We have a new addition to the trophy cabinet this morning after another great night at the International Performance Marketing Awards. NMPi took home a new win and received 3 highly commended in these hugely competitive awards.
We hit the back of the net with Fanatics, winning in the Best Use of Data category for our bidding strategy that leveraged the power of in-game moments. Working together with CJ Affiliate, the use of data was well automated and efficient in boosting online sales targets for Fanatics football clientele.
Our work with Liverpool FC earned us recognition in both the Best Use of Data category and the Best Use of Programmatic category. Our final highly commended was in the Best Paid Search Campaign for our work with Harvey Nichols.
We are hugely proud of our continued success this year, from the acquisition of creative specialists Joystick to the launch of our CSS to our winning streak at awards ceremonies over the last 12 months. We’re incredibly proud of the innovation of the NMPi team and look forward to what this will bring in the months to come.
We let one of our Senior Account Executives – Lucy Smith – loose with our Instagram account and asked her to give us a look a what a Day in the Life looks like for her. She was more than happy to oblige.
8.45 – An earlier start than usual, but worth it to set up for our annual Macmillan Coffee Morning. This is my third year organising the event and it’s really nice to be able to do activities like this outside of my day-to-day.
In perhaps the office’s best effort to date, I had almost a full patisserie’s worth of treats to choose from for breakfast. Nothing like a bit of sugar to get you going in the morning!
Having a lot of European clients means that they’ve had an extra hour in the office before I’ve even arrived – so responding to their emails is the first order of the day. The next task is to check the performance of the day before and make any optimisations to bids or budgets that need to be made. Some accounts are more reactive than others so it’s important that we keep on top of performance and how we are pacing against our targets.
11.00 – On Tuesday mornings, I have a weekly catch up with my team. Between us, we work on accounts in 8 different countries so we need to make sure everyone is supported in terms of workload and is kept up to date on performance and any upcoming changes. It’s also a great chance for us to discuss projects outside our client base that can contribute to the business as a whole.
12.00 – Time for another cake! The trick to avoiding a sugar crash is to just replace the calories as you burn them off. My next job was to storyboard a deck for a quarterly strategic review. These happen (you guessed it!) every 3 months and are an opportunity for us to look back at performance before looking ahead to our strategy for the next quarter. We present our ideas to our clients and work with them to put together a roadmap that incorporates their business goals with our view of success for the accounts.
15.00 – After reports go out on Mondays, clients often have questions and updates for the week ahead. That means Tuesdays and Wednesdays are busy with client calls. Today I had a catch up with clients based in Switzerland and Italy to talk through last week’s numbers and review any actions or updates there might be from both sides. After the call, any actions get added to a Google Sheet so everyone has access and can update as required.
16.30 – The main event of the day – the drawing of the raffle prizes! Thanks to the generosity of our clients, partners and some local businesses we had a great selection – from theatre tickets to Japanese snacks and restaurant vouchers.
17.00 – As the day winds down and people cannot physically ingest any more sugar, it’s time to count up our donations. Thanks to the amazing generosity of everyone in the office, we raised just over £1,000 for Macmillan! The atmosphere in the office has been amazing (again, this might be a side effect of the sugar), and we’ve been able to support a great charity that provides essential support to those diagnosed with cancer.
NMPi recently partnered with BIG Alliance, an initiative designed to help businesses create social change for Islington. For our first project, we sent 4 of our team out to deliver digital training as part of a wider entrepreneurial project run by the law firm, Slaughter and May, called Firm Futures.
The project is designed to support new business ideas, with workshops sessions geared towards different aspects of building your own business.
Our team was a knowledgeable one: two paid media executives, a junior marketing manager, and a partnerships manager; each bringing their own distinct set of expertise. Our session focused on developing your visual brand, building your website, and the importance of establishing a social media presence.
From icebreakers to wireframes, we worked with the future business owners to help them figure out the direction of their brands:
What would their logo look like?
What kind of colours would they use, and how would they reflect their brand?
What information would they include on their website?
The participants walked away with heads full of ideas and tips on how to push their brands out into the world.
It was a hugely rewarding session for everyone involved and the positive attendee feedback was well worth the whole experience. Overall, we were able to work with new people across the business, work on our public speaking, and give something back to the community.
Joystick officially joins the NMPi and DQ&A family today, as we sign the contracts and complete the acquisition. After announcing our agreement to acquire Joystick at Cannes a few weeks ago, we are very excited to begin working with them to reinvent what it means to be a customer-centric digital marketing specialist – whether that’s as a creative, media, or technology specialist.
Together, this means that we can provide a more complete digital marketing service focused on a brilliant customer experience. Not only can we offer digital media strategy and management across Paid Search, Display and Paid Social advertising, but we can also offer targeted and personalised creative solutions at scale, such as Dynamic Ads, Programmatic Creative, and Rich Media Display Ads, and even tailored digital experiences with Responsive Website Development, Experiential Apps and Campaign Landing Pages.
“It’s been months of hard work from many people on our teams, and we’re very excited to start building on this relationship and working closely with the Joystick team,” says NMPi CEO Luke Judge. “Together, we will be able to improve the way that people engage with advertising, and break down the silos that have found their way into the industry.”
Sara Francis, CEO of Joystick added, “It was incredibly important for us to find a partner who shares our ideals and our belief that the perfect blend of technology, data and artistry makes every execution smarter, more dynamic and more effective. NMPi and DQ&A are a perfect fit, and we are looking forward to the future.”
Joystick bring over 90 digital creative experts across 5 international offices to the group, increasing our global presence to over 340 employees across 16 offices from Los Angeles to Malaysia. They bring with them an extensive clientele that includes Google, HBO, Disney and Kroger, adding to NMPi and DQ&A’s clients such as, L’Oréal, Papa John’s, Hanes, Freeview, Melia Hotels, and Samsung.
We’ll be bringing together speakers from NMPi, DQ&A and Joystick as well as Harvey Nichols and Charlotte Tilbury to show how you can break down the silos between media, creative and technology to drive flawless customer experience. It’ll be one you won’t want to miss, so make sure you register to join us in London, or on our live stream: Register Now
This acquisition was completed by NMPi and DQ&A UK’s parent company, Net Media Planet Ltd.
Sara has over 18 years experience in digital marketing, having begun her career primarily focused on entertainment working for such companies as Miramax, Deep Focus, and Moxie Interactive. In 2010 she began her career at Joystick, leading the Los Angeles office and account management team company-wide before being elevated to CEO.
We sat down with Sara to find out more about her, the agency, and what she’s looking forward to about this acquisition.
How do you think the industry will benefit from a joint media and creative agency?
Every digital touchpoint is an opportunity to create a connection and a conversation with the audience. At Joystick, our quality creative plays an integral part in campaign performance and ROI, something that is lacking in many campaigns. But oftentimes creative work is created without a complete picture of the consumer journey, making it hard to truly have an impact.
By joining forces with NMPi, we are able to close the gap between creative, media and technology. Media and creative have been extremely fragmented, now that we’re together, we can break down the barriers that exist. We’ll have more control over the customer touch points and the consumer’s experience throughout the brand journey.
This may sound lofty, but we want to build a web where people love ads. Love them because they’re a great experience and are useful. This is what inspires us every day and we believe we’re working with the right partners and clients to make this happen.
What innovative technologies and strategies do you think NMPi will gain from adding a creative perspective to their digital offering? Conversely, what insight will Joystick gain from partnering with a global digital agency such as NMPi?
Joystick is one of the first creatively-led agencies with deep expertise in ad technology. This will add a number of complimentary service offerings to NMPi. Our work in innovative technologies will add a robust offering to brands who are looking to add immersive experiences to their mix or augment their voice and visual search strategies.
Conversely, we look forward to combining our dynamic creative expertise with NMPi’s skilled programmatic strategists to offer a full-service solution unmatched by others. We’ll have audience and creative alignment that will enable us to create truly personalized creative and ad relevancy that delivers results.
What plans for growth do you have in the upcoming year?
Well for starters, we’ll need to service a global client base and expand existing services into new markets. We also see immediate opportunity to expand how we’re working with our current technology vendors.
So all of this will mean that we’ll need to grow our team and invest in our talent to learn about how to bring our collective services together. We see our new global footprint and expanded capabilities as a huge opportunity for growth.
What are the challenges facing digital marketers in the coming twelve months?
We’ve been having meaningful discussions with brands around how they think about activating brand and business growth. We all desire to create meaningful brands fueled by consumer-first thinking and data. Many want to know how to action their data and sequence ads and content to work together to keep things fresh and relevant to consumers at any moment.
We’ve also heard a lot about the challenge of maintaining creative quality with programmatic buying. That’s a challenge we’re going to take head-on. We’re bringing high touch creative to programmatic. We plan to roll out a suite of high impact creative formats for programmatic delivery which is something the industry desperately needs.
What do you look forward to most with this partnership?
We look forward to re-imagining what it means to be digital marketing specialists. We are in essence bringing art and science together. Data-driven creative is our art. And with our creative chops combined with the expert minds of NMPi’s analysts, we can push that even further.
We are also looking forward to expanding our global footprint to have service areas in 16 countries and a team of over 340 of the most highly trained experts across search, display, video, social, data and analytics.
Personally, I’m excited about the opportunity to collaborate with our collective of agencies. We’re all specialists in our respective disciplines and we now can work closely and non-competitively on what the future agency model looks like.
What is the most exciting recent development in digital marketing?
Well, to be honest, there are always exciting new developments in digital marketing. We’re always developing emerging formats using new advancements in technology and putting them to work in new ways.
We’re also happy to see that platforms are doing more to create a space to give a creative a voice. Great creative is finally getting a spotlight again which is a huge priority for us.
And lastly, what is your favourite project that you have worked on?
There are so many I consider my favorite, it’s hard to pick just one. A recent favorite would have to be the voice-enabled unit that we worked on with our client and partner True[X] for Amazon Echo. Our team had seen how more and more people were using voice search and we wanted to see if we could put this to work in an ad by using speech to text conversion technology. When True[X] came to us with a voice-activated experience they were working on with Amazon Echo, we had a couple of approaches to recommend. The result was a highly engaging and entertaining voice-enabled ad unit that featured the Echo’s capabilities in a compelling way. This is a great example of the true collaboration we love having with all our partnerships.
Today, we are delighted to announce that NMPi and our sister company, DQ&A, have agreed to acquire a fantastic international digital creative specialist, calledJoystick.
Established in 2006, and now with a team of over 90 digital creative experts in New York, Los Angeles, London, Santo Domingo, and the Philippines, Joystick is a market leading creative specialist with extensive expertise in data-driven dynamic ad technologies, and is one of only two DoubleClick Certified Creative Partners in both the UK and the US.
Joystick works with some really incredible and exciting brands including, Disney, Nissan, HBO, and Kroger. In a recent project for Google, Joystick created a dynamic ad which had over 60,000 different creative variations and was localised for an impressive 22 markets and 7 languages.
We are looking forward to joining forces with a company who shares our belief that the perfect blend of technology, data and artistry makes every execution smarter, more dynamic and more effective.
NMPi CEO, Luke Judge, shared his thoughts on why this acquisition is so important: “As data gives us a better understanding of the consumer and their online journey, we are seeing a rapid shift in the digital ecosystem. It’s no longer about choosing channels to run your marketing activity; now the spotlight is on creating a flawless experience for the consumer. This is exactly why we are focused on reinventing what it means to be a digital marketing specialist, and joining forces with Joystick is a major step in that journey, allowing us to offer a more end-to-end service focused on brilliant customer experience.”
With this acquisition, NMPi is now able to directly offer our clientstargeted campaign solutions including, Dynamic Ads, Programmatic Creative, and Rich Media Display Ads, as well astailored digital experiences with Responsive Website Development, Experiential Apps and Campaign Landing Pages.
We sat down with Sara Francis, CEO of Joystick, to get her thoughts on the agreement: “This is an exciting time for our businesses to come together as one strong force. The alignment could not be more perfect with what we do and where we want to go. We look forward to leading the way in digital innovation and collectively creating a compelling offering for clients.”
With over 18 years experience in digital marketing, Sara is a seasoned executive with extensive knowledge in management, client strategy and business development. For the first part of her career, Sara focused primarily on the entertainment vertical working for such companies as Miramax, Deep Focus and Moxie Interactive. In 2010 Sara joined Joystick to lead the Los Angeles office and account management team company-wide before being elevated to CEO.
Our sister company, DQ&A, is Google DoubleClick’s largest EMEA partner in the technology and professional services field. When combined with Joystick’s DoubleClick Creative Partner status, the acquisition forms a strengthened DoubleClick relationship, further solidifying its strategic offering and authenticity within the digital industry.
CEO of DQ&A, Mike Ossendrijver, added: “We saw a significant gap in the market for a solution that will enable our clients to enhance all aspects of the customer’s online media journey, and we couldn’t be more excited to finally close the marketing loop by combining technology, data, media, and now industry-leading creative services. Digital innovation is at the heart of NMPi and DQ&A, and this acquisition will bring further opportunities for us to drive development with the use of Joystick’s Innovation lab and its deep creative industry knowledge and partnerships.”
This news follows our 2017 global expansion into 6 new markets, including 2 offices in the US, as well as our recent acquisition of U.S boutique Paid Social specialists, MediaPact. With DQ&A also launching in South-East Asia, Australia, Africa and Italy, this only serves to strengthen the marketing group’s international presence and localised expertise. As a group, we are now able to boast a global presence of 340 people across 16 offices.
The acquisition is subject to standard completion procedures and is expected to complete within the month.
If you would like to receive any further information, do not hesitate to get in touch.
NMPi’s London home is in Angel, Islington. A beautiful and lively area of North London, there’s something for everyone: from lunchtime hotspots to post-work bars, theatres to shopping. Still being fairly new to the company and the surrounding area, I asked the company what their favourite spots in the area are. True to form, they did not disappoint.
One thing that can be said about NMPi-ers is we know how to eat, so it is no surprise that I was inundated with restaurant suggestions.
If you’re a red-blooded carnivore, you can’t go wrong with Meat People: amazing atmosphere matched with incredible meat. We love their fantastic service, and you can even bring your own drinks on a Sunday! Don’t know what to order? The natural choice would be the steak, and their chocolate fondant is to die for!
If you’re not as big on meat, another eatery that came up frequently is Rosa’s Thai. There are quite a few of this chain around London, but we’re lucky enough to have one around the corner. You often see a couple of our team bringing Rosa’s Thai bags back to the office for lunch. Firm favourites are Som Tam – a papaya salad – and the butternut red curry. If you’d rather sit in, they do a great lunch menu that is great value for money and delicious!
For a great group meal that you can share, try Afghan Kitchen. A simple decor, and simple Afghan home cooking, makes this a great place for team meals. They focus on hearty stews with subtle spicing, matched with sides such as plain rice or bread.
There are two drinking staples for NMPi. The first is the pub downstairs from the office: the Wenlock and Essex. Our home away from home, you can catch NMPi-ers in here nearly every night of the week – not just for Friday night drinks. It’s perfect for drinks, pizza, or even dancing when Satan’s Circus opens up later on in the night. It’s a fun place to unwind at the end of a busy week, and a staff discount doesn’t hurt.
Sometimes we need a change of scenery, and that’s when we’ll head out to Radicals. Full name Radicals & Victuallers, craft beer is its main game, but you can also rely on it for wine, cocktails and shakes. They have a DJ so it’s another great place for dancing, but it’s not so busy you can’t have a chat. It’s a great atmosphere and one that comes highly recommended.
Stuff to do
One of the biggest benefits of being in London, regardless of where you’re based or how old you are, is the sheer amount of stuff to do. Angel is no different. For those who like a touch of escapism like me, you have either the Almeida or The King’s Head theatres.
The King’s Head is a fringe theatre in the back of a pub, known for its spectacular LGBT seasons and a wide range of styles. From musicals to pub quizzes, plays to live music, it’s a safe haven you can escape to any night of the week. You can also check out the Almeida, known for some of its spectacular productions over the years including Hamlet starring Andrew Scott, the American Psycho musical featuring Matt Smith, and Against with Ben Whishaw. Plus, both of these venues are cheaper than the West End.
Not everyone wants to sit and watch a show for 2 hours, and that’s okay. Some people like to dance and sing karaoke. At Lucky Voice, that’s okay too. Again, there are a couple of these around the country, but we feel very lucky (see what I did there?) that there’s one right on our doorstep. Many a night has been spent belting out our favourite songs until the early hours and generally having a great time.
Being cooped up all day isn’t good for you, and sometimes you just want a nice walk. So much of London, especially the commercial areas, is built up which makes finding some time in nature is really difficult. Angel has a real benefit here: the canals. You can use the cycle paths on your daily commute, and also just for a break. Walking is great for a mental break, and where better to go for a walk than the canals. Just don’t fall in…
Now, these are just some of our top picks, but there’s still loads more I haven’t covered. Angel is one of the best places to explore: it’s bright and colourful, with lots of parks and greenery that you can hang out in and watch the world go by. Think this is an area you want to work in? We’re hiring now, so check out our Careers Page.
We are excited to announce our acquisition of boutique paid social specialists, MediaPact. Following a year of international expansion in 2017, this kicks off another year of continued growth. Last year, we opened 2 offices in the US, and this will further our growth in the Paid Social market: allowing us to grow our presence in the US market, providing benefits not just to our US clients but those across the globe.
MediaPact is based in Los Angeles, California, offering paid social advertising on a performance model and working with clients such as Fabletics, JustFab and Nicequest. With their specific expertise and our international footprint, it’s a match made in heaven that will further develop our Paid Social offering.
Our CEO, Luke Judge, took a moment to discuss what this acquisition means for the company. “We are always looking for ways to strengthen our service offering and from the beginning, it has been clear that NMPi and MediaPact’s similar heritage, rooted in performance marketing, makes us a great match.”
Paid Social has been an integral part of our proposition for a number of years, and this expansion of our knowledge couldn’t come at a better time. MediaPact’s American influence will help support our continued growth in the US market, and will also allow our clients to gain earlier access to Facebook and Instagram betas that are launched overseas first.
“MediaPact’s knowledge will help amplify our expertise and reach for a service that is growing exponentially within our business,” says Judge.
Nathan McCurley, Senior Customer Success Manager at MediaPact, is also looking forward to the partnership. “Social media marketing remains a vital part of our strategic offering and we’re excited for the joint benefits this acquisition will bring.”
This acquisition demonstrates that we have no plans to slow down after 2017’s successes and that we at NMPi will continue to grow, both in terms of our services and our international activity.
We let one of our Partnerships Executives – Shalaka Darshane – loose with our Instagram account and asked her to give us a look a what a Day in the Life looks like for her. She was more than happy to oblige.
9.00 The life of a salesperson involves lots of plate spinning: handling enquiries, planning pitches and taking calls, as well as plenty of out of office time meeting clients and networking. It can mean the days get quite busy! Today, I was heading over to a Webgains event in the afternoon (more on that later), so I needed to fit in as much as I could with only half a day in the office. Since NMPi works with clients across the world, my inbox mysteriously doubles in size overnight, but taking care of emails was made much easier by our charity bake sale for MSF (Doctors Without Borders). I started my day in the right way with a cup of tea accompanied by a brownie, and a cookie, and a slice of cake…
10.00 You can fit the day-to-day work of a salesperson into three boxes: prospecting, pitching and on-boarding. This morning, I was focused on the latter. On-boarding is all about getting fully prepared for a new launch, so I had an internal handover meeting with the Display team to brief them on our new client and make sure everyone is confident in a successful launch.
12.00 A little break to respond to more emails then followed by a weekly catch up with my line manager. Everyone has a lot of support within their teams, and since the Sales team works on some pretty lengthy processes, it’s really important that we know where we are with all of our prospects and clients.
13.00 Lunchtime! Carrying on our fundraising efforts from MSF, we had a pub quiz over lunch. Since it was such a busy day, I was whisked away off-site before I could show off my trivia knowledge.
13.30 Half the day over already. My colleague and I left the office for an afternoon of speed-networking with Webgains, an affiliate network we work with closely. Part of our role is to build relationships with key contacts so there were lots of friendly, familiar faces when we arrived. The event was hosted at The Fable restaurant in Farringdon and we received a goodie bag on entry – perks of the sales life.
The event starts with an ice-breaker quiz and, determined after missing our lunchtime quiz, I managed to win! First prize? A Lindt Easter egg. It tasted of success.
If you’ve ever been to a speed-networking event before, you’ll know that efficiency is key. It’s an effective and productive way of prospecting for new leads and business opportunities. We had 7 minutes with each client: we asked about their brand, ran through our services and got a sense of whether there is an opportunity to partner. With a short break for canapes in between, we’d perfected our pitch by the end of the day, but we were also tired from all the talking! It’s time for a few networking drinks then home time.
Two weeks ago, we let one of our Account Managers – Andy Warby – loose with our Instagram account and asked him to give us a look a what a Day in the Life looks like for him. He was more than happy to oblige.
9:00 Off the train at Waterloo for a quick cycle over to Google’s Central St Giles offices for a roundtable on Local Inventory Ads. These are hugely important for our omnichannel retailers, helping digital to influence in-store sales. Roundtables are an opportunity for representatives from agencies, like me, to meet with the product managers and specialists at Google. It allows us to feed back our experiences using Google’s products – both positive and negative – and also hear about what’s coming up in the pipeline. It’s all top secret stuff under NDA, so I can’t say any more! There’s so much to talk about that the meeting overruns and we end up in Google’s (very fancy) canteen talking through some recent changes that we want to learn more about.
11:15 Back at the office to catch up on yesterday’s performance and the morning’s emails. The team have already done their checks and optimisation, and I’ve had the final draft of a case study we’re working on with DoubleClick come through. All we need is approval from the client for it to be published so I fire off a quick note to our main contact. I check in on a few tests that we’ve got running and things are running sweetly.
12:00 Two back-to-back meetings with the team running through presentations for upcoming client meetings, one this afternoon and one tomorrow. Good preparation means meetings are easy – making sure everyone is confident in what they’re presenting and pre-empting any questions that we’d expect to be asked.
13:00 Every quarter, people from across the business get together for a blog writing lunch. This means we talk through recent and upcoming client tests, strategies and success stories to determine some of the content we’ll push out into the wider world through blogs and case studies. We also get pizza, which greatly assists the creative process.
14:00 After lunch we’ve got a training session with one of our external technology providers, in this instance a company who help our clients protect the usage of their trademarked terms in ad copy. Paid Search is always getting more and more competitive and using third-party verification helps our clients to make sure that they’re not being misrepresented – there are a lot of cheeky agencies out there that’ll employ some underhand tricks to try and get an advantage. With a market monitoring tool, we can quickly identify any rogue behaviour and flag it to Google.
15:00 I’ve got a fashion client in this afternoon for their monthly review meeting. As it’s the end of their financial year we’re also looking back at 2017 as a whole – not to brag but we increased their revenue by 41% vs 2016 so this all goes down quite well. With January taken up by clearance sales, we’ve adopted a slightly different strategy to try and increase basket value from customers. The initial results are promising so we’ll re-test the approach in their next sale.
17:00 We wrap up the meeting with a quick pint or two at the New Rose Inn – where’s the fun in success if you can’t celebrate it! Spending time with clients outside of the boardroom is an undervalued aspect of the agency/client relationship in my opinion – it’s good to take things to an informal setting and connect as people. Sadly it’s our last day working with one of the client’s team so we toast her future success and say our farewells.