” commented Luke Judge, Managing Director of NMPi. “It’s exciting to see just how far we have come in only four months since launching NMPi in Benelux. Gerard’s leadership will be an asset to NMPi and we look forward to building the future of NMPi Benelux with his guidance.”

NMPi Shortlisted for 3 Awards!

The Performance marketing Awards Shortlist has been revealed and we’re delighted to announce that that along with our Rising Star nomination for Anna Jorysz, we have been selected for two Performance Marketing Awards: Industry Choice Publisher and Most Creative Performance Campaign.

The 11th annual awards show will be held at the Grosvenor Hotel on April 25th, highlighting the best and brightest in performance marketing across 24 categories, with a special focus on innovation and industry achievements.

With the shortlist finally released, the industry can now cast their votes for Industry Choice of Partner, as well as continue to vote for this year’s Rising Star.

View the shortlist here

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VOTE for our Rising Star!

We are excited to announce that Campaign Manager, Anna Jorysz, has been nominated for the Performance Marketing Award’s Industry Rising Star! The prize is awarded to the best and brightest in Performance Marketing. We are very proud of her hard work and efforts! Get involved and cast your vote!

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Anna joined NMPi as an Analyst in 2014 after travelling through Thailand for a year where she helped develop the website and social activity for a charity organisation.

Anna quickly progressed to Campaign Manager and became an integral part of the performance team. She began her career in Paid Search, and over the past year has helped shape the development of NMPi’s Performance Display solution with not only her strategies and optimisations but with the help of a customisable, dynamic creative she built.

Anna is a passionate problem solver and her dedication to her team in evident in her work every day. Her strength as a Campaign Manager lies in her unique ability to look at platforms from a tech and strategic perspective, enabling her to find new and innovative approaches to problems and deliver the desired outcomes for her clients. Her rapid progression is a testament to her commitment not only to her career but to her co-workers and clients.

Make Sure to Cast Your Vote: Vote Here

NMPi #1 Elite Media Agency!

We are thrilled to announce that NMPi has topped the Elite Media Agencies poll in this years Drum Digital Census.

The census evaluates agencies based on their achievements across financial performance and client satisfaction. We are honoured to be recognised not only for our growth over the past year, but more importantly by our clients who have supported us and believe in the work we deliver.

This couldn’t have been achieved without our clients as well as our talented staff, so thank you to everyone who has been a part of this great success.

Pouring the champaign and #celebrating.

A video posted by NMPi (@nmpi_digital) on

Managing Director, Luke Judge, expressed his excitement at the news, “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 in digital innovation. We will be better than ever, and will continue to maximise performance for our clients.”

NMPi Expands Internationally with Netherlands Office

Today is an exciting day for everyone at NMPi.

We are delighted to announce that after a tremendous year so far including the launch of our new Analytics service in September, we have taken our first step into international expansion with the launch of the NMPi Netherlands Office.

The expansion into the Netherlands takes advantage of our current international relationship with DQ&A Media Group. DQ&A’s existing Display advertising services have been relaunched and rebranded as NMPi, incorporating NMPi’s award-winning approach, as well as introducing Paid Search and Analytics into the market.

This is the natural next step for NMPi and a beneficial move for our clients and partners. We have a strong global presence but this opportunity allows us to combine over thirty years of industry knowledge and expertise with a dynamic local proposition. We can now offer our European clients a much wider portfolio of services. Rick van Boekel, CEO of NMPi & DQ&A Media Group, expanded on this point, “This was a perfect match for us; by using the skills built up by NMPi in the UK, we can increase our local proposition. Working with NMPi means you’re working with a global player, a specialist agency in Paid Search, Display, Analytics and Paid Social.”

Our Netherlands office, located in Voorburg, brings together an exceptional team of Account Managers, Consultants, and Digital Analysts, who have worked with a number of international clients including, Transavia and JustFab.

And this is just the start. In the year ahead NMPi has ambitious plans to expand the agency services further across a number of key global markets. This will give us greater opportunity to build on our existing expertise and  deliver international digital advertising campaigns with even more impact.

 

Subtle Changes : AdWords Ad Diagnostic Now Using Mobile Devices as Default

A subtle change in AdWords Ad Diagnostics seems to have occurred within the last week with very little fanfare. Advertisers may not have noticed, or have, but don’t understand what is causing this shift from desktop to mobile default. The following is a more structured description to help advertisers navigate this change.

What is the AdWords diagnostic tool

The ad diagnostic tool can help you to diagnose the reasons why your ad may or may not be appearing for a given keyword on the Google search results page in your targeted location. It can be accessed in AdWords by hovering over the magnifying glass for a specific keyword. It will tell you whether or not a keyword is triggering ads, and the reasons why. This can be seen just above the keyword Quality Score information.

If the keyword does not show any ads there will be a link, “what can I do?”, which will take you to AdWords help center instructions on how you can fix the problem so that your keyword will start triggering ads. e.g. by increasing the max bid.

What has changed

Previously, the default device used for the keyword diagnostic tool was desktop, therefore if the ad diagnostic tool stated your ad was not showing you knew this was applicable to both desktop and tablet devices (until tablet bid modifiers are released) which was preferable when desktop and tablet devices accounted for the majority of sales and revenue. Last week, however, we started seeing a large number of keywords across our accounts displaying the below message in the ad diagnostic:

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However when clicking through to the ad preview tool, it was obvious that these keywords were still showing on desktop and tablet devices. Further investigation showed that what all these keywords had in common were large negative mobile bid modifiers which had been implemented to improve performance based on previous analysis of ROI by device, indicating that Google has changed the default device used for ad diagnostics from desktop to mobile.

Why has Google made these changes

With the current multitude of AdWords changes that have been implemented recently or are expected to become available this quarter – expanded text ads, tablet bid multipliers, demographic bid modifiers to name a few, this seems to be a relatively subtle change which may have gone unnoticed for many advertisers.

In May 2015, Google made it official, mobile searches had overtaken desktop. It is likely that Google has made this change due to overall traffic from mobile devices overtaking that of desktop across many sectors.

However, based on our client data, despite mobile traffic now being higher than desktop on many accounts, mobile revenue still only accounts for around 30% of the total revenue with the remaining 70% coming from desktop and tablet devices on a last click basis; meaning that this change is not a beneficial one in the majority of cases where the status of the keyword on desktop and tablet is still a priority. Another potential side effect as a result of this change could be an inflation effect on CPCs if advertisers start to increase their max bids based on making an assumption from the ad diagnostic that they have a low ad rank and need to increase their bid

What can we do?

Fortunately, advertisers can still run the keyword diagnostic on an ad hoc basis to specifically check desktop rather than mobile devices by navigating from the keyword view in AdWords to the Details drop down menu:

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And then amending the options in the Keyword diagnostic settings to look at desktop devices:

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Clicking ‘run test’ will then enable you to see the diagnostic status for desktop devices in the ‘Status’ column which can then be downloaded.

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This does, however, have to be done at a geographic level so it would need to be done multiple times for accounts containing campaigns targeting different locations. The data will also go back to the default mobile devices setting after a short time meaning that this will not be a permanent change, so advertisers will need to continue to take this into account when looking at the ad diagnostic status going forwards.

The Impact of GTINs on Google Shopping

In February, Google announced its latest PLA requirement would become mandatory on Google Shopping: the implementation of GTINs across products sold by multiple sellers. As of May 16, they formally enforced the rule across the board. Google first broke the news last August when it initially issued the requirement to only fifty brands. Now Google is expanding this to include all brand name products or services.

What are GTINs?
GTINs are the barcode of google shopping. Every product has one, but not every customer looks at them. However, they are a unique code that identifies and provides important details about every product in the Google Shopping catalogue; and now they play a vital role in Google Shopping.

Why Implement GTINs?
Google implemented this regulation to keep tabs on what retailers and service providers are selling on its platform, saying that by knowing what’s being sold, they can help merchants boost their ad performance. The addition of the GTIN has allowed Google Shopping merchants to serve their ads in more places, and with Google’s partners, thereby bringing conversation rates up by 20%. A successful test conducted in September 2015 determined that GTINs improved CTR by up to 40%. As a result, Google has required all brand name products within Google Shopping feeds to have a GTIN.

Who is Affected?
Merchants targeting Australia, Brazil, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the UK or the US, must affix a corresponding GTIN on all new, in-stock, and branded products in order to comply with Google’s requirement for Google Shopping. Merchants advertising pre-order, used, handmade, custom made, or vintage items will not be impacted because these products are unique, and only being sold in one place.

What has been the impact?
This has been time consuming for advertisers who don’t already have this data within their feed. It required sourcing potentially 100s of GTINs. Regarding overall performance, GTINs have only been a requirement from May so there hasn’t been enough time to see any significant change.

Want to know more about 2016’s trends? Download our mid-year review

The Future of Programmatic Advertising with Kristina Kasalova

Programmatic Account Manager, Kristina Kasalova, recently spoke at the Global Academy of Digital Marketing’s (GADM), “Evolution of Programmatic” hosted by AppNexus. Alongside industry experts, Kristina discussed the future of programmatic by exploring the ways in which it’s evolved over the past five years, and useful stratgeies for brands to implement for the changes that lie ahead.

What do you see as the biggest barrier to programmatic advertising at the moment? And what is being done to progress past this?

Programmatic has become mainstream now which means a lot of simplifications and misunderstandings of the term are present among new users. There is still some misunderstanding that programmatic, or even more so, RTB, is an efficient but somewhat dodgy way of getting performance out of your display activity. For others, while this notion is no longer case, see programmatic as a singular answer for everything without understanding the underlying principles. Programmatic is a very wide term nowadays and we need to be clear about it, especially when someone is new to the concept.

Programmatic buys have evolved radically in recent months and we are now able to use them with confidence across all stages of the customer journey – awareness, research, branding, remarketing and re-engagement. All of the above use programmatic as a principle, however the execution is different, and it is the key to understanding the variability within the industry, and to finding the option which best suits your marketing goals and business objectives. A crucial piece is to understand the variety under the term “programmatic” and learn a bit about differences between the options.

What really differentiates programmatic today from programmatic 5 years ago?

A couple of years back, programmatic meant audience buys across sub-par quality inventory, using standardized flash creatives and broad data segments. Fortunately, this is no longer the case – first and third party data is much richer now, and allows us to target even niche audiences at particular stages of their customer journey. We can target from discovery, through research, and the consideration phases, all the way up to re-engagement, and keeping brand loyalty.
Inventory quality has improved significantly in only 2-3 years. This was driven both by publishers, who became savvy about opportunities of programmatic (preferred deals or programmatic guaranteed can be as profitable as traditional direct buys), and ad exchanges, who stepped up and started to monitor and filter poor inventory in their marketplaces. It was also picked up on by advertisers and agencies who started to use brand safety and viewability verification tools and hence, created demand for better quality inventory.

Creative options have grown as well, partially driven by wider use of an HTML5 format, although this was initially semi-forced onto advertisers by major players in the industry. HTML5 is more transparent and offers less heavy loading than flash files, which gives advertisers the opportunity to use more engaging and high-impact formats with embedded videos, or additional features (surveys, galleries, microsites, etc.). Publishers are also more open to accept various ad size formats through RTB, which provides more options for their creative ideas. Altogether, this means that is it easier than ever to create engaging ads in various formats.

Where do you think advertisers should really be spending their time and energy when it comes to their campaigns?

Data and creative. Marketers need to know their target audience and that’s when the owned data come in handy. Even advertisers who have little to no experience with display advertising almost certainly have data which can help them understand what their audience likes, and how to reach them more effectively. Insights from Google Analytics, from transactions on the site, PPC activity, or their CRM database, all of these can be used to inform the initial targeting profile or even multiple profiles. The initial statistics from existing data can be used in campaigns, tested and refined further with additional insights on user preferences and behavior. Using the data will help brands become more relevant to audiences and spend their budget more efficiently on the vast scale of inventory available in display. At later stages you can look into using third party data or build a custom data model through a data management platform, but always make sure you know what your goals are in terms of the data you have, want to collect, and need, for more refined targeting.

Think of creative as an online shop window. In many cases, users know nothing about the brand or product being advertised, hence, it is important that the creative is engaging, trustworthy and relevant for them. The relevancy is related to targeting and data to a high degree, but engagement and trustworthiness are the design factors. Creatives should prepare users for what they can expect on the website, and from the product or service. An interesting ad is more likely to spark attention and engage users, creating the desire to explore the product further. This only works if the ad is trusted. If the ad is not deemed trustworthy, why would they bother to come to the site and convert? So although flashy ads can spark attention, think about whether this is actually sending the message you want to the customer. As in a brick-and-mortar business, you might not get second chance to talk to the same user and convince them about your product, so having a trustworthy creative is crucial.

How can advertisers use data more effectively?

The most efficient use of data comes from a clear understanding of the objectives you want to achieve and being aware of the options available to you.

Knowing your goals will guide you through the definition of what data you need and also how to go through the journey of accomplishing it. Being aware of the options on the market will give you edge when thinking about actual implementation and help you find the best solution for your brand. This means that you should know what data you have readily available  and also know how to use it to achieve your goals.

For instance, if you want to know what customer segments buy what type of product in your eShop, you most likely know what items are sold together, and what day of the week and time of day works best, how many times they come to your site before completing a purchase, how they came to your site, and many other details. Your site analytics might even give you an estimate of the demography of your site visitors. All of this helps paint a picture of your audience. Once you put all this information together, it will be easier to identify the missing parts of data which will help you refine your strategy. Some of the missing data might be available to buy from 3rd parties, others, you will need to gather yourself through testing. This is a continuous process as your company goals and audience evolves.

Download the presentation slides here: Recalculating Creative Trajectory

Want to know more about 2016’s trends? Download our mid-year review 

NMP to Become NMPi as it Evolves

After twelve years and several significant changes, NMP has evolved once more. Today, we will be changing our name to NMPi. We have a lot in store for us over the coming year as we plan to move our brand forward, and continue to stand out from the crowd, and differentiate ourselves within the industry.

For us, the “i” represents much more than a letter. It is our innovation, our integrated strategies and our intelligent approach to digital marketing.  The brand name NMP was originally chosen to allow us flexibility, and as we continue to evolve as a business, so will our brand.