This month, David Vince, EMEA Partner Development Manager at Acceleration Partners, chatted with Lewis Morfoot – Senior Partnerships Manager at NMPi.
Hi Lewis, can you introduce yourself to our readers?
I work in our Performance Marketing Team, which is the half of our business that specialises in managing paid media on a commission-only model - as opposed to the traditional, percentage of spend retainers.
Day-to-day, I work with partners and brands to help them learn more about our offerings, and particularly what goes into making our campaigns successful.
A lot of people might associate NMPi with paid search activity, but what else do you do that might be of interest to advertisers?
Since 2004, NMPi has been a go-to for any brand looking for text PPC support in the affiliate space. In the 16 years since then, we've expanded our offering to cover a whole host of other services.
Specifically, our Performance Marketing Team also offers Display Retargeting, Paid Social and CSS advertising. We've even branched into Amazon Advertising for some of our clients.
What are the main opportunities for advertisers to work with NMPi through the affiliate channel?
Generally speaking, there are a couple of ways in which we work with brands to deliver these services:
Full Coverage: we become the advertiser's PPC, Display, and/or Social agency, delivering activity for them across all their markets on a CPA model.
Gap Coverage: we deliver these services in areas outside of their current in-house or agency teams. We work with these teams to provide a guaranteed ROI in areas that may normally not be, such as secondary markets, across Bing, or on Display Networks outside of the GDN.
In both cases, we operate in the same way - with a dedicated Account Management team, regular calls and bespoke reporting dashboards.
CSS is also an opportunity that brands should be taking advantage of if they can. Quite simply, it helps improve coverage in the SERP without directly impacting CPCs. So as long as you've got a feed ready (preferably Google-enabled), we can join the programme and start delivering ads on your behalf.
Something I'd always recommend, however, is to check how many performance CSS partners you're working with. Volume and commission determine reinvestment potential and the resource available to optimise, so spreading yourself too thin may limit the overall quality and service you receive.
As a global company, what are the main differences you see in online shopping behaviour across different regions?
I'll try and give a list of some of the things I've noticed:
Performance trends by hour, day of week, device, city and time of year vary significantly by location. For instance, a country like Germany, where there are multiple major cities is very different from the UK, where London represents the main hub. The conversion rates on mobile devices can also vary across countries. Whilst across the globe more and more users are purchasing on mobiles (China in particular), there are countries where users only like to use them for research. It is extremely important these differences are taken into account within optimisation techniques, as these vary not only by country, but by campaign as well.
Key events also vary by country - whether its national holidays, like Christmas in Russia (celebrated on the 7th January) or different shopping days, like Single's Day in China or Click Frenzy in Australia.
The type of products that are popular also varies significantly. As you would imagine, higher-income countries tend to have stronger sales for high AOV brands, but what's interesting is that countries react differently to how those same brands then begin to offer sales or discounts.
As an award-winning company with many successful campaigns, is there one campaign that stands out to you?
Something that really excites me at the moment is that we're beginning to close the gap between organic and paid search. It's always been tricky, because most organic search results are encrypted, and the amount of data needed to process learnings from search makes its nearly impossible for humans to run organic and paid activity holistically.
For one client, we've built a proprietary platform that uses machine learning to provide keywords and recommended bids based on the current levels of organic and competitor activity. It was so successful that it recently won us a Drum Search Award for Most Effective Use of Technology!
What is the biggest change you've seen at NMPi since you first arrived at the company until now?
Physically, we've changed a lot. When I started here, we were a team of 40-50 in the UK. We're now well over 250 staff across 13 offices.
From a business perspective, we've massively expanded the breadth of services we can offer, as well as how flexibly we can offer them. Some brands want to own the Ad Accounts we run campaigns from or have control in the ad spend that is committed, so we developed a performance model that can accommodate these.
One thing that I can happily say hasn't changed much though has been the culture of the company, which has remained as entrepreneurial as when I first started. Because we're only paid on performance, the incentive to innovate means we're all given the freedom to test. It's how we managed to win 19 major awards in 2019.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about digital marketing agencies?
I can't speak for other agencies, but I can give you one about us - the idea that because we operate in affiliate networks, we sit in the same bracket as every other PPC affiliate. Hopefully, you can see how this isn't the case.
Lastly, outside of the current lockdown climate, what does a typical weekend look like for you?
If I'm being completely honest, I love video-games and cooking so can't say things have changed that much!
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