NMPi & Liverpool FC 2019 BIMA Award Winners

We are excited to announce that NMPi has won our 10th award this year, at the 2019 BIMA Awards.

The BIMA Awards are the “longest-standing and most prestigious digital awards in the UK”, designed to recognise and reward those organisations who are moving the game on and the digital economy forward.

With that being said, it is an incredible honour to have won the Data & Performance Marketing – Under 70K award for our work with Liverpool Football Club. 

The campaign looks at the strategy behind the rich media banners designed and built by the NMPi Display team, which utilised narrative sequences, fan engagement and relevance to promote Liverpool FC’s 2018/2019 New Balance Kit. To learn more about the campaign, check out Anna Jorysz’s presentation from our seminar earlier this year where she discusses the data strategy behind her banners.

As always, a huge thank you and congratulations goes out to the teams and our client who have worked on these campaigns.

Winning the U. S. Sports Betting Auction

Paid search is the first step operators need to take as they begin their digital transition, so it’s crucial the fundamentals are built in and all considerations addressed before significant budget is to be invested. If done correctly, search can be the cornerstone of any marketing strategy.

Six on the Shortlist for NMPi at IPMA’s

We are thrilled to announce that NMPi has been shortlisted at the International Performance Marketing Awards, which aims to highlight the industry’s best and brightest within the performance marketing sector. The sister event to the Performance Marketing Awards, this set of awards looks globally to recognise work being done in all regions around the world. 

We’re in the running for 5 campaign-based awards: 

  • Best Paid Search Campaign – NMPi for Fanatics
  • Best Use of Data – NMPi for Fanatics
  • Western Europe Best Performance Marketing Campaign – NMPi for Fanatics
  • Best Use of Programmatic – NMPi & Liverpool FC
  • USA Best Performance Marketing Campaign – NMPi for Onnit (read the case study here

Last but not least, we’re especially pleased to announce that we’ve been shortlisted for the Best Team in Performance Marketing. This category is decided on a public vote until 18th September. You can vote for our amazing team here.

Keep your fingers crossed for the 21st of October, where we hope to make our clients and partners proud with another set of silverware for the trophy cabinet.

Incubeta Ignite: CSS and Shopping Landscape

Read Time: 3 Mins

As a CSS Partner, the BuyBye team works closely with Alberta Zatta of the PerformanceX team in Google; the dedicated CSS account managers. We were delighted to have her join us for “The CSS Opportunity”, and to give us an overview of the Shopping and CSS Landscape. You can find the slides from her presentation here.

Over the last few years, we have seen a rising number of agencies who have developed their own CSS propositions to add to their growing lists of services. With a wide range of programmes for merchants to choose from comes an even wider diversity in the ways that CSSs can treat your data, leverage your current account setup, or open up new accounts for you. Our suggestion is to reach out directly to the CSS teams to understand their specific benefits, and the implications of working with them. Below is a closer look at some of the most common operating models, but you can find out more in this article.

Typical Operating Models:

Self-service

The CSS creates a Merchant Center and a Google Ads account on your behalf and then gives you access to these accounts, so you can manage your feeds and campaigns yourself. The pricing model will depend on the agreement you have in place, but typically the CSS will charge a fixed-percentage markup on the CPC paid in the auction. You’ll get direct access to reporting through the Merchant Centre and Google Ads, and the CSS may also provide additional reporting on campaign performance and associated cost. 

Managed service

You provide your product data to the CSS and they take care of the rest. They will create a Merchant Center and Google Ads account on your behalf, optimise the feed, upload it into Google, and manage your campaigns. Some CSSs may also use your product data to generate leads from other channels.

Google invoices the CSS for the clicks on the ads they place on your behalf, and the cost depends on the outcome of the auction. The CSS will then charge you depending on the payment model you have agreed on. 

The CSS typically provides reporting on their performance, as well as the associated cost. You wouldn’t usually have access to the Merchant Center and Google Ads accounts, but you may have access to the tools the CSS provides. 

Hybrid models

Hybrid models combine aspects of both managed and self-service models. For example, a CSS may manage and optimise your product data feed, while you run the campaigns yourself, and vice versa. Or, Google may invoice you directly for ads placed by your CSS – which might suit you if you manage your campaigns yourself. In this case, the CSS would invoice you separately for their services.

Always check with the CSSs themselves to find the specific benefits and consequences of working with them. For example, some CSSs are able to opt in to placing Shopping ads on the Display remarketing network and beyond.

Incubeta Ignite: The CSS Q4 Opportunity

Read Time: 3 mins

With Christmas, Black Friday, and the post-holiday sales, it’s an overstated but vital fact that Q4 is the biggest opportunity for retailers in the year. With consumers getting savvy with planning their shopping, Alex Haynes takes a look at how you can use CSS to boost your reach – and hence your revenue – throughout the season. You can find the slides from Alex’s presentation here

There’s a lot to be on top of during Q4, so as you prepare your campaigns and activity for this highly lucrative periods the first thing to be conscious of is the key dates in the calendar. 

There are two points of note that should be on your radar: the Brexit Deadline – which is still fraught with a lot of uncertainty – and the November Pay Day, which is before Black Friday for the first time in several years. The impacts of both dates are still uncertain, but retailers would do well to consider the implications as they plan for the quarter.

Cyber Weekend

The Rise of Research

Our focus will specifically fall on Cyber Weekend – looking at the trends that have formed over the past few years that you can take advantage of. Interest in Black Friday has grown steadily over the last three years, but how this interest is reflected in searches has shifted. Research now plays a much bigger part in the user journey; with consumers spending more time looking up deals ahead of time to make sure the brands they’re after have the deals they want. This then translates into the decline of Black Friday terms being searched on the actual day.  

The Pyjama Panic Buy

Cyber Weekend is host to a unique purchasing habit: the Pyjama Panic Buy. At 11pm every night during this period, we see ROAS spike. This is likely due to people worrying that the deals won’t be available the next day, and quickly placing an order before midnight. With it being so late, consumers are likely in their PJs – hence “the Pyjama Panic Buy”.

Together, this tells us two things:

  1. Consumers know what they want before they start browsing.
  2. They often need something at that very moment.

Using CSS to Make the Most of Cyber Weekend

While these trends have brought in a unique set of challenges, CSS provides a unique way to tackle them.

First, CSS allows you to be the best at the bottom. With new CSS formats, you can communicate any offers, highlight what they are, and allow customers to click through to the right product page all through the same interface. This becomes incredibly beneficial as it takes away the browsing element of finding offers, making it easier for consumers to identify the products they like at the price point they want. When you’re getting your feed set up, make sure you’ve optimised to Black Friday terms so that you have a better chance of showing during this period, and use machine learning to ensure you’re serving the exact right product when it counts. 

When it comes to beating out the competition, CSS offers a number of opportunities to get one up over your rivals. With cheaper CPCs, you have much more bidding power within the auction. On top of this, CSS providers can often work alongside your in-house teams or primary agency to take over more of the SERP; pushing out competitors and delivering incremental revenue by supporting your current coverage. 

Finally, CSS can give you the flexibility to pick the moments you want to push. Make sure your budget doesn’t run out before you hit peak periods like Pyjama Panic, and be open to the flexible CPAs available on the performance model.

Incubeta Ignite: M&S and Shopping

Read Time: 2 mins

M&S have been working on Shopping for 3 years and, like many retailers, they’ve had their share of challenges when it comes to setting up and maintaining the channel. In a highly insightful presentation, Samira Hassam talked us through some of the challenges M&S has faced and how they’ve managed to get around them.  You can download her slides here.

The Volume of Inventory and Multiple Data Sources

Marks and Spencer have a sizable product range, with over 100,000 SKUs per region. In order to create their feeds, data has to be extracted from 3 entirely separate internal systems. To make sure this information is kept up to date, the systems in place must be able to handle scale whilst also being agnostic to format. 

Stock Availability and Sell Through

Stock availability is often a challenge, especially for Shopping. During promotional periods such as sales and campaign launches – for example, Holly Willoughby Loves – stock often sells out, and it’s often difficult to overlay stock information with sell-through. Using floodlight data in SA360, M&S and NMPi have developed a method to determine how quickly a product sells through, allowing them to advertise effectively by setting rules based on this information.

Establishing Core Sizes

It can be incredibly frustrating when a customer clicks on an ad for a dress that they’ve fallen in love with only to find that the only size available is an XXL. In order to get around this – and create a smoother advertising experience – establish your ‘Core Sizes’ by working with your online trading team. If this information differs by age group or gender, you can also set stock rules based on the demographic.

Promoting Profitable Products

There comes a point where it stops being profitable to promote sales items. Similarly, there will be products that you naturally want to prioritise because they have the highest margins. Using custom labels to give yourself control over the higher-margin products can greatly improve your profitability. Working with internal stakeholders is vital in order to get the sign off you need to implement this strategy with your agency. 

User experience on PDP’s on mobile 

Be mindful of the experience on your Product Detail Pages, as we often see a high bounce rate off these pages due to a poor experience on mobile. Customer navigation capabilities from PDPs on mobile aren’t as simple as they are on desktop, so it’s hard for a customer to get back to the category page. To combat this, M&S added related links to these pages to help with the navigation. 

Incubeta Ignite: The Future of BuyBye

Read Time: 2 Mins

The Comparision Shopping Service landscape has transformed nearly beyond recognition in the last 18 months, and the changes are set to continue for the foreseeable future. NMPi’s Shopping expert, Fred Maude, gives us his predictions for BuyBye and the channel as a whole. You can download Fred’s slides here

The More Things Change

Despite the turbulent changes that lead to the rise of CSSs, they have done nothing but cement the status quo. Go back 10 years, and the search space is dominated by Paid Search Publishers driving traffic through bridge pages. 100% of traffic to a brand’s site would come through these pages.

With Comparison Shopping, only 0.012% of traffic from a CSS ad goes the Comparison Shopping site. The other 99.9% of users go directly to a brand’s site. This means that 99.9% of your users are choosing the same path that they would with Google Shopping, so your campaign delivery is all-important. 

This means that, as a brand, you need to be selecting a Shopping partner who is able to deliver Shopping excellence.

How do we React?

To deliver Shopping Excellence, there are 4 main levels where you can optimise your shopping campaigns: Audiences, Feed Optimisation, Product and Search Term. In terms of your audiences, using granular audience overlays to pinpoint the exact person you want your ads to reach will not only deliver a better experience for your user, but will also allow you to make the most of your ad spend. Ensure that you’re splitting out your inventory so there’s only one product per ad group, which will allow for item-level bidding. 

Lots of things can feed into your BigQuery data, for example:

  1. Price Comparison Services like BuyBye can provide product comparison data.
  2. Market Monitor; a bespoke NMPi tool which allows us to compare your prices to your competitors at a search term level. 
  3. You can use Client Data to bring in Margin and Stock Level Data, or Floodlight data to highlight site-wide product performance. 
  4. Affiliate Performance allows you to draw on Product Performance, while Campaign Performance data not only gives you the products that are performing well, but the search terms that are driving performance.
  5. With all of the product-specific data pulling into BigQuery, you can also layer external sources like Amazon data, Weather data, and even data from the Premier League to shape your campaigns. 

With 99.98% of journeys staying the same as how they were before the introduction of CSS, investment into technology will allow you to deliver the Shopping Excellence that is needed to convert customers in the new – but not so different – landscape.