NMPinsider: 5 Minutes with a Graduate Apprentice.

Here at NMPi, we like to boast that our workforce is made up of some of the greatest minds in the Digital Marketing Industry.  We pride ourselves on hiring a diverse range of staff, with varying levels of experience, across a multitude of positions. It’s not rocket science that young talent is important, as proven by the 17-year-old intern at NASA that discovered a planet on his third day on the job.

It’s #NationalApprenticeWeek this week. Whilst we’re not on the hunt for a new planet, we thought we’d give you an NMPinsider look into what you can expect from an apprenticeship at a leading digital marketing agency. We got our resident Degree Apprentice to give us the lowdown…

5 minutes with Sam Seylani: Graduate Apprentice Account Executive, Agency Team. 

So, Sam. You’re a “Degree Apprentice” for us here at NMPi. Could you explain what this means, and how this role works?

After I finished my A-Level studies in the summer, I applied for a degree apprenticeship role at NMPi. 2 interviews later, and I was hired as an Account Executive on the agency team. A degree apprenticeship combines full time paid work with part-time degree-level study.

I work full time at NMPi and travel up to Manchester Metropolitan for a couple of days every month (25 days per year) where I study for my BSC Digital Marketing Degree. We get assignments to complete, and I am given time to work on these at NMPi. 20% of my work hours are spent completing assignments, going to interactive Q&A sessions with my lecturers or participating in any other ‘off-the-job’ training.

It’s 9:00am, you’ve just arrived at the Incubeta Office. What does a general day look like for an Apprentice?

I usually start my day by catching up with my mentor, on what I need to complete in the day ahead. I work on a couple of client accounts so I spend a lot of time making sure our clients are happy, and making the desired changes to their accounts. These requests can vary from editing ads to creating budget monitors. this gives me a really detailed look into the way digital ad campaigns are run. 

At lunchtime, a group of us will usually find somewhere around Old Street to eat. We get office lunch provided once a fortnight, or we do a vote for where to go and eat out on a Friday, which is always an important topic of conversation. After eating, quite a lot of us will gather around the table football table in the office breakout area. Competition levels are high, with a league ongoing. Some people take this a little too seriously!

After lunch, I split my time between working on my university assignments, or tasks for the agency team. I get to split my time and can work on these assignments during my working week. 

A Degree Apprenticeship is a popular choice for students now-a-days. What skills have you learnt from your time here at NMPi so far?

I feel that since I joined NMPi in September, my communication skills have improved a lot. Being given the opportunity to interact with clients on a regular basis, has given me the confidence to speak to clients on a B2B basis. Working at NMPi has also given me the experience of working in an office environment at a relatively young age. I knew I wanted to go into a Degree Apprenticeship, as I felt it would suit me better than full-time study, for example; by the time my university course finishes, I will have gained 4 years’ worth of incredibly useful work experience which is so beneficial and will help with my personal progression. 

I’ve also learnt so much about the industry itself. It’s great that I can apply the knowledge I’m studying, in real-time, which is helpful because Digital Marketing is such a fast-paced industry.

We love having you as part of our hardworking team, but It’s not all hard work though, right? What’s your favourite part about working for NMPi?

My favourite part about working at NMPi is the culture. We all manage to find time for a lot of laughs whilst also remaining hard working. We get great training, which means we’re always developing our skills. Despite being the youngest person at the company, everyone has made me feel welcome and I really feel like part of the family now! There’s people of all ages here so it’s very inclusive. 

After work, my colleagues and I often stay back to get a bit of extra practice on our table football skills, or take part in one of the company social nights, which range from games nights to tropical themed parties. We also have office drinks on a Friday or go to a nearby bar to have a drink and play some pool or darts. 

If you’re interested in working for NMPi, check out our careers page.

#NAW2020 #fireitup #Lookbeyond

 

NMPi’s Top Blogs of 2019

Here at NMPi, our teams love to share their knowledge and insights. Whether that’s through training or through blogs, they’ve got heaps of expertise to share. We’ve pulled together some of our favourite blogs from throughout 2019 – so check them out below and enjoy!

G|B|U of Super Bowl LIII

The Super Bowl is one of the biggest advertising opportunities available for US-based brands, and the price of just a 30-second placement is astronomical. In some cases though, it becomes apparent that brands spend their whole Super Bowl budget just on the placement, rather than the content within it. In this edition of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, we measured up some of the best and the worst ads from this year’s game. 

From Dates to Data: NMPi’s Love Island Prediction 2019

It’s one of the staples of a British Summer: beer gardens, Pimms, and Love Island. We decided to bring two of the things we love most in the world – data and reality TV – together to see if we could predict the winners of this year’s Love Island. Spoiler: while we got the result of the show wrong, we weren’t wrong overall. Make of that what you will.

Navigating the Top Search Tips for Travel

The customer journey has always been a complicated beast, but none more so that the journey to booking a holiday. In this deep dive, we looked into some of the best ways for travel brands to make the most of Paid Search. As we move into peak season, this might be a good refresher of some quick wins!

Meet BERT – Google’s Latest Updates

Updates to Google’s algorithm usually appear with no advance warning, but have a significant impact on how marketers handle their SEO efforts. BERT – introduced in late October – has been heralded the most important update of the last 5 years and marks a shift towards conversational search. In this piece, our SEO experts walk through what BERT will mean for the average marketer, and what we might able to infer about where Google is heading. 

Amazon: The Missing Piece of the User Journey

Amazon has become a hot topic for retailers these days as their market share grows and more and more budget is funnelled into Amazon Advertising. Peter Munton’s presentation from PI Live proved so popular that we ran his talk again as a webinar, and wrote up the notes for our blog. If you missed it earlier in the year, you can brush up now. 

And an Extra….

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention our, perhaps ill-advised, sequel to our 2017 General Election predictions that we released earlier this week. Using search data, we’ve predicted the outcomes of key swing seats and, thus, the election as a whole. At the time of writing, we don’t know how accurate we are – but if it’s anything like last time, we should be fairly close!

So that’s it! Our top blogs of 2019! What were your favourites, and what would you like us to blog about next year? Let us know on social media or in the comments below. 

The Sky’s the Limit for Incubeta’s New Office

We’re excited to announce that Incubeta have moved to a new home in Old Street.

NMPi, Joystick and DQ&A have moved into the 16th floor of the Bower, marking the first time Incubeta UK can all be found under one roof. 

On Tuesday, CEO of Incubeta UK and US, Luke Judge welcomed staff to the brand new office, expressing his pride and excitement in the “15 years, 250 staff, and the history of the business [that] has brought us here.”

James Sleaford, MD of DQ&A UK & IE is equally enthusiastic about the move. “We have been on such an exhilarating journey since launching in the UK two years ago. This new space is the physical representation of the hard work that we have put in; I can’t wait to see what we can achieve next”.

Media, Data and Creative all under one roof.

The custom built space features 360° panoramic views of London’s iconic skyline, and is a perfect match for the size and identity of Incubeta UK today, and where it is going. The office also boasts the latest video collaboration technology, 120 person auditorium, as well as a library, and creative breakout spaces. Old Street is known as the ‘cultural crossroad’ of London, suiting our vision and placing us in the prime location for partnership visits and events. 

We look forward to welcoming our clients and partners in to take a look over the coming months, and have a dedicated client and partner collaboration and hot-desking space, to help provide an office-from-office facility.

Company Values in the Custom Built office space.

If you want to see more from Incubeta, Register Here to sign up to our upcoming September Seminar, Incubeta Ignite: A Decade in Focus. Held at Google Kings Cross on the 26th September 2019. 

 

You can find us here:

NMPi/Incubeta

16th Floor

207 Old Street

London 

EC1V 9NR

 

NMPi Shortlisted at UK Digital Growth Awards

We’re thrilled to announce that we have been shortlisted for yet another award for our innovative data-driven strategies!

Last month, we celebrated our success at the UK Biddable Awards, The Drum Marketing Awards, and the PMA’s. Then celebrations continued this May, when we were shortlisted for four awards at the Effective Digital Marketing Awards.

Now, we’re on another shortlist – this time with the UK Digital Growth Awards! These awards reward excellence in UX, CRO and Search, where campaigns have driven tangible growth and results.

We’ve been shortlisted for ‘Best Use of Data’ for our campaign with Liverpool FC – making this the 7th Award our Liverpool campaign has been shortlisted for.

Our partnership with Liverpool on their display campaign has already achieved 3 award wins in 2019, proving to be a real showcase of talent for our groundbreaking and successful campaigns.

We’ll let our very own Anna Jorysz’s presentation on our “data-driven approach” to success show you how well deserved this nomination is.

Keep your fingers crossed and watch this space on the 17th July!

 

NMPi Scores at the International Performance Marketing Awards

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.

A Day in the Life: Lucy Smith

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 Joins the BIG Alliance

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.  

NMPi and DQ&A Complete Acquisition of Creative Specialist, Joystick

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.

Joystick will be making their first official outing as part of the family at our July seminar, “Great Experience: Where Art and Science Meet.”

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.

Introducing: Sara Francis, CEO of Joystick

A few weeks ago NMPi announced that we would be acquiring US creative specialists, Joystick. We are very excited to have Joystick’s entire leadership team, including Sara Francis, remain on post-acquisition.

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.

 

NMPi to Acquire Creative Specialist, Joystick

Today, we are delighted to announce that NMPi and our sister company, DQ&A, have agreed to acquire a fantastic international digital creative specialist, called Joystick.

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 clients targeted campaign solutions including, Dynamic Ads, Programmatic Creative, and Rich Media Display Ads, as well as tailored 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.