NMPi moves into Asia

In keeping with our global growth strategy, NMPi has launched offices in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

The expansion into the Asian market takes advantage of our current international relationship with Clicks2Customers, who have operated in the Asian market successfully for over 7 years. Since October 2016, NMPi has launched offices in Australia, South Africa, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. We’re pleased to finally realise the next step in our global strategy by entering the lucrative Asian market.

“We are excited about the name change as it forms part of the group’s ambitious growth plans for the Asian market. At NMPi we understand that it is important to align to a global marketplace but it is equally important in understanding the local nuances across this region of the world. For this reason, we have localised teams based throughout the ASEAN markets” – Philip Mostert, Managing Director of NMPi Asia.

Our Asian offices bring together an exceptional team of Account Managers, Consultants, and Digital Analysts, who have worked with a number of international clients including, Time Magazine and Standard Charter.

Managing Director, Luke Judge echoed these sentiments, stating, “We have achieved a remarkable amount in the past nine months as we pushed to expand internationally. This expansion allows us to provide our clients with an even greater level of international expertise and local knowledge. It’s been a thrilling year and we still have more planned as we set our sights on the US.”

We offer our clients a full range of digital marketing services: digital strategy and planning, display marketing and media buying, real time bidding (RTB), paid search (PPC), social media marketing, analytics, and data intelligence.

For more information about our services and solutions, click here.

Election Day Prediction Update

Election day is finally upon us and as the nation goes to the polls we thought we’d revisit our initial analysis and see the impact trends within the last week have had on our predicted results…

It’s been a turbulent week. Perhaps the most turbulent in the history of electoral campaigning. From the terrible events in London Bridge, which led to ferocious exchanges on policing numbers, all the way through to the increased scrutiny on the ‘Special Relationship’ after Trump’s remarks on the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. It’s clear the battlefield has changed, and drastically at that.

As such, we decided to publish an update on our prediction.

Some slight changes have been made to the formula given how close we are to the deadline. The weighting for undecided voters has been reduced, reflecting the fact that many will have settled for a side, with greater importance instead being attributed towards the last seven days of search behavior.

Based on current search data here’s what we are now predicting will be the final results of the General Election:

Conservative: 337
Labour: 228
Liberal Democrats: 17
SNP: 42
UKIP: 4
Other: 22

So there you have it, on election day search data is telling us that the Conservatives will retain their majority. Whatever the result, make sure you have your say and get out and vote!

NMPi Predicts a Hung Parliament Using Search Data

To say we have witnessed some of the most surprising outcomes in politics over the past 12 months could potentially qualify for understatement of the year. Mr D.J. Trump and Brexit can certainly attest to that.

For many, this surprise was coupled with a complete sense of disbelief. A disbelief that choices, which were initially deemed marginal in their popularity, and utterly inconceivable in their application, eventually waltzed their way to victory.

Atop the lofty throne of hindsight, it’s clear that an all-too alarming level of complacency had captured and consumed the liberal masses. A complacency fed by two simple words: “Surely not”.

And yet, fingers cannot be pointed at the man in the mirror alone. Along the way, the confidence of the ‘surely nots’ was massaged by the reassuring presence of a long-established tradition: the election opinion poll.

In both cases, the end result fell the way of the underdogs. Whilst the red of the Republican Party now prowls the corridors of the White House, the blue of the European Union is starting to come tumbling down.

Interestingly, throughout the campaign season, opinion polls proclaimed the exact opposite. Perhaps influenced by the liberal glare of the interviewer, those internally espousing more right-wing views, appear to have often declared their backing for the ‘nicer’ option.

So, the question that falls at our doorstep today is: How do we address the inaccuracies of a method that provides genuinely valuable insights, and in the process, pull the heads of the ‘surely nots’ out of the sand?

As it happens, there’s a man out there who has taken up the challenge already.

Gupta’s Approach

Using Google Trends, and taking the US Presidential Election of 2016 as his example, Rahul Gupta published an article online claiming the following graph proved that Trump was always going to win.

Google Trends

Gupta’s analysis shows the level of search interest on Google for the terms ‘Donald Trump’ and ‘Hillary Clinton’ over the 12 months prior to the election.

His hypothesis rests solely on the idea that the search term leading in the weeks prior to election day typically ended up the victor.

In this instance, Donald Trump clearly outstrips Clinton when it comes to volume of searches, not only during the final throws but for the entire period. Despite what the polls may have said, a Trump win, according to Gupta’s method, was inevitable.

He quotes ‘Marketing Master’ Philip Kotler when theorising why this occurs, “prior to capturing market share, companies need to capture mind share”.

In Gupta’s opinion, Google Trends offers a bird’s eye-view of a region’s mindshare, from which we can apply his logic.

We found this interesting, and with the UK election only a week away we thought we’d have a go!

Gupta’s Approach Applied to UK Election

As we approach the final week of battle, our very own election shares many similar characteristics to those witnessed across the Atlantic.

  • A perceived-to-be unelectable mainstream candidate
  • A politically-motivated and agenda-driven press
  • Vast swathes of “surely nots” littering street corners
  • And most notably, opinion polls unanimous in their conclusion that there will be a Tory majority.

And yet, by Gupta’s reasoning, in just a few days’ time, Jeremy Corbyn will rise like a phoenix and settle into his seat at Number 10.

Google Trends

In summary, we don’t like it (Gupta’s approach, not Jezza’s victory – NMPi remains politically agnostic).

Whilst correct in the case of the US, and many others if you read his article, his theory is too simplistic, and doesn’t take into account a whole range of additional factors.

  • How do we know the searches being conducted are positive in their sentiment?
  • Does this really give a true reflection of our entire population?
  • What about the people (of which there are many) who don’t know who they’re voting for yet?

In true NMPi style, we decided to dig deeper. Applying three techniques of increasing complexity, and in doing so, devised a single formula designed for maximum accuracy. We are not only going to predict who will win the UK General Election, but we will forecast the number of seats won by each party.

Grab a coffee, sit tight, and strap in, there is some maths approaching.

Our Approach

To begin with, we improved Gupta’s approach by layering on some additional, (buzzword alarm), granularity. Rather than running our analysis at the national level, we assessed the search data over the last twelve months across seventy-eight different regions, whilst at the same time accounting for the population of that region, and how many seats that population is worth.

I give you version one:

The results were as follows:

Conservative Labour Liberal Democrats UKIP Plaid Cymru Scottish National Party
436 145 0 0 0

50

‘Well that’s not very accurate,’ I hear you cry. Wait. There’s more.

Whilst hypothetically more accurate in its design, this formula falls short in one crucial aspect – it gives equal weighting to search data across the entire twelve months.

Consequently, it neglects the shorter-term impact of interest in the smaller parties around campaign season, and also overstates the dominance of Theresa May. Her rise to power in the first half of 2016 undoubtedly has an impact on search volumes – at no point has the original method been applied to someone already in power.

And so, as Gupta himself suggested, we repeated the initial formula, but instead gave increased importance to the more recent elements:

Results:

Conservative

Labour Liberal Democrats UKIP Plaid Cymru Scottish National Party
381 182 22 10 2

35

Almost there.

The final piece of the jigsaw lay with addressing how we could incorporate the politically indecisive masses – the ‘which wayers’ as we have termed them. According to Yougov.com, this sits at around 20% of the voting population

For this, we used a tool called Hitwise to understand the flow of online traffic to certain sites following the search term ‘who should I vote for?’ Depending upon which campaign’s content they then consumed, we were able to proportionally attribute a value to each party.

And now, behold. The final fame-inducing formula:

WW = ‘which wayers’ – proportion of users visiting campaign sites following search term

TWW = ‘total which wayers’ – total amount of people categorized as ‘which wayers’

Our Prediction

So here you have it. The moment you’ve all been waiting/persevering for. On the 8th June 2017, news stations across the planet will announce the following results: Hung Parliament

Seats Split:

  • Conservative Party – 313
  • Labour Party – 232
  • Lib Dems – 20
  • SNP – 58
  • UKIP – 6
  • Others – 21

Welcome to a bright new era of election polling. Analysis conducted through genuinely decipherable and accessible data, rather than through rushed interviews influenced by the notion of ‘I can’t say that, what would they think of me’.

For you ‘surely nots’ out there, keep hold of that sand for now. But beware. The looming landslide is not quite as looming as you think.

 

*DISCLAIMER – whilst we’re hopeful of being correct, thus acquiring fortune and numerous appearances on breakfast television, this is mainly in jest. Please read with a pinch of salt.

NMPi Shortlisted for 4 RAR Awards!

We’re extremely excited to announce that we’ve been shortlisted for a record 4 categories in this year’s The Drum RAR Digital Awards! Online Advertising, On Budget, Online Media Buying, and Search. The awards ceremony will take place on June 14th at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane hotel.

What makes these awards special for us is that we’ve been nominated by our clients based on their reviews of our work. It’s always an honour to be recognized for our quality work and efforts by industry peers, but it’s especially nice to get that vote of confidence, and be held in such high regard, by the people who we work for every single day. A big thank you to everyone who helped gather recommendations.

View the shortlist here

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 Short Listed for 3 European Search Awards

Now entering its sixth year, the European Search Awards highlight the very best in SEO, PPC and Content Marketing across Europe. NMPi is thrilled to have been shortlisted in three of the 29 categories:

Innovation – Campaign
The innovation award recognizes the creative effort within a search campaign demonstrating the use of strategy, or implementation that sets it apart from the competition. NMPi has been recognized for their work on Dune Query Level Bidding on Google Shopping.

Best Use of Search – Retail
This award recognizes a campaign that has successfully enhanced the visibility of a website or web page in the retail sector. NMPi have been commended for their campaign efforts on Dune Query Level Bidding on Google Shopping.

Best Large PPC Agency
An exciting achievement this year has been the the recognition as Best Large PPC Agency across Europe. This is awarded to an agency that demonstrates consistently strong ROI for their clients, and excellent use of PPC.

The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on April 27th in Kraków, Poland.

Best of Luck!

New Year, New Client, New Office: NMPi Launches Second International Office in Switzerland

We’re excited to announce the addition of our newest office in Zurich, Switzerland. We’ve opened two offices in only four months; launching in October 2016 in the Netherlands. We’ve set our sights on continued global expansion, and this year we’ll keep that pace going with plans in the works to grow the business in Asia, the US, and Australia.

Along with the launch, NMPi has announced a new client win: Swiss-based premium denim brand, 7 For All Mankind.

“We made a promise that 2017 would be a big year for NMPi, and we’ve made a strong start,” stated NMPi’s Managing Director, Luke Judge. “Switzerland is the next step for us as we continue to grow our business internationally, and we’re excited to be taking this step with a fantastic new client.”

The expansion into Switzerland also takes advantage of our international partnership with DQ&A, technology consultant and DoubleClick reseller.

“Continued international growth is incredibly exciting for our clients,” remarked NMPi’s Director of Business Strategy, Damien Bennett. “It allows them to work with us consistently across different markets, giving them access to a wider knowledge base, and local market expertise, ensuring that we can deliver on their wider international objectives.”

The launch of NMPi Switzerland boasts an experienced team of account managers, strategists, and analysts, who work with international and local clients including, HP, Swisscard, Avia, and Österreich Werbung. Their services will include NMPi’s full suite of digital solutions; Analytics, Paid Search, Paid Social, and Programmatic Display.

“Being part of the NMPi brand is extremely exciting for us,” stated Leonardo Kopp, Managing Director, Switzerland. “It is a perfect match for us; by combining our strengths and using NMPi’s proven processes, we can increase our local proposition and continue to drive better results for our clients.”

Herzlich Willkommen!

Google to Improve YouTube’s Cross-Device Metrics and Satisfy User Privacy Concerns

Google recently announced that it will take steps to improve YouTube metrics reporting for its advertisers, while addressing privacy concerns for users. It will rely less on pixel and cookie data to give advertisers an idea of how their video campaigns are faring, and focus on developing better mobile video tracking tools. On the user side, viewers will be able to mute advertisers that track them with irrelevant ads. Google is trying to strike a balance between transparency and control for viewers, and better, highly refined metrics for advertisers.

Why the sudden move away from pixels and cookies?

Google’s blog, Inside AdWords, indicated that 50% of all YouTube video viewing now happens on mobile. Traditional desktop tracking tools don’t provide an accurate overview for mobile based video campaigns because pixels and cookies were not designed for the way users interact with YouTube on mobile. This means measurement can be skewed. Google is developing a new way of measuring viewership to rectify this discrepancy.

How is this a win for advertisers?

In addition to a clearer view of campaign dynamics, it allows advertisers to reach the right audience. The new tool will provide accurate metrics to advertisers across devices. Information from a user’s Google account, such as past searches and Customer Match, can be used to suggest the ads they see on YouTube. In addition to this, Google will also allow advertisers to use their own data to target high value YouTube shoppers.

For viewers, Google will put the control back in their hands by allowing them to mute a particular advertiser across multiple platforms. For example, if a user has purchased a gym membership and is still being tracked with gym promotions, they can mute that advertiser.

According to AdExchanger, the new system will be cloud based with Google collaborating with several Media Rating Council third party vendors. This initiative was recently rolled out to a few select advertisers.

Pinterest Play? Instagram Takes Steps Towards Shoppable Ads

Instagram waded into the shoppable ads arena when it trialled its version of the popular ‘buy now’ button with twenty US brands. The social photo sharing platform has taken steps to close the gap between browsing and shopping by allowing users to learn more about products from within their app, and then purchase them seamlessly. If this sounds eerily like Pinterest, you may be onto something.

Instagram recently ran afoul of Snapchat when it was accused of copying Snapchat Stories with its Instagram Stories.  After several failed attempts to purchase the platform, Mark Zuckerberg did the next best thing, copied Snapchat’s most coveted feature, Stories, on Facebook-owned Instagram as Instagram Stories.

Instagram is ready to play copycat again with its venture into Shoppable Ads. It set about testing posts with select brands in the US to allow users to learn more about the products they see before buying them. Instagram presents the user with a ‘tap to view’ icon at the bottom left of each photo which expands tags for up to five products. The tags contain the details and cost of the items but don’t immediately appear, users must hover over the ‘tap to view’ indicator to see a featured item. Users can then scroll through the products shown and decide to purchase from within the app.

Pinterest has had this feature for some time, and has seen remarkable results. 75% of its users have purchased something on the platform or because of it.  Pinterest users stay on the platform for approximately fifteen minutes per visit, giving marketers plenty of time to deliver ads to them. The demographic for Pinterest and Instagram used to vary widely, with Instagram being the platform predominantly for Gen Z and younger Millennials, and Pinterest skewing predominantly towards women in their late 20s to early 40s. Recently, Pinterest has seen a spike in Millennial use, with 67% of its users falling into that category.  Instagram is eager to cash-in on this potential new source of revenue and is now strongly courting brands to use its platform to reach their younger demographic. Add to this, the eventuality of a ‘save for later’ button, and Instagram fully moves into Pinterest’s territory as a save and shop platform.

This latest development is aimed at Instagram’s discovery audience, i.e., those who use the platform to look for the latest items but aren’t sure what they want just yet. Much like Pinterest, it enables retailers to capture users as they are information gathering and turn them from inspired browsers to buyers.

Why is this development important?

  • It cuts out a step/barrier to purchase. Users don’t need to leave the app and open a separate search window to find out more about the products they like. They can navigate and get all the pertinent information they need all within Instagram’s platform.
  • The consumer can then hit ‘shop now’ from within the tags and be taken directly to complete their purchase on the retailer’s website.
  • It solves the problem of inserting unwieldy captions to redirect users to click on links to circumvent Instagram’s ban on organic links within posts.
  • Shoppable ads have the potential to steal revenue from online shopping giant, Amazon, as users are heading onto sites like Pinterest and Instagram to discover new products and get alternative shopping ideas.
  • Most mobile use is spent in-app. Instagram has the highest rate of mobile use among social networks in the US. Given that Instagram is primarily mobile-focused, making products shoppable is a vital step for the social media platform and for brands that have a significant following on it.

Twenty popular US retailers have joined the endeavour, predominantly up-market brands such as Michael Kors, Kate Spade New York, Coach, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Hollister. The tags will be initially rolled out to iOS users in the US, but there are definite plans in the works to expand globally. Currently, this is a free service to post to your followers but Instagram plans to monetise the shoppable format by allowing brands to advertise to relevant target groups outside of their followers.

While advertisers have seen success using Instagram ads, only time will tell how users will react to yet another form of advertising. If it does not alienate its original base of photography enthusiasts, it has the potential drive significant ROI from Instagram.

B2B Marketing Expo Round Up

Last week, the annual B2B Marketing Expo was held at the ExCel centre in London. Two packed days, hundreds of exhibitors, and dozens of fascinating seminars. On top of being able to see the latest and most innovative brands, the expo hosted brief half hour talks by subject matter experts. I attended three sessions. The first talk given by Luke Quilter, was entitled: Search Marketing and the Importance of Social Media. Quilter spoke about an integrated approach to SEO and social media.

Luke Quilter of Sleeping GiantQuilter emphasised the importance of reevaluating how much content brands have in the early stages of the sales funnel. By sharing experiences via social channels, it puts brands back in the awareness stage. Different channels evolve in different sections of the funnel but unfortunately, many marketers only care about the “DO” or conversion phase and the resulting ROI.

As marketers, we need to think about the different phases and channels throughout the consideration process. Quilter moved on to look at “micro moments” and how consumers make decisions. He offered some quick tips for marketers:

  • Don’t focus on particular keywords. Focus on longer tail search terms.
  • Focus on context and ascertain where a consumer is in the funnel.
  • Google doesn’t look at social sharing for its algorithm. It doesn’t appear to help your SEO, because it’s not causation, but correlation, i.e., if you do good work, write interesting and engaging content, you will notice better SEO performance because more people will be sharing it.
  • Don’t forget to leverage your content. Many marketers create content but forget to leverage it, they forget who they are targeting and just write content for content sake.

Quilter also shared some interesting social media facts with the audience:

  • Social profiles don’t rank within search results. Many social channels want to be search engines themselves; Facebook is moving in this direction. Bing, however, does rank social profiles.
  • People check their phones approximately 150 time per day! This immediate access to information has changed our purchase process. Are we doing enough at the top part of the funnel?
  • British users spend 1:20 mins per day on social media!

He finished off his presentation by offering some hope for those who are struggling: “The great thing about digital is that you can fail and switch gears quickly and not have to commit for a long time. Digital is a great place to experiment and try new things.”

IMG_0837The second session was entitled: How to Use Video Content Effectively for Social Media, by AdTube’s Utam Bhutia and was aimed at helping B2B marketers navigate the do’s and don’ts of creating effective videos to share across social channels. Bhudia has been producing videos for five years and saw the benefits of using video for social media to increase engagement and ROI.

What makes a video effective?

  • Tell a story
  • Be authentic, be yourself

Those two points may seem obvious, but they are not often followed by marketers. Bhudia’s sage advice to the audience was, “You shouldn’t do it for the sales, you should do it for the ‘feels’”. He stressed that an emotional connection is vital for video success. Case studies and CSR videos are good ways to show people how your brand is helping. Bhutia also talked about the importance of educating the viewer and to always remember who is the focus of the video content, “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world. It’s not about you, it’s about them.” What can videos offer your audience? They can be used to answer brand FAQs, give audiences industry news updates, share info with your customers, and most importantly, put yourself in the position of being industry expert.

Bhutia offered some tips for brands wading into video for the first time:

  • Don’t upload videos that won’t engage. If the video is boring, your audience will find it boring and you are wasting their time and your time. Upload original content.
  • Don’t upload one video and expect immediate success. You need to continually engage and update your customers.
  • Don’t put out content with the sole intention of it going viral. Consistency is key, the internet likes consistency, set a schedule and stick to it.
  • Don’t just share to Facebook. Share across newsletters and other social channels.
  • Don’t upload click-bait. People don’t like being tricked into watching videos that aren’t what they appear to be.

IMG_0843The final session of the day was entitled: Understand How to Unlock Your Call Data and Measure Your Marketing Spend by Infinity Tracking’s David Cornelius and Ben Goward.

Their talk tackled several questions and challenges brands have when embarking on call tracking, such as: Are you wasting your marketing budget because you can’t track your calls and leads? Do I really need call tracking? What is it? How much does it cost?

Today brands are faced with tighter budgets and more pressure to prove results in order to prevent future budgets cuts due to improper tracking. Many businesses struggle to track their calls and track their spend, or understand where their leads and opportunities originated.

This is especially important for paid search because tracking allows marketers to understand how their interactions were generated. Cornelius and Goward walked the audience through a typical customer journey and demonstrated how a call tracking system can track a phone call made against a customer journey (in their example, for a holiday search). They demonstrated how to assign special tracking identification, such as numbers that generated a unique code assigned to that particular caller. That ID was then able to indicate how far they went in the journey and if they converted. These insights allow brands to tweak their campaigns to ensure a higher likelihood of conversion.

While Goward and Cornelius showcased their own call tracking tool, Bing and Google have these tools available for marketers with easy to follow instructions, if they do not have a ready-made system in place. With the trend towards a mainly mobile environment firmly established, and the addition of “call now” buttons to many mobile websites, accurate call tracking becomes an invaluable tool for improving conversion and customer satifaction rates.

Closing Comments

The seminars were informative and enjoyable breaks from circling the stalls, with good take aways for B2B marketers on social, mobile, sales, call tracking, paid search and analytics. B2B often gets pushed aside for B2C marketing but it was good to connect and engage with industry experts and show that B2B is alive and well.

Want to learn more about B2B Marketing? Download our white paper: Your Guide to Successful Digital B2B Marketing