Navigating the Top Search Tips for Travel

The customer journey has always been a complicated beast, but none more so than the journey to booking a holiday. The early stages of the traveller’s journey are perhaps the most chaotic online, especially when it comes to their searches. “Cheapest flights”, “Should I go on holiday”, “What to do in Spain”, “holidays in Germany” – the variations in search terms alone are endless. Then consider that some consumers are spontaneous, while others are methodical with research often forming a much more integral part of their path to purchase (in the 45 days before booking, consumers visit an average of 38 travel sites). 

So, how can travel brands use search to ensure that they’re reaching all different types of travellers in a way which resonates with them?

Personalisation: More than just a Buzzword

As mentioned earlier, the way that people phrase travel-related search terms varies wildly. We cannot recommend enough that you ensure your ads are personalised to the queries that are being searched. Creating audience groups based on behaviour, rather than demographic information, will be far more successful for this industry. This will mean segmenting your price-conscious buyer from your spontaneous searcher, your curious adventure-seeker from the unsure user who’s just dipping their toe in the water. 

The personalisation efforts won’t stop there: each of these groups will require tailored content to make your brand relatable to these specific groups. Develop ad copy that suits their style – for example using up-to-date pricing information in your ads to your “price-conscious” demographic, or structuring your sitelinks to refer to the types of activity someone might be able to do while on holiday. Also consider the questions, thoughts and queries that might come up for each group and try to answer them within your copy. That kind of customer experience creates an impact.

Search ads including the cheapest flight prices on the sites

This particular tip comes with a caveat: only create as many audience groups as you have the capacity to manage. While having lots of highly granular audience groups naturally increases the likelihood of reaching the right person with the right messaging at the right time, it will be less effective if you cannot maintain it. 

Too Much Choice, Too Little Time

Travel brands would also be wise to take the not-uncommon phenomenon of choice paralysis into consideration. With the world literally at your fingertips, it isn’t surprising that many consumers get stuck when it comes to deciding the location of their next trip. 

Google Search Autocomplete for the term "Cheap Flights to"

Interestingly enough, in the early stages where choice paralysis is most likely to be a factor, it is the holiday experience on offer, rather than its price point, that is most likely to cement a decision. Calling out the particular experience a traveller might expect will help drive your conversion rates. Will they be living like a local? Is this the trip of a lifetime? Should they expect a relaxing week by the pool or 3 days of non-stop adrenaline? Adding these into your more general prospecting campaigns will allow you to reel in more engaged users; helping to boost your conversions and fuel your retargeting efforts. 

Where are the Searchers?

The importance of mobile, in general, cannot be overstated, but when it comes to travel plans there are several things to take into consideration. Trends have shown that while users are more than happy to conduct much of their (seemingly unending) research on mobile, they’re less comfortable converting on mobile. 

Blue passport and boarding pass

Holidays tend to be big-ticket items, and most, if not all, shoppers prefer to finish their purchase on desktop. Whether they just trust desktop more for their bank details or prefer the easy access to multiple tabs before they make their final decision, most consumers will complete their booking on a desktop.

With this information in mind, there’s a couple of things you can do to improve your conversion rates and drive sales. 

  1. First, you’ll want to bid up on research-related terms on mobile devices (like “best trips for couples”), and more certain, purchase-related searches on desktop (like “flights to Belfast International July”). This will help to reach searchers with the right message for their stage in the consumer journey.
  2. Secondly, ensure that there’s a seamless experience between mobile and desktop, allowing users to easily switch from their mobile research to their purchase on desktop and removing some of the friction in the path to purchase.

The Journey to Conversion

Customers have incredibly high expectations for their online experience, and this is no different when it comes to travel. We cannot stress enough the importance of understanding your customer, and the benefits this can bring.

By keeping these insights in mind, you’ll be able to develop a paid search strategy that makes you relatable to your audiences, and will drive more engaged users to your site. However, be mindful of your capabilities: don’t try and bite off more than you can chew – for fear of not being able to deliver on your goals.

Love Island 2.0: Predicting 2019 Winners

Can you believe that there’s only one week left of this year’s Love Island? We’ve officially been glued to ITV2, 6 nights a week for 8 weeks. But the end is near. We’re coming into the final few episodes, and it appears the drama will never end.

At the beginning of the series, we wrote “from dates to data”, where we analysed Twitter data to predict our Love Island front-runners of the series. The article provides an insight into how we collected data to calculate ‘compatibility scores’ for each couple.

You’re probably thinking, that we got it very wrong. Nobody could have predicted the absolute carnage that came from Casa Amor. What we can say, however, is that our first prediction was extremely early days and a lot can happen in 5 weeks. So, we put our PPC analyst to the test, armed with nothing but a Love Island Water bottle and a desire to dig out some great data.

Our Ultimate Goal: To Predict the 2019 Winners of Love Island

Off the back of the recoupling last week, there are 7 couples currently in the villa:

Maura & Curtis
Amber & Greg
Molly-Mae & Tommy
Belle & Anton
Anna & Jordan
Harley & Chris
India & Ovie

Molly-Mae & Tommy are the only remaining couple from our initial prediction. These two scored a compatibility score of 34.69, ranking as the second-best couple at the time. The rest of the couples have since broken up.

Both Anna & Jordan and Harley & Chris were in the bottom three during the last elimination.  Since this was a public vote for the least popular couple, we have eliminated them from our study. Now, let’s salmon dive into the Twitter stats on the 5 remaining couples:

The Compatability Scores (Spoiler Alert)

Maura & Curtis

Ever since Curtis dumped Amy, we wondered if anyone would forgive him for his actions! After an intense battle with Francesca, Maura was the one to couple up with Curtis, and they are fast becoming a solid couple.

Those of you that have read part one will know that Amy & Curtis’ compatibility score of 76.89 put them in first place amongst the other couples. With a current score of 20.58, Twitter is saying this is a step down for Curtis, but only time will tell.

Amber & Greg

After the whole Michael drama,  Amber deserves a nice, decent bloke that would treat her like the ‘sassy queen‘ that she is. On cue, Irish Greg came along and swept her off her feet. Does their chemistry match the maths?

Sadly, we don’t predict a happy future for the couple.

Molly-Mae & Tommy

Having remained strong throughout the majority of the series, this analysis is a breath of fresh air. They’re actually in love on Love Island, can you believe it? Some say it’s doubtful that Tommy knows what love is, but let’s see what Twitter is saying.

Wow, what a score, a whopping 48.63! That’s a considerable improvement from their initial score of 34.69. It seems like you get extra points for being REAL-LIFE boyfriend and girlfriend!

Belle & Anton

Anton, the underdog, the lovable bestie. We were starting to fear that Anton really was, unlucky in love. Then along came Belle. She has proved herself to be a fiery match for the Scottish lad, and after an explosive argument, they have made up and cracked on. Have their arguments made them a stronger couple?

The answer? No, not really.

India & Ovie

Ovie is best known for being funny, charismatic and a joker in the villa. All the girls love him (apart from Anna) and all the guys want to be him (especially Chris). India is a new Islander, and the two have really hit it off. India is a latecomer, but it’s no ovie-reaction that she’s made an impact on her partner.

You heard it here first:

NMPi Predicts that Mollie-Mae and Tommy will be the Winners of Love Island 2019. 

So that’s it for the year, catch us again next summer for Love Island 2020!

Note: Please be aware that these are the views of a PPC expert who’s been subjected to 7 weeks of reality TV.

A Day in the Garden

Read Time:2 Minutes

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the horticultural industry isn’t one on the forefront of digital marketing, but online garden centre You Garden is a great example of how you can grow your business to new heights, simply by placing the consumer at the heart of everything you do.

From its founding in 2011, You Garden is now projecting a 2019 turnover of £17 million. So how have they gone from start-up to Amazon’s biggest living product provider across all of Europe – without shipping anything outside the UK?

One of the key secrets to their success is that the team are all over the data, all of the time. There’s a simple rule that Peter ensures the business sticks to: if you can’t track it, don’t do it. This allows the team to see what marketing activity is working, what isn’t, and highlights important areas of improvement – and the You Garden team get those updates every single day. 

On top of this, the business is a masterclass in building long-lasting customer relationships. From the moment a customer comes to site, You Garden makes sure they know exactly what to expect. When a product is sent out, they provide all the information needed to make sure consumers know how to take care of the plant – as well as an incredibly responsive customer service team on hand to provide quick responses to any issues that may arise.

In terms of their online efforts, the team knows the power of “basket abandonment” reminders – encouraging users to finish their shopping – and they spend a lot of time tracking hotspots on the website and optimising accordingly. In making the online experience as slick and as intuitive for their customers as possible, showing just how crucial the Path to People really is.  

 

Building a Customer-First Approach


Read Time: 3 minutes

In Claire’s day-to-day as NMPi’s Head of Biddable, she often hears clients ask how they can develop a customer-first approach but what does this actually mean? Claire phrases it as an approach that guides the customer through their journey with relevant content to deliver your desired action. This, however, is still easier said than done, so here are some of her top tips for building a Customer-First Approach. 

Understanding Your Audiences

The first step in any customer-first approach is to understand your current customer. What demographics do they tend to fall into, what is their favourite brand or product, what is their price point, and when are they most likely to shop? Each of these questions helps you to build a picture of your current customer from the ground up, allowing you to perfect your messaging for returning customers. 

Once you’re happy with who your current customers are, the next stage is to expand your customer portfolio and consider who you want your customer to be. Research is key here to ensure your goals are realistic, that you’re performing on at least a similar level to your competitors, and that the value these new customers will bring in compares to your current portfolio. A simple example here is that your targets for new customers shouldn’t be the same as your targets for returning customer.

Review and Readjust

With your audiences set up, it’s time to review your channels to set yourself up for an omnichannel approach. We know that a “typical” customer journey involves a huge chain of touchpoints, so we know that a customer-first approach requires an omnichannel approach. While this might be more difficult to achieve due to the way your company is split out, communication will be your saviour. Make sure you are passing all of your learnings between channels to ensure that your activity reflects the complex nature of the customer journey. 

After all of your research on your current and ideal customer, you know exactly who they are and what’s important to them. So, why not call out some of these things in your messaging? If you know their price point is £100 or lower, don’t show them any items that are more expensive. If a specific campaign is targeting women aged 18-22, use female-led messaging and focus on the things that are important to them like next day delivery. If you know they only shop during promotions, don’t waste your spend on them throughout the rest of the year. 

Keep Moving Forward

So, you know your current customer and your ideal audience. You know what they like, what is important to them, and you’ve developed an omnichannel approach that is set up to send the right message at the right time. If you think your work is done, though, you’d be mistaken. 

It’s not enough to set up a customer-first approach and leave it, you can never stop exploring your customer. Times will change, your product offering will change, and your audiences will almost certainly change. Claire’s most crucial piece of advice is to never stop exploring your customer – their needs and wants will change quicker than you’d think.

Lastly, be clear on what you can maintain and what you can scale up. You might think you can handle a highly-granular and incredibly personalised approach now, but is this something you can keep up? How about when your customer base grows? Keep your segments tight enough to give a customer what they want, but big enough that they’re still manageable. 

But most importantly, come up with your own definition of customer-centric that works for you and your business. Whether that’s simply segmenting new and returning customers, or creating bespoke personas for your audiences, ensure that what you’re doing is manageable and can be scaled up as the need arises.

Video Advertising: Building Ads for Attention

Read Time: 3 Minutes

Working for creative specialists Joystick, Kim Havens knows that we are living in a time when content is king. We have an endless stream of content available at our fingertips: from Netflix to podcasts to news articles. This abundance of content changes the way that consumers engage with it; shortening our attention spans from 12 seconds in 2000 to only 8 seconds in 2015 – 1 second shorter than a goldfish.

This has made our job as marketers much more difficult, but YouTube has become the go-to solution, as it provides a unique opportunity to reach an engaged audience. Unlike Facebook and Instagram, 95% of YouTube viewers will watch ads with both sight and sound. In order to make the most of this, Kim shares best practices for making engaging and exciting YouTube ads.

Creating the Arc

One of the biggest things to avoid when creating your YouTube ads is the “Traditional Story Arc” – the storyline of a traditional TV ad. This style of messaging became ingrained in the consumer consciousness back before we could record live TV and fast forward through the ads. This kind of arc – as seen below – features a slow build-up to a climax and a big reveal of the product. 

However, this model doesn’t work on YouTube. Viewers have the power to skip the ads after just a few seconds and have an attention span shorter than ever before – so a slow build-up will prove largely ineffective. This has given rise to the “Emerging Story Arc”, where the ad starts on a high to reel viewers in and reveals the brand quickly to get the brand name in before viewers can click the “Skip Ad” button. This is crucial: capturing attention in the first 5 seconds. After this high-impact opener, expect view rates to drop off. However, you can use the rest of your placement to provide more information on your product for those who want it.

Mobile First

70% of video content is viewed on mobile, so building for mobile-first is crucial. Cinematic stylings and sweeping shots might work for television, but on a small screen, a lot is missed. There are a couple of things that will be important to remember here. First of all, you’ll want to keep the pacing up to help you maintain viewers attention. Make up for dim phone screens by using bright footage, and counteract small screens with tight cropping and big text & graphics. A great alternative to the full-length YouTube ad is a bumper ad. These are short, 6 second, non-skip spots that help to capture attention and keep your message front of mind.

Growing your Story

Deploying mixtures of formats and lengths of creatives has been proven to have a positive impact on results and increases the overall reach of the campaign. For example, use a 6-second bumper ad to tease, 15-second non-skip Google Preferred ad to amplify the message, and then longer 30 second (or more) TrueView instream ads to echo your previous placements. This allows you to grow your message over more interactions – improving your brand recognition and providing the opportunity to deepen the narrative.

So your 4 guiding principles to Effective Ads are:

  • Win the first 5 seconds
  • Make it for Mobile
  • Keep it Short and Sweet
  • Evolve your Storytelling

Now go and create some engaging content!

People and Technology

Read Time: 4 Minutes

There’s nothing more frustrating than splurging in the sales, only to receive an email 2 days later with 20% off. The only exception might be if the discount is only for dresses and skirts – despite never having bought these in the past. 

With the huge amount of data that marketers have at their fingertips, it would be fair to expect that we would have begun to hone our personalisation efforts. While retargeting is a great tactic, serving ads for a holiday to someone who is going away in a few days isn’t the most efficient strategy for that one person. 

DQ&A’s James Sleaford highlights that the path to people has to consider all of the little nuances that make up an individual consumer, but that a customer experience which delights from start to finish requires an organisational approach: which comes out in the technology you use and the people you work with. 

A Roadmap for Change

Digital transformation of this type needs careful planning, so one of the things that DQ&A often recommend to businesses who are in the process of setting up a more rounded approach to advertising is to set up a technology roadmap, which goes from audit all the way to your ongoing development cycle. 

  • Discover: Get a full picture of all of the technology that is at your disposal, and the goals of your organisation. Consider how much of specific tactics you want to do – for example how much retargeting do you want to do?
  • Design: With this in mind, design a technology “stack” that is best suited to your capabilities, ambition, and the resources at your disposal.
  • Deploy: Implement your plan of action
  • Develop: Create a roadmap that sets out how you plan to build more advanced technology solutions to power your marketing efforts.

Once you know where you are, it’s much easier to see where you’re going and what you need to get there. 

Technology for Every Stage

Regardless of where you are on your technology roadmap, there are products that can help you at every stage of the journey. If you’re just starting on your technology journey, there’s a lot of great work that can be done on an individual perspective with free versions of Google Ads and Google Analytics. You can build your audiences and run retargeting, but it is very channel-specific, and it doesn’t take into account the various nuances of your customers.

The next step that businesses often take is to adopt the Google Marketing Platform, unlocking 3rd-party audiences, display activity, and allowing you to look at things from a post-impression point of view. It also allows you to introduce frequency capping, to prevent bombarding your customer with lots of different messaging across lots of different platforms.

The businesses that have supercharged their technology by using their adtech as a base and building Cloud technology on top of this. This allows you to integrate your 1st-party data, try out some customer modelling to predict what customers might want, and machine learning into your campaigns. As the most advanced stage, this will superpower your ability to deliver truly great customer experiences. However, remember that you can do good work with any of the tools mentioned here – you don’t need cloud technology if you aren’t ready for it yet. 

It’s Still a People Business

Regardless of how much technology we’re using, advertising is still a people business at its core. As you’re going down the road of digital transformation, 

First, remember that the skills that are now required to envision, manage and implement advertising are evolving, and some of the roles that will be crucial to running advertising will be completely new. Make sure you plan for this accordingly with effective training to make sure your team are prepared and equipped. Also ensure that your culture encourages collaboration, and gets the whole team to share the vision. 

It’s also worth bearing in mind that the people you work with aren’t just within your company. Consider how you can work with your agency and technology partners to best bring your goals to life. Finally, ensure you get sponsorship from senior stakeholders in order to avoid short-termism and qualify investment. 

The biggest piece of advice James offers is to highlight that advertising is just the tip of the iceberg: the path to people also involves their on-site experience, in-store experience, the logistics and shipping, and ease of returns. Don’t focus on a single one of these at the expense of the others.

NMPi Takes Home 5 Awards Including Grand Prix

It was another successful night for NMPi at the Effective Digital Marketing Awards, with the team taking home 5 awards for our work with Superdrug Online Doctor, Pets Best Insurance, and Liverpool FC.

Recognised across a range of disciplines and verticles, we took home the Most Effective Search Marketing Campaign for our work with Superdrug Online Doctor, and Pets Best Insurance was crowned the Most Effective Performance Marketing Campaign

The big winner of the night was our work with Liverpool FC, which won Most Effective Programmatic Campaign, Most Effective Retail & FMCG Campaign and the Grand Prix!

A huge thank you and congratulations goes out to the teams and our clients who have worked on these campaigns, and we look forward to bringing you even more good news in the coming weeks. 

From Dates to Data: NMPi’s Love Island Prediction 2019

Summer is finally here and there’s only one thing that means: Love Island is back on the telly! That’s right: 3 weeks ago, 12  intelligent – but most importantly – really good looking young individuals, dropped their Instagram-heavy lives for 8 weeks of non-stop tan and drama in the  Love Island villa.

It’s hard to believe we’re already 3 weeks into this year’s love story, but bets are already on as to who will be the lucky couple to take home the prize this year. We decided to use what we know best – data – to see if we can predict which couple will survive the summer of love and be crowned the winner of Love Island 2019.

We can’t however, predict who will still be together 6 months down the line…

State of Affairs and Methodology

Before we dive into our data analysis, let’s take a quick snapshot of the current state of affairs in the villa (at the time of writing). For those of you not up to date, come back in 15 hours when you’ve caught up!

We have 14 contestants currently in the villa: 4 couples and 6 single contestants. These couples, as of the 21st of June are:

  • Amy & Curtis
  • Amber & Michael
  • Molly-Mae & Tommy
  • Yewande & Danny

Our source for these predictions is Twitter. We’ve pulled apart each couple’s Twitter profiles to compare how many tweets they have, their average reach, and their value in the eyes of the general public. The bigger the gap within the couple, or the smaller the number, the lower the compatibility score.

With this in mind, we popped on our investigative sunglasses and started crunching the numbers. Starting with couple number one:

Amy & Curtis

Ever since Curtis entered the villa in week 1, he and Amy have hit it off like a house on fire. Both passionate about musicals, theatre and ballroom dancing, they are a flamboyant couple often called the “Mum and Dad” of the villa by other contestants. But what do the numbers say?

Curtis comes in with a Twitter reach of just under 11 million, which doesn’t hold a candle to the 27 million that Amy reaches. Given the huge gap between them, it’s almost surprising that their Tweets/contributor ratio and value are so similar. Amy comes in with a Tweets/contributor ratio of 2.17 and a value of £171k. while Curtis has a ratio of 2.1 and a value of £177k.

Taking this into account using our in-house algorithms this couple takes home a whopping compatibility score.

COMPATIBILITY SCORE: 76.89

Amber & Michael

These two had a slow start in the villa, starting off as friends. As the days went on Michael turned up the heat until Amber finally admitted that she had caught feelings too. 

Turning to the numbers, Amber pulls in a reach of 10.5 million on Twitter, while Michael only manages 5.5 million. Already a poorer start than our first couple. The difference in Tweets/contributor ratio and value is also more apparent, with Amber at 2.45 and $108k, and Michael 1.66 and $52k respectively. Adding it all together, it looks like bad news for Amber and Michael.

COMPATIBILITY SCORE: 3.69

Molly-Mae & Tommy

It’s not been a smooth ride for these lovebirds, with Tommy being torn between Lucie & Molly-Mae in week 1. It was only because Lucie chose Joe that Molly-Mae & Tommy ended up together. Then, when mega toe-stepper Maura entered the villa, Tommy was once again caught between two girls. However, he chose to re-couple with Molly-Mae, to the utmost joy from the UK public.

But how are these two looking now they are (supposedly) dedicated to each other? Molly-Mae brings home a reach of 8 million, Tommy only 7 million. This is a much smaller reach than the other two couples, which is surprising given all the drama focused around them so far. Looking at our other metrics, Molly-Mae has a Tweets/contributors score of 2.31 and a value of $139k. Tommy on the other hand only hits 1.37 and $35.5k for value.

It’s worth noting here that Tommy is the most followed contestant on Instagram so far – over 1 million! – but in terms of compatibility, they’re very middle of the road. 

COMPATIBILITY SCORE: 34.69

Yewande & Danny

Last but not least, scientist Yewande & model Danny. Yewande was having a hard time of finding love in the villa, so when Danny entered, the Islanders – and indeed the whole of the UK – rejoiced. This thrill was short lived with fractures already showing in the couple. New girl Arabella has swept Danny off on a date, leaving Yewande fighting with her feelings, and for her man.

Yewande achieves a Twitter reach of 1.5 million, and Danny 2.7 million – the lowest of any of our couples. Looking at the additional metrics, Yewande gets a Twitter/contributor score of 1.39 and a value of $5.6k while Danny is looking at a ratio of 1.15 and a value of $15k. The outlook is certainly bleak.

The result from our compatibility algorithm backs up what we’re dreading: a pretty damning score. Looks like these two would have better luck finding love somewhere else…

COMPATIBILITY SCORE: 1.34

Our Prediction

So that’s it, Amy & Curtis have topped our couple prediction and they are the data and dating front runners of Love Island 2019!

But, as we’ve said, a lot can change in 5 weeks – so we’ll be following up in a few weeks with some updated predictions.

Will Amy & Curtis stay strong? Will Molly-Mae & Tommy do bits? Will Yewande & Danny ever break up? Only time will tell. We’ll see you back here in a few weeks!

Top 5 Tips to Beat Your Competitors

Resellers can be a thorn in the side of any retailer, especially when it comes to drawing in traffic through advertising. Whether it’s through Paid Search, Display, or Paid Social, we’ve gathered some of our top tips for beating out your competitors across the digital space.

  1. On Social, you are able to exclude your site visitors, allowing you to create campaigns that specifically target prospects who have little knowledge of your brand. If new customer acquisition is your goal, then this is a great way to boost your brand awareness on social.
  2. Your CRM data can prove especially useful for both Search and Social. It keeps you more informed on your existing customers, allowing you to tailor your content to suit what they’re actually buying, and keep yourself front of mind to avoid competitors taking a loyal customer away. Nothing is worse than your customer seeing an ad for a competitor when looking for one of your products.
  3. Stay on top of what your competitors are doing. Are they running a sale? Have they made a major change to their landing page? This might be the impetus someone needs to jump ship to a competitor. Keep an eye out for any major changes, and respond accordingly.
  4. Make sure you have protected your brand by ensuring your trademark is registered with Google. While this won’t stop anyone from bidding on your terms, it will make it more expensive to do so as they can’t use your brand name in their copy – thus lowering their quality score – and will make their ad look less related to the search – lowering CTR.
  5. Share your data across channels to make sure you pick up anyone who didn’t convert on another channel. For example, use your top performing keywords on Search to fuel your Display contextual targeting, or using cross-channel audiences on Social so you don’t miss someone who clicked on a Shopping ad but didn’t convert, and so on.

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be sure to stand out amongst competitors and resellers alike. 

Why Ad-Blocking is at a Three Year Low.

If you were to say you’ve never been irritated by an ad or pop-up, you’d be lying. With pop-ups and banners appearing on most sites, it’s no surprise that consumers have turned to ad-blockers in an effort to avoid them. Google’s even developing an update that will potentially prevent the use of ad-blockers on their search platform.

Last year, a survey from the Association for Online Publishing (AOP) took an in-depth look at the trends in ad-blocker use. The results showed that online ad-blocking was at an all-time high in 2016, with 30.6% of ads being restricted by ad-blocking programs.

Ad-blocking is a clear message from consumers that our ads do not serve them. Having been so overrun with banners and pop-ups, they have developed the belief that ads are ‘frustrating, unwanted and irrelevant’. So, advertisers have been forced to change tact.

It seems to have worked; with the AOP also highlighting that ad-blocking hit its lowest point in the last three years during Q4 of 2018 – falling to an incredible 10.3% . So what have we done to change the industry, to change the mindset of an online mass?

Customer-Centricity

There are a number of ways for advertisers to place customer interest at the core of our campaigns; as discussed by Product Development Manager Fred Maude in last summer’s NMPignite seminar. By providing users with valuable experiences, we can begin to alleviate the rise in ad blocking. With the development of AI and more sophisticated data collection methods, we can make ads which are more personalised than ever.  Precise user information allows us to alter advertising creatives and placement to have maximum impact.

The Customer is ALWAYS right” Fred Maude

In short; If we deliver something that is tailored to their wants and needs, they will be more likely to engage with the ad.

User Experience

In order to make campaigns more customer-centric, we must consider the user experience as a whole. Using cookies and integrated data, we are able to build a greater picture of the user in order to connect with them and encourage engagement. Content should be created around their needs and help them identify how the brand can solve their unique problems.

A big part of the online experience involves the way consumers react to ads. Interestingly, choice can play a big role in this, with 79% of customers claiming they would consider uninstalling an ad blocker if they had the choice to close, skip, or ignore ads. This provides the option to engage in the content or not and can offer more accurate data on impressions and conversion rates.

Similarly, consider an advert that is not only customer-centric, but also contextual to the consumer’s current phase of the online journey. By placing ads on contextually relevant sites, and remarketing products that customers have already engaged with, we can change the function of the ad to a ‘helpful shopping tool’. This, paired with the rise of online shopping and ‘browsing culture’ has allowed ads to hold their own.

It’s clear that the consumer experience of Display and PPC ads has changed dramatically in recent years. The decrease in blocker use clearly reveals that advertising strategies have shifted  In a way that users are responding well to.

With this in mind, ensure that your ads focus on customer centricity and the user experience. This will allow us to continue to improve our audience’s relationship with advertising.