Are Twitter Introducing a 10k Character-Limit for Advertisers?

Digital marketers are used to working with tight character limits, but if this blog post was a tweet it wouldn’t even have enough room to fin…

…ish this sentence.

When you’re trying to get across the USPs of your product or service on Twitter, to an audience who are not actively inquiring about your brand, this can be incredibly frustrating.

So, rumours that Twitter is about to introduce ad formats that may extend to the 10k character limit currently available in Twitter messages might be ray of hope to marketers who struggle to sum up their USPs AND attract users’ attention in 140 characters.

Twitter hasn’t exactly denied that this ad format, which some say is currently working under the code-name of “Beyond 140”, is in the pipeline. Chief executive, Jack Dorsey stated, “we’ve spent a lot of time observing what people are doing on Twitter, and we see them taking screenshots of text and tweeting it. Instead what if that text…was actually text?” Furthermore, he contests, “we’re not going to be shy about building more utility and power into Twitter for people. As long as it’s consistent with what people want to do, we’re going to explore it.”

However, Dorsey insists that the current 140 character limit is not only sufficient but inspires creativity with Twitter, even going so far as to call it a “beautiful constraint.” Though to any marketer whose has ever perfectly-crafted a tweet that runs 141 characters long, this could be a life-saver.

Twitter Conversational Ads

Twitter also announced yesterday the launched their new “Conversational Ads” format in the US, which go beyond current promoted tweets. The format’s call-to-action button has the ability to combine hashtags, video polls and quotable content – crucially letting the user peronsalise content before retweeting. Surely an international launch can’t be far behind.


As Twitter continues to push to attract as many advertisers as possible, from local businesses to multinational giants, we should probably expect more new ad formats in the near future. So surely the 140 character limit can’t last forever?

Facebook and Instagram’s New Holiday 2015 Behaviour Segment

With Christmas fast approaching, Black Friday less than a week away, and online shopping on the rise, retailers are heavily focused on maximising their digital advertising sales this holiday season.

A recent survey by The National Retail Federation shows that the average person plans to carry out 46% of their browsing and buying online. As the world’s largest social network, it is no surprise that Facebook has rolled out a new ad-targeting segment called ‘Holiday 2015,’ aimed specifically at people who are engaging in the holiday season.

This new segment will be available between 26th November and New Year’s Day on both Facebook and Instagram. You will find the ‘Holiday 2015’ ad-targeting option within the ‘Behaviours’ category under ‘Seasonal and Events’.

Facebook Holiday Targeting

These Facebook users are identified by picking out holiday-related keywords, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday, in posts which they have published, commented on, liked or shared. Facebook will take into account users who interact with these posts the most, with the audience remaining aggregated and anonymised.

This is not the first time Facebook has utilised real-time conversations. Earlier this year, the Big Game targeting segment was introduced for the Super Bowl. It will be interesting to see how advertisers use the Holiday 2015 segment in comparison; especially with so much hype around the Black Friday period.

For advertisers looking to take advantage of the holiday season traffic, we highly recommend using this segment in the run up to Christmas by testing it overlaid with their usual targeting options. Users engaging positively with keywords like Black Friday and Cyber Monday on Facebook show a higher propensity to buy, and will likely result in a higher CTR and conversion rate. However, advertisers cannot rely too heavily on this ad segment alone, it must be used alongside strong messaging and enticing creatives. Consider using it in conjunction with Facebook’s Dynamic Product Ads.

Facebook Has Introduced New Features for Local Advertising

With the aim of making advertising easier for local businesses, Facebook introduced local awareness ads in the US in October 2014, and rolled them out to the UK and other territories last summer. Local Awareness is one of Facebook’s campaign objectives; it can target people when they are within a certain distance of a store if they have location services enabled on their device.

In a recent article from Facebook, they outlined eight reasons these ads can benefit businesses:

  • Encourage consumers to shop in store
  • Increase local brand awareness
  • Help specific stores meet their sales targets
  • Tell consumers about new store locations and grand openings
  • Get the right individuals to your event
  • Tell consumers in the area about current events
  • Build buzz by rallying local communities
  • Spread the word about local promotions

With mobile advertising becoming increasingly important, it is not surprising that Facebook is rolling out new features in this area. Since the launch of local awareness ads, Facebook has introduced new call-to-action options in addition to the ‘Get Directions’, ‘Learn More’ and ‘Like Page’ buttons originally available. These include a ‘Call Now’ button and a ‘Send Message’ button, enabling customers and businesses to connect immediately.

On the 6th November, Facebook announced two new developments: Multiple Store Locations and Local Insights.

Multiple Store Locations

This feature makes Local Awareness campaigns easier for businesses with numerous stores.  Advertisers using the Locations for Pages tool to manage multiple store Pages will be able to target individuals who are near any one of their stores, and serve them with a location-specific ad.

There are three main benefits:

  • Customers are shown highly relevant ads: based on the information from the store Pages, location-specific ad copy, links and call-to-action buttons can be inserted into the ad.
  • Simpler ad targeting: businesses can choose which stores to show ads for using the addresses attached to their store Pages.
  • Performance Analytics: Advertisers will also be able to analyse the performance of each store using location-specific ad reports.

Local Insights

In addition, Facebook augmenting the Page Insights section; a Local Insights tab will be coming out soon. This tool uses data from devices with location services enabled to show overall demographics and trends relating to users near a store. It allows businesses to find out:

  • The area’s busiest times of day and days of the week
  • Demographics of the people nearby (such as age, gender, tourists and local residents)
  • The percentage of people nearby who have seen the ad

These trends will help advertisers form a balance between reaching a larger percentage of people nearby and accomplishing their goals by targeting the right people at the right time.


Facebook says: “Updates to Local Awareness Ads are now available globally through the API and will soon be available in Power Editor. Local insights are rolling out to Pages in the US starting today and over the coming weeks.”

The Multiple Store Locations feature as well as Local Insights will not only support businesses with local advertising, they support Facebook’s growing mobile advertising revenue which made up 78% of its total ad revenue in Q3 of 2015.

However, according to a recent survey by mobile location network Skyhook Wireless, nearly 40% of mobile users are hesitant to share their location data due to privacy concerns, not seeing the value in doing so, or battery drainage. As a result, 18% have location services turned off for all their apps and 20% disable location services to avoid ads. Only 25% of those surveyed keep location services turned on for notifications, despite 83% saying that they thought location services are important.

We don’t foresee deactivated location services being detrimental to campaign performance at the moment as advertisers are still reaching individuals with hyper targeted and relevant advertisements. This means while you may be reaching fewer consumers, the impact of these ads will be greater.

Google Launches Black Friday & Cyber Monday Ad Extensions in the UK

Google have relaunched their Black Friday/ Cyber Monday ad extension to make more of the weekend!

The ad below is an example of this new Black Friday Paid Search ad, which was available in the US only last year. The ad allows you to add specific Black Friday and Cyber Monday attributes to your ad text. These attributes are displayed as an extra line on the ads.
Google-Black-Friday Ad Extensions UK

*Text in image has been made bold to emphasise change to ad.

The extension allows you to actively promote your offers for the Black Friday weekend and will appear in your AdWords account on 9th November. Once the extension has been set up, it will start appearing from 24th November. The extension will switch messaging automatically to Cyber Monday part way through the weekend and will stop showing on the evening of 30th November.

We recommend monitoring the percentage of time the extension shows with your ads, and testing whether ad copy also containing ‘Black Friday’ performs better or not.

We will be reporting on the results we saw when the weekend has finished, so stay tuned!

NMPi & Bathstore Partner with IC Tomorrow to Help Solve Digital Industry Challenge

IC Tomorrow Technology Competition

For retailers, understanding the consumer path to purchase is challenging as people experience multiple online and offline touch points throughout a sales journey. Generic online searches that do not include the brand’s name create a more difficult problem to solve when trying to determine the cause of consumer’s online search and motivations that encourage purchase.

Increasingly, retailers and digital media agencies want to understand the value of Above The Line (ATL) advertising, conventionally television commercials, and the effect that this has on their online paid search advertising; more specifically with the use of generic keyword searches.

NMPi is out to help solve this industry challenge with the support of Innovate UK’s current IC Tomorrow challenge themed around Intelligent Data Insights. Innovate UK is a government programme that removes barriers for up-and-coming entrepreneurs by offering assistance though funding, webinars, conferences, competitions and community support.

The contest will give innovators across various trades the chance to win £210,000 in funding (up to £35,000 each). In addition, the winners will receive mentoring, promotion, and the opportunity to work alongside six industry giants:IBM Watson, Barclays, London City Airport, Carnival Corporation, Office of National Statistics and NMPi with bathstore. IC Tomorrow is looking for innovators with fresh perspectives on artificial intelligence, machine learning and sensor-led technologies to offer solutions to current business challenges.

Entrepreneurs will have access to NMPi and bathstore’s insights and expertise in order to help them develop innovative data analysis tools, processes and machine learning techniques that enhance the impact assessment of ATL advertising, primarily television and video advertising, on online paid search.

NMPi Operational Director, Joe Comotto, remarked on the frustration digital marketers are encountering when trying to connect ATL advertising and paid search,“Nobody’s been able to really solve this to a level that is actually portable and scalable to a customer or advertiser. The challenge for us is being able to understand the value of the TV advertising that was done and relate that back to that generic keyword search term…So we’re really looking for somebody to provide a solution that is able to integrate with the other platforms that are available on the market today.”

NMPi is a strong supporter of innovation and research. The IC Tomorrow programme enables us to be at the forefront of cutting edge technology while giving back to the community by partnering with the next generation in paid search evolution. A resolution to this dilemma would dramatically alter and improve the digital advertising landscape. We look forward to participating in this year’s IC Tomorrow challenge.

NMPi’s Parent Company, incuBeta, and DQ&A Media Group create £70 million Digital Merger

[Cape Town, Thursday, 5 November 2015] – incuBeta Group and DQ&A Media Group announce their merger, offering clients enhanced services and access to new markets.

The merged company has over 400 full-time staff, with 13 offices worldwide, implementing DoubleClick ad-tech solutions and running digital marketing campaigns across 100 countries.

Both groups have large Cape Town offices, with incuBeta companies operational in the UK, Australia, Singapore, China and Kenya. DQ&A Media Group brands are active in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and the USA.

The combined companies specialise in programmatic media, search and web analytics – delivering measurable results for top-tier clients.

“We have created one of the world’s largest, independent, international groups of digital agencies,” says Rick van Boekel, CEO of DQ&A Media Group. “From a geographical, services and products perspective, we are 100% complementary.”

incuBeta Group CEO, Alan Lipschitz, is equally positive about the opportunities the merger presents.

He explains, “The evolving digital market requires companies that understand the technology, are data leaders, and who can give clients a performance-driven solution that results from an integrated approach to search, display and other digital services. There is now increased depth of talent in our combined teams, with real world innovation and numerous thought leaders in our space.”

“We are delighted to see two valued partners, DQ&A Media Group and incuBeta Holdings, come together. The merger offers a global solution that continues to ensure that consumer messaging is more relevant than ever,” says Frank Einecke, Managing Director Media Buying Solutions EMEA at DoubleClick by Google.

Operationally, the merger presents additional opportunities for incuBeta and DQ&A’s country offices, with management and operations teams able to expand in search, display and other specialised services.

“This is a shot-in-the-arm for the South African digital media industry,” says incuBeta Group Executive, Jonathan Gluckman. “Further proof that we have the skillsets, expertise and track record to not only compete internationally with confidence but, also, win and keep business from the biggest global brands.”

incuBeta is the holding company of NMPi (formerly Net Media Planet), Clicks2Customers and Interface, and is highly regarded for its expertise in search engine marketing and optimisation, analytics and full digital services.

In the merger with DQ&A, specialists in digital display marketing, programmatic media buying and technology services, the merged entity becomes a significant digital solutions player.

Future plans include further strategic acquisitions, adding key services and opening markets to the group’s global client base.

About incuBeta Marketing Group

incuBeta is a South African-based global marketing performance group, providing local and international clients with leading digital advertising services and media solutions. The group has rapidly expanded since inception in 1995, acquiring companies offering specialized digital and media services in various territories around the world.

Key Group Companies:  Clicks2Customers, NMPi (UK ), NMPi South Africa , Interface

Specialized Services: Search marketing, web and data analytics, social media, SEO, multi-channel digital strategies, display marketing, UX, web design and development.

Core Territories:   South Africa, UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Singapore.

International Clients Include:  Standard Chartered Bank, South African Tourism, Europcar, Mweb, Uniglo, Old Mutual,, Pac Brands Group, Bing Lee, Fisher and Paykel, Woolworths Group, The Warehouse Group, Prudential, Times Asia, INTI International University and Colleges.


About DQ&A Media Group

DQ&A Media Group is a (Netherlands-based) digital marketing company, specializing in the delivery of leading technologies, data management and high-performance marketing solutions to clients across Europe and the United States. Founded in 2001, the group operates from 7 offices, ensuring high-level of support at all hours.

Key Group Companies:  DQ&A One, Adsimilis, Admazing

Specialized Services: Display marketing, digital marketing technology (DoubleClick stack), programmatic trading desk, lead generation and affiliate, strategy and creation, multilingual campaign management, consultancy and business intelligence.

Core Territories:  The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, USA

International Clients Include:  KPN, Swisscom,, Ahold, JustFab, Universal Music, Meetic

Net Media Planet is Evolving

We’re thrilled to announce that after over a decade on the digital marketing scene, Net Media Planet is evolving. As of today, Net Media Planet will be known as NMP, and along with our name change we will be launching a contemporary new brand.

Rebranding isn’t just about the cosmetic changes. For us it is about the long process in the evolution of a brand; reviewing where we’ve come from and where we want to be in the future. With the launch of our new brand we will also be introducing a new website, which since you are on our blog have probably realised. We hope you find our case studies useful for gaining in-depth industry knowledge.

We’ve expanded over the past 11 years and witnessed some tremendous changes in the industry as well as in our offices. Our company is rapidly expanding. We will be seeing many new faces join our fantastic team, and we’re looking forward to welcoming our newest team members to the NMP family.

As a company we will continue to stand behind our core values which will not change, we still embody our beliefs:
Dare to Lead, Exceed Expectations, Earn Trust and Help Others Succeed. Our clients, and colleagues will still see the same high level quality of service and product.

We’re looking forward to the next 10 years and hope that you will join us in celebrating this important occasion in our history.

New Journeys

Dear friends,

I wanted to share some news from my side, having sold the business I have decided to move on from Net Media Planet.

It has been an amazing journey from seed of an idea and founding the business 11 years ago right through to this day.

I am immensely proud of the business and team – the amazing reputation we have in the industry, the great work we produce for clients, and our superb culture. The industry accolades say and mean a lot to me – from high growth entrepreneurship awards such as winning Entrepreneur of the Year, being listed in the Sunday Times Tech Track, and Deloitte Tech 50 and 500 across Europe fastest growing businesses through to over 30 industry awards for digital innovation.

Thank you for your partnership, business and faith in me as Founder and CEO.

The NMP business is in great shape and I am super excited for the team! A broadened management team is in place with Joe Comotto taking up the role of Operations Director, Sophie Kleiner rising to Head of Search and Damien Bennett starting a new and exciting role as Head of Strategy. They are primed for the next journey!

Of course I am sad to leave my team and my NMP ‘baby,’ but I am also excited about the future.

All the very best,

twitter @srisharma

Net Media Planet Speaks at Interact London

Net Media Planet’s own Andrew Turner, Head of Display Partnerships, will be joining Neverblue as a speaker at Interact London.

Date: 28 May, 2015 from 18:00 – 22:00
Location: Grange Hotel, 10 Godliman Street, EC4V 5AJ

The seminar promises to be an educational evening with the opportunity to deepen your insights into the world of Affiliate Marketing. Turner joins two other experienced industry guest speakers, and will share his insights into the future of Display advertising.

As the fastest growing digital advertising channel, online Display advertising is rapidly becoming a critical channel for UK advertisers.

He will explore how marketers should adapt their strategies to future developments in online Display advertising in order to maximise their online performance across multiple channels and devices.

The evening will commence with refreshments and finger food in the Atrium of the hotel.

This is a free event to attend. For more information or to register visit

My Life at Net Media Planet

I came from Germany to London to do my Internship at Net Media Planet (NMP) as part of my apprenticeship in correspondence and languages. My goal for the 6 weeks I was spending in London was to learn as much as possible, though I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. As I entered the bright and friendly NMP office I was greeted by Digby, my supervisor during my time here, who introduced me to every person of the company as new member of the sales team. I was pleasantly surprised. From that first moment on everybody treated me like a new colleague; nobody ever called me an Intern. I feel like that really gave me the chance to see the company from a different side and connect better with my fellow colleagues.

Week 1:

In the first week I had a lot of training where people of all different departments took the time to show and teach me parts of what they were doing. I got an Introduction to PPC, Display and AdWords and was taught how to use NMP’s internal programs for analysing and interpreting data. Even though my head was spinning after this week, the training was extremely beneficial as it gave me a good overview of the different steps of Digital Marketing.

Week 2:

As soon as the second week started, I became more and more involved in the tasks of the sales team and internal meetings. I started to work on prospect and website analysis. We also started preparing for the World Travel Market with the Marketing Team. I experienced the work behind event preparation and was allowed to attend the event myself. This was a great experience as I saw and applied networking skills for one of the largest Travel conferences worldwide.

Week 3:

In the third week I had the chance to prepare exploratory meeting analysis, which included creating reports and pulling chart data for a range of prospective meetings. I also began the evaluation of current sector reports to find the best prospects for the sales team to contact. Through analysing our sector report data, I could discover the weaknesses in their Digital Marketing Strategies. This helped me in developing an eye for what’s important in a good Marketing Strategy. Also, the whole company went to a “Community Farm Day” on Thursday. It was a great day and I had the chance to work in a team with people I hadn’t worked with before.

Week 4:

Fourth week already and somehow I have the feeling time is running faster at NMP. That week I attended very inspiring presentations, including “The Highs and Lows – 5 Principles of Success” with Derek Redmond at the Digital Marketing Show. Also, I had the chance to write a few blog articles for NMP’s website. This was great as I had the chance to research and learn more about different topics in the world of Marketing and Business. For example, the new Twitter “Buy” Button, Facebook’s business site and dynamic text ads. I was also invited to join the new employees of Net Media Planet to visit the Google Offices, as Google is one of their partners. That was truly amazing! I would have never thought that I would have the chance to see one of the largest companies globally within my time here. This was also the week we moved from Farringdon to Angel to a brand new office, which was very inspiring. To see this amazing company grow truly makes me happy.

Week 5:

The fifth week was a week of growth. They now have a bigger office and I have the feeling the company has grown to a new level with this office move. I’m already excited to see what they are going to achieve in the future. I worked on the creation of new sector reports which contain more relevant search terms to ensure that we get the most relevant data for potential clients. For me, again, a great week.

What more to say?

From day one I was astonished by the atmosphere in the company. I read on the company website that their philosophy is “to treat people fairly, support individual growth and to enjoy working”, but truly I haven’t seen any place in my life that implemented this philosophy as well as NMP. They really take care of their people. I can’t thank everybody enough for supporting me in my biggest task of all, to learn as much as possible, especially Digby, Lisa and my team. I’d like to thank them for making my time here so amazing. It did not just help me with PPC marketing and English skills but also with my whole career and personally I learned a lot! I’m truly thankful for the opportunity and can say it was the right decision to come to NMP for my internship.
As my time here is now coming to an end, I look back on a beneficial and worthwhile internship that is going to help my future career more than I could have ever expected.
Thank you NMP!