4 More Nominations for Effective Digital Marketing Awards

We’re excited to announce that the NMPi by Incubeta team has been shortlisted for 4 more awards, following our recent win at the Drum Search Awards and nominations at the Drum Digital Advertising Awards US! This time, it’s the Effective Digital Marketing Awards, run by the team at Masterclassing. The categories are:

Most Effective Tech Platform: NMPi by Incubeta – Delivering Seamless Search for Marks and Spencer

Most Effective Retail or FMCG Campaign: NMPi by Incubeta and Marks and Spencer International – Not All International Markets are Created Equal

Most Effective Search Campaign: NMPi by Incubeta and Tipi – Closing the Online and Offline Gap

Most Effective Paid Social Campaign: NMPi by Incubeta and Eurail – Tapping into Eurail’s Endless Supply of Creatives

A huge congratulations to the teams and clients that worked on these campaigns. While we may not be able to celebrate in person, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for more good news when the winners are announced in September.  Check out the rest of the shortlist here.

NMPi Shortlisted at the Drum Digital Advertising Awards US!

We’re excited to announce that NMPi by Incubeta has been shortlisted in 2 categories at the Drum Digital Advertising Awards US! These awards reward programmatic performance and give recognition to the best in the programmatic and ad-tech industry in the US.

We’re proud to be in the running for:

Best Paid Social Campaign – NMPi for Eurail – Blending Organic and Paid Social with UGC

Most Effective Use of Data – NMPi for Marks & Spencer – Not All International Markets are Created Equal

You can learn more and check out the rest of the shortlist here.

Winners are announced on June 23rd, and the team can’t wait!

MythBusting: Facebook’s Server-to-Server Integration

Here at NMPi by Incubeta, intelligent, accurate attribution is always front and center of our decision making. Social has always required a slightly different approach from our other performance channels due to the extremely limited insight available via third party tracking solutions. I wrote on this a couple of years ago here and sadly, not much has changed. It has always been, more or less, Facebook’s way or the highway. This is particularly the case with post-view interactions, where historically Facebook has only allowed third-party tracking such as from Google Marketing Platform on certain targeting groups. The insight you can gain from this small section of your activity is also extremely limited in scope; only allowing you to verify impressions delivered, but not attribute sales.

As a result of this, there was considerable excitement at NMPi HQ (or our respective bedrooms/kitchens/garden sheds) when reading that Facebook & Google are taking some steps towards playing nice together. This consists of server-to-server integration, which is essentially communications between Facebook’s servers and a third party via API, in this case, Google Campaign Manager. This isn’t a new tool, you can already use server-to-server integration to attribute offline conversions and other data points to Facebook. However, there has been some confusion around the capabilities of the Campaign Manager integration specifically.

A Breakthrough for Social Attribution?

While some commentators have heralded this move as a gamechanger for Social attribution, the reality is much less groundbreaking. Server-to-Server integration with Campaign Manager will only allow impression counting and verification, rather than more in-depth information about post-impression conversions. Instead, the biggest opportunity that this change offers is the ability to eventually allow impression counting across all target types, including pixel-based audiences, lookalikes, dynamic, and more.

Marketers have been crying out for a way to properly attribute Facebook’s post-view conversions and to be able to understand them within the context of their wider marketing mix. This change doesn’t solve this problem. Currently, all that is being shared across is a validation that the impression was served and the environment in which it was served. To allow post-view attribution, Facebook would have to share across a common identifier for the user that Google can read and match to a conversion. They can then place this in the wider path to purchase of this user, alongside all other channels tracked via Google Campaign Manager. However, this would likely lead to some issues with GDPR or CCPA around sharing this user data over – even if Facebook opted to do so – and any solutions to enable this would require more data being shared between the two tech giants.

A Step in the Right Direction

Server-to-server integration as a tool, in general, does certainly offer marketers an opportunity to gather more insights into the performance of their social campaigns. Most of the applications of this integration are designed to attribute more sales to Facebook ads (e.g. store & affiliate site conversions). However, we can still hope and this is certainly a step in the right direction in terms of sharing data more openly and effectively between Facebook & Google. There are unfortunately a few more hurdles to clear before we can start to glean full insights into the post-view performance of our Social campaigns.

Webinar Wrap-Up: SEO to the Rescue

In the fifth installment of Incubeta’s Virtual Learning Series, Joe Comotto brings his knowledge of SEO to highlight how this often overlooked practice can play an important role in getting your business through the pandemic and into the new normal.

The coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns have seen marketers cutting back, or even entirely removing, their marketing spend. With a dependence on paid media, we often find that brands overlook the role that SEO can play for your business. As budgets decrease, now is the time to evaluate your strategy to find a place for investment and prioritization in SEO; doing so will help your business to get through the storm and into the new normal.

To give you an idea of the change in the landscape to date, 1 in 3 consumers have already changed their approach to shopping. Google Search ads – the starting point of many a digital advertising campaign – lost 7% of their impressions from January 13th, 2020 to March 9th, 2020. Finally, with the vast majority of the population now at home, we’re seeing a huge increase in mobile usage. With these shifts, there is an opportunity for SEO professionals and content marketers to ramp up their impact, creating content that drives conversions now and builds their brand long term.

In his webinar, Joe highlighted the top 6 tips for anyone wanting to invest more in their SEO strategy during this period, including some areas that should be your immediate focus for right now.

Be Aware of the Trends

Search behavior is changing rapidly, so it’s more important than ever to stay on top of market trends. Tools such as Google Trends will be incredibly useful here to help you identify new keywords and themes.

For example, we’re seeing customers moving online in increasing numbers, and instructional searches – think “how to’s” and recipes – have risen dramatically since the lockdown began. Searches for exercise classes online have quickly overtaken those for exercise classes “near me” as people look for workouts that they can do without leaving the house.

Schema

Schema markup is a specific kind of code you can add to your site to help search engines return more informative results for users; think rich snippets! Naturally, this means that Google loves schema, and it really helps your brand stand out in the SERP.

There are 818 different kinds of schema to take advantage of. Some common types you might already recognize (or even be using!) include FAQ, HowTo, Opening Hours, and Item Availability, but there’s new COVID-19 related schema that you can make use of throughout this period. These can be really useful when you’re looking to provide date-stamped updates for things like travel bans or school closures, as well as to indicate where an event may have been canceled or moved online.

In terms of implementation, it’s fairly straightforward as most have a CMS plugin you can use. You don’t need any coding skills to be able to get set up and there are lots of free tools available to create and validate the schema.

Content

Customers will likely have many questions about your brand’s approach to COVID, so make sure to keep them updated with relevant FAQ content. A lot of this content can then be repurposed or slightly modified for a post-lockdown world, giving you evergreen content that you can continue to share.

Instructional pieces on how to care for and clean products will be useful to your current customers, as well as anyone researching how to care for specific products during lockdown. Similarly, consumers will be looking for activities to stave off the boredom, so DIY guides will likely see some good performance over this period.

It’s also worth noting that many consumers will be limiting their spending throughout this period, so creating content that’s tailored to the awareness and consideration stages of the marketing funnel. With more people working from home, a retailer might see success from a piece around how to style a perfect WFH outfit. Advice on how to make money go further will also likely be appreciated and helps to present yourself as a thought leader within your space. When those consumers are ready to purchase again, your business should then be front of mind.

Business Listings

During this period, it is crucial that your Google My Business Listing is up to date. This way, you can quickly and easily let customers know if your store is temporarily closed, so your customers don’t leave the house for a closed shop. You can also let your customers know if you’re providing a pick-up service and add special hours to your listing. If you own thousands of stores, Google has made this easier by providing the ability to update your special opening hours in bulk.

Google recently updated their Google My Business support to prioritize listings for critical health businesses, as well as any new listings, claims, and verifications for these businesses. The Review and Q&A functionality, on the other hand, has been disabled for the time being.

Speed

Page speed is somewhat of an outlier here, as it’s certainly not a quick win and you’ll likely need additional support from your developer team. However, if you have the bandwidth, capacity and the time to look at increasing your page load speed then it will pay dividends in the future – not only to your SEO but your paid media as well.

For most organizations, we strongly recommend that you look into AMP, with the exception of retailers as there is a lot more additional work required to maintain it. But, if you’re pushing out lots of news or updates, AMP is the best way to get that information out there and featured on Google’s Carousel. If you have the time and resources to invest here, it’s certainly worth the returns.

Plan and Measure

The most important point to take away from this is the need to plan and measure. One of the biggest problems we have as SEOs is proving the value of what we do, so being able to get enterprise-level focus on SEO and educating people internally is key to keeping SEO on the table.

The best way to do this is to relate your goals and KPIs back to business measurable outcomes. More often than not, if you want to get C-Suite buy-in, you’ll need to relate everything you do back to revenue. You need to show that your action caused a specific increase in revenue. By planning effectively and understanding the best way to measure, this will ultimately allow you to keep SEO on the table as a priority for the business.

This post was originally published on incubeta.com

NMPi’s Proprietary Tech Wins at Drum Search

Award ceremonies might have moved online, but that won’t stop us from celebrating our latest award win. We are delighted to announce that at this year’s Drum Search Awards, our work with M&S won the award for SEO & PPC – Most Effective Use of Technology, for our proprietary technology Seamless Search.

Working with Marks and Spencer, we developed a machine learning tool that allowed the retail giant to manage their paid and organic search holistically.

A huge congratulations to the team who worked on this project, and we hope to be able to announce more award wins in the coming weeks.

Breakthrough Nomination at Campaign Tech Awards!

Here at NMPi, we may be working from home, but we’re continuing to work harder than ever!

Our hard work has clearly paid off, and we’re excited to be able to share that we’ve received a nomination at the Campaign Tech Awards! The awards celebrate the industry’s most innovative tech-driven work that shows best-in-class creativity or collaboration to deliver effective marketing solutions for brands.

We’re proud to be in the running for the “Breakthrough Tech” Award for our proprietary search technology.

Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, we’re excited to attend the digital awards ceremony on June 22nd – and we’ll be raising our glasses from the comfort of our homes.

This is our 7th award nomination of 2020, following our nominations at the PMA’s and the Drum Search Awards.

You can learn more and see the rest of the shortlist for the Campaign Tech Awards here!

#CampaignTechAwards

Webinar Wrap-Up: The Feed Maturity Pyramid

Incubeta’s Head of Product Development, Fred Maude, provided insights into Feed Management best practices and the Feed Maturity Pyramid in his latest webinar. Offering actionable guidance and an overview of each maturity stage, Fred’s session is a fantastic introduction into the world of feed maturity.

If you want to supercharge your marketing efforts, there’s one key element that you should be focusing on getting right: your feeds. Feeds contain all of the memories of past campaigns, products, and customers. So, when set up correctly these memories or your past data can not only be the backbone of your marketing efforts but also have a profound impact on your business as a whole.

To make feeds the center of your business, you can work through the Feed Maturity Pyramid, which not only highlights where you currently sit in your feeds journey, but also how to layer each subsequent stage. If you try and jump in at the top of the pyramid without laying the foundations, you’re likely to come crashing back down.

Laying the Foundations

There are two key parts to laying your feeds foundations. The first is to ensure that your data is reliable and accurate. Specifically, this relates to both your pricing and your stock; which can be broken down into 6 subcategories.

  • Standard and Sales Pricing should be updated in line with sector standards and must match the data on-site. This can be as regular as minute-by-minute for gambling and ideally hourly for most retail. Getting it right unlocks the ability to have dynamic messaging in your ads.
  • Including Shipping Labels becomes important when you’re sending your feeds to third parties as it allows you to control this information so it doesn’t become out of date.
  • Monitoring both stock and pricing, and overlaying this with your own data governance alerts, gives you the peace of mind that you’re catching and fixing any mistakes or issues as soon as they happen.
  • With pricing taken care of, you can then look at both Availability and Stock Levels. Most people do have availability in their feeds but stock levels don’t tend to feature. With this information you can look at sell-through rates, predicting stock outages and adding some urgency to your messaging.

Once you’re happy that the data is accurate, you’ll need to ensure that it’s put through continuous and rigorous testing. Times change, and you’ll need to make sure that you’re reinventing your best practices to fall in line with these changes.

Leveraging Your Data

With the foundations laid, you are then able to move on to leveraging your own data. First of all, you can loop your performance data back into your standardized feed, labeling products based on how they’re performing both as a whole, and across different channels. Crucially, by pulling your performance data into the feed, you are creating a feedback loop into all channels tearing down those silos.

Stock and returns is another useful dataset to be incorporating into your feed, especially for businesses in the travel sector. For example, it allows you to keep track of when you might want to pause ads for a product because seats or supplies are selling quickly, so why spend money advertising them!? On top of this, you can also track return rates, and hence give yourself a true picture of profitability. In other words, you have your product demand and product quality directly pushed into your feed and optimize to a true ROAS.

Taking this even further, and perhaps most importantly in the current climate, is to incorporate your margin into the feed. This way, you are able to optimize to a margin of ad spend – thus allowing you to ensure profitability at all times. Guaranteeing this kind of efficiency, especially in our uncertain economy, can only benefit your business’s stability and longevity.

Share Your Insights

With an increasing demand for centralization, there’s a lot that can be done within your feeds to help you along the way. Most accounts will have their central feed which is pushed out to their various channels, and the different teams that look after them. Each individual team will then set up their own automation, processes, and testing – often leading to huge amounts of repetition as well as some insights being overlooked by the various agencies and channel leads. In the long run, this will cost you a huge amount of both money and time and you’re not being efficient with the data you’ve got.

Instead, automation and testing should be sitting with your central feed wherever possible. This way, you’re sending the results of this to all your teams, creating a huge amount of efficiencies; saving you time and money in the long run. As you build out these testing frameworks, remember to keep all of your agencies in the loop as this allows everyone to learn together.

Utilize External Data

Having reached the top of the Feed Maturity Pyramid, you can now start to undertake some of the really exciting projects that can be done using external data. Before you get swept up in this stage, go back and doublecheck all of your foundations to this point are set up correctly and accurately. Once you have that peace of mind, you can jump into utilizing external data to supercharge your feeds.

Our internal teams have seen some huge successes in integrating sports fixtures and team performance into feeds for our sports clients. Clothing retailers can bolster their feeds by incorporating weather data, as it can help to serve the perfect product to a user based on their current weather and pollen conditions. There’s a lot of different examples here that can allow you to optimize your campaigns based on external factors that are outside of your control but can have huge impacts on consumer buying habits.

As has been reiterated throughout this session, we cannot overstate the importance of layering up your feed activity. Each step of this pyramid requires a solid foundation, else you risk becoming unstuck. Getting this right unlocks a whole host of exciting projects that you can undertake using both your own and external data, however, and the impact on your campaigns as a whole is sure to blow you away.

Shopping Free Once Again!

In a piece last July, I explored how Google was returning to an old system through its Comparison Shopping Services (CSS) platform, which is active in Europe. Those with a few years of digital experience will likely see the striking resemblance between CSS click-throughs and the lost world of bridging pages between Google and merchant websites.

Now, Google seems to be making a return to 2012 with the return of free shopping listings – not seen on the platform in 8 years. 

Free shopping listings will come into effect in the US on April 27th and are expected to be rolled out across the world within months. As marketers get ready for this new type of listing, there’s one question that hangs in the air. Why now?

The Timing

It’s a secret to absolutely no one that the meteoric rise of Amazon as a Shopping destination over the last few years has taken a significant share of the market away from Google – and it’s easy to see why.  Amazon’s wide-reaching product selection is a huge plus for users, and their ranking model – which sees products ranked purely based on certain attributes rather than bids – is reflective of what drew users to Google’s core product in the first place.

With advertisers slashing budgets left and right in response to the current pandemic, we’re seeing fewer and fewer listings on the Google Shopping tab as you can’t be listed without spending. It seems that in response, Google has naturally sped up their timeframes for launching free shopping listings for fear of falling any further behind Amazon as the go-to starting point for a consumer’s shopping journey.

There have also been some reports that, after the initial boom, Amazon is now struggling with its listings and fulfillment for some of its largest sellers. Perhaps Google believes that by creating a Marketplace with a low barrier to entry, they can create a larger pool of products than Amazon can at this time. Hopefully, by bringing consumers over now and building a habit, customers will stick with you afterward. 

The benefits for Google and consumers are numerous, but what about the impact on merchants? How will this change the way we run our paid campaigns; from 3rd-party tracking to measuring performance across both organic and paid shopping. In short, how will we have to adapt?

Preparing for Success

If you’ve already opted into the Surfaces Across Google program, you’ll automatically be opted into Organic Shopping. When it comes to measuring performance here, it’s important to note that organic ads will only be appearing within the Shopping Tab, which means they’re going to have a relatively small impact on volumes. Estimates suggest that the volumes coming through the Shopping Tab make up between 5-10% of totals, which is still enough to have an impact on your campaigns.

The actual volumes could be even smaller than that, as current communications say the shopping tab will be “mostly” free. The specifics of this are anyone’s guess, but there are a number of steps you can take to ensure that the impact of this new ad format is measured properly.

To ensure you’re accurately measuring your performance, we recommend that you apply your Google and Adobe tracking parameters to your Merchant Center so you can continue to monitor volumes across all shopping types within your analytics platform. We also recommend that you place an additional level of parameters so you can differentiate between the two sources of traffic; which should mean you can measure the impact of organic shopping on your performance. 

We will also be taking snapshots of the Shopping Tab results on some of our key terms, so we can monitor how changes have affected the results within the tab. This will be a key step in learning how we can influence the shopping tab going forward.

Over time, it will be important to closely monitor your CPCs. While most merchants are already listed in shopping, any new entrants to the space as well as fewer spots to compete for may cause CPC inflation – leading to increased costs within the SERP. Yes, counterintuitively Google’s free Shopping could lead to you spending more overall.

Who Wins Out?

If Google is ranking listings based on all the same criteria as before, without the bid coming into play, then those with the best feeds will have the best chance of winning in this space. Running an audit to understand your current feed, and optimizing based on the findings, will give you a strong basis here. You can find some tips on getting the best out of your feed in our recent webinar.

There is also a chance that Google will take a more handheld approach to the new world; perhaps using some of the more well-known SEO drivers, such as authority, relevance, and credibility to decide who will show. However, this could make it more difficult for smaller brands to appear within the Shopping Tab in the future. To help prepare for this, find ways for your paid teams to work more closely with the SEO team to ensure your feeds are optimized for the right terms and phrases that people are searching for. 

Ultimately, we don’t know what the real impacts and results of changes will be until Organic Shopping is rolled out. All we can do is set up to measure impacts and plan for every eventuality. The only constant is change in our industry, and I for one welcome it as an exciting opportunity to demonstrate our adaptability.

We will be analyzing the impact closely in the US, so stay tuned for the results.

Rethinking CBD Advertising With Display

The Cannabidiol (CBD) market has taken off in the United States and across the world in recent years, and competition has grown online. While most traditional brands look to paid media to reach new consumers and grow their business, CBD companies are forced to navigate a murky media landscape filled with regulations and restrictions. 

Advertising policies across Google, Bing, and Yahoo can make it next to impossible to market CBD products on search, and paid social advertising is just as difficult. However, brands can find success with display advertising alongside a unique approach. While marketers have to look outside typical advertising platforms and tools, such as Google’s popular Display & Video 360, there is still ample opportunity to connect with your target audience online to drive traffic and conversions.

Getting the Foundation Right

The key to effective CBD advertising is targeting. There are a variety of reasons that people seek out and use CBD, so it’s important that you have correctly defined and understood your audience segments. Some may need a sleep aid, while other consumers are looking for an anxiety remedy for themselves (or even a pet). With the spectrum of use cases, it’s all about showing the right person the right message.

Segmentation and targeting can be tricky since each use of CBD has multiple target audiences. For example, joint pain relief can be relevant for both older adults and retired athletes, but the messaging needs to be tailored for each specific group.

Accompanying creative must also be chosen carefully, as certain imagery will only be applicable to particular segments. A 34-year-old may be turned off by a brand that advertises “arthritis relief” alongside a picture of an elderly couple, and instead looks for a product that better aligns with their needs and demographic.

Tailoring your creative by segment makes your ads more relevant (Source: Unsplash)

Following Through on Targeting

There are different ways to ensure your target audience is seeing the right advertising. Establishing separate landing pages for each use of your product, such as relaxation and sleeping, helps keep your message to each segment clear. 

With properly-set logic in your campaign, users will be directed to the corresponding landing page that details the relevant benefits of your product. Consumers seeking pain relief won’t be confused by promises of a better sleep, making the buying experience more straightforward and streamlined, thus increasing conversions.

Leveraging creative capabilities is also an effective method to protect your brand image across segments. It may be tempting to generate and use a single set of creatives across your campaigns to save time and money, but you sacrifice a degree of personalization that drives traffic and sales.

Data-driven creative, powered by your first-party data, helps you display relevant ads that speak to a consumer’s specific needs and mindset, putting your product in the perfect context. The success of your creative strategy is dependent on the quality of your data, so it’s essential that your website is tagged correctly and any platforms work in unison.

Maximizing Conversions

With the foundations of your targeting strategy in place, you can look to several effective methods for maximizing your conversions. Retargeting is an important component of any display campaign, as it keeps your brand top-of-mind and encourages consumers to return to your site. Highlighting new sales/offers or showing items left behind in a cart can entice users on the fence to click that final ‘Place Your Order’ button, especially if your retargeting is based on the specific use(s) they are interested in.

The placement of your ads can highly influence the success of your campaign as well, and certain websites perform better than others. Categories that are aligned with the various uses of CBD products tend to do well, such as personal care and beauty. Placements are also effective on recreation and shopping sites, as users are already in a browsing and purchasing mindset. 

With the influx of new competition in the CBD market, retaining repeat customers is just as valuable as winning new ones. In addition to typical retargeting, sequential and time-based strategies allow you to advertise to consumers when they’re expected to finish their products and start looking to replenish. Catching these users at the right time makes them more likely to return to your brand after a positive experience, which can also help you improve your ROI.

CBD advertising isn’t straightforward. Regulatory hurdles make it difficult for brands to find an effective solution, but there are still opportunities to promote your products and reach new customers online. With the right display advertising strategy, you can navigate this confusing landscape and improve performance, beating out the competition.

The Evolution of Search Affiliates

Digital marketing is now in its third decade of existence, with many of the practices founded during its infancy still being implemented today. Even in these early years, when brands faced issues with organically growing through methods such as SEO and email marketing, they reached for new paid channels to sustain growth. Online affiliate marketing was one of these new disciplines, which helped brands expand to new audiences and increase traffic to their site, in the hope of generating more sales.

A key part of the affiliate industry was and still is the publisher, a business that markets an advertiser’s products or services on their behalf. Publishers are typically remunerated on a performance model, where they are paid a commission after having driven a conversion (a purchase, lead, download, etc.) on an advertiser’s site. In these early years, affiliates were often sites that simply recommended or reviewed certain products in an attempt to get a customer to click the product and make a purchase.

With the foundations of the digital affiliate model in place, several business models sprang up, leveraging the tracking and payment technology that affiliate networks had to offer. In this article, we’ll go into detail about one of those business types – search affiliates. How did search affiliates begin, where are they today, and how does NMPi fit into all of this?

What Is a Traditional Search Affiliate?

With the emergence of Google AdWords (known today as Google Ads) and other search marketing platforms in the early 2000s, digital marketers swarmed to this new marketing channel. 

While it’s hard to imagine today, marketers were initially wary of this new advertising technology, concerned about fraudulent traffic and its potential to even drive noticeable performance. Affiliates were soon to capitalize on these emerging platforms, however, realizing the high risk/high reward they had to offer. Search Affiliate Marketing is similar to traditional affiliate advertising, but instead leverages search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing to drive traffic and conversions for advertisers.

This came as an advantage to nascent in-house marketing teams, as the affiliates ran campaigns and fronted the ad spend, minimizing risk and preserving ROI for advertisers. This pure performance model acted as a natural incentive for the affiliates to perform to the best of their capabilities in order to not operate at a loss because of inefficient paid search campaigns.

Where Is Search Affiliate Marketing Today?

With the slow commoditization of paid search, brands began to bring increasing proportions of their PPC activity outside of the affiliate channel, in favor of working with an agency or managing in-house. Google also placed increasing pressure on search affiliates to improve the search experience and attract more marketing dollars from established brands.

With affiliates no longer able to serve ads directly to an advertiser’s website, new ways of working were quickly established that still leveraged the power of search engines. Indirect linking search affiliates such as coupon and cashback sites emerged, serving on ‘brand-plus’ keywords (also known as TM+) to drive traffic and performance.

You’ll often see coupon sites today providing specific promotions for brands via their paid search ads. These affiliates, just like their ‘90s counterparts, earn a commission off each conversion that falls within their attribution model.

Cashback sites are also common versions of modern search affiliates, driving a large proportion of traffic to their sites via search engine marketing. The commission earned by these publishers is often passed in whole or part back to customers as an incentive for using their site.

Where Does NMPi Fit Into the Picture?

By the early 2000s, there were countless search affiliates engaging in PPC activity via the affiliate channel. NMPi (known at the time as Net Media Planet) joined the fray in 2004 and began supporting advertisers in a wide range of industries, countries, and search engines.

For the reasons mentioned above, many of these paid search publishers ceased to exist or diversified into other areas. Despite these industry pressures, a small group of search affiliates survived and continued to offer performance-based solutions to their clients.

From that changeable time, NMPi emerged and expanded its offering. While paid search continued to be a valuable service, we expanded our pure-performance solutions to Google Shopping, paid social, and programmatic display.

Why Is This Useful Today?

With the emergence of search affiliate marketing came the opportunity for brands to launch paid search campaigns via affiliates on a commission-based model, minimizing risk while improving performance.

Due to industry developments, the viewpoint of what a ‘search affiliate is’ slowly shifted to cashback and coupon sites. Brands looked for ways to leverage search engine marketing in the affiliate space that didn’t overlap with their in-house or agency-managed PPC.

In this time of uncertainty, where advertisers are unsure of the ROI they will receive from their ad spend, might this be an opportunity to revisit this business model that founded what we know as search affiliates today?