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Saying Goodbye to our Programmatic Trader Irina

Irina Pecherskikh has been a part of the BMM team since September 2018, supporting our clients on a range of services including programmatic advertising, campaign managing, data analysis, reporting and optimisation.

Other than that, we were privileged to experience her as a wonderful client representative, cheerful spirit, a chocolate-croissant-destroyer, passionate traveller and underwater-enthusiast. In an almost magical way, she could always find the bright side in everything, listen incredibly well and answer thoughtfully and was (and remains) the very heart of BMM.

Irina went on maternity leave 🤰 as of Friday 1st May and is not expected to return for at least a year. 
Although Irina will be greatly missed by her colleagues and many of our clients, we couldn’t be happier to share her news and we look forward to meeting her new arrival!

Some of you are likely to have worked with Irina over the years and we hope you will all join us in wishing her a safe and healthy journey into motherhood.

We’re taking this as an opportunity for an appreciation of the work she has done for us so far, to ask her some questions and to introduce her to anyone who didn’t have the chance to meet her yet!

Hi Irina, how are things with you?

“Hi Vanessa, everything is going great! How are you?”

Super! All is well with me, thanks. If it’s alright with you, I would like to ask you some questions about your work at Blackmilk Media?

“Sure, go ahead!”

Great, let’s get started then. How did you come to work with Blackmilk Media?

“I was looking for an internship in Digital Marketing in London before my Master’s course, this is how I met the Ops Team that I am a part of now. Straight from the beginning, I was so impressed by all these platforms, data analysis, and the way BMM manages campaigns, so I started to ask a lot of questions and to learn by myself during my free time. When I finished my studies, I went back directly to the team with fresh new knowledge and a big urge to learn even more.” 

So what is the work you do now as a Programmatic Trader?

“The Programmatic Trader is not only a one-task-job, it covers the whole process. I will try to make it short 🙂

First and foremost, we need to listen carefully to what the client wants in order to identify which platforms are most applicable. Then we need to examine the industry, acquire best practices, and avoid the common mistakes. 

The actual work is usually – a team work, which includes: strategy, planning, campaigns set – up, monitoring and optimisation, troubleshooting, reporting, post-campaign analysis, recommendations etc.”

What are the greatest positives you enjoy in your role here?

“The nicest part is, of course, to see the results of this team-work. When your efforts are becoming tangible for someone and our clients get what they were looking for.”  

Exciting! And on the other hand, are there ever drawbacks you find working in this sector of the industry?

“I could think of three main challenges here: 

• To be up to date is very important: the advertising industry and markets are changing very fast, and so are the platforms.

• Furthermore, the imperfect nature of the system can be challenging sometimes. You better keep an eye on all relevant KPIs to correct any mistakes fast and efficiently.

• Managing expectations and the educational component of the work: not every client is familiar with the platforms, processes and the KPIs. So it is essential to give a clear and accurate overview before starting any campaign.”

That’s understandable but you of course seem to have it handled. To get more personal, how are you enjoying living in Germany Irina?

“Oh, thank you for asking! I love it here! I am actually learning German now and I was very surprised how supportive everyone is here with that.”

Irina, I would just like to finish this off with you giving me three words that your friends or family would use to describe you. Go!

“To be honest… no idea!

Would 4 words be okay? Then – “Citizen of the world”.

Otherwise: determined, hard-working, loyal.”

If you want to find out who will work on the projects Irina worked on before and discuss anything regarding her work/future campaigns, or if you just want to send Irina your wishes we could pass on for you, feel free to reach out to us on [email protected]

Google vs. Amazon: The battle for Ad Spend

There are those businesses that suffer from the COVID-19 crisis and there are those that are thriving. And then there is Google, who is actively taking on a fight against its fierce competitor in the battle of advertising: Amazon. In late April of this year, Google announced that they recognise digital commerce as an essential lifeline for retailers, moving to hand out free advertising spaces. Looking at subsequent shifts in market trends, the results prove this as a succinct move to shake at Amazon’s stable reign. So who will win in the battle Google vs. Amazon?

What will likely play a role to determine the winner is the key difference of both companies’ tracking technology. Google Ads has a tighter grip on recording user information through directing shoppers to a specific brand website by gathering data such as keywords, demographics, and location. Meanwhile Amazon’s data collection is limited to the interaction of consumer trails on their own website. Yet all these statistics gathered from tracking can only predict so much. Whereas what can be assessed is the situation at hand with somewhere between 50% and 55% of product searches now happening on Amazon rather than Google. Nevertheless, the fundamental problem is that Amazon only serves up products that it sells, whereas Google will serve any product that is linked to a web page. Now, perceiving this as a potential advantage, Google is determined to win the battle Google vs. Amazon.

Google vs. Amazon: What´s the issue?

There are obvious motivations behind Google’s move for distributing their advertising spaces for free. On one hand, it’s a generous gesture to help other retailers, with Google providing the connecting link to their customers. By not charging for advertising, Google’s president of commerce, Bill Ready, expects to have the winning strategy over Amazon. This way Google is benefiting retailers with huge exposure and consumers with a plethoric choice. Google will be aware of the decreasing monetary effort businesses are willing to offer up for their marketing campaigns, making free services undeniably appealing for many and a foolproof win for the giant. Along with this comes a favourable appearance of the entire company, a positive light being shone onto itself during a time all platforms need to respond to current issues. 

Online Shopping

On the other hand, Google has certainly pushed this as an intentional ploy to drive up its number of market shares with the usual simple trick of a free trial. Once advertisers have enjoyed the opportunities and results of their free use of services, there is a higher conversion potential into continuing into Google Ads’ paid services. Google’s strategy is a good starting point for marketers to learn the mechanics of how to optimise feeds and increase visibility, helping to direct future campaign budgets more efficiently. In contrast to Amazon, Google are cleverly luring more unforced engagement with this whilst also silently pushing their market shares.

How did the war Google vs. Amazon start?

As the impact of the coronavirus has spread globally, it has exposed a weakness in Amazon’s offering and infrastructure. Amazon’s shopping experience has fallen short in providing the variety which has been demanded by the current quickly altered consumer culture. Being pressed to move from their 1-day delivery promise to uncertain timeframes, albeit by a wildly unexpected scenario, Amazon is showing up defeated to meet demand. 

Image of Amazons mobile and desktop shopping experience

But Google can respond as it already possesses the right set-up for an unprecedented situation. With Google Shopping being born in 2002 (Froogle), it is now seizing an opportunity in further adapting its product breadth. However, originally, an unperfected Google Shopping was also the primary reason Amazon attracted more product searches and grew into the goliath of today. Google made the greedy error to “fully monetize the shopping real estate on Google search engine results” said David Dweck, head of paid search at digital marketing agency Wpromote. Amazon responded in their policy and now Google is trying to fix its own error with providing marketers that future ability to transfer from organic to paid search easily. Already accessible in the US, Google has launched Google Express to roll out a more tailored shopping experience for customers. This way the company is proving that there is an ever-developing determination to push itself to the foreground.

Results?

Google is certainly seen as on the attack but it will take some time for significant shifts to occur. Whilst consumer culture has been behaving extremely viable during 2020 thus far, there is also a steady flow of accustomed behaviour.

From the view of retailers and marketers always competently looking out for opportunities, this has been a great move by Google against Amazon’s less responsive behaviour. However, the projected success rate is certainly more so from Google’s perspective for themselves. Your average business, as retailers who already had previously committed their funds to advertising campaigns, are now bombarded with a lot more competition. Opening up this advertising space without the monetary filter that previously existed, there is a barrier-less flow of products. 

Take away:

Who wins in the battle Google vs. Amazon? Overall, Google has always possessed a fluidity and adaptability that Amazon would find hard to match from its archetypal setup. Google was focused on providing answers, whereas Amazon was preoccupied entirely with being an exclusive one-stop-shop. The likeliness of survival of both these companies out of the corona crisis is laughably predictable. The sparring for top-dog in advertising will be exciting to follow.

For more information on where to spend Ad budget for your specific industry and product, contact us here.

Branding Corona: How brands win during crises

Winners are made in crises. And this does not mean that marketers should collectively take cover. Last month we gave you an update on how the Marketing industry is influenced by Coronavirus. One month later, for some brands, advertising and especially branding corona is now more important than ever. This is because the pandemic is changing the framework conditions for brand claims, product USPs and new customer potential, in some cases dramatically. And in this new marketing landscape there could also be winners – if they seize their opportunities. This is why we listed 5 impactful examples of advertisers from different industries showing up during the coronavirus pandemic in recent weeks.

Guinnes: Comforting Customers

The Guinness Brewery has shown the way in the USA.  In a spot for St. Patricks Day, it addresses its fans who are mourning the missed celebrations this year. Although this is unlikely to change much in terms of lost sales, it does a lot for the credibility and popularity of the Irish brand.

Ford branding corona: The Helper in Need

Ford accepts that they can hardly expect new customers to be in a shopping mood at the moment and are helping their existing customers who have bought a model on credit with generously calculated credit offers. On the one hand, this serves to secure sales that have already been made. After all, manufacturers would have little benefit if their buyers had to return the models they bought and associate a negative memory with the brand. But it turns a rather stressful brand touchpoint – the credit business – into an opportunity for a positive brand message. The lender becomes a helper in need, who does not ignore acute emergencies but helps to solve them.

Ikea: Being relatable

Due to the lack of leisure time alternatives, many people will take a closer look at their own four walls and will have more time for improvements and embellishments. This offers opportunities for all brands that provide the ingredients to beautify the home environment. Whether it’s furniture and decoration, gardening supplies or spring cleaning supplies.  Ikea took the opportunity to create a connection to the customer by using a young mum and her chaotic everyday life at home as the theme for their advertising campaign. Many people can identify with her and IKEA ultimately expands their brand recognition. 

McDonalds branding corona: Addressing concerns

To tackle specifically the heightened fears of customers about protecting their health, McDonald’s Philippines outlined new steps they are taking, such as the temperature checks needed before and after shifts for employees. By video, president and CEO Kenneth Yang assured customers, “We will not hesitate to cancel any customer activity or even temporarily shut down any of our restaurants.”

Trigema: Actions speak louder than words

branding corona trigema actions speak louder than words

The German clothing manufacturer Trigema has partially switched its production to mouth and nose protection masks due to the Corona pandemic. Trigema produces around 125,000 such masks per week. This company demonstrates simply but effectively how brand sympathy can increase in times of crisis – even without expensive advertising videos.

Take-away: branding corona

Yes, it is possible to effectively advertise during Coronavirus! The uncertainty of the future is understandable. Nonetheless, this too shall pass. It is important to stay focused on the long-term and not shy away from new growth opportunities. Branding works best long-term. Cutting budget spends too much when not necessary could negatively impact the brand when the pandemic is over. It´s time to think countercyclical!

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

Albert Einstein

If you have difficulties finding the right marketing strategy for your brand during Coronavirus, get in touch with us here.