Hosted at Google’s head office in Kings Cross London (July 26), international digital marketing agency NMPi’s annual seminar, NMPignite, delivered an engaging afternoon of thought-provoking insights and actionable takeaways on how to integrate media, technology and creative to deliver seamless end-to-end customer experiences to maximise campaign performance.

Bringing together a strong line-up of experts from NMPi’s sister company DQ&A as well as talks from recently acquired creative agency Joystick, House of Kaizen and a leading industry panel discussion, the seminar highlighted the importance of the customer journey to drive performance, data and technology to create more authentic user experiences – and how each component can’t work without the other in order to achieve campaign success.

PerformanceIN attended to catch the action and report some of the key standout points from the afternoon session.

Creative renaissance

Joystick’s COO Dave Rosowsky led the proceedings on creative within the digital marketing ecosystem, stating that we’re now in a period of ‘creative Renaissance’ and therefore should be bringing together creative, media and technology in a new way to fuel multiple channels.

Referring to the evolution of programmatic advertising from banner ads to social media,  Rosowsky stated that channels like display, video and voice search were driven by data but fuelled by creative due to the growth of programmatic ad buying, while publishers are taking much more responsibility for the ads they buy.

Bringing it back to the consumer, Rosowsky encouraged publishers to be more personalised across their channels and to also find the right balance to achieve high-impact ads.

The customer is always right

Fred Maude, performance marketing manager at NMPi followed next, adding that customers have more choice than ever before when it comes to advertising, giving them ease of switching channels and influencing ad experience – with ad-blocking alone increasing globally by 400% since January 2013.

Breaking it down to campaign level, Maude ran through three key areas for marketers to maximise the performance of campaigns while also finding the right customers to connect to the messages and convert them – these were ‘granular’ in the set up of your campaign, ‘break silos’ in making sure that your partners are on the same page to provide the best experience, and finally ‘analytics’ in order to review the processes to determine its success.

Bringing this all together, Maude concluded with discussing NMPI’s fully-automated campaign for retailer Harvey Nichols, which combined the aforementioned elements and lead to “risk-free” ROI of 1030%.

Optimising experience

House of Kaizen’s head of strategy and insight Alain Portmann touched on the credibility of optimising customer experience and mentioned the huge task that accompanies it, suggesting that marketers should tackle the issue by finding the right pressure points along the way as opposed to competing KPIs and teams, which prevent a seamless experience.

In addition, Portmann stated that being data-driven in the short-term can lead to optimisation but metrics are merely a reflection of the product or strategy that’s in place, concluding that emotional intelligence within the customer experience can’t be made artificial.

Meanwhile, James Sleaford, managing director of NMPI’s sister company DQ&A presented that in order to achieve customer-first marketing, you need a full digital transformation, referring to the Google Marketing Platform as an example to deliver results and make sure everyone within the business is on the same page.

Creating exceptional experiences

Bringing the afternoon’s sessions into action, the panel discussion, featuring Google’s creative agency lead Elizabeth Vince, NMPi’s performance development director Craig Brown and’s head of growth and digital Claire Rampen, demonstrated how each role managed customer experiences while highlighting where it’s at in the industry today. The panel agreed that the industry is at the point where good customer experience is now expected and if campaigns don’t achieve this, you’ll end up with a bad experience.

The panel also touched on experimentation and how vital it is to listen to the audience and let them do the talking, while personalisation and technology, such as voice, are only going to advance the experience, saving time and meeting demand in the next five to 10 years.

A big shift in the industry

With the curtains closed on the event, a key theme throughout was bringing technology, media and creative together to deliver a seamless customer experience. In light of NMPi’s acquisition of Joystick and collaboration with DQ&A, all three companies agreed that the topic at hand was so important in digital marketing today and that one element can’t work without the other.

“In order to reach and engage with people, you have to look at the experience and approach it from a lot of different angles,” said Rosowsky; “we need everything working together because without that, it becomes very difficult to engage with our audience.”

“Customer expectations are increasing exponentially year after year and they will only continue to do as technology enables better creative and more engaging experiences. That’s why it’s so important,” said Luke Judge, CEO of NMPi.