Net Media Planet speak alongside Yandex and Baidu in New York

We are delighted to have been invited to speak at the upcoming Third Digital Marketing and gTLD Strategy Congress on 3rd March 2014 in New York. In hosting the panel discussion, we will be joined by Yandex, and Baidu’s exclusive European partner, CharmClick.


The event has been designed to coincide with the launch of hundreds of new TLDs (Top Level Domains) which look set to revolutionise the way that brands market themselves online.


The emergence of the new Top Level Domains (TLDs) will give brands the opportunity to transition from .com to .BRAND or to generic TLDs such as .London, .Club, .Tickets, .Vegas, .Finance, .Hotel.


Our panel will discuss what the new TLDs will mean for the future of Search, and explore how brands can use this opportunity to target new markets, new customers and new revenue streams to lead the way in a new digital era.


new gtlds image


In the session, delegates will hear how the leading global search engines will respond to the new TLDs and learn how they intend to manage and index the new TLDs alongside existing domains.
The panel will also discuss how brands can use the new TLDs to redefine their online presence and better reflect their business objectives, markets and products through their domain URLs.


This major industry event will bring together global brands to learn and share how best to exploit the new approaches for brand engagement and online marketing strategies that will best position their brands for future online growth.


For more information on the event please visit:


Please click here to reserve your space and be a part of the next big thing for brands.

Understanding the new Google Shopping changes

Google recently announced the launch of a new campaign type for Google Shopping. This new update will fundamentally change the way in which Product Listing Ad (PLA) campaigns are managed.


So what does this mean for advertisers? We catch up with one of our Search specialist’s, James, to get the low down on the new changes:


Q. What are the changes that have been announced?

A. Google announced the release of a new way to structure PLAs under the name of ‘Shopping Campaigns’. With Product Listing Ads (PLAs) continuing to perform strongly in the retail sector this new release is designed to make managing PLAs easier for advertisers. Though it is worth noting that with this ‘ease’ come significant changes to the way in which PLAs are created in AdWords.


Q. So what are the main differences with ‘Shopping Campaigns’?

A. The output will look the same to the consumer. Where we will see real differences will be in the campaign structure and management. Some of the main changes include;

  • The ability to give campaigns high/medium/ low priority – This will allow advertisers to prioritise a campaign if a product appears in multiple campaigns
  • The way of selecting products – Products can be selected by product feed attributes (e.g. Product type). In addition, a number of new ‘custom labels’ (0-5) have been added to the product feed attributes which can be used for segmentation
  • Ad groups – These will now be called ‘product groups’ and can then be further segmented (up to 7 times) by other feed columns (such as brand or custom labels)
  • There is another useful segmentation feature which is the option to group ‘everything else’ together


Q. What does this new update mean for advertisers?

A. The new Shopping Campaigns will make it much easier for advertisers to set up, manage and maintain PLAs. For example, instead of breaking out ad groups from all of your products, you can create new ‘product groups’. However advertisers experienced with Google Shopping may find this new more simplistic approach rather limiting in its scope.


With the new simpler structure we can also expect more advertisers to experiment with Google Shopping, which means that in time competition, and advertising costs, will rise as a result.


Q. What are the risks to advertisers with these changes?

A. Advertisers without carefully structured products feeds will struggle to take full advantage of the benefits of this new campaign structure, and could potentially lose market share to their competitors as a result.


There is an additional risk to performance levels if the transfer is not carefully managed or products are not suitably segmented. For example, granular bidding is limited by the segmentation of the campaign, and so a poorly set up structure would lose the carefully set up bids from the historic PLAs.


Q. What are the benefits for advertisers?

A. There are clearly a number of advantages for advertisers. I would say that the top benefits are;

  • The ability to easily browse products in the feed through the Adwords interface
  • Better segmentation options such as ‘everything else’ rather than ‘all products’
  • It’s easier to view performance by product segment
  • There is more data available on the competitor landscape such as impression share, benchmark CTR, benchmark CPC, bid simulator data
  • The ability to edit in bulk is now available


Q. What are you looking forward to testing with your client’s campaigns?

A. I look forward to using the new feature to prioritise top products as this will give us more control on which products show, which is more difficult with existing PLA activity.


I also think that access to up-to-date data on impression share and bids will enable us to put together more accurate projections and optimise the best performing non-brand activity.



Thanks James for your thoughts on this! It’s clearly early days, and we will continue to explore what the changes will mean for advertisers going forward. Watch this space! In the meantime if you have any questions or queries with your Google Shopping campaigns then please don’t hesitate to get in touch!


Net Media Planet adds to Performance Marketing Guide

PerformanceIN’s new Performance Marketing Guide 2014, with contribution from Net Media Planet, was launched this week. Now in its third edition, the Performance Marketing Guide is PerformanceIN’s flagship educational resource.


Crafted for anyone looking to hone their knowledge of a 14 billion pound revenue-generating industry, this guide contains insightful and educational content for any advertiser looking to promote a brand using performance marketing techniques.


As one of the leading companies in the performance marketing industry, Net Media Planet was pleased to contribute two chapters – on Paid Search and Programmatic Real-Time Bidding (RTB) – to the ten-chapter guide.


The Paid Search chapter gives a detailed overview of everything an advertiser needs to know to run successful Paid Search campaigns. With this channel continuing to be a core component of the marketing mix, we explore the latest technologies and practices available to help advertisers drive even more performance from Paid Search activity.


The second chapter discusses the new advertising phenomenon of Programmatic Real-Time Bidding (RTB). This emerging area is revolutionising the traditional idea of Display advertising due to its ability to measure and optimise Display campaign performance in real-time. In the chapter we discuss in detail how RTB works, and provide insights on how advertisers can best use this channel to maximum effect.


Other sections in the 120 page guide include mobile display, affiliate programme management, agile commerce, email, technology and data management.


Whether you are a seasoned marketing professional or someone taking their first steps in the industry, this guide will give you the insight and tactics required to build a successful approach to performance marketing.


Download your copy of the Performance Marketing Guide 2014 here:

5 Ways to Boost Paid Search Performance

Have your campaigns gone a bit stagnant? Paid Search campaigns can be a really effective way of increasing brand awareness and generating revenue.


However they take a lot of work to manage, and can easily stagnate if due attention is not given to them. So, to avoid your high performing campaigns turning into poor performing campaigns, we thought it would be useful to share some of our top tips and insights:


1. Think creatively to get your message across

There are a number of essential messaging and creative optimisation techniques that you should incorporate into your campaigns, these include;

  • Promote an offer in your ad copy – Use promotional or discount messaging with a good call to action. Consumers are more likely to click on your ad if they see an offer and they might not go onto your site if they don’t know you have a sale and other companies do.
  • Test new landing pages – Firstly, ensure that your landing page is relevant to the term searched to capture consumers while their interest is high. Secondly, optimise your landing page further by experimenting with different font sizes and colours. Trust us, it works! For one client we found that a landing page with a black background had a much smaller bounce rate than a white background. In another test, we changed the landing page from a product page to a category page and saw a +23.5% increase in revenue and a +49.8% increase in transactions.


2. Bid Intelligently

Bidding more intelligently can help you to target consumers at high converting times. By adopting a sophisticated bidding strategy you can make more efficient use of your advertising spend and drive more performance. There are a number of different bidding tactics that can be employed, such as;

  • Location Bid modifiers – Use these to adjust your bids in specific targeted geographical areas, for example by city. Achieve more performance by increasing your bids in locations that you know perform well. For one client we ran highly geo-targeted campaigns across 13 different locations. As a result CTR increased by +47.2% and conversions increased by +36.3%.
  • Mobile Bid modifiers – Use these to target the increasing number of consumers searching and buying on their smart phones rather than on desktop. For one client we optimised their campaign for mobile and saw a significant performance uplift, as a result 32% of their revenues now comes from mobile.


3. Add More with Extensions

With strict character limits in your ads, sitelinks can be used to promote more products, offers or services to entice consumers to click on your ad. Also use sitelinks to take over more real estate of the Search Engine Results Page and push out your competitors. There have been many recent updates to ad extensions, particularly on Google, which can help optimise campaigns further, these include:

  • Extended sitelinks – These are sitelinks that combine traditional sitelinks with text about a product or service that relates to your ad. These will enable you to show more information and highlight more benefits of your product or service.
  • Image ad extensions – These will allow you to show 3 relevant images above your Paid Search ad. Most consumers are drawn to visual content so this will make your ad stand out compared to other ads.

It is worth noting that Google also recently updated their ad ranking algorithm to incorporate ad extensions. So, if you have not yet optimised your Google campaigns with extensions you should start ASAP!


4. Remarketing For Search

A newer form of Paid Search marketing is Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA), which is the process of remarketing to consumers based on their previous onsite behaviour. Use this approach to connect with more qualified consumers;

  • Target consumers in the Google search network that have already expressed interest in your product and help move them through the purchasing funnel. Consumers that have already viewed your product are statistically more likely to return to the site and make a purchase. For one retail client we saw an increase in CTR by +27.6% and an increase of +28% in conversions with RLSAs.


5. Going Beyond Google – Alternative Paid Search Options

Although Google still holds over 88% of market share in the UK, there are opportunities elsewhere;

  • Bing and Yahoo! are not to be ignored – There is less advertiser competition on Bing and Yahoo! in the UK which means that ad positions can be higher for less money! For one client, their campaign on Bing had a ROI more than 2x higher than Google. While search volume was much lower, Bing maintained a CTR that was +184% higher and a CR that was +121% higher than Google. We think that Bing and Yahoo! are well worth testing.
  • For international campaigns consider other search engines – Research your local target market and ensure that you select the right search engine for that country. For example, Yandex is big in Russia while Baidu dominates in China.


Hopefully these tips will give you some ideas to boost performance of your Paid Search campaigns. Good luck!







Image courtesy of:

Net Media Planet speak at SES London 2014

Earlier this week I spoke at SES London 2014, where I talked about how brands can develop a smarter retargeting strategy. Across both Search and Display, I talked about defining and targeting audiences, improving the effectiveness of creative, technology choices and use of timing in your approach. I also talked about the role of retargeting as part of the wider goal of direct response and brand awareness.


It was a great session with lots of questions and discussion with my fellow panellists Guy Levine, CEO, Return On Digital and Jon Myers, SES Advisory Board & VP & Managing Director EMEA, Marin Software.


Following a number of requests at the event, I thought I would share the deck:



I hope that you find these slides useful. If you have any questions about the presentation, or are interested in exploring retargeting further then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.



5 Tips for Introducing a Brand into a New Territory

For UK businesses with strong brands and high export potential, expanding into new territories offers great opportunity for growth.


As a result more and more UK advertisers are scoping out the real potential of international expansion.


In this article we share some of our best tried and tested tips for helping brands seek new revenue opportunities from international markets:


1. Define your goals

It may seem obvious but the first place to start is to clearly define the outcomes that you want to achieve. As this will provide clarity and you will be able to relate every future action taken to a particular outcome.


When introducing an unknown brand into a new territory you will need to take into consideration the level of consumer trust. A brand that no one has heard of may not inspire the level of confidence needed for a consumer to make a purchase. For this reason, we recommend that you set early goals which revolve more around creating positive brand awareness and engaging with your target audience rather than focusing on direct profit.


2. Understand what you are measuring

Not all campaign goals will revolve around profit; for those that don’t, there are other metrics that can be monitored to measure success. The first place to start is search volume through Search advert impressions. Use this metric to show you how many people have been exposed to your advert. Although they may not have proceeded to purchase anything from your website, every time a consumer sees your Search advert they will start to build more trust in your website, which will increase the likelihood of them making a purchase.


Another key metric is Click Through Rate (CTR). A higher CTR will mean that a greater proportion of people are reacting to your advert. Use this measure to understand how consumers are engaging with your brand.


3. Do not overlook the Google Display Network (GDN)

When trying to raise awareness of your brand, the GDN can be a very powerful tool. Through the GDN you are able to show Display adverts directly to your target audience. By using the placement targeting capabilities available on the GDN you can show your adverts, on particular websites that your target consumer is likely to be browsing. You can also use the GDN to extend your reach further online. Using GDN, you can define a list of interests that you expect your target consumer to have and target that subsection of Internet users with your advert.


4. Think past the last click

When introducing an unknown brand into a new territory, generic keywords can prove very valuable on a first click/weighted basis. For example, if a consumer is searching for “wetsuits” and they click an advert from a brand that they do not recognise, the likelihood is that if they find a wetsuit they like on the landing page they are unlikely to trust the site enough yet to make a purchase. However, after the brand has made the initial connection, it is likely that the consumer will at some point search for “<brand> wetsuits” to have another look at the wetsuit they were initially attracted to. The third time the consumer searches, they will most likely search for the pure brand term and in this case they will make a purchase.


Now when looking at this information on a last click basis, the entire value of the sale will be attributed to the pure brand term, however without the initial interaction with the generic term none of the subsequent searches or the final sale would have happened. This is a pattern that we see frequently across our campaigns and is more apparent as the value of the item increases.


In order to better attribute the full value of the sale we would suggest using an attribution model that reflects the contribution of keywords throughout the conversion path, specifically initiating keywords. How you do this will depend on the tracking and attribution technology that you use.


5. Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)

When introducing a brand to a new territory, it is not only acquiring the customer that is necessary – we also need to keep that customer. The aim is to create a relationship so that they return. RLSAs are a very useful targeting method within Google Adwords as they allow you to set rules based on consumer browsing history.


When someone has made a purchase from a brand they will be more likely to buy again. You can use RLSAs to create a list of consumers that have bought from your site previously and set a bid multiplier so that your ads appear higher in the search results page when they make relevant searches. For example, if the consumer who bought a wetsuit is now browsing online for a surfboard, you can ensure that you appear high on the search results page for the term ‘surfboard’ and likely achieve another purchase.


In summary

We hope you find these five tips useful. When entering any new market, it’s important to take the time to do the research and prepare your campaigns accordingly to ensure that you have the highest chance of success. Good luck!


See Sri speak on Remarketing at SES London!

Next week Sri Sharma, our MD and Founder, will once again be taking to the stage at SES (Search Engine Strategies) London, one of the leading search and social marketing events in the industry.


Sri will be speaking in a session entitled ‘Preaching to the Almost Converted: Smart Retargeting/Remarketing’ on Wednesday 12 February from 2:00pm-3:00pm.


This session will explore one of the essentials for digital marketers – Retargeting. Done correctly, Retargeting is one of the most powerful tools we have. However, it’s also one of the most misunderstood and misused, in many cases turning audiences off rather than on.


During this session, Sri will guide attendees through the approaches and technicalities of Retargeting to demonstrate its potential. Using practical examples Sri will then show how brands can harness the power of Retargeting to better connect with their audiences and drive more conversions.


Attend this session to learn how some of the UK’s leading brands have begun to master this new approach and are seeing major performance uplift as a result.


Joining Sri on the stage are Jon Myers, SES Advisory Board; VP & Managing Director EMEA, Marin Software and Guy Levine, CEO, Return On Digital.


Come and join us on the Day!


We have managed to secure a fantastic discount for our contacts worth up to £950.00 off the ticket price. Please click on the link and enter the code below to join us at the event.




Enter at:


For more information on the session and the event please visit:


Google to make ‘significant changes’ to the way it operates

On Wednesday 5th February, it was reported that Google is to make ‘significant changes’ to the way in which rival products and services appear in search results.


The move follows a three-year EU investigation in to how Google presents content from rivals in the search results page. The investigation was launched in response to complaints from 18 companies, including Microsoft and TripAdvisor, who claimed that Google was giving preferential treatment to its own products in the search results page.


Another key focus of the investigation has been how Google displays content from other websites without permission.


The announcement suggests that Google is now close to reaching a settlement with the EU on the changes that it will make under EU competition rules.


As part of the changes, it is proposed that services offered by Google would be graphically separated from other search results in order to allow services from rivals to be clearly displayed. Google will also put a label on its web pages to remind consumers that its own products will be given preferential treatment.


In a sign that suggests that the EU supports the proposed changes, the European Competition Commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, said that he will not seek feedback from the complaining companies as part of this deal.


The Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace (ICOMP) has described this decision by the commissioner as a ‘massive failure’.


This is clearly an interesting time for Google, though we imagine that ultimately they will keep their role as main gatekeeper for search results. We will continue monitoring these developments in order to evaluate what these changes could mean for advertisers. With increased competition on the search results page we will watch with interest to see how the visitor distribution by traffic source changes, what effect it will have on Google CPCs, and ultimately what opportunities open up for advertisers.


The Commission is due to make a final decision in the coming months. We will update this story when we learn more.