Data Integration: Taking a Measured Approach

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NMPi’s Performance Display Channel Manager, Anna Jorysz, took to the stage at our latest seminar to talk about how to take a measured approach to your data integration.

Anna will be the first to tell you that innovation is integral to creating an attention-grabbing display campaign, but it has to have a point and it has to make gains. There is no point to being seduced by an exciting idea if it doesn’t work, or even worse if you have no way of knowing if it works or not.

This is a concept that Anna lives and breathes because through our pure-performance model NMPi pays for the advertising spend and we only make money when we drive results. In other words, it can’t just look good, it needs to be effective and efficient.

This also applies to integrating data into your campaigns.

When it comes to your digital campaigns there are two main areas where you integrate data: (1) Creative and Messaging – personalisation efforts, dynamic ads, and the integration of live data into campaigns, and (2) Buying and Targeting – using data to shape bidding strategies and audience segmentation.

With these areas in mind, there are 4 key questions to consider when you are approaching your planning and strategies there:

  • What are you trying to achieve?
  • Why will data help you to achieve this?
  • How will you measure your success?
  • How will you continue to optimise further?

Make sure to watch Anna’s video to learn more about how she uses data in her award-winning campaign for Liverpool FC.

The Key to Success

There are three main things to remember above all when integrating data into your campaigns:

  • Measure: Make sure you’re starting from the data
  • Be Measured: Don’t throw the kitchen sink at it. Start from what you know works, optimise and build up
  • Measure Again: Monitor what’s working and what’s not, and keep feeding that back as you continue to optimise

And while you’re doing all that don’t forget to be creative – being data-driven should never come at the expense of big ideas.

Make sure to watch Anna’s video to learn more about how she uses data in her award-winning campaign for Liverpool FC.

Download Anna’s slides: Data Integration: Taking a Measured Approach

The Power of Adaptability

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Laura Penhaul was the keynote at NMPi’s recent seminar, where she talked about her experience as Team Leader for the Coxless Crew as they rowed across the Pacific Ocean, setting 2 world records in the process.

“When there is an element of choice,” she began, “we and society as a whole will choose the path of least resistance;” the easy route, the less risky route, the less energy-consuming so as to allow room for all the other factors in life. But what if we get comfortable with stepping into the unknown? It was only by tackling the largest ocean in the world that Laura was able to understand how to cope with the unknown, and what we draw upon when we want to give up.

Adaptability: the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions

Adaptability is a quality that is, in fact, innate in all humans; it’s a part of our physiology. Our immune system, the way we grow, how we remodel from injury, how we acclimatise to altitude or heat, it’s all process of adaption. When we don’t give ourselves a choice, we naturally adapt to our new life path.

While working with Paralympic athletes, Laura saw this adaption every day. Jacko Van Gaas, injured in the war, awoke and felt lucky to be alive. He has gone on to be a British Paralympic cyclist & part of the first ever adaptive team to climb the 7 highest peaks in the world and 2 poles – he chose to make the most of his abilities.

“Why do we wait to be faced with significant adversity before we realise our abilities?” questions Laura.

Losing Sight of Shore

What better way to understand this mindset than by doing something completely unknown – and that’s when Laura decided to row an ocean. Starting in San Francisco, she and 3 other women headed out into the expanse of the largest ocean in the world with no support, no get-out clause, and no safety boat in sight. “The term ‘go with the flow’ soon became a way of life out there, because that’s all we could do,” states Laura. They had to draw on adaptive behaviours to take on the challenge and constantly evolve through the journey, learning as they went and understanding there is no failure if we reflect and learn from it.

We all have our own Pacific to cross – whether literal or figurative. Not everything will play out exactly as written in the guidebook. Allowing yourself to control the controllable and adapt to the rest, we can minimise that threat of the unknown and stop ourselves from wanting to give up.

Download Laura’s slides: The Power of Adaptability

Watch Laura’s Netflix Documentary, Losing Sight of Shore

Napapijri Takes Responsibility

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The fashion industry of late has gone through a shocking realisation. The realisation that it is, unfortunately, a dirty business. Statistically, it is one of the top polluters in the world: a survey from Sainsbury’s last year showed that 235m items ended up in a landfill as people switched to their summer wardrobe. The average piece of clothing in the UK lasts for less than 3 years before being discarded, with over 1m tonnes of new clothing being bought last year. We are constantly consuming stuff, and constantly throwing it away.

At NMPi’s latest seminar, Rob Herdman, Senior Global Manager – PR & Media for Napapijri, took to the stage to explain how they realised that they had a responsibility to change. The Italian fashion brand has an internal philosophy to address sustainability issues, which in turn frames a lot of their decision making. Called “Make it Better”, they focus on doing what they were doing slightly better year on year so they will eventually get to a point they can be happy with. Often, we try to act too quickly, and we can’t enact the change quick enough, or we end up doing things wrong. This way, Napapijri sets a goal for 3 years down the line and moves there step by step.

So far, they’ve removed fur, down, a lot of the chemicals that were once present in their jackets; and the next stage is to tackle the issue of massive waste. The fashion industry fuels this, wanting consumers to continue to go out and purchase new clothing, to change their wardrobe every 6 months.

The Next Phase

The goal is now to go from Mass Production to Mass Customisation; shifting to an “on-demand” model where, rather than mass producing items to sell, products are only made when someone wants to buy it. This avoids all of the waste that comes when you don’t sell all of your stock.

Ze-Knit was the first step in that direction:

Napapijri changed the way they produced their clothing, moving to a technique called digital knitting which is very similar to 3D printing. Rather than stitching fabric together, you’re having a machine make a 3D model of the garment in one piece. This means they can cut out stages of the manufacturing process and thus reduce waste by up to 30%.

But this is just the start. Moving forward, the brand wants to make the customer more responsible as well. They’re already looking at ways of encouraging customisation, to produce exactly what the customer wants, only when they want it. If they succeed, the fashion industry will be turned on its head.

Download Rob’s slides: How to Succeed in Times of Change: Take Responsibility

Audio: Don’t Call it a Comeback

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Many assume that when we talk about the origins of audio ads we’re referring to radio ads, but actually back in the 1890s there was a telephone newspaper that would transmit news and entertainment over telephone lines, and brands could pay for a short audio spot to reach those listeners. As other channels grew, respect for audio shrank until it appeared to fade into obscurity. Consider video advertising, particularly on social, where it has become common practise for videos to have subtitles as it is assumed that no-one is listening to the sound anyway.

According to Andrew Henry, VP, Director of Client Services at Joystick, Audio is very different. It represents an intimate space where brands can connect with users unlike ever before. There are 660,000 podcasts currently in production, and Adobe recently reported that most consumers listen to at least 1-5 hours of music or podcasts a week. This is no longer a passive experience.

Voice assistant devices are one of the biggest reasons why audio has re-entered into the conversation, but more than that audio is everywhere. We consume it constantly: in your home, your car, during your commute or even at the gym.

Making the Most of Audio

With this in mind, Andrew offers a number of best practices as brands revisit the humble audio ad:

  • As with all channels, understanding your audience is crucial: personalisation is shown to have a higher engagement rate across all mediums.
  • On top of this, understand the platform you’re working with, be that podcast or music streaming services. Consumption patterns and user context will affect how your ad is received.
  • Keep the placements short and sweet, with a clear call to action and repeating the brand name 2-3 times. This will help your ads have a higher recall rate.
  • Consider the full story of the ad by balancing voiceovers, music and other sound effects.

The Future of Search?

There is an oft-quoted statistic that 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020 – but what will that look like? “At its core, voice allows consumers to be more efficient in their day to day, as well as more present in their lives,” states Andrew. 36% of voice-activated speakers say that the main reason for using the device is that it enables them to do things faster, while 69% of users say they use the device while doing other things.

Audio has come full circle, and now offers hugely innovative ad placements ripe for the taking.

Download Andrew’s slides: Audio: Don’t Call it a Comeback

Sustainable Growth in Unstable Times

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It is an understatement to say that digital and technology is central to our lives – and this gives us access to unparalleled amounts of information. The problem with this, states Abigail, Head of Retail at Google Marketing Platform, is that it ends up giving us far too much choice.

We crave the freedom to choose, up to a point. Give us too many options and making a decision becomes mentally fatiguing. Humans have adapted to a point: our brains will seek ways of avoiding that mental strain. “It’s hardly surprising that many of the apps and technologies that have become mainstays of public consciousness are those that help us cut back the scale of choice,” comments Abigail.

Consider those personal curation services like Netflix and Spotify, which use our previous choices to make informed suggestions about similar things we might enjoy. There are also devices and apps that can speed up and simplify payments, or even remove elements of choice altogether, for example, Uber. We love those services which make our lives easier, and they have become the new norm.

Curation was a key element of the promise and proposition of retail, along with price, assortment, and convenience. This refers to things like organising a range of options in a category, leaning on a trusted brand, and giving customers the confidence that they’re being delivered the most relevant options to choose from.

However, in the digital world where we have unlimited visibility over products, services and information, we are now seeing consumers finding their own ways of cutting through the noise and curating for themselves. The problem lies in the amount of work that the consumer still has to do. They are empowered by being able to handle it all themselves, but there are still a lot of choices – they still need help from brands and retailers.

Interestingly enough, around 80% of the UK population is buying online while £8 of every £10 is spent in physical stores – this despite countless headlines telling us that the high street is dying. So, what is going on? Well, the problem might be that we still haven’t managed to nail customer experiences online.

Google calls this the “Age of Assistance”: building a much more integrated and intuitive experience, expecting that this will gradually become much more predictive. How can you apply this across your business? The first step is to accelerate by bringing data into the heart of your business. Next is connect by being present wherever your customer wants to engage. Finally, drive action by delivering amazing assistive experiences.

Download Abigail’s presentation: Sustainable Growth in an Unstable Time

Digital Transformation can Help us to Succeed in a Changing World

Read Time: 4 Minutes

According to Naomi López, Head of CX Strategic Programmes at BT TV & BT Sport, disruption has become the new black, particularly in industries like retail. Newer business models from the likes of Lush, the Disney Store and Dominos have granted them huge successes in a very short space of time, while older and more traditional businesses have suffered.

During NMPi’s latest seminar, Naomi talked about the fact that, since 2013, 1 in 5 shops in the UK have closed. With the rise of e-commerce and online-only stores, many brick and mortar stores haven’t been able to keep up. The ones who have survived are the ones who have embraced digital transformation. Consumers are looking for personal experiences now: they’re busy and they don’t have time to go into a huge store to look for the one perfect gift. This is the model that saw the downfall of Toys’R’Us.

Looking back at the stores that have closed, there is an overwhelming trend in their replacements. Sitting in their place are hair salons, nail salons, beauty salons and so on. The consumer is clearly indicating what they value: tangible experiences.

Creating Tangible Experiences

Naomi asks us to consider an online wine store: e-commerce, but with real-time service. As you search for the perfect wine to match your meal, an assistant from the store pops up to advise you on the best products to buy, ultimately, helping you find that perfect Pinot Grigio for your creamy salmon pasta. This provides value for the customer, is incredibly convenient, and is an overwhelmingly positive experience – likely to increase loyalty and even reduce costs for the business as a whole. All in all? A win-win situation.

This example demonstrates how the combination of technology and digitalisation has allowed us to put the customer first. We now operate within a highly connected ecosystem: the whole supply and delivery chain work together even if it’s provided by different companies. This is crucial as consumers have developed extremely high expectations. Naomi commented, “Some businesses are providing impeccable service, so why would a customer tolerate antiquated ways of working?”

With huge amounts of data available to businesses, retailers can now predict when customers will change their behaviours, thus allowing them to adapt accordingly and communicate much more effectively. Problems can be identified much easier, and employees are empowered by heaps of information, which means they can better help when the situation arises – once again providing a tangible experience.

Remember though – while computers can think, learn, process and adapt to much of the data available at a faster rate than humans, they don’t have the imagination, creativity and emotion to bring it to life.

Download Naomi’s slides: How Digital Transformation Can Help Us Succeed in a Changing World

Combining Art and Science at connect:London – Part 2

This is the second edition of our coverage of Luke Judge’s presentation at connect:London. Last time, we looked at how art and science complement each other to inspire great work. When they work together, they can transcend complexity to create something truly beautiful. As a marketer, we should be using these moments to get potential customers from moments of wonder to the “I Do” moment.

In the second half of the presentation, we look at how the current technological climate has allowed us to unite media, creative and technology in order to deliver experiences that delight audiences.

The Creative Renaissance

Reaching the “I Do” moment has never been more promising. Once upon a time, technology could only support media or creative, never both. Now, however, we are on the cusp of a creative renaissance, where our technology has matured enough to give us a unique opportunity to bring together media, creative and technology in new and exciting ways. From the first banner ad in 1994 to the launch of social advertising in 2006, all the way up to the introduction of DoubleClick Bid Manager in 2012, we’re now at a place where programmatic bidding is everywhere.

We’re moving into a new phase of interconnectedness where data and measurement bind media, creative and technology together. There has never been a time when we have had such powerful tools to deliver experiences that delight our audience.

The Marketing Symphony

With all of this in mind, how do you get started?

Think of the modern marketing mix as an orchestra, with an effective CMO as a conductor as they piece it all together to deliver a great experience for their audience. Data, creative, tech. media and measurement all make up different sections within the orchestra: woodwind, brass, strings and so on, and each one needs their own time to shine.

  • Data – Your Violin Section: Use data to garner learnings about a target audience and create a segmentation plan to deliver results. Data comes in many forms, it’s up to the marketer to collect and unite what’s relevant.
  • Creative – Your Woodwind Section: In the same way that the woodwind section often leads the melody, creative leads your campaigns. This is where we pick the formats that will appeal most to the audience.
  • Tech – Your Percussion Section: This gives us the right tools to monitor your creative formats, underpinning everything that we do. From setting up and managing our campaigns to the measurement of their performance, we couldn’t do any of this without our technology.  
  • Media – Your Brass Section: Media gets your campaign out into the world; finding the right audience at the right moment, with minimum waste, at the best possible price.
  • Measurement – Your Lower String Section: The strings sit at either end of the orchestra, and measurement is the twin to data. You rarely find violins without a double bass, and you won’t find data without measurement. This allows you to demonstrate your performance, supporting your entire marketing symphony.

In any given symphony, different sections will need to be showcased; focussed on; brought to the forefront. As a skilled conductor can control the whole orchestra while also bringing out the melody, a talented CMO has complete oversight of the marketing mix, knowing exactly the right time to bring out different elements.

Always remember…

Our key takeaways are simple. Use data to get to know your audience. Tell them a story that sparks an emotional response and use creatives which build on that connection. As you’re taking stock of performance, measurement will be important but remember to trust your instincts. Then you’ll be sure to get the “I Do”.

You can find the slides from Luke’s presentation on our Slideshare.

Combining Art and Science at connect:London – Part 1

You can never underestimate the power of great experience in driving performance, and great experience comes from uniting art and science. NMPi CEO, Luke Judge, brought his thoughts to the stage at this year’s connect:London.

The Marriage of Art and Science

Art and science complement each other to inspire great work.

Music, an inherently artistic discipline, is filled with mathematics: major scales are based upon the mathematical equation for the 12th root of 2.

Leonardo da Vinci was an extraordinary artist because he was an extraordinary scientist, and his empirical observations of form were the basis for his paintings.

The Fibonacci sequence, and by extension the golden spiral, occurs naturally in anything from sunflowers to galaxies. It is so appealing to the eye that it is the reason behind our attraction to certain works of art, including, “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa.”

So when art and science come together, the result transcends complexity to create something truly beautiful.

It can be hard to think about digital marketing beyond its impact to the bottom line, but we should be striving for truly great marketing that makes us feel something different: be it wonder, curiosity, excitement or fear of missing out. It is those feelings that create an emotional connection with your brand, and ultimately establish customer loyalty.

Our job is to get someone from those moments of wonder to saying “I Do” and making that lifelong commitment.

Bringing the Romance Back

So how do we guide customers from their first search all the way to that final conversion?

Let’s start by dating; you have to meet your customer first at a time when you are relevant to them, so pique their interest on Search. They’ll swipe right when they’re ready. Once you’ve got them interested, it’s time to add some sizzle. With high impact creative you can create excitement.  If you’re a retailer, create an environment which allows them to browse shoppable products set within a real-life setting. By creating these real-life environments you can establish your branding and resonate with the consumer.

You then need to spend some quality time together with personalised dynamic creative. This is where you focus on each other’s interests, build loyalty, and extend your relationship. Say a customer put a tennis racket in their basket but didn’t purchase – target them with a discount code on that racquet to encourage their conversion. If they have previously purchased a racquet, instead target them with related products like tennis balls.

After you’ve spent some time in a relationship, it’s time to get engaged. Make sure it’s a great experience; frictionless like the iPhone. You need to be honest and trustworthy, like John Lewis and Marks and Spencers. And you need to be there when they need you like the AA.

If you get the whole thing right, they’re sure to say “I Do”.

If you want to find out more about the presentation, you can download Luke’s slides here, and you can read part 2 here.

NMPignite: The Customer is Always Right

Download Slides for The Customer is Always Right

The main message in the presentation delivered by Fred Maude, Performance Manager for NMPi, was that the customer is always right. At an industry level, at a brand or advertiser level, and at a campaign level, the customer is always right.

Experience Matters for the Industry

“Globally, monthly active desktop ad-blocking has grown 400% since January 2013 to 220 million” according to Adobe. This is a frankly staggering statistic and highlights a problem that rests above any one advertiser. Consumers are not happy with the industry in general, and we as an industry have the most to lose. The ad industry plays a major role in keeping a lot of web content free.

Experience Matters for your Brand

More than ever before, the customer is right. They wield more power and influence due to:

  • A wealth of choice – if you aren’t providing an experience that delights, then a consumer will just find someone who does.
  • Ease of switching – a consumer and switch to a competitor with little to no effort, and possibly pick up an introductory offer along the way
  • Louder voice – it only takes one trending review or social media post to make or break your campaign.

The bottom line is, if we don’t give them an experience that they like, they can punish us in ways and speeds not possible before the digital age. Fundamentally, if we don’t provide exceptional experience, then someone else will.

Experience Matters for your Campaigns

At the lowest level, the customer is still right – you just have to find them. There are people out there who will purchase from your campaigns, but finding them within budget constraints is difficult. On top of showing new and creative ads, you have to ensure that you are maximising performance potential.

Ads are like Marmite, so find the people who love your digital marmite by making your campaigns as granular as possible, breaking down your internal silos, and underpinning it all with analytics. Find out what technology your partners are using and work to integrate them. Make sure your channels are all working towards a common goal. Creating this greater experience will lead to higher engagement and increased direct response.

If we look after our own campaigns in this way, then the industry can look after itself.

NMPignite: Storytelling Through Light and Video


Tupac Martir has worked with some of the world’s finest artists. From designers like Alexander McQueen and Alexander Wang, to bands like Porter and Unkle, and artists like Xu Bing, Martir has used light and video to create impeccable experiences for audiences. His work is perhaps the perfect embodiment of our topic, using art and science to create flawless experiences for audiences around the globe, and perhaps the best example of this is his collaboration with Johnnie Walker.

HIK+ (Johnnie Walker)

In late 2017, Tupac Martir took over the side of Mexico’s tallest building on behalf of whisky brand Johnnie Walker with a “visual poem” dedicated to Mexico City. The city was recovering from a devastating earthquake, and so with free reign to design whatever he wished, he decided to write a love letter to its people.

“Keep improving, keep succeeding, keep walking Mexico.” – epigraph

There were two main elements to the piece. The first half took data from Instagram to display posts about the audience’s greatest successes. As Martir and his team were sharing their success, he wanted to give the people a chance to do the same.

The second half of the piece used motion capture to record the movements of ballet dancer Isaac Hernandez. Showing his escape from a labyrinth, and overcoming an internal struggle in the process, it symbolised the struggles that the city had pulled itself through. Through artistry, picked up through data capturing technology, Martir was able to tell a story that was seen by thousands on their commute home from work. All in all, the piece lead to an increase in sales of Johnnie Walker of 17%.

In essence, it was a great experience developed by the melding of art and science, demonstrating how in the purest sense the two work hand in hand.