After GDPR

With only 3 months left until GDPR becomes a reality, we joined The Drum to find out how industry leaders are preparing for the new legislation.

GDPR at a glance

It’s an update of the previous Data Privacy Directive, and much of this is still at the core of the regulations. However, we’re looking at a very different landscape to the one of 1995, and so GDPR takes the age of the internet into its remit. The right to be forgotten, privacy by design, increased territorial scope; all of these new regulations are part of the maturity of the internet. Hence, many envision GDPR compliance as a natural reordering of the system, one which will see evolutionary rather than revolutionary change.

GDPR in and of itself is a behavioural change. It’s an attitude adjustment. Managing consumer privacy will be a huge part of many a marketer’s focus, as well as a full awareness of the journey and uses of consumer data. The most fundamental aspect is putting user privacy at the very core of all of your technological platforms. You will have to ensure that you have a technical team to help you with the technical solutions to what is a technical challenge.

Educating the Consumer

Don’t trust that the consumer always knows when their data is being collected, or how it will be used. Sometimes, they might be sharing this data by mistake. Education is going to be a big part of any business’s GDPR adoption, as well as placing incentives for the consumer on data sharing. However, be aware that educating the consumer will also raise consumer awareness of the past uses of their data.

Don’t underestimate the power of the activist consumer in this space: in the past, advertising has gone too far into the dark pits of sketchy data usage, with B2B being one of the darkest areas. There is potential for this to explode after May: the wrong consumer being retargeted in the wrong way could lead to a high profile court case.

Life After GDPR

What’s very clear is that, while everyone’s focus is on making their business GDPR compliant, no one is thinking about what will happen after May. Some have concerns that we don’t know what the level of consumer consent will be when consumers are more likely to have to opt-in to having their data recorded, as opposed to merely consenting by default. If they are given the time to think, it is plausible that they may be more likely to opt out. We also don’t know how the back ends of websites or email servers will keep up with these changes.

However, there could be a lot of good news. The first thing is that it will force marketers to do a better job. Instead of relying on first party data to optimise towards people who would likely have bought anyway, marketers will be forced to create better quality content to influence consumers.

On top of this, we should see a better relationship between the agency and their clients, and more respect for the consumer and their privacy.  We’re also already seeing a lot of collaboration between competitors, because if one of them does a lackluster job everyone in the industry will suffer. Respect will shape our relationships across businesses and with consumers in a much more positive way.

The key takeaways?

  • Make sure your technical team are educated helping you out
  • Educate your consumers
  • Shift your vision to what happens after GDPR has come through
  • Brace yourself for a new industry where respect, quality and privacy are paramount.

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.

[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.

 

 

Pitney Bowes Chooses NMPi to Deliver Superior Digital Marketing Solutions to their Clients

We are excited to announce today that NMPi has entered into a strategic business relationship with global technology company, Pitney Bowes Inc. NMPi is helping Pitney Bowes strengthen its industry-leading global e-commerce offering with our enhanced consumer marketing solutions, including international paid-search campaigns, display advertising, social media advertising and fully optimised Google shopping experiences.

“Driving demand, and ultimately purchases, is one of the most unique and important things Pitney Bowes does for its clients,” said Jonathan Kapplow, Senior Vice President, Consumer and Merchant Solutions at Pitney Bowes. “We’ve worked with NMPi to develop successful marketing campaigns for many leading retailers who have taken their business cross-border. This formal relationship will allow us to innovate together and bring new performance-based digital marketing solutions to all of our clients.”

Optimising digital marketing campaigns for 220 different countries and territories can be challenging for retailers looking to grow revenue through cross-border e-commerce. Pitney Bowes and NMPi have worked with clients around the globe and in a wide range of industries including fashion, retail, finance, and travel to elevate their digital advertising capabilities to better reach and engage with consumers.

Pitney Bowes’ Complete™ Cross-Border offering is the industry’s most proven, capable and scalable end-to-end global e-commerce solution that can handle all facets of enterprise retail cross-border expansion. With the addition of NMPi’s innovative technology and talented team of digital analysts, Pitney Bowes will be able to offer its cross-border clients best-in-class digital marketing solutions, as well.

“In today’s competitive global environment, retailers need every measure of help they can get in driving top-line growth and running their day-to-day operations. Cross-border revenue streams driven by effective digital marketing solutions can help alleviate some of that pressure, but it is often difficult to put the right people and processes in place to get that started. Our relationship with Pitney Bowes makes all of that easier for retailers. With Pitney Bowes, we will offer retailers scalable, global digital marketing solutions that meet consumers where they are and guide them to a superior global e-commerce experience,” said Luke Judge, CEO of NMPi.

“We win when our clients and partners win, so we are truly invested in the success of their businesses,” said Kapplow. “By helping drive consumer demand and incremental revenue growth for our retailers, we further strengthen the core growth engine of our own global e-commerce business.”

NMPi Wins ‘Most Innovative Strategy’ at IAB Programmatic Awards

We are thrilled to announce that NMPi has won in the “Innovative Strategy” category at the first IAB Programmatic Awards in The Netherlands. Advertising industry specialists looked forward seeing this year’s groundbreaking entries, and we were excited to be counted among the prestigious nominees for our case study: Real-Time visibility of Snow Heights for Transavia.

The IAB Programmatic Awards are important because they are voted on by industry experts in recognition of agencies that deliver outstanding results.

NMPi Netherland’s Managing Director, Gerard Moussault, commented: “This is a real testament to the excellent work done by the NMPi team. Over the next year, we are going to continue to grow and push the limits of digital innovation.”

Transavia’s Direct Sales Manager, Nick Brandts commented, “Our campaign team is always looking to reach our audience in a better, more relevant way. Together with NMPi, we investigated the (technical) possibilities of creating an innovative campaign. In our partnership we have a shared goal: to challenge each other to create new innovative elements for every campaign. It is wonderful to see this effort pay off with positive campaign results. The Programmatic Award for ‘Most Innovative Strategy’ for our Wintersport Campaign is recognition we are very proud of!”

NMPi Netherland’s Head of Consultancy, Quintijn van Kessel added: “The IAB Award recognizes our work over the last couple of months in close cooperation with our client, Transavia. It’s great to see this acknowledged with this Innovative Strategy win”.

This award comes on the heels of NMPi’s RAR+ (Recommended Agency Register) win for ‘Best Search’.

The second half of 2017 is set to be even more exciting, with this award acting as a springboard to further success!

The NMPi Brand Expands to South Africa

NMPi is excited to announce the rebrand of its fourth international office in the space of 6 months. As of today, we are expanding our brand to Cape Town, South Africa.

We are pleased to be partnering once again with our sister company, Clicks2Customers, to bring our agency services together under the same brand.

The South African Agency team will be lead by Adriaan Strydom,  Managing Director of Clicks2Customers. Strydom has an extensive background in digital performance marketing and joined incuBeta’s executive team in 2005.

“The rebrand is a culmination of months of planning to align our service offering and company into a global outfit which is able to provide the very best insight, strategy and delivery to South African companies. Our clients can expect the same business and technical support, with the added benefit of all the knowledge and deep insight from our global team,” comments Adriaan Strydom, Managing Director of NMPi South Africa.

Strydom added, “The South African market is showing a growing sophistication as our local marketing professionals embrace new technology and its ability to deliver meaningful business benefits. NMPi South Africa is ideally positioned to help clients deliver campaigns which can easily measure up to the best in the world,”

CEO of NMPi UK, Luke Judge, was pleased to see the agency on track with its plans for global expansion. “We had planned extensive global expansion this year and I’m thrilled to see that we’re on track with realising those goals” stated Judge, “The rebranding of the South African office is not the end of the road for NMPi this year, we still have plans of reaching across to the US. This has been an exciting, and big year for our agency, and I’m extremely proud of our efforts.”

 

NMPi says “G’Day” from Sydney

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NMPi is thrilled to announce the official launch of our third international office in Sydney, Australia. This expansion comes hot on the heels of our recent openings in the Netherlands and Switzerland.

“We have big plans for growth this year,” stated Luke Judge, NMPi’s Managing Director. “We see the opening of the Australian office as the next key step in our global expansion.”

“The digital industry in Australia is adapting and moving forward at an astonishing rate,” commented Damien Bennett, Director of Business Strategy. “Extending NMPi into Australia will enable us to provide even greater localised activity for our clients.”

We’re also pleased to be partnering with global digital agency, Clicks2Customers, who will be rebranding their digital advertising solutions under the NMPi banner. Our Australian team will be led by former Googler, and current Managing Director of Australia, Sam Shennan. Sam has over 10 years digital experience and has partnered with some of the region’s leading brands including Westfield, Woolworths, and TopShop.

Shennan is looking forward to this collaboration, saying, “This development is great news for our clients. The combination of NMPi’s digital media expertise and granular approach and our 14 years as an award-winning global digital agency offers our clients robust solutions that cover all their digital needs.”

In little less than two months after opening our NMPi Switzerland office, we now have NMPi Australia. Our expansion plans haven’t stopped here, we expect to continue our global diversification!

When Your Exact Match Isn’t Your Exact Match…

Google announced important changes coming to Exact Match last month and implemented these changes last week. Google is including (and excluding) function words, such as ‘a’, ‘the’, ‘and’ in an effort to reduce the workload for advertisers, and swapping terms in an attempt to make it easier for shoppers to find what they’re looking for online. But is this really a positive change? 

The move can go both ways. One the one hand, it can make it more expensive for advertisers because of the sudden increase in generic search terms triggering for brand keywords, which are more competitive, resulting in higher CPCs. NMPi Account Manager, Sophie Worton, noted, “Looking at brand exact in the UK after the first few days of this roll out, the close variants have 15p CPCs, and Exact Match has 7p so it’s a big increase.”

In terms of word swapping, it can also negatively impact conversion rates since user intent is not the same: i.e., ‘The Perfume Shop’ (brand) and ‘perfume shop’ (any perfume shop, or ‘shopping for perfume’) – the intent here is unclear as to whether the user is searching for the brand, or for a generic perfume search. If advertisers set up an exact match keyword in the headline of the ad, word swapping can decrease the relevance.

As for the idea that this will alleviate advertiser work loads, it’s been the opposite. Google has tried to sell this as full coverage, so that advertisers no longer have to create a lot of keywords, but this latest tweak has actually increased workloads. Before the change, advertisers were able to allow exact match terms to run, now, they must perform negative SQRs across all exact matches focusing on brand terms to ensure accuracy. 

It will be interesting to view the results three months down the road.  It’s still ‘early days’, so whether the change is a blow to advertisers, and a boon to shoppers remains to be seen.