Graham Supporting the Portsmouth FC Football Team

Graham Maggs, Vice President of Marketing EMEA at Mouser Electronics, is the latest marketer to take part in our marketing expert series. From Graham’s view on the most-over hyped marketing tactic, to his favourite football team, we asked Graham a variety of questions to learn everything we could about our latest marketing expert. 


  • What are your biggest marketing challenges?

The biggest challenge for Mouser is ensuring the right information is provided to the right people. Mouser spends a considerable amount of time and money on building our customer databases, as it is imperative to ensure that we are not perceived as sending ‘spam’.

Of course, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules that are due to be enforced in May 2018 mean extra challenges, but we see this as an opportunity to build better databases and forge closer relationships with our customers.

  • Describe the future of trade media – will it thrive or are there problems ahead?

I think it is a challenging time for media companies right now, as traditional advertising spend reduces and all companies look for more statistics. However, I believe there will always be an appetite for information, especially for media who become more interactive with their readers.

  • If there is one thing you could change about the electronics press, what would it be?

I wish the electronics press in general would include more live links within their copy. They should be less afraid of losing traffic from their site. Mouser is actively looking to increase its partnership (media spend) with media houses that include the active links that we supply with our PRs and other material.

  • What do you think is the most effective and least effective marketing activity you, or your company undertakes (in terms of ROI)?

The most effective is SEM leading to SEO through organic Google searches. However, you have to consider the activities that lead people to search.

The least effective might be considered print advertising – but then again, this is difficult to quantify because it is not really measurable. Again, we know that in some countries, print publications are very influential.

  • What is the most over-hyped marketing tactic?

Probably exhibitions. However, you do need a mix of marketing activities to achieve different goals at different times with different groups of individuals.

  • What was the best campaign you’ve run?

We did an excellent campaign with the Intel Galileo board through Elektor. We ran a competition and everyone who signed up got a Galileo poster. We had to print an extra 3500 more posters than we had planned.

  • Tell us about a campaign you ran that didn’t work, and what you learnt from it.

There was a UK show which we tried which had hardly any visitors – we learned not to exhibit again!

  • How does marketing for a distributor differ from the marketing done by manufacturers in the electronic components industry?

That is an interesting question. Traditional distributors will focus on image building, whereas manufacturers will probably look at introducing new technology and new parts. In that respect, with our focus on design engineers, Mouser is more similar to manufacturers as we also want to introduce customers to new parts and new technologies. So, we put a lot of emphasis on becoming a knowledge centre – offering white papers, design ideas, the design ecosystem – as well as letting customers know that we have huge, freely-available parts of course.

  • If there was one thing you could change about how agencies work with you, what would it be?

Sometimes it can seem that agencies concentrate more on winning new business than servicing what they already have!

  • Can you explain how you define and measure success for your campaigns?

At a basic level we look at the click through ratio, however, we have to understand that some promotion is not done for immediate leads/enquiries, but to build brand and image, which leads to long term growth. In that respect, Mouser has performed extremely well, with significant double digit growth, well above industry average and other ‘high service’ distributors month on month, quarter on quarter and year on year since we began in Europe.

Print, of course is even harder to measure, but we believe that there will always be a place for print.

When is enough ‘enough’? Again, that’s hard to answer, but we do believe in never repeating banner advertising – we always have new parts to promote, so we always keep our promotional subjects fresh.

  • What do you like to do in your spare time/hobbies?

It’s well-known that I do like holidays. Other than that, I am an avid Portmouth FC supporter, I play a little golf, love spending time with my grandchildren and I also read a lot.

  • What football (or any other sport) team do you support?

There is only one team – surely everyone knows this? POMPEY!!!! Portsmouth FC. Play UP Pompey; Pompey Play Up!

  • What other career would you have chosen if you weren’t in marketing?

Probably either the Navy, or teaching

  • How did you get into the electronics industry?

My mother was very keen on me not going into the Navy (see above!) so she pushed me to apply for apprenticeships. I was offered two, but chose an electronics post with Marconi, as that seemed very interesting with lots of potential. At Marconi I had the opportunity to try many functions, including purchasing, and this led to a position with distributor Swift Sasco. From there I moved to Philips and the Bourns, first in a sales role, then in distribution, eventually ending up as European distribution manager. Then, when Mouser was looking to build its European team, I was honoured to be invited to apply. It’s been a very rewarding time, building the team and helping to shape our future and I look forward to it continuing for many years!