Cyber Weekend: In the Mad Rush for Volume, Always Remember the Details

As the e-commerce world readies itself for the last push of 2017, in-house teams and agency partners alike will be finishing up their final rounds of Cyber Weekend number crunching.

With figures now emerging, everything points towards 2017 being another bumper year. Black Friday sales up. Cyber Monday sales up. People are both buying and spending more, and perhaps most encouragingly for our sector, an increasing proportion are doing so online.

From above, everything appears rosy. However, what happens when we delve deeper?

Whilst it’s clear that the four-day period is now a critical part of any online retailer’s success, it has equally grown to become a key indicator of how a business will perform over the Christmas period. Consequently, marketers now operate under the dual stress of trying to ensure their brand is ahead of the Cyber Weekend curve, with the additional weight of knowing that results will also forecast their festive bottom line.

We’ve arrived at a point where the importance of this purchasing phenomenon for many has become utterly absolute. So established and entrenched is it in our promotional calendar that advertisers simply cannot afford to get it wrong.

Challenging questions will already be starting to form in preparation for 2018. With more retailers than ever participating in some element of promotional activity, how do you address the competition? As an ever-growing number of channels and devices enter the marketing mix, how can you continue to maximize revenue from your budgets without overspending? What insights can be gleaned from 2017 to ensure you can almost guarantee the same level of performance in the years beyond, without cutting deeper into your margins?

We can’t give you the answers; every business is different, as are the initiatives that will work best. What we can offer however is a fresh perspective on how to tackle these problems by showing you three ways in which we addressed them with our clients.

And the key? Detail. We’re utterly obsessed with it. Not only because an immersion into the ‘nitty gritty’ leads to the best results, but it’s actually linked to the way we are paid as an agency. We’re only rewarded once we drive a sale, and for that very reason, we need to do everything we can to seek out conversions.

So, let’s take the age-old saying of ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’, and turn it on its head.

Study your audience closely

Any strong marketing strategy relies on a solid understanding of the audience your product or service attracts, as well as the levers that drive them.

Whilst Cyber Weekend will attract your core audience, you also need to be watchful of how the gifting season influences the makeup of your customer base.

With a sports retail client of ours, last year we noticed a shift in the demographics of converting users. The audience became more female in its breakdown (Fig. 1.1), and also swung towards older generations (Fig. 1.2) – not the characteristics typically expected when it comes to sports merchandise.

Looking at additional data, we also noticed a greater proportion of sales coming from people in a relationship or two-person households (Figs. 1.3 & 1.4).

By putting all these pieces together, it became clear that women buying gifts for their partners was a significant customer segment to focus on. From these learnings, we created a campaign with tailored messaging and bidding strategies for the 2017 Cyber Weekend and Christmas period.

The next step is to look at how much a conversion costs you from each consumer group. Whilst the bulk of your revenue may be coming from a certain demographic (perceived to be your core audience), this may be because most of your advertising is directed at this audience.

For example, when we look at the consumer age range for a fashion retail client of ours the majority of their revenue came from 18-24 and 25-34-year-olds. As a result, their brand and messaging were geared towards these age groups, as were their rather expensively assembled Paid Search campaigns.

When we took over their accounts, however, we learnt that over the course of the year the most cost-effective age groups to target were the ‘middle-aged’ brackets (Fig. 2.1). Bid multipliers were applied to our activity, which greatly improved results.

Once we entered Cyber Weekend, however, an interesting shift occurred. Firstly, we witnessed a significant improvement in revenue-per-click performance from 18-24-year-olds, along with an uplift for 65+ users (Fig. 2.2).

Fig. 2.3 highlights the scale of this change. Rather than sticking with the same bid multipliers, we needed to respond quickly to reflect the behavioural changes. As a result, the negative bid multipliers placed on 18-24-year-olds were reduced, and the positive multipliers were increased even higher for the 65+ audience.

Understanding your audience is key, and when it comes to your audience over promotional periods, always keep a close eye on two things: how the breakdown of your audience changes, and how this impacts the way in which you should spend your money.

Pick the moments to push

It’s Thursday evening. Campaigns have been prepared, budgets have been allocated, and Digital Marketing Managers across the land can rest easy until it’s time for those Tuesday morning reports.

Unfortunately, we all know it doesn’t quite work like that. It instead involves keeping a close eye on how much money those preciously apportioned pounds/dollars are earning you.

Even during this most promotional of promotional periods, there are still moments to pull back on advertising, and equally, moments to push. Spending as much as you can as evenly as you can over the entire four days is a one-way street to overspending, under-delivering and sleepless nights.

Something we closely monitor with all of our clients is at what point users show the highest propensity to purchase. These insights are recorded and utilised the following year.

So rather than sitting there fretting, why not monitor your own purchasing trends to see when the best times would be to maximize spending?

A trend that we’ve really seen come to the surface in 2017 is what we have called the ‘pyjama panic buy’. As you can see in Fig. 3.1, at 11 pm each night, we witnessed a spike in ROAS from our campaigns. Unaware of when offers end, consumers have a tendency to purchase late at night (around 11 pm) in the fear that the discount will have vanished by the time they wake up.

With retailers extending promotions across the weekend and beyond, the process repeats itself each evening. What’s more, by this point in the day a portion of your competition will have undoubtedly reached their daily spend caps too.

Save your pennies in the morning, and push them later when it really matters.

Being the best at the bottom

With Cyber Weekend becoming an ever more permanent part of our collective consciousness, the number of people directly seeking out offers (rather than waiting for them to magically appear) continues to grow.

Analysing Google Trend data from 2017 in comparison to 2016, Fig. 4.1 demonstrates the year-on-year growth of Black Friday related search terms. Not only did we see a general uplift over the four day weekend itself, but we also saw growth in interest in the weeks leading up to the 24th.

What this tells us is that consumers are more proactively researching which brands will be offering discounts, and what those discounts look like – all before Cyber Weekend kicks off. We can, therefore, make the solid assumption that more and more people are entering the period with a pre-conceived idea of what they’re in the market for.

Pull channels as a result become even more of a race to the bottom. Whilst branding during the research phases is clearly an important exercise, advertisers should be questioning more than ever how they can get in front of the user at that final point of purchase.

One way in which we managed this was by capitalising on the uplift in volumes around Black Friday based terms. Our proprietary Google Shopping technology gives us the ability to target keywords of interest through our performance-based model. In doing so, we ensured our client dominated the space at this crucial stage. This could come in the form of specific products they stocked, or even brands that they resold (Fig. 4.2).

Every single day our platform dynamically pulled out the key terms based on recent data and adapted campaign structures to prioritise the products that drove the best performance.

Conclusion

When assessing the development of Cyber Weekend as a force within the online world, it’s clear that its claws are firmly planted within our promotional calendars.

What comes with this mass awareness is mass competition, with businesses of every shape and size entering the market in an attempt to take advantage of the buying frenzy.

For Digital Marketers, the path to success is becoming ever more complex. Which channels do I use? What offers do I push? Which products will become best sellers? How do I keep an eye on margins?

The answer? Narrow your focus. Ignore the dizzying lights of all that volume, and focus on the detail. From there, your efforts can grow.

Get your hands dirty. Get creative. Get granular.

2017 Black Friday Results

Earlier in November, The Economist commented that “Despite the momentum that the event [Cyber Weekend] has built up, retailers are approaching this year’s jamboree with caution. For a start, shoppers seem unwilling to open their wallets. Sales in October were 0.3% lower than last year, according to official figures.”

However, it appears retailers had nothing to worry about as Black Friday sales were expected to reach almost £8bn during Cyber Weekend (BBC), an increase of nearly 38% over the record-breaking £5.8bn in 2016 (The Economist).

What’s really exciting for those in the digital industry is the amount consumers spent online. According to IMRG, this figure reached £1.4bn on Black Friday, an increase of nearly 11.7% over last year.

Black Friday Dominates the UK & Europe

Aggregating performance data across a sample of NMPi clients shows that Black Friday was still the clear winner regarding both online traffic and revenue generation for 2017.

What is interesting this year is that for the first time Sofa Sunday actually outperformed Cyber Monday, though not by much.

In the past, our digital campaigns have done better on Cyber Monday with consumers stuck at work unable to hit the high street. Could this show a shift in consumer behaviour?  

If Sofa Sunday is here to stay as the second most profitable day of Cyber Weekend, digital strategies will need to be adjusted, increasing budget and bids.

The chart below shows the uplift of key metrics over Cyber Weekend compared to the November average. If we look specifically at clicks and conversion rate, we see that Cyber Monday had marginally more clicks than Saturday and Sunday, but consumers were just not converting at the same rate as Black Friday.

The trend shows that conversion rate spiked on Black Friday and then saw a steady drop over the next week. So, we need to ask ourselves, what were consumers looking for that they weren’t finding or were they just researching? It is hard to be sure, but this decline could be an indication that all the best Black Friday deals have been taken.

Mobile Exceeds Desktop in Driving Traffic

The difference between device performance in 2017 and 2016 is staggering. In just a year mobile devices have made a massive jump to overtake desktop in driving website traffic.

Now we know that this isn’t very odd behaviour as many consumers use mobile devices to research before purchasing. What is interesting is that revenue driven by mobile matches that of a desktop on Black Friday.

I think we can safely say that as the industry gets better at mobile user experience, next year we can expect mobile devices to overtake desktop performance on Black Friday. Make sure your strategies are tailored appropriately.

Whilst mobile is growing; desktop is still the leader when it comes to conversion rate. The bigger screen and ease of checkout keeps the user engaged from research to purchase.

How Does the US Compare

From the chart above we can see that our US clients saw significant uplift from their digital activity on Cyber Monday, which is a stark contrast to the UK and Europe. This is not unexpected and is due to the Thanksgiving holiday period. Since Americans have Black Friday off most of their shopping occurs in-store rather than online.

19 Days to Go

With 19 days till Christmas, the gifting season isn’t over yet. There are still three big shopping weekends to come.

Just a couple of things to help you make the most of the next 19 days:

  • Make sure you are taking advantage of mobile traffic with a mobile optimised site and easy checkout process.
  • As we get closer to Christmas you can make several adjustments to your ad copy: use countdown clocks to emphasise the last day for shipping before Christmas, and then switching campaigns to click and collect messaging once that date has passed.
  • Keep an eye on your stock levels. Make sure you are not pushing ads for items you no longer have. This is a sure fire way to lose customers.
  • And most importantly keep your customers engaged. The Christmas shopping period is getting longer and longer, and consumers are now oversaturated with marketing messages, so you need to be different. Change your messaging to prevent creative fatigue and keep consumers engaged with your brand through the whole period.

NMPi Completes International Expansion with New York & Los Angeles Offices

Today, we are really excited to announce the addition of two new offices to NMPi. Over the past year, we have launched our brand in 8 new markets, including, Australia, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, South Africa, and now New York and Los Angeles in the US!

Our CEO, Luke Judge, took a minute to comment on our rapid international expansion, “Many of our clients are looking globally, especially to the US, to combat the risks associated with faltering exchange rates and the dip in consumer confidence caused by Brexit. By further expanding our global reach to New York and LA we are better placed to service their needs and help them grow their international business.”

With the growth of our global network, we are proud to now boast 24-hour global support for their clients.

“NMPi offices now cover every timezone around the world, giving our clients access to staff 24-hours a day. It’s really exciting for us to be able to offer this level of service. Their customers aren’t just shopping 9 to 5 on weekdays, so we want to have them covered no matter what,” says Judge.

The launch of our US offices follows a significant client win. In September this year, we began delivering Paid Search, Display, Paid Social and Analytics services for US retail group, Fullbeauty Brands, and seven of their subsidiary companies. Fullbeauty Brands has specialised in plus-size clothing for women and men in the US for over 100 years and includes the popular brands Jessica London, ellos, Woman Within, and King Size.

Vice President, Digital Marketing at Fullbeauty Brands, Bobby Missry, is pleased with the partnership so far. “The transition of our paid media channels for 7 brands has been flawless. They truly feel like an extension of the team rather than an agency.”

We currently work with 27 brands in the US including, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Autodesk. “The US has always been an exciting region for us,” explains Alex Moody, Partnerships Director, North America. “The NMPi team and I are looking forward to catching up with all our US clients and partners over the coming months and exploring the opportunities that a permanent base provides including, broadening our strong relationship with Google which has been a major factor in our global success.”

In July this year, we announced a strategic partnership with global technology company, Pitney Bowes. We are helping them strengthen their industry-leading global e-commerce offering with enhanced consumer marketing solutions, including international paid-search campaigns, display advertising, social media advertising and fully optimised Google shopping experiences.

“As a key market for NMPi, the US was the natural next step to continue our international expansion,” states Judge.“Relationships like Fullbeauty Brands and Pitney Bowes are just the beginning, and we are excited to move forward in 2018.”

 

NMPi Makes the Cut: Econsultancy’s Top 100 Digital Agencies

It’s that time of year again, Econsultancy has just released their annual Top 100 Digital Agencies report for 2017; “the definitive listing of the UK’s largest digital agencies.”

We are thrilled to announce that for another year running, NMPi has made the list. With a 15% YoY increase in UK fee income, we swooped in and secured the fifty-third spot. This is a massive triumph as we appear next to some of the world’s leading advertising agencies.

Here’s what they have to say about us:

If you would like to see the full report visit Econsultancy: Top 100 Digital Agencies 2017.

3 Tips for Black Friday 2017: What You Need to Know

Although we’re still enjoying the final days of summer (summer doesn’t officially end until 22nd of September), it’s already time to start thinking about our Black Friday strategies. Don’t get caught off guard waiting until the last minute to plan your campaigns. Now is the time to go over last year’s metrics and see what worked and what didn’t.

There has been a gradual decline in Boxing Day sales as the popularity of this American retail holiday overtakes the Christmas period. Retailers are seeing better returns after jumping on the Black Friday bandwagon, with the increase in traffic in some instances as high as 27%. When comparing Black Friday to Boxing Day, conversions are consistently higher on Black Friday. According to The Independent, last year, UK shoppers spent an astonishing £3.3bn over the course of the Black Friday holiday season. Our client data shows that that Black Friday, and smaller surrounding retail holidays linked to it, are vastly outperforming Boxing Day. Black Friday is here to stay in the UK, and must be taken seriously by retailers and advertisers as part of the marketing mix.

Recent Trends

Black Friday is Coming Earlier and Earlier

Much like the dreaded “Back-to-School” commercials popping up at the end of July, or Christmas jingles before Halloween, Black Friday is beginning to follow that trend with many brands starting sales in the lead up to the actual holiday. In 2015, online giant Amazon started its sales 12 days before Black Friday. Other retailers have started to get in on the trend to make the most of the pre-Christmas season. With companies like Sears Canada releasing their Black Friday deals on October 6th last year, BlackFriday.com has predicted that in 2017,  the holiday prices will be leaked in early October once again, if not late September.

Sofa Shopping

Online shopping on Black Friday continues to steadily increase. In 2012, 33% of consumers preferred to shop from the comfort of their own homes, to avoid the long lines, fighting, and in-store chaos that the holiday provokes. As of 2016, the stay-at-home shopping figure has risen to 44%. This trend will continue in 2017 especially as most retail sites are mobile and tablet friendly, making shopping from home, the bank, or on the go, a pleasant experience. The top stores reaping the most digital rewards in the UK are Argos, Amazon, M&S, Curry’s and Tesco Direct.

Make it Mobile

It’s a foregone conclusion, but advertisers must make their Black Friday campaigns cross-device friendly. While many people are shifting to digital indoor shopping instead of pounding the pavement, they are predominantly shopping via mobile devices on the go. Desktop is no longer the main digital channel for Black Friday shoppers.  Mobile searches have grown 50% since 2016, with bargain hunters looking for the best brands, and then for the best deals. Mobile and tablets will continue to drive more shoppers to make online purchases. In order to assure campaign success, mobile and tablet channels must provide relevant targeting and seamless shopping experiences.

How to Crack Christmas

If you would like to learn more about spicing up your Christmas campaign you can watch the replay of our “How to Crack Christmas Webinar,” your ultimate guide to holiday success.

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Is Blockchain the Future of Digital Marketing?

Blockchain has been posed as the next big technological disruption. It has already generated shockwaves in the financial industry with its decentralised network of transactions, an alternative to the current centralised model controlled by financial institutions.

From the Google search trends below you can see the rapid growth it has had in the past year:

But what are the opportunities for blockchain in the digital marketing industry? Before we dive into its possibilities, let’s wrap our heads around what it is and how it works.

What Is Blockchain?

Currently, the term “blockchain”, is synonymous with the cryptocurrency “Bitcoin”. Although both are related, they aren’t interchangeable, as blockchain is the fundamental technology behind the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. It is this technology that marketers need understand to avoid losing ground to competitors in the years to come.

Don and Alex Tapscott, authors of Blockchain Revolution (2016) state, “The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”

source: blockgeeks.com

A useful analogy I use to describe blockchain is to compare it to Google Sheets. Where conventional processing involves an excel file stored on a single computer, with Google Sheets, you don’t need to wait for someone to finish editing a document, it can be maintained simultaneously across multiple people with no central data storage or no version control issues.

Unlike Google Sheets, where the data is ultimately stored at Google’s data centres, the blockchain is a decentralised and distributed database that isn’t stored in any single location, meaning the records it keeps are truly public and easily verifiable. This also allows data on the blockchain to be virtually impossible to corrupt since the entire network is needed to commit changes.

Advantages of Blockchain Technology

  1. Transparency and Immutability: Any changes made on the blockchain ledger are viewable by the public, creating transparency. Altering these changes will require a huge amount of computing power to override the whole network making it immutable.
  2. No Third-party Needed: Two parties are able to make an exchange without the intermediation of a third party, strongly reducing or even eliminating counterparty risk.
  3. Data Quality: Blockchain data is complete, consistent, timely, accurate, and widely available.
  4. Built-in Robustness: Similar to the robustness of the internet, the blockchain is not controlled by a single entity and has no single point of failure, making it more durable to malicious attacks.
  5. Fast Transactions and Low Fees: In comparison to interbank transactions which can take days, transactions on the blockchain could occur within minutes. Also, in the absence of third parties, transaction costs are much lower due to the removal of overhead costs involved in facilitating transactions.

Disadvantages of Blockchain Technology

  1. Cultural Adoption: Blockchain represents a complete shift from the established financial and commerce model. It will require both user and operator to invest into the system.
  2. Teething Problems: Resolving challenges like consistent transaction speed,  the verification process, and data limits will be crucial in making blockchain widely applicable.
  3. Regulations: Regulatory entities usually lag behind technological innovation. Currently, there are no regulations on how the transactions should be written. This could create a hurdle in the widespread adoption of bitcoin and blockchain in highly regulated industries and governments where the regulation status remains unsettled.
  4. Large Energy Consumption: The blockchain’s miners are attempting 450 thousand trillion solutions per second in efforts to validate transactions, using substantial amounts of computer power, which is not sustainable in the long run.

Blockchain Use Cases in Digital Marketing

Ad Fraud

In 2016, ad fraud (or invalid traffic) lead to $12.5 billion in wasted advertising spend. This year, it is set to increase by $4 billion. The growing discrepancy between what advertisers are paying for and what they get has adversely affected trust in digital marketing. Fortunately, ad-delivery can be audited by firms like Deloitte, though this is an expensive option.

Alternatively, a blockchain network can verify whether ads are being delivered and if they’re going to the right place. Decentralising auditing is cheaper and can work. In fact, Adtech company MetaX recently launched “adChain”, a blockchain solution that tracks ads using a distributed ledger, providing advertisers and publishers with a comprehensive trail of everything related to the campaign such as, how much was spent, who saw the ad, and conversion rates. This will ultimately allow everyone in the blockchain to acknowledge the impression event and approve it.

This level of data transparency alone strengthens adChain’s value proposition because it will enable advertisers to measure and optimise ad placements with unprecedented accuracy.

Brand safety concerns will also be a thing of the past, as brands and advertisers will know exactly where ads are being shown, and all publishers on the adChain network are hand vetted before any ads will appear on them.

Viewability

Viewability may arguably be a greater issue than ad fraud. According to Google,  56.1% of impressions served across Google’s display advertising platforms aren’t viewed by a consumer. This has caused great frustration for advertisers who pay for ads that people can’t see.

To tackle this problem, a blockchain startup, The Basic Attention Project, founded by the inventor of Javascript and co-founder of Mozilla Firefox, has created a browser that monitors the activity of the user anonymously. The technology analyses the pixels being viewed, and time spent on-site, meaning advertisers only pay publishers when ads are viewed. All users on the network maintain full anonymity, creating a suitable equilibrium between privacy for the user and targeting for the advertiser.

The project is very ambitious and would require another article to be explained in its entirety. Here is a brief video that explains the company’s mission:

Basic Attention Token from Brave on Vimeo.

Privacy

Today, users don’t “own” their data. The information a consumer puts into the likes of Facebook or Google is stored and used by these advertising giants, allowing them to make profits in the billions through managing and selling user data. What if there was no need for the middle men; and advertisers could have direct connections with the consumer?

Source: Investitin.com

BitClave, a Silicon Valley-based blockchain start-up, is working on just that. The company’s goal is to enable a “decentralised” form of online search. Instead of using Google’s search engine and letting Google be the intermediary between the consumer and the advertiser, the consumer could search via BitClave’s engine and be paid for their own data. In exchange they will see targeted ads, leaving Google out of the picture. This new model not only reinvents the world of search but could also address the adblocking issue advertisers face as users would be less likely to block ads if they can profit from viewing them.


The implications of blockchain being utilised in the digital marketing industry make it seem as the panacea for some of the woes and pervasive issues in the online advertising ecology, however, the blockchain solutions discussed do have their limitations.

For instance, adChain requires humans to validate and agree on which sites should be whitelisted in order to prevent ad fraud. This may not be sustainable in the long run and will require some form of automation for the technology to be truly scalable. Additionally, The Basic Attention Project will require users to adopt a new browser, which could slow adoption rates as the majority of the internet is viewed through the likes of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. If they could somehow offer the same functionality as a plugin, that would greatly improve the project’s chances for success. Lastly, BitClave is currently a small fish in a very big pond and without serious financial backing and support, it will struggle to take down Google’s established presence, especially if Google responds with aggressive innovation.

Nonetheless, blockchain and cryptocurrency pose significant advantages for marketers in terms of transparency, improving business performance and building customer trust. These reasons could suggest that early adoption of blockchain technology could make a significant difference for digital marketing.

How to Crack Christmas 2017

At our recent webinar, “How to Crack Christmas”, Damien Bennett NMPi’s Director of Business Strategy talked to advertisers about the methods to use to ensure a smooth and successful holiday season. What are the best ways to approach the holiday sale season? What do advertisers need to be aware of when building their campign strategies? Lastly, he looked at how to collect valuable data and apply it.  NMPi has outlined a four tiered strategy for creating the best possible campaigns the upcoming Christmas season.

  1. How to Phase Activity Effectively
  2. Key Dates to be Aware of from November to January
  3. Changes in Shopping Behaviour Over the Period
  4. Effective Tactics to Take Advantage of the Holiday Season

How to Phase Activity Effectively

A great (and free!) tool available to advertisers is Google Trends. We used ths tool to examine search volumes between October 1st- December 31st. We noticed that there was a surge in interest in Christmas from the first week of November at the exact same time the first Christmas ads are released in the UK. This year, UK brands will premiere those ads on November 6th. What’s interesting about the UK is, that while the vast most searches occur in early November, the vast majority of purchases, 94%, occur in the final four weeks leading up to Christmas.

November is all about researching so plan your strategies to align with this crucial planning period where people are browsing but not yet in the position to buy anything. Another interesting point about the UK market during the holiday season is that another peak occurs just after Christmas, a surge that runs until the end of January.

Key Dates

November 6th: When Christmas ads begin on TV
November 24th: Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend
December 15th-17th: The last delivery dates.  We have noted a marked spike in volume and interest in Christmas gifts as consumers try to get their packages off before the deadline closes.
December 26th: Boxing Day, and the start of January sales.

Shopping Behaviour

Mobile

Mobile remains huge during the Christmas period, with 51% of Christmas related searches in 2016 coming from a mobile device. That 51% will be a lot closer to 60% in 2017, and continue to rise every year. Mobile must be an essential part of your Christmas campaigns.

Challenges

Of course, mobile is not without its challenges. For one, not everyone who starts on mobile ends on mobile. A shopper may start research on one device, but convert on another. Cross device shopping is definitely an issue marketers must be aware of, and incorporate into their strategies. To ensure you have the best possible outcomes for your campaigns, you need full visibility of the customer journey, and you need to correctly attribute that performance.

Another challenge is that 50% of customers researched online before purchasing in store, and 25% of ‘local’ mobile searches lead to in-store visits. How are these problems? It’s concerning because many retailers with brick-and-mortar stores tend to silo their in-store and online activities. Advertisers need to be aware of the online research activity that drives people to their stores.

Lasty, advertisers need to include Black Friday and Cyber Monday into their Christmas strategies, and they need to be aware of the key differences between these two busy shopping periods. Users who search “Black Friday” tend to buy things for themselves whilst those who search “Christmas” buy things for others. In fact, 61% of all purchases during Black Friday and Cyber Monday are for the buyer, vs 85% of Christmas shopping being gifts for other people.

Effective Tactics

We offer a three-pronged approach to the research phase in the lead up to Christmas

  • Awareness: Make people aware of your brand, propositions, and any Christmas promotions you might be running. Programmatic is good to use during this phase because it extends your reach, and enables you to employ different ad formats to really drive awareness.
  • Measurement: Collect and segment as much audience data as possible. You can capture cookie data on site and further segment it in this phase.
  • Retargeting: The next step is to phase in retargeting along those key dates. Retarget using a variety of creatives so that your audience truly engages and doesn’t feel chased or harassed.

Measurement has its own challenges, but Google and Facebook have devised ways to help advertisers better understand cross device sales, with cross device measurement statistics. Have an attribution model in place so you can see the full customer journey. Last touch doesn’t give you an accurate picture.

Lastly, we touched on challenges in store uplift. There are no ‘off the shelf solutions’ , so how can advertisers join their online to in-store experiences?

  • loyalty schemes
  • eReceipts
  • joining up customer details (i.e., asking for an email and customer address at the point of sale.
  • Geographic tiles – GPS on mobile phones to help link consumer activity.

Click here to download the slides to this presentation

 

[Webinar] How to Crack Christmas

Join us on Wednesday, the 30th of August, 2017, at 12:00 pm (GMT) for our webinar on tackling your Christmas campaigns this holiday season. While it may still be summer, it’s important to get the jump on planning your Christmas strategies so that you’re not left in a lurch by the time holiday advertising gets into full swing. Our webinar will help you get ready for the busiest time of the year.

You will learn:

How to phase your activity in-line with purchasing patterns,

When to start your Christmas advertising (it’s earlier than you think),

How to target gift buyers who are unsure of what to purchase,

And so much more!

Make sure to register, and get the jump on the competition and ensure a successful holiday season.

 

 

Case Study: Search Automation Finds the Back of the Net for Fanatics

Automation can change the way advertisers manage repetitive tasks and refine their campaign optimisation within their search strategies. It has the ability to handle a multitude of tasks including, bid management, reporting, routine checks, and pulling data. Furthermore, its bespoke nature can be used to fine tune your paid search campaigns to your personal goals.

Our very own Will Hamilton, PPC Analyst, shares why automated search campaigns can drive campaign performance on an even greater scale,

“Within the digital marketing industry search automation is becoming increasingly important. Having the ability to make automated and reactive adjustments to externally influencing factors can allow for maximum performance efficiency. Changes to the market or consumer behaviour can be capitalised on in a fraction of the time compared to non-automated activity. This not only helps maximise performance but also allows account managers to spend more time focusing their efforts on expansion opportunities and strategic planning.”

NMPi has been working with Fanatics International for the past three years, offering them international and domestic strategies and solutions for successful paid search campaigns. Fanatics International are the leading e-commerce partner for many of the world’s top football teams including Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester United.

See how search automation has improved revenue and driven real results for Fanatics.

Challenges

Account performance for football merchandise fluctuates significantly based on how individual players perform in matches. The majority of games are played on weekends and in the evenings, making it difficult to keep paid search ads up-to-date and as relevant as possible.

Our Objective

NMPi set out to build a solution that allows us to optimise our paid search activity based on live player performance.

Our Solution

NMPi created a bespoke Google Script that automated the bidding process, enabling us to continually optimise campaigns for every football match played in the UK. As player performance affects the sale of their football kit online, the script would adjust keyword bids based on the live point system from the official Premier League Fantasy Football API. These points determine the impact a player has on a match using goals, assists, clean sheets, cards received, minutes played and additionally awarded bonus points. This data was used to increase bids for players who performed well and decrease bids for those who did not, ensuring the optimal ad rank was achieved. The script was set to run an hour after each match played in May 2017 and bids were altered for 15 different players, as well as for non-player specific keywords using the team performance as a whole.

The Result

Month on month the account experienced a 21% increase in revenue and a 47% rise in traffic. For player specific keywords, traffic grew by 294% during this period. Revenue and sales experienced an uplift of 284% and 189% respectively. With the success of this campaign, we will now be rolling out the script to international markets.

“NMPi has been handling over 15+ of our accounts in numerous languages, since 2014. During which time it has grown under NMPi’s care. In May this year, the team suggested an innovative approach to bidding which really showed their understanding of our industry. This approach has seen even greater uplift and I am thrilled with the success of the campaign. NMPi has been a great agency to work with, helping to expand our PPC accounts into other territories.” ~Sahida Aarndell, Acquisition Executive at Fanatics

Meet Philip Mostert, Managing Director of NMPi Asia

After announcing yesterday that Clicks2Customers has rebranded to NMPi, we are pleased to introduce the Managing Director of NMPi Asia, Philip Mostert. Philip has over 12 years digital marketing and project management experience and is a keen observer of trends. In 2010 he was the digital syndicate lead for the Soccer World Cup in South Africa, working with South African Tourism across the globe.

He is a strong commercial thinker with the hunger to the drive business forward, constantly seeking out opportunities of growth. He lives by a simple motto ‘Keep Moving Forward”.

We had a chance to sit down with Philip to discuss the recent growth of NMPi and the future of digital.

Q. What innovative technologies and strategies do you think NMPi will gain from adding an Asian perspective to their digital offering? Conversely, what insight will the Asian market gain from partnering with a global digital agency such as NMPi?

Let’s break it down by the numbers. There are 4.436 billion people living in Asia, and over 648,053,399 living in South East Asia alone, which makes up for about 8.62% of the world’s total population. Numbers that are simply staggering and hard to comprehend!

The value that one can derive from this volume of data is simply limitless. Innovation lies within building custom algorithms that are intuitive in nature, especially when optimizing media for large scale efficiencies.

Q. What do you think are the strengths of the Asian digital market right now? Where does it excel?

Its strengths are also some its greatest weaknesses.

Social media is at the heart of all campaigning. We see incredibly strong performance metrics from social media channels. Advertisers in Asia seek out that holy grail of virality. Some get it right but sadly most get it horribly wrong. With this in mind, many marketers rely on influencers in the market to own and drive their communication strategies forward. This is a highly risky and costly exercise should it not work out as desired.

Mobile penetration is another one of Asia’s great strengths, but mobile addiction is also a societal concern that will have a long lasting impact. To what extent, has yet to be identified.  

Q. What are your plans for continued growth in digital marketing?

AR is an exciting space and perfect for the Asian markets. This is indicative of the fact that QR codes are everywhere and in deed habitual for most WeChat users [Asia’s leading IM platform]. We intend on driving this as part of the performance space whereby linking it back to DoubleClick in years to come. We have some exciting plans afoot, which will be revealed in the next few months.

Q. What are the challenges facing Asian digital marketers in the coming twelve months?

Asia faces a highly competitive landscape which constantly changes and is incredibly fragmented. What might work in Indonesia may not work in Malaysia etc.

This is compounded by the fact that the e-commerce space will be largely dominated by Alibaba, 1st to market(s), who are building an entire ecosystem for advertisers where Google have zero clout. In line with this, Amazon has been pegged to launch in Singapore within the next few weeks which will make for a very interesting showdown between two massive behemoths.

Many companies will also seek to take skill in-house and grow IP without the need of 3rd party vendors. Transparency is the key to sustainability.  

These challenges, of course, present some interesting opportunities for agencies who position themselves strategically.

Q. What do you look forward to most with this expansion?

Leveraging global resources applied within local nuances. This is a formidable formula of success.

Q. What is the most exciting recent development in digital marketing in Asia?

Malaysia has been identified as the potential digital hub for all of Southeast Asia. Alibaba has launched a large scale initiative with the Malaysian government, the Digital Free Trade Zone. This has fundamentally been designed to promote the growth of e-commerce by providing a state-of-the-art platform for SMEs and enterprises to conduct the businesses and services. The benefits of this will, of course, be translated into more ad spend coming online.

 

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/philipmostert1
Twitter: @philipmostert