[Case Study] Real-Time Visability of Snow Heights for Transavia

When a consumer looks to book a ski holiday, they think about clear blue skies and white slopes. However, over the past few years, we have learned that there is no guaranteed there will be snow in Europe, and consumers have begun to want confirmation of snow conditions before booking a flight.

For one of our Netherland’s  clients ski holidays are an incredibly important part of their business. Transavia asked NMPi Netherlands to help them take advantage of the unpredictability of snowfall in top ski destinations where they fly.

Goal

Traditional programmatic display campaigns are distributed regardless of weather conditions. What we looked to do if find an innovative way to entice the consumer with competitive pricing and the guarantee of snowfall.

Our goal was to use technological advancements that allowed us to include snow heights at popular ski areas across Europe in our display ads, all in real time. With the help of weather specialist, Meteovista, we created a solution for Transavia that delivers real value to their travel customers.

Strategy

When fresh snow falls, Meteovista tracks the height in real time. The weather data is sent to Meteovista in the Netherlands, which is then shared with us, and entered into our database. This triggers the campaign across every platform (Display, Premium Display, Facebook and Digital-out-of-Home). Creatives are adjusted to show current snow height and indicate fresh snowfall.

Results

In the end, everything comes together. Ads are distributed at the right time across all channels with consistent and accurate messaging. This campaign has seen tremendous success improving customer loyalty and increasing ROI by 72%.

Intermediate results:

  • ROI +72%
  • Clicks +39%
  • Soft conversion CPA +64%
  • Hard conversion CPA +77%

Ignorance is Not Bliss: Steps to Protect Your Brand from Bad Advertising

There has been a recent spate of articles calling out brands whose ads have appeared on political websites, sometimes event inadvertently funding terror or hate groups.

This should never happen. So how has it been happening?

Brands are paying a lot of money to have agencies place ads for them and since this issue keeps cropping up, something is clearly broken. Accusations have been levelled at YouTube, unscrupulous advertisers, and shady programmatic advertising practices. So who is really at fault and what should agencies be doing about it?

Why This Happened

This issue became newsworthy as the line between brands and politics became blurred during the recent US election. The ripple effect has become a tidal wave, and brands are being affected globally as consumers are taking cues from the US and aligning their shopping habits with their personal and political beliefs. A pair of jeans isn’t just a pair of jeans anymore, who made them? Who owns the company? Where is the company’s money going in the political arena? All this matters to consumers now.

Public opinion in a heated political climate can make or break a brand. Advertisers have been quick to react to their customer’s political leanings by donating money to certain causes and groups, boycotting merchandise, or taking a stance on government policy.

Who is Responsible

Many brands have been caught off guard when their image has been tarnished by appearing on sites that don’t align with their political or brand beliefs. Sleeping Giants, a Twitter account that names, shames, and encourages consumers to call out brands for appearing on hate sites, has witnessed an unprecedented following. Consumers have been quick to condemn and boycott brands that are found wanting in their political leanings. The claims of ‘we had no idea’ ring hollow when ads appear on Neo-nazi websites or under ISIS videos. Brand managers, advertisers, and agencies are expected to do their due diligence before the company’s logo appears on a terrorist or hate group website. There has been plenty of hand-wringing and finger-pointing, but the truth of the matter is, from a programmatic viewpoint, it’s preventable.

Prevention

The underlying issue is that RTB programmatic buys an audience, and it’s easier to reach people where they appear online rather than targeting specific sites. There is also the problem of fraudsters pretending to be legitimate sites and bypassing Google’s controls, but in the majority of cases, it’s simply down to inventory that has yet to be classified, or a site not declaring their URL. Where advertisers can run afoul of their clientele is that by not bidding you could lose up to 30-45% of your inventory options. Unknown inventory isn’t always the proverbial ‘bad guy’, it’s just uncategorised. Google isn’t able to keep up and categorise every single site by the time bidding occurs, and not all sites have adequate content to be classified.

Even given the speed at which programmatic buying and selling takes place, there are steps that can be taken to make sure your (and your clients) are protected from landing on dubious websites. Tools exist that provide pre-bid ad-verification, which intercepts the auction, and, based on data passed during the ad call such as, the publisher’s ID, the site ID, or publisher’s site URL, will prevent the buyer from bidding all in a matter of milliseconds. This also taps into third party ad-verification providers who have databases of unsafe sites that are constantly updated, doing the heavy lifting for you so that you don’t have to manage the process manually.

DoubleClick also contains preventative measures to protect clients from ending up on nefarious sites. DoubleClick categorises websites when they receive ads and can quickly scan the site for words or URLs that are problematic. It also will exclude categories of websites when problems are found.

If All Else Fails…

Post-bid, if your ad slips through the cracks and lands on an unwanted site, ad-verification partners can help by preventing your ad from showing. This means that while your ad still lands on the page, it will serve a white box that protects the brand’s ad from being seen by users if it detects unsafe content. While this is far from perfect, since the client is still paying to end up on this site, the good news is that their brand is protected from being inadvertently associated with something that in this climate could, quickly and negatively, impact their reputation. Finally, advertisers and agencies can be more proactive by creating exclusion lists which they are consistently reviewing and updating.

My First Week at NMPi

William Alexander, Junior Insight AnalystWilliam Alexander
Junior Insight Analyst

When I graduated from Leicester with a Masters in Geology back in 2015, frankly, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. I knew it probably didn’t lie in Geology. To be honest, I just fell into my first job with little real world experience. I learned about the dynamic and exciting world of digital marketing running in-house PPC search advertising campaigns. The job wasn’t for me because I wasn’t given enough freedom to do the analysis and research at work that I loved doing during my uni years. When I saw the “Junior Insight Analyst” position at NMPi, I thought it seemed too good to be true; a digital marketing analytical role in the heart of London. It was pretty much everything I wanted, after realizing how much I enjoyed digital marketing.

During my first week, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Scottish Highlands for a team weekend away. The trip events included skiing, whiskey tasting, a spa day, capped off by a fancy dress party. It was a really great way to meet everyone, and get to know the members of my team. I also learned more about whiskey than I ever thought possible!

After the weekend away, everyone seemed eager to get back to business on Monday morning. My first day was full of Google Analytics training and meeting teams to learn where everyone fit into the company. The rest of the week was similar, but coming from a digital marketing background, training and team explanations have gone quickly.

I’ve already had the opportunity to start mixing in a bit of client analytics work and meetings, while earning my Google Analytics and DoubleClick certifications. My first Friday afternoon I was able to attend the company “Knowledge Share,” these meetings are held every week and each team gets the opportunity to share the work they have been doing. The week ends with highlights including client wins, presentations, and events.

Joining NMPi’s newly formed Analytics division is what excites me the most about working at NMPi. The potential for growth and to better myself is huge. NMPi puts a heavy emphasis on making the most out of their employees. This is not only great for the individual, but great for the client and company as well. If your workforce is well trained, and recognized amongst the elite, you get excellent results and go beyond expectations. All in all, a very good first week and I look forward to many more to come.

The Power of Voice…Search

This year, home voice assistants have created a stir amongst technology enthusiasts. Voice search, the main feature behind home voice assistants such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, is poised to be the technology of the year.

Technically, voice search isn’t “new”. Apple’s Siri was introduced on the iPhone in October 2011, though initial responses were lukewarm. Users found the system clunky and difficult to navigate without screaming into their phones like lunatics. Fast forward five years, and voice search has vastly improved. Far more sophisticated than the original versions, you are no longer confined to weather updates, or finding the nearest Starbucks.  

Language naturalisation is now an integral component of voice search, making everyday speech patterns easily understandable. It’s come such a long way from Siri’s heyday. Now there are devices that can recognise snippets of lyrics to find the song you want to hear, order your favourite takeaway, or control the lights in your house, and in the case of the Amazon Echo, it will even play rock, paper, scissors with you.

The latest voice search devices are inserting themselves into daily activities in useful and meaningful ways. But will they ever move from ‘nice-to-haves’ to ‘must-have’ devices? What are the challenges they pose not only for the digital industry, but for brands?

The Unknown

It is predicted that by 2018, 30% of all interactions with devices will be voice based. This is partly due to the continued improvements in quality that will make it easier for users to voice search, taking full advantage of being able to speak four times faster than they can type.

Marketers have a challenge ahead of them, as voice search continues to enhance the way users interact with the everyday world. There are so many unknowns for how this technology will unfold, but one thing is certain, this is far more than a passing fad. Whilst it may not happen in 2017, it is only a matter of time before Google, Amazon, and Apple find a way to monetise their voice search technologies.

So, what will that look like?

Websites are already seeing a shift towards longer tail keywords, as users speak more words than they would type into a search bar. For website owners, this means SEO will need to be adjusted to these changes.

But in today’s push for mobile-first digital advertising strategies, we need to ask ourselves if we will see a time when voice-first strategies dominate boardroom conversations. Will bid modifiers for voice sit beside those of desktop, tablet and mobile in our paid search activity?

In a world of monetised voice search, the industry will have to evolve quickly to keep up. Search query analysis will pose an interesting challenge as we try to make sense of the data from an array of dialects, and languages. How will we be able to measure results? Will we need to hire CRO specialists specifically for voice searches?

There are far more questions than answers at the moment, but if Amazon Echo shows us anything, it is that there is a future for voice search purchasing, and with purchasing capabilities comes the desire to advertise and get ahead of the competition.

The Future

Within the last six months alone, voice search use has increased by 41%.   Whilst at the moment users tend to be older adopters, men between age 36-66 with a median household income of over $100,000 we can expect to see this continue to grow over the next year. Due to the fact that voice search devices are still relatively new to the market, it is hard to say what the long term implications for marketing will be. But, I think it is safe to say that there is a future for voice search advertising.