M&S turns to NMPi to spruce up paid search

Venerable British retailer Marks & Spencer looks to many of us like a slow motion car crash, especially in its foundation clothing business. Latest to leave is former Halfords and McDonald’s boss Jill McDonald who grappled unavailingly with clothing, which has being going nowhere since Next founder George Davies, who introduced his Per Una line, fell out with M&S decades ago.

It doesn’t help that the shops never seem to have clothes in the right sizes – something you think they’d have cracked by now.

Its online offer doesn’t seem that bad (one female in our household uses it all the time) but M&S is trying to spruce up its online offer across the piece – including food – and has appointed digital marketing agency NMPi to handle its paid search advertising, focussing on mobile.

M&S head of performance marketing, Maria O’Flynn says: “We’re looking forward to seeing the changes NMPi can bring to M&S in the coming months. The scale of the opportunity in search and shopping means that we need an agile, tech-enabled partner to make sure we do this efficiently. This is a promising partnership and we’re excited to see their True Total Search strategy implemented.”

NMPi director of strategy Damien Bennett says: “At the centre of our strategy for M&S is a technical approach that will re-write the rules of how paid search is managed. By leveraging M&S’ data we will be able to implement an approach that takes paid search well beyond simply selecting the right keywords and ad copy, and delivers a truly customer-first approach.”

Can True Total Search do the trick? Something’s got to work, one day.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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