NMPi Receives 6 Nominations at International Performance Marketing Awards

Following being shortlisted at the U.S. Search Awards in July, we are thrilled to announce that we’ve been shortlisted in 6 categories at the International Performance Marketing Awards (iPMAs)!

We’ve been nominated for USA Best Performance Marketing Campaign for our work with Onnit in transforming their prospecting campaigns and driving a wider audience to their site. By shaking up their strategy and helping to create a new image, we were able to increase monthly visitors to their website and revenue from first-time purchasers. To find out more about our work with Onnit, check out this case study: A New Mood for Onnit.

We’re also vying for Best Team in Performance Marketing, which involves a public vote! Our amazing team offers smaller advertisers paid search management, display services, and paid social, along with Amazon, comparison shopping services, feed management, and creative solutions, all without the large upfront costs. Vote NMPi for Best Team in Performance Marketing.

Our work with Liverpool Football Club has been nominated for Best Use of Programmatic, while our campaign with Fanatics is up for Western Europe Best Performance Marketing Campaign, Best Use of Data, and Best Paid Search Campaign

The iPMAs will be hosted on October 21st, and the team can’t wait!

NMPi Shortlisted At US Search Awards!

Following on from our success at the Effective Digital Marketing Awards earlier this month, we are very excited to say that we’ve been shortlisted at the US Search Awards for our work with Pets Best Insurance!

We’ve been nominated in both the Best Use of Search – Finance – PPC and Best Integrated Campaign categories for a campaign that saw us improve performance across Paid Search, Paid Social and Display. By uniting all of Pets Best’s channels, we were able to enhance the customer experience and become even more effective online. You can find out more about our work with Pets Best in our case study.

This campaign was crowned the Most Effective Performance Marketing Campaign at the Effective Digital Marketing Awards, so we’ve got our fingers crossed that we’ll have the same luck at the US Search Awards!

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly of Super Bowl LIII

The Super Bowl is possibly the biggest advertising opportunity of the year, closely tied with Christmas ads. Super Bowl ads are a phenomenon apart from the actual game itself: a 30-sec spot would cost an advertiser $5.25 million, and that’s before they hired A-Listers to star in the ad.

With this much money behind them, it’s obvious why they stand in a league of their own. Sometimes, though, advertisers are more concerned with standing out amongst the other celebrities and flashing lights than producing something exceptional.

In this post-game haze, join me in the fantasy dreamland of Super Bowl ads as I lay out the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Super Bowl LIII.

The Good

Naturally, Super Bowl ads are a much higher quality than those at any other point of the year. Brands have bigger budgets, and audiences have bigger expectations. Never-the-less, there were a couple of ads that really stood out.

Amazon’s spot teeters on the line between good and phenomenal. It is saved by 10 seconds of pure genius: Alexa dog collars. Specifically: Harrison Ford’s Alexa dog collar. The concept behind the ad is failed Alexa integrations, with Alexa for Dogs being a definite fail. Ford’s tiny pupper can order dog food, gravy, and even sausages, just by barking. It was an ad that doesn’t take itself so seriously and it proved an overall crowd pleaser.

We’ve all heard the phrase. Many have come to dread it. “Is Pepsi okay?”. In their Super Bowl ad, Pepsi decided that it was time to reclaim the phrase in a loud and proud ad featuring Steve Carrell, Cardi B and Lil Jon.

After the ad was aired, the company then released a full-page piece thanking the people of Atlanta – long-standing Coke Country – for putting aside their differences and helping them to donate meals to people in need and ran a supporting Twitter campaign with the hashtags #PepsiSweepstakesOK #PepsiMoreThanOK. Cross channel advertising at its finest.

Finally comes an ad I didn’t expect to like, but I’m so glad I do. While one might have expected Bumble to have come up with something a lot more flashy, Serena Williams provides a welcome break with an inspirational spot encouraging viewers to make the first move. It’s an uplifting and timely piece that stands out amongst a crowd of loud and excitable ads.

The Bad

To say a Super Bowl ad is bad is simply to say that it is not as good as others. With huge budgets and clearly hours of creative time going into them, they still stand head and shoulders above the ads of the day-to-day. In context though, they aren’t up to snuff.

Olay put together a half-baked horror movie starring Sarah Michelle Geller, who can’t call for help because her phone won’t recognize her face thanks to her youthful looks courtesy of Olay’s products. An interesting concept in and of itself, but was frankly not long enough. Had Olay been more aware of the resources available to them, perhaps this might have been more effective and elicited more than eyerolls from this humble reviewer.

Burger King pulled footage from the archives for their spot to a lukewarm reception. Back in the 80s, Andy Warhol was given a Burger King rather than a McDonalds and they recorded him eating it. That’s the ad. Now, this clip itself is part of an artistic film made by Jorgen Leth in 1982 called 66 Scenes from America.

I surveyed the office, and very few people could tell who it was in the video clip, even with the caption “#EatLikeAndy”. The idea was to make something quiet that would cut through the noise of usual Super Bowl ads but it doesn’t appear to have paid off. As part of the campaign, Burger King sent out Mystery Boxes containing a wig, Burger King bag, and an empty bottle of ketchup so you too could #EatLikeAndy and post your videos on social media. Personally, I prefer to eat like Andy Doghol.

The Ugly

Sometimes brands have more money than sense and it certainly shows in some of the ads in this year’s crop. Cross-over episodes are the name of the game here: some cross-overs I can understand but these? Not so much.  

Bud Light’s “Dilly Dilly” campaign has become something of a cultural phenomenon, with its pervasive catchphrase and medieval setting. However, its latest iteration, featuring Game of Thrones, was perhaps not the best move. Just because both occur in similar time periods does not mean a match made in heaven. Bud Light’s ads are incredibly lighthearted, while Game of Thrones is much more gritty. The reference to The Mountain is a good parody, but the introduction of a dragon is much more jarring. The two don’t quite work, and the result is something so over the top but all over the place.

Another cross-over that joins the ranks of the “Ugly” is the latest Doritos ad featuring Chance the Rapper……..and the Backstreet Boys. I still don’t understand it and I’m not entirely convinced this isn’t a fever dream. Chance on his own would have made a fine ad, but by bringing in the Backstreet Boys, the ad is once again unfocused and in places looks lazy.  Sorry Backstreet Boys, but you should have stayed in the 90s. I’ll always miss you.

A final note

Some ads just don’t fit neatly into a box. Perhaps they’re a cool idea that isn’t executed flawlessly. Expensify falls into this category.

Expensify’s concept was interesting: encouraging viewers to download their app and scan the receipts that appeared for a chance to win money. This in itself is incredibly exciting. Would viewers actively download the app based off the slot? If so, would this be the start of a new wave of advertising? The execution was another story. The ad as a music video is fine: not to my tastes but I could see how others might enjoy it. The introduction featuring Adam Scott, which was necessary to actually make this an ad, is what makes me cringe. Never-the-less, I’ll be keeping an eye on this ad to see if they did get an upswing in downloads and if others begin to take up this kind of “download now” messaging.

Masterclassing New York: The Emotional Journey of Connecting with Customers

You can never underestimate the power of great experience in driving performance, and that great experience relies on connecting with your customers. It’s an emotional journey to get from the moments of wonder to the “I Do”, but in our recent Masterclassing roundtable with sister company Joystick, we gave practical advice for navigating that customer journey.

Making Emotional Connections

It can be hard to think about digital marketing beyond its impact to the bottom line, but we should be striving for truly great marketing that makes us feel something different: be it wonder, curiosity, excitement or fear of missing out. It is those feelings that create an emotional connection with your brand and ultimately establish customer loyalty.

But you aren’t going to make that connection with Paid Search ads that say the same thing or with retargeting ads that follow you around for months regardless of who you are, or emails that clog up your inbox. What we should be doing is putting the romance back into marketing: connecting over time to develop a solid relationship.

Lucky for us, Forrester is predicting that 2019 will be the year that marketing “gets sexy again”. The report claims that CMOs are the executives most responsible for customer experience, which has stagnated year after year. Forrester expects that, in order to combat this, companies will undergo bold brand transformations. They won’t need to rebrand, but Forrester instead predicts that they’ll need to refocus on branding so as to catch the eye of the consumer.

Let’s Start Dating

It all starts with the customer, doesn’t it? And that customer is searching for something. You’ve done your research, pulled your insights but first, you have to meet. So what’s your opening line? How do you stand out from the crowd? You have to meet your customer at a time when you are relevant to them, so pique their interest on Search. They’ll swipe right when they’re ready.

Once you’ve got them interested, it’s time to add some sizzle. With high impact creative you can create excitement.  If you’re a retailer, create an environment which allows them to browse shoppable products set within a real-life setting. By creating these real-life environments you can establish your branding and resonate with the consumer.

You then need to spend some quality time together with personalized dynamic creative. This is where you focus on each other’s interests, build loyalty, and extend your relationship. Say a customer put a tennis racket in their basket but didn’t purchase – target them with a discount code on that racket to encourage their conversion. If they have previously purchased a racket, instead target them with related products like tennis balls.

After you’ve spent some time in a relationship, it’s time to get engaged. Make sure it’s a great experience; frictionless like the iPhone. Make it convenient, such as Warby Parker. And always look for moments to make someone feel special like Eileen Fisher.

If you get the whole thing right, they’re sure to say “I Do”.

Want to view our presentation? You can download the slides from Masterclass on Slideshare.

NMPi AU Crowned “Best Digital Agency” at NORA Awards

We are delighted to be able to say that NMPi AU took home the gold last night at the NORA 2018 Excellence Awards, winning “Best Digital Agency” in the evening’s proceedings.

These awards recognise the best of the best in Solution Providers for the retail industry of Australia. Most importantly, these awards are voted on by the retail industry itself. This win demonstrates our experience and expertise across retail, and that this has translated into real results for our clients.

A big thank you to all the retailers and clients who took the time to vote for us, and a huge congratulations to our amazing team. This award recognises the phenomenal work they’ve been doing to drive performance for our clients and partners.

Check out all of the winners from the evening at Noraawards.com.au.

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 so 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 four 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 localized 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 localized 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.

LIVE NEWS: DoubleClick Tracking Failure

DoubleClick is currently experiencing a technical failure, which DoubleClick engineers are in the process of repairing.

From what we have seen the issue appears to be with DoubleClick’s ability to redirect ads, meaning some users are not able to get through to a landing page.  At the moment it is believed that it is a widespread issue, and likely Global.

What to Do

No timeline has been given for a resolution, and as a result we advise all advertisers using DoubleClick Search to take the following measures in the interim period.

  1. Change automatic sync to manual.
  2. Within AdWords, remove the account tracking template.

For those running display activity via DBM consider pausing your activity, as targeting is based on audiences as oppose to search, where you may not get an opportunity to reach that user again.

However, the exception would be if you are running a promotion, in which case we would recommend keeping it active for retargeting activity.

Removing the tracking template will mean that we are not tracking conversions through DoubleClick but will mean that users are getting to your site without problems.

We have taken these actions with our own clients to protect their paid search campaigns, and have paused paid media activity through Google Shopping, Display run via DBM, and Facebook activity which is tracked via DoubleClick.

Note: If you are using an external tracking solution such as, Marin and Kenshoo, this problem should not be affecting your campaigns.

The problem seems to come in and out, so we recommend keeping a close eye on all of your campaigns.

We are in close contact with multiple teams at DoubleClick as they seek a swift resolution to these difficulties, and we will update this post as soon as we have more information.

NMPi Completes International Expansion with New York & Los Angeles Offices

Today, we are really excited to announce the addition of two new offices to NMPi. Over the past year, we have launched our brand in 8 new markets, including, Australia, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, South Africa, and now New York and Los Angeles in the US!

We currently works with 27 brands in the US including, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Autodesk. “The US has always been an important region for us,” explains Alex Moody, Partnerships Director, North America. “The NMPi team and I are looking forward to catching up with all our US clients and partners over the coming months and exploring the opportunities that a permanent base provides including, broadening our strong relationship with Google which has been a major factor in our global success.”

With the growth of our global office network, we are now offering 24-hour global support for our clients.

“NMPi offices now cover every timezone around the world, giving our clients access to staff 24-hours a day. It’s really exciting for us to be able to offer this level of service for our clients. Their customers aren’t just shopping 9 to 5 on weekdays, so we want to have them covered no matter what,” says Luke Judge, CEO of NMPi.

The launch of NMPi US follows a significant client win for us. In September this year, we began delivering Paid Search, Display, Paid Social and Analytics services for US retail group, Fullbeauty Brands, and seven of their subsidiary companies. Fullbeauty Brands has specialized in plus-size clothing for women and men in the US for over 100 years and includes the popular brands Jessica London, ellos, Woman Within, and King Size Direct.

According to Vice President of Digital Marketing at Fullbeauty Brands, Bobby Missry, “The transition of our paid media channels for 7 brands has been flawless. They truly feel like an extension of the team rather than an agency.”

In July this year, we announced a strategic partnership with global technology company, Pitney Bowes. We are helping them strengthen their industry-leading global e-commerce offering with enhanced consumer marketing solutions, including international paid-search campaigns, display advertising, social media advertising and fully optimized Google shopping experiences.

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

“As a key market for NMPi, the US was the natural next step to continue our international expansion. Relationships like Fullbeauty Brands, Autodesk  and Pitney Bowes are just the beginning, and we are excited to move forward in 2018.”