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Digital Maturity

MediaCom's Google Practice

Google Practice launched in 2021 as a centre of excellence and community for all MediaCom digital experts across the UK, who are Google specialists and practitioners. Due to Google’s continued dominance in today’s digital landscape, we have brought together a range of disciplines to focus on connecting the Google ecosystem and delivering our clients best in class performance, not only in channel but across the system as a whole.

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Purpose

The practice operates across search (PPC / SEO), display, YouTube, the Google marketing platform and client owned assets. This helps our clients ‘See the Bigger Picture’ by continuously testing and optimising all aspects of the customer journey across the Google ecosystem. It delivers: Increased targeting – through better use of data to target the right people at the right time; Increased relevance – by connecting user journeys and putting the consumer at the heart of what we do; Increased efficiency – through the use of machine learning and automation to scale and improve activation.

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Tracking and measurement are at the core of understanding media performance and are crucial for optimization and reporting

Effective and efficient tagging strategies underpin all digital activity. Do you want to understand performance? Is it important that you can optimise? Are you clear about what is working and what isn’t? To do all of this you need a technology stack that supports your goals and is inclusive of all channels used.

It is more than just technology

It is about maximising the use and leveraging the unique features in these tools to achieve your goals. To take it to the next level we have a team of experienced, accredited engineers who can translate your requirements into a technology stack that fulfils its purpose.

It is about bringing everything together so we can ‘See the Bigger Picture’

We work alongside our counterparts in Programmatic, PPC, Social, Display, Advanced Analytics and Creative Systems to build out the best technology stack for our clients. By bringing together the right tools and products, balancing for cost, features and ease of use; we can optimise to achieve the maximum capability of each part, as well as the whole. This improves the integrity and usefulness of your data which powers our combined decision making.

Technology is always changing

We closely follow developments across the industry due to new legislation, attitudes towards privacy, a reduction in legacy tracking mechanisms (the cookie) and improved technology so that we can ensure you stay ahead of the curve and in front of your competitors.

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Our Advanced Analytics department incorporates our Web Analytics and Advanced Analytics team.

Our Web Analytics team focus on ensuring our clients have their web analytics configured to gain the optimum insight from both media and website functionality.

We work with clients to develop measurement frameworks focused on helping improve our performance against the client’s business goals.

Our Advanced Analytics teams focus on complex methods and tools for data mining and predictive analytics, identifying patterns, trends, and performance opportunities.

These opportunities feed media activation to help provide a competitive advantage for our clients.

Working with our planning and activation teams, we work to provide clarity and insight to drive human decision-making and algorithmically produced data to inform automation, ensuring that the best intelligence is applied as quickly as possible.

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As the digital marketing landscape continues to shift, with regulatory and technology changes driving a move towards first-party data, we are working with clients to help them identify and use the data that they have available.

Our data and tech consultancy focuses on this, working with clients to understand their digital maturity and audit their data assets and technology stack.

This audit process allows us to build a roadmap for data activation for media activation and insight, use the Google stack to maximum effect, and extend to other solutions such as Customer Data Platforms and Data Clean Room technology.

Our data consultants and strategists work hand-in-hand with client teams, media planning teams, and media channel activation teams to develop and prioritise solutions.

Core to what we do is driving transformation and developing breadth and sophistication to how our clients are using data.

We do this in close collaboration with the Advanced Analytics team to ensure that the best possible data is available. We are using modelling and machine learning techniques to develop the data needed to power that transformation.

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MediaCom Programmatic Services is a core component of the newly formed Google Practice.

Programmatic Services provides internal programmatic execution, in excess of £40million annually, on behalf of our clients

As part of the Google Practice, DV360 sits at the core of this, although we have capabilities across a broad range of DSPs and other self-serve media platforms. Our position as such being to offer our clients a high calibre internal service to meet their programmatic requirements.

As well as being able to operate across numerous platforms to meet our clients’ requirements, the added benefit of this is that it leaves us well placed in a market which is in a degree of flux with the pending deprecation of 3rd party cookies.

As well as internal capability, we bring many benefits you would expect from being part of GroupM:

  • Leverage – which is delivered in various guises, be that media access via GPS (Group Premium Supply), simply DSP access fees, or indeed initial access to collaborative technology projects with Google, such as Bridge
  • Executional Breath - capability across all forms of media which falls within Programmatic, meaning we can deliver integrated, cross media campaigns
  • Data & Insights – access to data for both execution and insights across all forms, 1st party, 2nd & 3rd party in their varying guises.
  • Proprietary capabilities - some of which are touched on above, but incorporating the likes of mPlatform and COPILOT

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Right time, place, person & optimised message

Dynamic creative allows advertisers to deliver relevant ad content to viewers on every single impression by personalising the best content for each creative element, including call to action text, images and headlines. Don’t just use the same generic messaging for everyone who sees your advertising but use dynamic creative to ensure your audience receive a personalised and relevant message by individual.

More than just for retargeting

Isn’t DCO irrelevant for brand advertising? We don’t believe so. We have seen that dynamic creative is key for generating brand awareness and increasing recall when compared to regular creatives. By using a client’s own first party data, product feed or bespoke messaging matrix we can power a decision tree to deliver the right creative to the right audience at the right time.

And it is about having more than just the right creative idea

You also need the right process and robust quality assurance, starting out by building a single fully functional size of one of the ads to demonstrate the look and feel alongside the animations and functions of the final product. The process continues with initial concept sign-off, creating variations and building out additional sizes before carrying out a strict testing process (covering all relevant devices and browsers) before finally setting the creatives live. We can manage this process from start to finish, understanding our client’s strategy right through to delivery.

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The digital media space is complex, with search sitting at the heart of it

Our team is governed by the core belief of Systems Thinking and, as such, MediaCom has developed one of the UK’s largest and most-awarded SEO teams working alongside our media, digital and data specialists.

Our in-house SEO specialists are a full-service SEO team who have unrivalled experience

They manage highly successful performance-based (sales and conversion) and brand-focused campaigns, on both a local and international / multi-lingual level.

We offer a full range of SEO services to our clients: SEO strategy & consultancy, Technical SEO; Performance content; and Reporting & optimisation.

At the heart of what we offer is not only our forensic understanding of the technical delivery of SEO - expert in all standard SEO industry tools and accredited across Google and Amazon retail platforms - but also expertise in producing and curating content that performs for your brand across all platforms.

We have the capabilities in the team to deliver website and owned-platform content to maximise quality traffic alongside outreach and digital PR. We also work with paid publishing partners and other online content producers to drive up salience of your brand in the places that matter to your audience.

We have 50 SEO professionals across our London and Manchester offices with a vast and diverse experience working with over 40 clients across sectors including publishing & lifestyle, ecommerce, finance, automotive, utilities, pet care, travel and health.

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Best-in-class capabilities for performance growth

Search engine accounts are multi-layered structures which we optimise with precision. The optimisation tactics we employ are deeply rooted in data analysis and proven outcomes. Our extensive client portfolio across a wide range of industries, including finance, retail, FMCG and automotive, means we can utilise transferrable learnings to aid our clients’ accelerated business growth.

Skilled automation for 24/7 optimisation

We believe that search excellence balances the use of technology/automation and human expertise which is underpinned by Systems Thinking, ensuring that search is integrated from the media planning phase through to activation, attribution and evaluation. Whether it’s automated bidding, the use of a custom script to address a bespoke operation or dynamic ad creative optimisation, our specialists are skilled in getting the best out of machine learning.

Search data fuels our bigger picture

Search data (such as queries searched for) provides rich insight into consumer behaviour, particularly during periods of significant change. We take this wealth of data to shape our future campaign plans across media planning all the way through to website content that matches what customers are looking for.

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Onsite effectiveness

Your marketing and media is only as effective as the final customer touch point at which the transaction or conversion takes place.

Digital experience specialist Code (acquired by Mediacom in 2016) has also joined the Google Practice, bringing nearly 100 experts in onsite strategy, UX/design, measurement & conversion optimisation, product engineering and agile delivery.

Both user-centric and data driven

We are user-centric and we’re scientific. We use quantitative and qualitative data to create insights that drive more effective decision-making. By combining audience data (segment/persona, customer behaviour and purchase intent) with user centred methods (user testing, eye tracking, behavioural analysis, and experimentation) we can create more seamless and highly targeted off and onsite experiences which increase engagement and improve the end conversion and effectiveness of the whole customer journey.

We create improvement hypotheses from your analytics data and customers’ behaviour which we test by running design experiments and personalisation programmes on your platforms. This customer validated approach ensures your digital estate delivers results – be that purchases, enquiries, or better user engagement.

Even better results through better integration

Measurement through Google Analytics is the heart of this ecosystem. By integrating the Google stack and now leveraging first party data, we can run experimentation and personalisation programmes that deliver consistent growth in an increasingly competitive and fragmented customer market. This unlocks future opportunities to utilise machine learning for automated, predictive content and mass personalisation.

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How to get in touch

For more information, please get in touch with our Google Practice experts

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Our People

Paul Cooper – COO North Group

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Paul joined MediaCom as Regional head of Digital in 2011, launching and developing our specialist digital offering i-Lab. Paul then progressed to MD of our Manchester office, overseeing its growth and evolution into a market leader for digital activation (recently voted Drum’s 8th most respected digital operation in the UK) and growing D2C clients and dot.com brands. He also led the acquisition and integration of digital transformation specialists Code Computerlove. Paul is COO of our North operation (Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and Code Computerlove) and has overseen its growth to the largest regional network and integration with our UK operation helping deliver One MediaCom.

A great example of One MediaCom is our newly launched UK Google Practice for which Paul has overall responsibility for, working closely with Richard, Nicola, Louis, Kenny and the leadership team to ensure we continue to evolve and grow both our business and our clients business’s using all Google’s platforms and data.


Richard Davies – Chief Digital Officer

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Richard joined MediaCom at the start of 2019 as head of digital and conversion on the Lloyds Banking Group account. He quickly expanded his remit to become the digital lead on several key accounts, including Sky, Tesco & TUI and in April 2020 he moved into the role of Chief Digital Officer.

Richard has a wealth of agency experience across both media and creative, previously leading the global Vodafone digital relationship at WPP/Wavemaker for three years and before that spending several years in the cut and thrust of management at smaller independent agencies.

A straight-talking person, Richard prides himself on client-led transformation. He brings clients the solutions he knows they need, rather than those they want, and enjoys driving change by devising strategies for substantial business issues.

Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his family, Labrador and bicycle!

Nicola Marsh – Managing Director North Group and Google Practice UK MD

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Nicola has worked in media for 26 years, most of which has been in digital marketing.

Nicola joined MediaCom eight years ago with a wealth of digital experience and as a Digital Board Director, Nicola then became the Head of Digital and was integral to the growth of the digital proposition MediaCom offers its clients today.

Nicola is a fully accredited personal performance and corporate coach and has a keen interest in training and development. Her passion in supporting the EXCO to achieve People First, Better Results involves a focus on providing a fantastic working environment for our people with a real emphasis on creating opportunity for all.

Louis Georgiou – Managing Director, Code Computerlove

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Louis has worked in the digital industry for over 20 years. He is co-founder and Managing Director of Code Computerlove, part of the MediaCom family. Across his career, Louis’ areas of expertise have spanned digital strategy, UX and agile delivery for clients, such as Oxfam, Brother, BBC and Go-Ahead Trains.

Louis is an advocate of autonomous teams, placing culture, continual learning and lean/agile working at the heart of the company.

Kenny Skelton – Partner & Head of Google Practice

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With over 14 years of experience of working in client-side Digital roles; Kenny has led large teams of digital specialists to deliver omni-channel transformation in a range of settings.​

Kenny has helped to shape a culture of energy and passion amongst our specialists that has led to MediaCom being recognised as market leaders in digital activation.​

As our Google Practice lead, he has pioneered our evolution from media plans to digital maturity programs. The results of which have helped many clients to deliver record growth.

Katy Taylor – UK Head of SEO

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Katy has been working at MediaCom for seven years. She was initially responsible for project management and operations for the UK SEO team, and later introducing new services as part of our SEO offering and, together with the team, managing new business and client growth. Previous work lives have included Content Writer, Web Master, E-comm Analyst and Storyteller.

Lisa Mundy – Partner, Head of Media Engineering

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Lisa has been at MediaCom for 6+ years, having previously worked with big media owners including Freeserve, Yahoo! Europe and EMAP/Bauer. Moving from media owner to agency required a big reset and her initial role was to set up a tech team to cover three clients’ work, which has since expanded into covering 65+ clients with a fantastic team of experts.

Her role in our Google Practice is to lead the accredited team of experts to support both clients and the business in developing strong technology frameworks covering ad-serving, tag management, DCO etc.

Ana Cuellar – WW Head of SEO

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Ana is an analytical and data driven SEO specialist with experience in planning, development and management of international SEO strategies for various well-known brands including P&G, Royal Canin, Mazda and Tempur.

She is passionate about innovative web technologies, driving digital growth through search strategies underpinned with audience and data insights, and ensuring our clients are at the forefront of the digital landscape.

Steve Grave – Partner, Head of Operations

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Steve was previously North Group Digital Operations Director, having worked at MediaCom for more than 10 years. He played a key role in the growth of the iLab proposition from the North Group back in 2010, founding and building MediaCom’s regional PPC offering which serviced all MediaCom regional offices.

Steve also works very closely with Group M and Google to ensure that the businesses are working together seamlessly and in as integrated a way as possible.

Chris Turner – Partner, Head of Programmatic

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Chris has had 15 years’ experience within the industry, specifically within online advertising. He previously worked at Dentu Aegis North, where he was ultimately response for running the Online Display team, before moving over to MediaCom in 2014.

At MediaCom, he initially ran the Online Display team for MediaCom Manchester, before broadening out to MediaCom North, then becoming Digital Investment Director. As of Q4 of 2019, in partnership and with the support of GroupM, he played a key role in developing and setting up the internal Programmatic Services team for MediaCom North, before that in turn evolved MediaCom Programmatic Services UK.

Claudia Ziegenbein – Partner, Head of Paid Search

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Little did Claudia know when she started in PPC in 2005 that it would become a multi-billion pound industry! After graduating university in Germany with an MA, she initially worked at Google when the first AdWords teams were set up in Europe and then moved agency-side (independent and big six network agencies), starting at MediaCom 10 years ago. A Search Team Manager first, a couple of promotions later she started as London’s Head of Paid Search in 2014.

Rob Jones – Managing Director, Code Computerlove

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With a background in data and analytics, Rob has worked in the digital industry for 20 years. He has led on product strategy, performance, and conversion optimisation for many of our client partners.

Phil Wright – Head of Data Activation

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Initially working in design and advertising agencies in the early days of multimedia and the web, I have worked in digital media since the late 1990s in B2B, B2C, e-commerce, and eLearning settings. Along the way, I became increasingly involved in web analytics and digital media data, looking at how data, measurement, and technology interact. This broad experience has given me a view across the whole digital landscape.

As part of the Google Practice, I head up Data Activation – working with clients as a consultant, and then engaging with our planning and channel teams. I work closely with our Advanced Analytics and Media Engineering teams to make sure that we have clarity on what data we’ll use and how to integrate it effectively into marketing platforms.

Ryan McKay – Partner, Head of Product

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Ryan has worked in digital for over 12 years, starting off as an affiliate before various roles in ecommerce and search. He joined MediaCom nine years ago and has worked in a number of roles across SEO, content and most recently as Technology Innovation Director, developing new products and solutions for clients.

Will O'Hara – SEO Director

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Will has been working in the SEO industry for 17 years, much of this managing and building teams agency-side. His experience covers the full spectrum of SEO services but focuses on technical and content. He is active in the SEO community outside of MediaCom, especially on Twitter, and co-organises the MancSEO events which attract 150+ SEOs from across the Greater Manchester region.

Joe Eastham – Director, Head of Advanced Analytics

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Joe has worked at MediaCom for almost ten years now. In that time, he has grown and developed the Ad Tech/Analytics offering within North Group and, more recently, worked across a broader set of UK clients to help clients get value, insights and actions from their media and web data.

James Balmforth – PPC Director

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James has worked in PPC for 10 years and for almost eight years at MediaCom. This has given him experience of large clients, complex markets and how to get the best from Google platforms.

He encourages collaboration across PPC teams, creates a culture of sharing ideas to help everyone learn from different markets and runs Google product sprints to move all clients towards a collective goal.

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