SPS Expands into America

SPS, the Smart Production Solutions trade show, organized by Mesago Messe Frankfurt, has announced that it will be expanding into America, premiering an 'Automation Sector powered by SPS' as part of IMTS 2024, before hosting a stand-alone trade show to be held in Atlanta in 2025.

As an extension to the trade show in Nuremberg and its associated events in Italy and China, these new events will support and accelerate the exchange of knowledge of the industrial automation sector between the USA and Europe, addressing current challenges in areas such as supply chains, logistics, staff shortages and cost pressure.

The 'Automation Sector powered by SPS' will take place at IMTS from 9th-14th September 2024 in Chicago, and will showcase the smart and digital automation solutions for industrial manufacturing.

Following this event, Mesago Messe Frankfurt's U.S. sister company Messe Frankfurt Inc, will hold an independent industry event in Atlanta every two years under the name 'SPS - Smart Production Solutions,' of which the first will take place from 23rd-25th September 2025.

“The Automation Sector at IMTS expands IMTS’ appeal as a must-attend event for businesses that want to increase their manufacturing efficiency through automation,” says Douglas K. Woods, President at AMT, which owns and produces IMTS. “By working with SPS – Smart Production Solutions, IMTS 2024 will have even more exhibits featuring advanced motion systems, vision and imaging, data analytics, systems integration, artificial intelligence, and cloud and edge computing.”

"We are delighted to enter into this cooperation and offer the global automation industry a high-quality platform to intensify cross-border business relations," commented Martin Roschkowski, President of Mesago Messe Frankfurt. "A fast exchange of knowledge is crucial in today's world, and we are convinced that this new concept will meet the needs of the industry."

It's a significant move for SPS to expand to America, and it will certainly be interesting to see how the American market reacts to the events, as it provides some fantastic opportunities to take networking and sharing of knowledge to the next level.

For further information on the events, please click here. 

Electronic Specifier Welcomes Two New Members

Electronic Specifier has welcomed two new members to its editorial team, with Kristian McCann joining as Editor, and Harry Fowle as Editorial Assistant.

Kristian joins the team with a background in working at several different publications and news media organisations in Helsinki, Brussels and London. Kristian has a keen interest in the dynamics of geopolitics, news and how this relates to technology, and enjoys discussing tech and its latest developments.

Harry also joins the Electronic Specifier fold, with a passion for all things geeky, from the latest video games to researching the newest tech trends. He has a passion for writing which stemmed from his interest in History, which he studied at University.

Congratulations to both Kristian and Harry on their new roles, and we look forward to working with them.

New Engineering and Manufacturing Awards Announced for 2023

The Engineer, Eureka!, Manufacturing Management, Machinery and New Electronics publications have come together to launch the Engineering and Manufacturing Awards, which will showcase the very best that UK engineering has to offer.

Covering all areas of the industry from design, manufacture, production and management, the awards feature a range of categories to allow entrants of all sizes and capabilities to showcase their excellence. Categories include Engineering Consultancy, R&D Product, Production Innovation and Design Team of the Year; with entrants having until 24th February 2023 to finalise and submit their entries.

Here at Napier, we were delighted to hear of another award which will celebrate the fantastic work that is undertaken in the engineering and manufacturing sectors. We look forward to seeing the fantastic companies and entrants who get shortlisted, and the winners at the awards ceremony, which will be taking place on 19th May 2023, at the London Marriott Hotel at Grosvenor Square.


Alan Burkitt-Gray of Capacity Media to Retire

Alan Burkitt-Gray has announced that after almost 50 years as a journalist, he will be retiring in April of this year.

Having joined Euromoney back in December 2000 as Editor of Global Telecoms Business, which has since been merged into Capacity Media, Alan has been Editor-at-Large for the last few years.

Alan has been a staple in the telecom industry for several years, and he will definitely be missed.

We wish him all the best for his retirement and future travels.

A Sad Goodbye to Andy Turner

Napier was saddened to hear the news that Andy Turner passed away at the beginning of January this year at the age of 86.

Having been a key member of the electronics industry since the 70s, Andy's career has spanned from being an Ad Manager at electronic components magazine to more recently working as a Sales Manager at Machinebuilding.net.

Andy had worked with several members of the Napier team over the years. He was always a delight to talk to and a truly lovely person. We will miss him.

Our thoughts are with Andy's friends and family.

WEKA to Publish Trade Fair Magazine for HANNOVER MESSE

WEKA BUSINESS MEDIEN in cooperation with WEKA FACHMEDIEN will publish the official trade fair magazine 'The Official Daily' for HANNOVER MESSE in 2023.

Editorial teams from both WEKA BUSINESS MEDIEN and WEKA Fachmedien will be involved in the development of the magazine including INDUSTRIAL Production, KUNSTSTOFF MAGAZIN, materialfluss, Computer&Automation, Elektronik, Markt&Technik and LANline.

HANNOVER MESSE will be taking place from Monday 17th April to Friday 21st April, and the magazine will be published daily covering the latest at the show from innovations, news, and product highlights, as well as press conferences and trends in the industries.

Distributed exclusively to trade visitors and exhibitors in the entrance areas and congress area of the exhibition grounds, the magazine will also be available online as an e-paper at several publication websites, including industrial-production.de, kunststoff-magazin.de, materialfluss.de, computer-automation.de, elektroniknet.de, elektronik.de, markt-technik.de, lanline.de and on hannovermesse.de. Each issue will also be sent to 200,000 newsletter recipients.

On day one of the exhibition, the e-paper will also feature multimedia content such as videos and animations, to enable the reader to interact and learn more information on the solutions, products and trade fair innovations.

It's always beneficial to have an overview of the fantastic innovations that will come from HANNOVER MESSE, and it's great to see that this will be provided by WEKA BUSINESS MEDIEN and WEKA FACHMEDIEN, providing both attendees and non-attendees with the opportunity to get regular updates from the show.

Editorial Changes at Network Computing

Ray Smyth, previously Editor for the Network Computing newsletter, has left publishing group BTC, with Editor Mark Lyward now handling the editorial for both the newsletter and publication.

Published quarterly, Network Computing is currently published in a digital format only, alongside a monthly newsletter, which each feature exclusive content.

The Network Computing Awards are also returning for 2023, which aim to recognise the products, the projects, the companies and the people which have been most impressive in the network management arena. Nominations are now open, with the awards free to enter, and have a closing deadline of 9th March 2023. Further information on the awards can be found here. 



New Content Direction for Elettronica AV

Elettronica AV has announced its content focus for 2023, with plans to use insights and surveys to keep readers informed of the latest in the electronics market and address topics such as what the main challenges are for electronic professionals in the current global economy.

To strengthen the magazine's content and knowledge, the Elettronica AV publication team will also be supported by a team of international contributors in 2023, including Ronald Bishop, Alan Friedman, and Georg Steinberger. These authors will focus on sharing their expertise and knowledge about the international economic scene and the electronics sector.

With topics already chosen for the next six issues of Elettronica AV, the publication will examine market and technology subjects focusing on particular application fields, including aerospace and satellite, vending machines, automotive, wellness and fitness, transportation, subcontracting and assembly.

It's great to see how publications such as Elettronica AV are continuing to put extreme thought into their content strategy to stay relevant to the industry; from focusing on timely topics to inviting international authors to enhance Elettronica AV's knowledge and expertise around the effects of current economic factors. We look forward to seeing the fantastic content Elettronica AV will publish in 2023.


New Sales Manager Joins The Engineering Network

The Engineering Network (TEN) has welcomed Georgina Turner to the fold as Sales Manager.

Georgina joins the team with extensive industry experience, taking responsibility for new business sales across a portfolio which includes the online platforms MachineBuilding.net and FasteningandBonding.net, as well as the all-new MachineBuilding.Live event in October 2023 and the quarterly design engineering magazine Industrial Technology.

Commenting on her new role, Georgina said: “TEN is a modern-day success story in the specialist engineering publishing and events sector, thanks to a combination of old-fashioned values, excellent databases and the ability to deliver exactly what both readers and customers demand. The business has grown substantially in the 2 years since it was formed and I am looking forward to being part of this vibrant team as the growth continues.”

“We’re delighted to welcome Georgie to our team” commented Luke Webster. “Colleagues of her calibre are few and far between and she brings with her a super track record, excellent contacts and a desire to do the right thing by our customers as they seek growth in challenging times.”

We wish Georgina the best of luck in her new role.


Talking Industry Live to Host Unique Learning Experience

Talking Industry, the online panel discussion forum and podcast, has partnered with the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), to bring exhibitors and visitors together in a unique environment with Talking Industry Live. 

Taking place on 25th April 2023, at the MTC in Coventry, this one-day event will provide a platform for visitors to learn about cutting-edge technologies and best practices through panel discussions, presentations, live demos and workshops. The event will be broken into five elements allowing visitors to tailor their own experience, from learning new skills to meeting with new suppliers and gaining knowledge through networking with peers.

Panel discussions and workshops will take place throughout the day, focusing on topics such as robotics and automation, industrial data and AI, and managing equipment safety and cyber security in the modern factory. Seminars will also be taking place, covering subjects such as 'Collaborative Automation: Solving the UK Productivity Puzzle' and 'Additive Manufacturing: Automated 3D Printing – Exponential Manufacturing Possibilities'.

The event is free to attend, although spaces are limited to 400 delegates. Visitors will also have the opportunity to see new products from organisations such as Motor Technology, Novotek and Omron, in a micro exhibition.

It's fantastic to see publications such as DFA Manufacturing Media continue to evolve, by designing another platform that Talking Industry can use to educate and engage with the industry.

Visitors can register their interest by clicking here and can find out more about the event via Talking Industry's website. 


PEMD 2023 Opens Call for Papers

The Power Electronics, Machines and Drives (PEMD) conference, has launched its call for papers, inviting specialists and professionals to submit content which addresses the latest developments in the technologies and applications of electrical drives, machines and power electronic systems.

In its 12th year, organizers, the IET, is hosting the conference for the first time outside of the UK, with plans for it to take place in Brussels, Belgium in October 2023.

As a leading forum on power electronics, machines and drives, the conference provides a platform for specialists across the globe to network, showcase technical advances and share knowledge of the components, systems, process and materials that are driving innovation.

It's great to see the PEMD conference head into its 12th year, and the change to host in Belgium, will certainly be beneficial for the event, due to convenient travel links from across Europe, and due to Brussels being home to one of Europe's largest Power Electronics hubs. We look forward to seeing how the conference unfolds, and the fantastic insights we are sure it will provide to the industry.

Submissions for papers are due on 12th May 2023, and more details for submissions can be found here. 

Entries Now Open for The Electronics Industry Awards and The Instrumentation Excellence Awards

Entries are now open for The Electronics Industry Awards and The Instrumentation Excellence Awards 2023.

After another successful award ceremony for The Electronics Industry Awards last year, the event will return in 2023, with entries now open to the industry.

Following a successful launch event, The Instrumentation Excellence Awards will also be returning in 2023; and they will once again take place alongside The Electronics Industry Awards on Thursday 19th October at the Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden.

The entry deadline for both events is the 30th of April 2023. For more information on categories and the voting process for The Electronics Industry Awards, please click here. For further details on The Instrumentation Excellence Awards, please click here.

Good luck to everyone entering, and we look forward to attending these great events later this year.

Editor Greg Blackman Makes a Career Change

Greg Blackman, Editor of Imaging and Machine Vision Europe, Electro Optics and Laser Systems Europe, has announced that he will be leaving the industry after nearly 15 years, to focus on a career in horticulture.

Publishing house Europa Science are yet to name a replacement for Greg, but we know he will be missed by several members of the industry.

We wish Greg the best of luck in his new career.

Editorial Changes at EPDT

After five years as Editor of EPDT, Mark Gradwell has announced that he will be leaving the publication to start a new role as a Senior Account Director at BWW Communications, in January 2023.

Alistair Winning will be returning to EPDT as Interim Consulting Editor from the beginning of January, while EPDT continues the recruitment process for Mark's replacement. Alistair will also continue his role as European Editor of Power Systems Design.

Although Mark has made a move to the 'dark side', especially as he joins one of Napier's competitors, we wish him all the best in his new role, and we know BWW Communications will treat him well.

Focus on PCB Confirmed for 2023

Focus on PCB will return for 2023, after a successful show in 2022, which received great feedback from both exhibitors and visitors.

Taking place from 17th-18th May 2023 at the Vicenza Expo Centre in Italy, Focus on PCB invites professionals from all areas of the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) supply chain from designers to end-users to gain valuable insights into the latest developments from the industry, as well as provide the opportunity to network and share their views with each other.

The trade show will provide a large exhibition area for visitors, and will also feature a programme of workshops and conferences, which will offer valuable insights into the latest developments, technical aspects and future trends within the PCB supply chain, focusing on design through to assembly.

Topics will focus on the logistics and production of PCBs, the reduction of the gap between supply and demand, and the current outlook on the job market in the electronics industry.

Here at Napier, we were delighted to hear that the Focus on PCB show was returning next year. After receiving fantastic feedback from this year's event, it's clear to see that the show is incredibly valuable to the industry, and we look forward to seeing the insights it provides in 2023.

For more information about the show, and how you can register, please click here. 



Sam Holland Moving on From Electronic Specifier

November has marked a new challenge for Sam Holland, Editor at Electronic Specifier, as he moves away from the electronics press to a new role as an SEO content writer at a cyber security company.

We will miss working with Sam at Electronic Specifier, but wish him the best of luck in his new role.

A Napier Webinar: Developing a Marketing Strategy for Growth: Planning for 2023

Strategy development is the foundation of great campaigns, but it can be difficult to connect your marketing strategy to your planning and execution, ensuring you focus your resources on activities that deliver results and drive growth, eliminating the unnecessary and ineffective.

Watch our on-demand webinar 'Developing a Marketing Strategy for Growth: Planning for 2023', and discover:

  • How to align your marketing strategy and business goals
  • Tools to analyse the situation and help you plan
  • Why you need to understand the audience
  • Creating a framework for measurement
  • How to prioritize when budget is limited

Register to view our webinar on demand by clicking here, and why not get in touch to let us know if our insights helped you.

Napier Webinar: ‘Developing a Marketing Strategy for Growth: Planning for 2023’ Transcript

Speakers: Mike Maynard

Good afternoon, and welcome to the latest Napier webinar. Today I'm going to be talking about developing a marketing strategy for growth. So this is really a webinar to talk about how you can start planning for next year for 2023. And explain what we can do, and how we can approach creating and delivering a webinar. So, the first thing to do is to explain what the objective is. And for us today, the objective is going to be to help you create a better, more effective marketing plan for next year. And I think you know, as you see by the picture, we're all used to the the, the plans that sit at the bottom of a pile, they get rid of the start of the year, at the end of the year, they only get produced, just so you can have a look and see what you want to write for the year coming up. So what we want to do is produce a plan that's going to be useful, something that you're actually going to get benefit from, and you'll be using and looking at throughout the year. So, quick overview of our agenda. I mean, the first thing is planning is never perfect. We'll talk about you know, some of the reasons why planning actually is so difficult. We'll discuss the biggest mistakes people make. And then we'll talk about models and processes. And really, I think it's about understanding processes as the way to improve your planning. And we'll talk about why processes are important. And how you can create a process that really works. Well put it all together, explain how to build a marketing plan, using a funnel model that we use a lot at Napier. And at the end, I'll invite you to ask some questions. So if you do have questions that you think of as we go through the presentation, please do just put them directly into the chat. And then what we'll do is we'll take a look at the chat at the end of the presentation. And we'll take any of your questions and answer them then.

So as we go through, please ask questions in the chat. So planning isn't perfect, I think it was Mike Tyson, who said everybody's got a plan until they get punched in the face. And planning really is a challenge. There's lots of reasons for this. I mean, you know, some of them are your budget is going to be fixed by a lot of factors, you know, quite often by the finance team. And then you'll have your boss who might be the VP of Sales and Marketing come along, unless the number of demands that marketing has got to you know, achieve certain results that are completely impossible within the budget, or at least feel impossible at the time. So you've got this issue that you don't necessarily have control the budget, you don't necessarily have control of the high level goals. So it's really tough to create a plan when you've got that little level of control. But what we can do is we can implement a good planning process that will take what we've got the high level goals that we have to achieve, and also the budget and the constraints we have to work within, and will let us build a campaign that is gonna produce the best possible results at the end of the day, that's really what we want to do is achieve the best possible results from our campaign. Now, I think some of you listening to the webinar, or clients will know that I'm actually an engineer, I love process. And I think you know, a lot of people when they start marketing plans, they try and look for, you know, marketing plan, templates and things like that. That's not necessarily the best way to do it, I think the best way to do it is to have a sequence of steps, you follow that then generate the plan. So process is really, really important. And if we look at, you know, different processes, hopefully you'll see how they can actually help you not only generate a really effective and comprehensive marketing plan, but also generate better strategies and better tactics. And ultimately, those are the foundations on which your marketing plan is going to be built. There's certainly not one right way to plan campaigns, though.

So as I say, we've got some approaches that we'd like to talk about. But there are no right ways. If you look at, you know, the Google search of steps to create a marketing plan. I love this. The suggested searches are what are the seven steps? What are the 10 steps? What are the five steps? What are the six steps? Nobody can agree on? How many steps are even Google in terms of the searches. So there's no magic number of steps. There's actually no magic answer in terms of the best process. But there is some academic research that actually is really useful to see that will help you understand how to build plans, and the kind of a sequence you need to go for But of course, having said there's no right way to build a marketing plan, there are wrong ways. And interestingly, if you search for marketing plan mistakes, Google has over 56 million matches. So one of the things we're going to try and do with this webinar is we're going to try to make sure that we're going to help you avoid making those marketing mistakes, when you're building your plan. And the biggest mistake, the thing that we see an awful lot of is not thinking strategically, it's really common. And the reason is, it's really easy to jump straight into what we're going to do, rather than actually having, you know, a time to think about where we are, what the situation is, and what we want to try and achieve. So we quite often see people doing, you know, little or no situation analysis, perhaps not looking into the audiences they're trying to target. And quite often, it's because people just want to get these numbers done and get them back to finance. And so the budgets done.

And so you end up effectively doing what you did last year, plus a couple of changes. Now, we're not suggesting you throw everything away from previous years. But certainly just assuming that last year was the right answer is probably not the best thing to do. And that's particularly the case, because last year, probably you did the same as the previous year and the previous year, it's it's mistakes that are being compounded that you need to address. And so what you need to do is put work in upfront before you actually jump into developing what you're going to do. And that is difficult. I mean, I get that, you know, as we approach the end of the year, we're looking to planning now, or maybe you're looking you know, in January and February to plan for a April to March financial year, it's hard to find the time to put that effort in. But if you can put the time in, it definitely makes the rest of the year much easier. And here's where I'm gonna put a plug in for agencies, I promise, this is the only sales bit of the webinar. You know, if you've got an agency and agency can often help you enormously with strategic planning, not only in terms of, you know, helping you do the work, that's going to take time, the research, and, you know, building models and things like that, to understand where you are in terms of the situation, and the audience. But agencies can also help you with generating ideas and things they've seen from other clients. So often, it's not just you that has to sit there creating the plan, get a team involved, and, you know, make what is a big project, you know, slightly less challenging. Okay, so we talked about processes. There's a guy called Ronald Smith, who literally wrote the book on strategic planning for public relations. And he produced what's generally used in academia, as the seven steps of marketing planning. I feel now, you know, it's important to say sure, what he what he felt there were only three steps to heaven.

But clearly, marketing is a lot more complicated. And there's seven steps, according to Mr. Smith. Now, he put those steps in two phases. And the first phase is around research. He called it the formative research, and it's looking at the situation, looking at your organisation, and also looking at the audience. So you're really trying to find out where you are. The next step is strategy. And that's around selecting goals, determining your action and response strategies, and developing the messaging strategy. And we'll talk a little bit about action response strategies in a second. The third phase is tactics, this is what you're going to do. So you pick what you're going to do, and you actually do it. And then the fourth phase is evaluation. And that's really evaluating the plan, did you succeed, did you not what worked, what didn't, and that's going to give you information to then bring through to your plan for the following year. So I think this is, you know, really interesting. The steps are quite detailed. And they also don't always work, we find that this is, you know, somewhat idealistic, because actually, what you're doing is you're not really selecting budget, the tactics until phase three. So there's some issues around doing this. And also actually, you know, a lot of the work in terms of time actually is around this research stage.

So at Napier, we use a version of this seven step process, we simplified it down to four steps. So the first step is determine which is your situation analysis. So that matches the analysing the situation analysing the organisation. We also set goals typically at this stage. Now this is interesting because the academics will say, Well, you got to do all the research, look at the audience you know, before you start setting goals, but in reality once you analyse the organisation, once you know what your company needs, you're then very, very quickly understand what the goals are. So typically, we find goals are set, you know, pretty early on in most campaigns and most marketing plans that we work on. The next step is focus. And that's about analysing the audience. And this is about, you know, looking at not only who you're talking to, but also what you need to do to get the audience to engage and respond in the way you want them to respond. And within that, you're also setting the messaging strategy, what you say to them to actually generate those responses. The next stage is deliver, that's like find the tactics and implement the plan very much again, like the seven step process, and the last stage is enhance now, what we tend to do at Napier is we tend to try and find metrics that we can measure during the campaign, rather than leaving all the evaluation until after the campaign is complete.

And the reason for that is, and particularly when you're looking at things like digital campaigns, but this also can apply to things like PR as well. If you can continuously evaluate whether what you're doing is actually generating the results you look for, you can actually make changes and course corrections mid campaign, if you can cause correct mid campaign, and you're just missing, you know, the optimum campaign by a little bit, a slight course correction can generate significantly better results. So we strongly recommend where you can setting metrics that can be measured in real time, rather than those that could just be measured at the end of the campaign. So we're going to have a look at some of the different steps and talk through them. So the first step is determine here, it's really interesting. So with a determined phase, what we find is that actually, there's a lot of tools you can use, that are really helpful. If you've done a marketing degree, you might have covered things like SWOT or Porter's five forces or pesto pesto, or perceptual maps, there's many different tools you can use to understand the situation. And it's amazing when you use these tools as sort of frameworks to write down where you are it things become much clearer. And so quite often this is, you know, a really, really helpful thing. I actually sat in on a webinar this morning, that was amazing talking about and promoting agencies.

And they produced a perceptual map. So this is literally, you know, it looks like a graph, it's got two axes. And in this case, one axes was what makes the agency different. And one axis was what matters to clients. And the simple message was, you know, if you want to promote an agency, you want to talk about what makes you different, and that benefits clients. So you want to talk about things that not only are your differentiators, but things that are actually useful to clients? Well, it sounds really obvious. But when you start expressing it like that, a lot of the things that maybe are perhaps really interesting, exciting to you as an agency, but really don't impact clients then become very clear. So perceptual maps are great. And typically in b2b, you know, the classic perceptual map was price performance, you know, how much it cost, how much performance deliver today, I think, you know, things have moved on, particularly in technology. And so now, it's not just price performance, it's about the whole offering. So you might be looking at things like performance against ease of use, and things like that building those perceptual maps is really useful. We also need to understand what requirements are being dictated you know, I mean, most CEOs want to double sales in five minutes, right.

But actually, you know, maybe the CEO does have a real sales goal, they want to get a certain sales increase in a certain time period. If that's a very short term goal, then that's going to impact how you plan your marketing for the next year, because focusing on awareness and top of the funnel activities, is not going to generate the results that you need in the timescale you've got. So maybe you want to focus on things that are all around, converting the people already interested and engaged. And that'd be more bottom of the funnel. So we often find requirements dictated. But normally, we can not only clarify those organisational requirements, but we can also clarify goals as well. And so, you know, an organisational requirement might be sales, a goal might, for example, be number of leads that you generate to drive those sales. And clearly there if you're asked for a certain number of leads, we need to clarify, you know, whether it's a marketing qualified or a sales qualified lead, and what marketing qualified and sales qualified means, you know, how do you define whether someone's ready to engage with sales? One of the things we find really, really useful and this is a really simple tip is just to break down the goal. So let's say your CEO, has relaxed and said they don't want to double sales in five minutes. They're happy to double sales over the next year. Then you've got to start thinking about some questions that are going to break this down to make it easier to create marketing KPIs that you can use to show that you're moving Moving towards this ultimate goal.

So, you know, one question might be a prospects easy to convert if prospects are very difficult to convert, sales might need help, you might actually, as a marketing team, you spend time on what might be more often regarded as sales enablement, to help sales close a deal. You know, we could ask whether we got enough prospects, if we don't have enough prospects to double the sales, we need to drive more prospects. If we need to drive more prospects, how are we going to generate those leads? And if you're going to generate leads, and you've got a lead generation tactic, do you have enough people are actually aware of your company and you're offering and have, you know, reasonably positive perception, so they're likely to respond to a lead gen campaign. So you can start working back up the customer journey on the marketing funnel, to find you know, what you need to do. And at each stage, you can then set objectives. And it lets you generate these marketing metrics that show that you're moving towards achieving your goal. And generally speaking, when we talk about goals and moving people through, we talk about funnels. You know, this is the classic marketing funnel, people now, I think, you know, have a more sophisticated view, and they start talking about marketing journeys, rather than funnels. But actually, the funnel model can be very helpful. And the reason is, is because people do go through certain phases. Now, they may not flow through quite as linearly as we'd like. And they may, you know, take diversions and, you know, move around. And I think it was Forrester that produced an amazing collection of pipes instead of a marketing funnel to show how complex it is. But generally speaking, people need awareness of a product before they become interested. They need to be interested before they actually want the product and have desire and then ultimately, they will take action if they want the product. So awareness, Interest, Desire actions, that is probably one of the simplest customer journeys or funnel models you can get. It's interesting, there's also many other funnel models as well.

So we see awareness evaluation purchase delight, we see what HubSpot used to love, which was top of the funnel, middle of the funnel and bottom of the funnel. And they used to love their tofu, Mofu and Bofu. Or you could talk about awareness, consideration and conversion. So there's lots of different ways to look at these stages. Ideally, what you'll do is you'll build proper customer journeys, and look at moving people from one stage to the next. But you know, in times where everyone is pushed for time, maybe just simply looking at and trying to understand, when you do a situation analysis, do you have enough people aware of your product? You know, is that the problem? Or have you got lots of people, you know, moving through this customer journey, or moving through the funnel, and is it all about closing sales, creating people who are interested and want the product to have desire, and creating them to causing them sorry, to take action, and actually become customers. So marketing funnel models can be very, very helpful. And then one of the things we very often do is create models around funnels. And they're really interesting, because what you can do is you can build a model that shows what you need to do at each stage. And here you can see in the slides, we're working from a number of Google searches that we're doing Google ads against, we're getting a click through rate, in this case, 4% that's generating website visitors are those visitors 10% are converting to become leads, they're filling in a form of those 40 leads, maybe half a potential customers and half, you know what used to be called Time Wasters in my time in sales, but people who maybe aren't likely customers YT prospects. So we might create. So these 50% generate 20 marketing qualified leads potential customers that meet requirements. So for example, we might take out students who wouldn't buy a b2b product at this stage.

Once we've got our marketing qualified customers, some of those will be ready to buy, some of them might not be ready to buy, they just bought from a competitor, or they're not into, you know, if you're selling a component, they're not starting a new design cycle. Or if you're selling a you know, large system, for example, a baggage handling system, they're not building an airport at the time, so many of them won't be ready to buy. Let's say it's 50%. So now our 20 marketing qualified leads become 10 sales qualified leads. Once we got sales qualified leads, it's down to the salespeople to convert, let's say they can get 50% to actually buy that will produce five sales. And in our example, we're saying our average customer value is 1000 pounds, leading to 5000 pounds that is generated. So obviously, if we can run our Google ads, and generate 400 clicks, and make it profitable, then that's going to sorry, that's going to mean it's a profitable campaign. Of course, what we tend to do with this is we don't tend to run from the top of the funnel backwards, we tend to run from The bottom of the funnel upwards. So we've got a sales target, we know a customer value, we can then work out the number of customers, we know how many people sales can convert from a sales qualified lead to an actual customer. So that's the conversion rate. And again, we step back up the funnel.

And then that will give us the number of Google searches that we need. And that will drive you know things like how much we're going to spend. It could also be, you know, for example, the number of display ads, we put on a trade publication, or it could be the number of LinkedIn ads, again, all of this is very, very similar. And where you have a process that is predominantly online, you can actually get quite an easy step by step conversion, and very clearly measure each step. Once you're running the campaign, you'll then see whether your conversion rates at each step, actually match your targets when you started. And if they don't, it's then that real time feedback, you know, did you set the wrong goal? In which case, is the budget wrong? And we'd spend more money? Or maybe if we're doing better, less money?

Or alternatively, are we doing something wrong on the landing page, which means that visitors aren't registering. So we've built this model. And we've also been able to estimate a budget to some extent, we then talk about, you know, the audience and the messaging, this is our focus stage. And here's where we really, really dig down deep. So, you know, we've looked at maybe you know, how funnel model might work. We said, Yeah, roughly, we need to do this, this and this. But we haven't done anything about, you know, how do we persuade the customer, for example, when they come to a landing page to fill in a form, you know, what's the messaging, what's the content offer. And so this is where the audience and the messaging analysis becomes really important. And in this stage, we focus a lot on personas.

So building buyer personas, and customer journeys. And obviously, the messaging should be built upon how we intend to change behaviour. And changing behaviour is from the academic world was referred to as an action and response strategy. So you do something that creates a response in the audience. So that might be a brand ambassador, advertising, technical literature, something like that. And typically, what you're doing is you're looking at your persona, for your potential customers. And you're looking at the motivators, the drivers that make them do things. So what do they care about? What makes them look good? What are they worried about a work. And I think the biggest indication of how to do this is Kim Kardashian.

So you know, here I am revealing myself a massive Kim fan, she's actually created a venture capital company, she's able to create a venture capital company, because it's a very simple action response strategy. And if Kim says a beauty product works on social media, lots of people go out and buy it very simple brand ambassador recommending a product then causes a response in the audience. And that is so powerful, that she's actually been able to build a venture capital company, targeting beauty companies, that we'll help startups grow and will grow them very quickly. Because she's got this, you know, ultimately powerful action and response strategy. We could see other things so we can see, you know, customer journeys example, customer journeys, and typically, they're quite complicated. So let's say I was looking for a new car.

And I see some TV adverts for companies, one of them might be cinch this is a company that sells used cars in the UK, I might go to the Isle of Wight Festival and see cinch because they sponsor the Isle of Wight Festival. I actually love cricket, you know, England is sponsored by cinch. So, you know, I see that I may have an England cricket show that even advertises this company. I think on the internet, and maybe search, you know, look for it, see some Trustpilot reviews? And then, you know, click on Google and click through and find cinch and go by car. You can see this is very difficult. It's very difficult to track. How do you know I went to the Isle of Wight first? And the answer is you don't. And this is one of the challenges of marketing. We're talking a little bit later about attribution. But typically, during a journey, some things have to be judged based upon whether you feel they're making a difference or not. It's very hard to know, for example, whether sponsorship, whether it be music, or of sports is going to make a difference to your sales, the only way you can do it is run some sponsorship and then stop, and then see if stopping actually causes sales to fall. However, at the same time, we might have entered a recession, the price of secondhand cars may have changed.

So all of this can kind of impact things. It's very, very, very difficult to actually determine whether something makes an incremental improvement or not. And this is something we'll talk about later when we talk about planning it because ultimately your marketing plan is going to rely on a lot of data that you produce and some of your intuition as well and really having intuition and understanding how your customers behave. That's great personas and great customer journey. He is going to help you make better marketing plans and better campaigns in the next year. delivers pretty simple. It's selecting tactics, you need to make sure that they're selected to achieve the goals. They will determine your budget allocation, not say your total budget amount, but where you spend the budget. And, obviously, it's important that things should work together. You know, and a great example might be that sports and music sponsorship we spoke about before, you know, if someone sees cinch at a music festival, or you know, at an England cricket game, they're much more likely to click on a Google ad for cinch when they're searching for a used car.

So the deliver stages is pretty straightforward. And hopefully, selecting the tactics becomes clearer, because you've built this model, not only of the situation and what you want to change, but also the model of how the audience, your customers, will move through their journey to become purchases.

So a couple of considerations, really, really simple stuff, you know, I mean, firstly, make sure your tactics effective, make sure it works for your particular goal. You know, a great example would be if all you're focused on in a year is lead generation, perhaps PR is not the right place to be. You know, it's great for awareness, it's not great for lead gen. Think about whether your tactic will reach your audience. I mean, CEOs of large enterprises, they quite often have other people reading their emails, they have assistants sending marketing emails, almost certainly are not going to reach CEOs. Equally junior engineers got very small networks on LinkedIn may not be that active at the other end of career. And then finally, you've got to make sure that your tactic engages the audience at the right time. And of course, this is why Google search ads are so powerful, is because there's a level of intent being shown, you know, someone's searching for something, they probably want to buy it. So if your tactic can engage you and at the right time, that's crucial. So you need the audience in the right mindset. And you need them to be thinking about purchasing. And that is a very tricky thing to do. And something I think we could maybe cover in a future webinar. We then get to enhance.

Now, I've talked a little bit about you know how the journey can be complicated and hard to monitor. I think a lot of people feel once you get to digital marketing, it's really easy to get all this data, the data has got to be accurate, you know, but it doesn't necessarily provide the information you need. And there's lots of metrics that, frankly, are vanity metrics. If we look at what's happening today, for example, in the world of email marketing, there's a whole range of different reasons why your email will appeal. It's open when it's not, not least if somebody's on Apple Mail, then Apple hides whether people open the email or not, by effectively opening all the emails. And also we see a lot of bot clicks on emails, typically around anti malware bots, checking out to make sure the links are safe. But both opens and clicks on emails have very unreliable statistics. So be very careful about these fairly simple, easy to retain, but frankly, ultimately vanity metrics. And the important thing to say is that attribution is not incrementality. I think this is probably something I'd say, you know, when I was lecturing to impress students, it's actually a very simple thing, just because you allocate some value from a sale, or an action, somebody's taken maybe an email newsletter sign up. That doesn't mean you've increased sales. So incrementality is increasing of sales.

So I don't know if people are sports fans here. But if you look at certain stats, you'll get very interesting results. So Mike, bossy was clearly a better ice hockey player than Wayne Gretzky because Mike scored more goals per game than Wayne. In fact, Wayne actually was very poor in terms of his goals to assist average, but actually happened to be the greatest ice hockey player ever. Lionel Messi, you know, generally regarded the greatest Soccer Soccer player at the moment, actually isn't the highest scoring international player. And he died from Iran is the International with the most goals. And a lot of that is driven because Iran play very different level teams to the level that Messi is playing. And if you're American, quite clearly, Jerry Rice couldn't have been a good wide receiver because the 40 yard dash which, you know, seems to be beloved of American football fans, Jerry Rice did in about 4.8 seconds, which wouldn't have even got him close to the top 20 for this year's draft. So, you know, you can look at different stats. And stats are always useful. You know, if you look at American football, how fast you run 40 yards when you're wide receiver is important, but it's not the only thing.

So attributing everything to one action is normally a very bad idea because most customer journeys are much more complex. If you remember our customer journey, let's imagine I clicked on a Google ad, when I put cinch cards into Google, because all the other activities I'd done that had, you know, created this positive perception about cinch, we're not trackable 100% of the value of any purchase, I make a cinch will be allocated at Google ad. That's completely wrong. And I think you gather from our discussion of sport, you know, the most important thing is probably the England sponsorship. But it's almost unmeasurable. So attribution is not incrementality. So we're about 30 minutes, I think it's time to wrap up. If anyone does have any questions, then please do, let me know. But let's put it all together. You know, let's have a look at you know, something we're doing. Let's say, for example, we've got a client that's looking to sell development kits for a new processor, that's now means we're better than competitor x. And the biggest lack of of a biggest problem, sorry, is a lack of awareness. Because nobody has actually seen the press release that we issued, that talked about the new product. So we've got a problem to overcome.

And we've also got two audiences, current customers and non customers. So if we built something together, we might take this very simple funnel model and say, well, awareness is the problem. Sorry, we might firstly say we've got current customers. And so we can email the current customers and tell them about the new products, and therefore they're using old products, they probably love to use a new product, we can then look at the awareness issue. And we can say we're going to do PR, we're going to trade out media advertising, we're going to raise awareness. And that's quite useful, because we can actually look at things like searches and web traffic that will help us measure that. So we've got some measurable activities, we might you exhibit at trade shows, you know, let's assume this as an automotive product, then we can exhibit a automotive shows this will generate leads, salespeople will have, you know, either MQLs, or even sales qualified leads direct from the exhibition. So that would jump a number of stages very quickly, we might run Google ads against the competitors brand searches. So if they were, you know, selling processor A, we could run a campaign recommending our processor, processor, B. And that could generate leads as well. And we could perhaps work with channel partners if we're in a situation where we sell through a channel and generate sales, qualified leads, and maybe even customers. So this is all the different things we could do. Now, where do we spend our money. And this is a really interesting challenge. Because we've got two things to do, we know we need to spend quite a bit of money at the top end, because awareness is really a problem. And if awareness is low, it's like the cop channel with a co op campaign with channel partners won't be very effective.

But there's some realities, PR is quite expensive. Trade media is really expensive to have the impact. So if we're going to spend money, we need to allocate a large amount of budget to trade media. Trade shows can be extremely expensive, particularly if you do them well. And particularly if you take into account the time that's involved. So again, there's no point saying trade metre is going to be a second tier tactic, if you're gonna go for it, you have to spend a large amount of money so that you can't just scale money up for each tactic. Google ads, on the other hand, if it's against competitor brand searches, you know, even if it's quite a, you know, a well known brand is probably not going to cost a lot of money. Because Google ads are relatively cheap. So there is actually a limit as to how much you can spend on that Google ads campaign. Because ultimately, you're saturate the people who are actually searching for the competitor's brand because they want to buy. And you'll end up having some spurious searches that maybe feel like they're close to the competitors brand, but actually aren't going to influence your sales.

You know, come up campaigns, that's typically quite scalable, depending on the tactics, but then emailing current customers, actually, that might be your single most effective way to sell this new product. But you can only allocate a relatively small amount of money to it, because you can only run a limited number of emails to your database. Otherwise, you'll end up with your database, just getting swamped with emails, feeling spammed and opting out. It'll be counterproductive. So this is really interesting. You know, we've talked about you know, the importance of different things modelling, what influences each step of the funnel, but then actually, when it comes to allocating budget, you have to allocate budget, both on the importance and also on the inherent cost of the activity. So you can't just allocate the majority of the budget to the most effective tactics sometimes because if that's emailing current customers, that's probably not going to be something you can scale indefinitely. So in summary, I mean, the most important thing is strategy thinking about strategy thinking in advance of what you're going to do. While this is Situation is what you want to change, and who you want to change whose mindset you want to change. So that's our determine and focus stages.

And you know, at this stage frameworks, tools and models are very, very useful. Funnel models are, you know, to be honest, very simple, but they can actually really help in terms of determining investment and where you put money, and also how much you need to spend on the campaign as a whole. But ultimately, the problem is, is reality is very complex. It's not a simple model. And even Google with a, you know, infinite number of services that appears, they can't accurately determine whether the Google ad for cinch was the most important, or the least important factor in me deciding to buy a car from them. So there's many different factors, it's almost impossible to attribute revenue accurately. And, you know, different tactics have different costs. So you may not necessarily have the same cost per value.

For different tactics, you may decide you need to do advertising, because you need to raise awareness, otherwise, nothing else will work. And you have to put a disproportionate amount of funds in there. So thank you very much for listening. I now open it up. I don't know if anyone has any questions that I'd welcome if you just type them into the chat bar. And we'll go ahead and start answering them. Okay, so the first question I've got is asking about the model was I mentioned I talked about perceptual maps, and SWOT and it's asking that says, I know what a SWOT is, but I don't know what a perceptual map is. And we do we have some information to explain. The answer to that is perceptual maps. As I said, as a simple to access model, what we might do actually going forward is run at a another webinar, and we'll talk about some of these models. And so you can understand how to use some of the models. And we'll work through some examples to show you how to use them.

So maybe that's the best way to answer that question. And I'm just checking if we've got anything else. So either I've been very clear, or everyone has now gone to sleep because I don't have any other questions. So I'll finish off by saying, Thank you very much for listening. We will be putting a copy of the webinar up as an on demand copy. So if you want to review the webinar, or if you've got, you know, anybody you'd like to share it with we very much welcome that. And I hope you find this useful if you have any questions you think of. After we finished the session, please do feel free to email me. My email is on the slide Mike at Napier b2b dot com. I'd be really help. Happy to answer the question and help you. Thank you very much for your time this afternoon and have a great rest of your day everyone.

EE Times' Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Special Ebook

Back in June, we reported on the 50th anniversary of AspenCore’s publication EE Times, so we were delighted to hear that the full ebook of specially curated content will be available in full from 7th November 2022.

Featuring 50 days of original news articles and analysis, the ebook covers content from former editors-in-chief and engineers who helped make the industry greener. It also offers the opportunity to browse the interactive timeline and contribute to the time capsule.

Exploring key history, content covers the silicon 'gold rush' of the past few decades and the next frontier of silicon.

Celebrations will also continue at electronica 2022, with members of AspenCore attending to celebrate this great achievement at the AspenCore booth A4.461.

Congratulations to EE Times for reaching this fantastic milestone, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for the publication.

A Napier Webinar: The 7 Steps to Kickstarting a Successful Podcast

There is a significant difference between setting up a sustainable, impactful and ultimately successful podcast versus a podcast that flops at the first hurdle. If you're a B2B marketer wondering how to get started with a podcast, or wondering why yours isn't working successfully, then our '7 Steps to Kickstarting a Successful Podcast' webinar is a must-watch.

Watch the on-demand version, and we share our seven steps and cover:

  • The importance of planning and strategy for a podcast
  • Why you need to know your audience
  • The need to invest in marketing promotion
  • Picking the format that works for you
  • Software and equipment
  • Importance of sound quality
  • How to pick a topic

Register to view our webinar on demand by clicking here, and why not get in touch to let us know if our insights helped you.

Napier Webinar: ‘The 7 Steps to Kickstarting a Successful Podcast’ Transcript

Speakers: Mike Maynard

Mike: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the latest Napier webinar. Today I'm gonna be talking about kick starting a successful podcast. So firstly, what we'll do is if anybody has any questions or wants something clarified if I can ask you to post those questions into the chat. And then what we'll do is we'll cover questions at the end of the webinar. Okay, so why are we talking about kick starting a successful podcast? Well, the answer is, is that a lot of our clients are talking about podcasts now, podcasts have been around for quite a while. But we're now seeing more and more people listening to podcasts, as well as producing podcasts. And in particular, we're seeing a lot of people in the b2b sector, starting to produce podcasts, podcasts are like this amazing tool where you can get the attention of an audience for a significant period of time, you know, typically, in b2b, we see podcasts ranging from anything between about 15 to 45 minutes, so you're getting a lot of attention from your audience. And it's actually something that's very easy to do. Now, this is why we're running the podcast is, it's actually not hard to start a podcast yourself. And so what we want to do is talk through the steps that we've taken in terms of, you know, starting podcasts, not only for Napier, but also for clients, and hopefully give you the confidence to think about how you might be able to start a podcast of your own.

So what are we going to cover today? Well, we're basically gonna go through seven steps. And so those seven steps, start with the planning and strategy, and go all the way through to marketing your podcast. And I'm going to walk through each step into explaining what you need to do in order to kickstart the podcast. One of the important things to notice is that all of the tools around podcasts, the thing that I think people feel is very complicated, the software that hosting and the equipment you need, that's just one of the steps. And actually, this is one of the things I really want to communicate today is that if you want to run a podcast, you don't need to spend a lot of money, you don't need a lot that's complex. And you can actually start a podcast yourself today very, very easily. So let's look at the seven steps and walk through them. Well, what are we going to do? First? Well, hopefully, we're going to do a bit of planning and strategy. And we've got three questions here that really I think people need to answer before they start a podcast.

So why do you want to do a podcast? Why will people listen? And why is the podcast better than other channels. And there's lots of different answers to this. So some of it is to create something that's engaging something that gets people to pay attention, maybe when they're doing other things, you know, typically podcasts listing, a lot of that is done commuting to and from work, which is a great way to get involved with either your customers or your prospects at a time that might be dead time for them. Suddenly, you can start engaging and actually making their commute to work, or the commute home even better than it was before. But other people have other answers. And hopefully most of you listening to this webinar, know that Napier runs a podcast. It's called Marketing b2b technology. And we started that podcast for a very simple reason. What I wanted to do was I wanted to talk to marketing technology vendors, and find out what they're doing and get something other than a standard sort of salesperson sell. And that's been incredibly effective. I mean, just last week, I was talking to the CEO and co founder of Foley on if I was just an agency approaching failure, I wouldn't get to talk to the CEO. But running a podcast means I can get insights from the people who really understand. So think about why you want to do the podcast. And that is going to definitely impact on how you approach it. So for us, it's all about the guests. And hopefully, the fact we've got great guests means that our podcast is interesting and enjoyed by the people who download it.

But for us, that was our focus. Other people might have specific goals around business goals that they want to achieve. So there might be an objective in terms of, you know, getting people to understand more about a technology, or perhaps learn more, you know, one of the things we see is, you know, people in the channel, want to really establish they've got strong relationships with their suppliers. So a podcast involving suppliers for anybody working on the channel is a brilliant idea. It really emphasises to your customers, your prospects, the strength of relationships you've got. So think about why you're doing it. But don't necessarily just think about this in the same way. As you would do, for example, with, you know, running display ads, where it's all about volume. This is about quality. And I think that's one of the messages I'd really like to get across is it is all about quality. When you get to planning, it's important to know how you're going to deliver the podcast. Do you have someone who feels confident in presenting? Do you have someone who's got time to go negotiate guests and an organised guests appearing on the podcast, and making sure that everybody turns up at the right time, you'll need to edit the podcast, you'll need to find somewhere to record that hopefully is not too noisy. And you'll ultimately have to decide goals. And one of the things I would say, and this comes back to quality is a lot of b2b podcasts have fairly small, fairly niche audiences, it's fairly typical to see a b2b podcast that maybe has less than 100 downloads per episode. But that can be super useful to have those downloads, if you're targeting the right people.

So decide your goals. And don't be, you know, don't be over ambitious here, you've got to understand that you're not necessarily going to drive a huge or huge audience. And then the last thing to say is, you really have to understand how you're going to maintain motivation. If you're going to launch a podcast, podcast, audiences typically grow as your number of episodes increase. And, you know, here's a top tip, if you're looking for agencies to contact you, with suggestions for guests, typically that doesn't happen to you, you've published a roundabout 20 episodes, the agencies are very concerned about making sure you've hit that magic mark. And typically, it's maybe 15 or 20 episodes, because they know once you get that far, you're likely to continue the podcast is like to go on. But there are so many b2b podcasts that have maybe five episodes, and then stop, and I can guarantee that is not going to achieve any goals. Consistency is really the key to ensuring success with podcasting.

The next thing you got to do is pick a topic. Generally speaking, picking a topic is fairly easy. The only thing I'd say is just think a little bit about the podcast about the topic and whether it's suitable as a podcast topic. And the key thing there is podcasts are, you know, almost always consumed as audio. So even video podcasts tend to be consumed with people, primarily listening to the audio. So you've got to have a topic that can be described in a conversation, or in a presentation. And you can't have something that requires diagrams and visual aids to make you understand it. And then the last thing to say, you know, on this page, I think really is you've got to make sure that the topic is sustainable.

So you've got to pick a topic, that means you can keep going episode after episode without becoming bored and jaded. And chances are as the presenter you'll be more bored than your audience will be. You know, typically the presenters are the ones that find it hard to keep motivated rather than the listeners. But you need to make sure there's something that's really going to motivate you and want you to issue a new episode in on a frequent basis and gets you wanting to talk to guests about the topic. The other thing is when you pick a topic, you'll need a title. And podcasts are interesting. I mean, personally, my view is that podcast SEO is in very early days. So the title matters a lot. And it particularly matters if you're not a very big podcast, podcast discovery through search and recommendation typically. And so if we look at what you're going to get recommendations likely to be fairly limited, because as I say, you're probably targeting a fairly niche audience, you may be having a fairly small number of listeners. So you may not rank particularly highly against consumer focus podcasts. So what you want to do is think about the title, so don't go for clever titles. I mean, this is pretty standard SEO advice, but it's probably more SEO advice from 20 years ago, make the title say exactly what you're talking about. And be very specific. So when somebody is looking, for example, for the b2b, Social Media Marketing Podcast, make your podcast called The b2b Social Media Marketing Podcast, it's much more likely to trigger hits when people search.

But when you do that, I would also strongly recommend you try and buy the domain. Most strong podcasts will also have a website. And we're talking a little bit about creating podcast websites later. And it's really useful to have a domain that roots directly there, rather than necessarily using a subdomain of your main website. So I'd always recommend trying to get the domain so let's say you had b2b Social media, podcast, you've got b2b social media podcast.com You'd route that through to your podcast homepage. You might also choose to route a subdomain as well. But make sure you've got availability of those before you actually go ahead and commit to the name. Step three, pick a format. Now, podcasting is interesting, because there's really very few formats that work successfully. And generally speaking, the two best podcasts, or two best formats that work, particularly if you're new to podcasting, is either interviewing guests, or having panel discussions. And both of those work really well. And they're relatively easy to do.

There are some very successful podcasts that are basically monologues, I would say, that's a very difficult thing to do. I wouldn't recommend that as your first podcast. But if you have someone who's a subject matter expert, who really knows a topic, and can talk about, you know, for example, what they've done each week in terms of that particular sector, then maybe that's something you could consider. But I would imagine that you know, 95% of people who successfully launch your first podcast, pick either in interviews or panel discussions. You also need to decide how you're going to record the podcast, whether it's face to face or remote. And we'll talk a little bit about the tools available for recording. Generally speaking, it's actually easier to record remotely, rather than have multiple people in the same room. So that is a an interesting thing about podcasts. So there's not necessarily a huge benefit in getting people together. However, if you do get yourself and an interviewee together, in a podcast, obviously, you have that benefit of like real face to face and much more effective eye contact. So consider whether you're going to have face to face or remote recording. I think about the structure as well.

So generally speaking, you know, the podcast structure is fairly straightforward, we think about an interview, you know, you'll want to have some introductory music. And I would recommend picking some music that you use, rather than trying to just go straight into the podcast, it just gives that podcast a much more professional feel. So if you have a standard piece of music, and then that fades to a, an introduction of the podcast, that makes it feel much more professional. And at the same at the outro. There's lots of different sources for getting music, and we'll mention those later on in the webinar. And then basically, the structure is fairly straightforward. You know, you, you introduce someone, you interview them. Quite often with interview podcasts, you'll have a standard set of like quickfire questions that you'll ask every guest. So, you know, that could be what's your favourite superhero, any kind of crazy, crazy questions like that, for a bit of fun to create something that's not just a long interview, but actually has kind of a bookmark in it. And then generally speaking, you ask for contact information, thank the guests, and then have your outro. So the structure is fairly simple. Don't try and make anything too complicated. And I would say go with panel discussions. The secret is to keep things simple. So limit the number of people on the panel. And also limit the number of topics. I talked about running time I said, 15 to 45 minutes, that's kind of a typical range, I would say the running time should really depend on what you want to achieve with the podcast, I wouldn't start off with a specific running time in mind.

But once you start publishing episodes, the podcast, some degree of consistency, and running time, definitely helps. So the listener knows, you know, roughly they can listen to the podcasts in their commute. Or it's you know, to work and back. Or maybe it's just a portion of the commute, but but some things that have read it, that the listener sorry, has a idea of how long it's going to take. I did say we've mentioned a bit about music. I don't want to dive into this too much. I mean, there's really two things. So firstly, I'd definitely recommend getting music for intro and outro. And I'd also recommend that you go out and you purchase that from a proper music library trying to get music is very difficult. That's not copyright. And what you don't want to do is get into a situation where your podcast is accidentally using copyrighted materials.

So generally speaking, the safest way is to purchase that. And that can be from any range of different libraries. So Adobe, Getty, audiojungle, Shutterstock. All have great libraries of music. And then one thing that some people ask is, should there be music within the podcast? You know, if you look at professional broadcast productions, they'll often include music within the production amounts that is, you know, it's a great thing to do. It's a really difficult thing to do. And so generally speaking, you know, particularly if your first podcast, we recommend clients don't try and have music or other effects within the podcast, The next step is to understand your audience. Now, here's a simple but obvious top tip, the audience you're looking for almost certainly are already podcast listeners, it's so much easier to get someone who listens to podcasts, and is interested in your organisation to listen to your podcast than it is to get someone who doesn't listen to podcasts and has to learn how to do it. Now, the great news is, is that a bigger and bigger percentage of the population are now podcast listeners.

So it's not hard to find podcast listeners. But I would say that it's really important to think about how you target people that are already interested in podcasts. And there's a range of ways of advertising podcasts that we'll talk about later. That will let you promote your podcast to podcast listeners. And as part of that, you should probably think about how your audience is going to behave, you know, if it's on a commute, how long is their commute likely to be? You know, how often would they want to listen. And that should also inform your decision about how frequently you publish, and the length of time that the podcast runs for. Step five, now step five is the bit that I think everybody gets freaked out about, but it's actually fairly simple and straightforward. This is the software and the equipment. So basically, as a checklist, you're gonna need a few things, you're gonna need a computer with a good internet connection. And, you know, just as a side note, lots of people have issues with Wi Fi. So it's always worth having a wired connection. When you're recording a podcast, you need a microphone, you'll need a headset, you'll need some recording software, you'll need some editing software, and you'll need somewhere to host the podcast. And I've talked to all these interns, so you understand what we're talking about. Hopefully, the computer and the internet is fairly straightforward. And you understand that.

So, microphone and headphones. So when you're doing a remote podcast, you obviously need to hear the other person. Never ever use a speaker always use headphones, it makes a massive difference to the quality. And then secondly, think about the microphone you're getting. Getting a standalone microphone is more flexible. If you can get one with a pop screen, that will also help improve the quality of the sound. And so typically, people buy a range of microphones. And we've got a couple here shown on the slide. So the Yeti and then to the right is the Rode one. Both of those are great microphones, they're, you know, somewhere a little under 100 pounds, that's typically what people will pay. And then I would always think about putting it on a microphone stand. And if you didn't have a pop screen that came with your microphone, then usually the stand will come with a pop screen as well. So we're using the same setup as we do for podcast to record this webinar. And I actually have one of the Blue Yeti microphones on a stand just in front of me. So it's a really simple setup. You need to understand something about microphones now microphones have what's called the proximity effect.

So the closer you get to the microphone, the more bass is picked up, the deeper the voice. And so you know, if you hear that late night radio DJ voice, that's someone talking very close to the microphone. So what you want to do is you want to think about not being too far away, because your voice will sound a little bit weak, but also being consistent in the distance that your voice is from the microphone, because that will ensure not only consistency of volume, but also consistency of tone. Today, lots of people have earbuds, you know, particularly air pods, they work pretty well. Not only for the earphones, but also for the microphone. We generally don't like using headsets, although a lot of our clients do. The reason for that is because the mic is so close to your mouth, it can sometimes pick up breathing sounds. So normally we prefer to use a separate microphone, but headsets you know, as long as you're careful and make sure that your breathing can't be heard, then headsets are really good. And then lastly, having talked about this, you've killed yourself out you've got to you know great microphone, good headset.

Don't forget if you're interviewing someone, they need similar quality, or at least a headset with a mic type quality to ensure that their sound quality doesn't adversely affect the quality of the podcast. There's lots of different ways you can record. So recording software is something that people ask about. Generally speaking, what you want to do is you want to record multitrack and we'll talk a little bit about why that is in a minute. And there's lots of professional multitrack cloud based recordings. I picked three here. Clean feed squad cast and river Riverside are three really popular tools that are you is for recording Napi uses squad cast Riverside is very, very popular as well. And those two both offer a video option as well. Video can be great not only, so you can see the other person as you talk to them. But also so you can generate promotional videos, even if you're not going to create a video podcast. Once you've recorded you do need to edit now the first thing to say is editing cannot fix poor sound quality. So getting the sound quality as good as possible at the start is really important.

Anything can mask some issues, but you're never going to get great sound quality, if you don't start with a great recording. So don't think that if there's issues with sound quality, you can fix it in the edit, it really doesn't work. Generally speaking, we recommend that everybody multitrack records. Now that's a really simple thing. That means that each microphone in the podcast and typically that each person is recorded on a separate track. And that's great for a couple of reasons. It's it allows you to eliminate background noises. So when someone's not talking, you can actually mute their side if there's some background noise. And that can have a significant impact, particularly if there's like intermittent background noise. But it can also help with things like ensuring that both sides of the conversation are at the same level is it's much easier to equalise levels, if you've got a multitrack recording, and if you've got a single track, it is a little bit more complex to edit. But, and this is the podcast as best secret, I think there's a tool called descript.

Almost every podcast right now uses the script to edit the podcast. And it is an amazing tool, it will actually not only generate a transcript, but allow you to edit the audio by editing the transcript. So all you need to do is delete the words in the transcript and that will delete the words out of the audio feed. It's an absolutely brilliant tool. And it's probably the best bit of advice, if you've never come across it is when you want to edit, use the script, it's the most effective tool there is available. And then lastly, podcast hosting. So technically, to have a podcast you need somewhere to host your file and you need something to generate an XML feed, which is basically a feed of the information about the episodes, the easiest way to do that is to go to a podcast host. We happen to love pod bean, it's our favourite, but there are many, many podcast hosts that all do a very good job. These podcasts host not only hosts hosts the file and generate this feed, but they'll also actually interface you in to make you be listed on services like Apple podcasts on Spotify on Google Play. And they'll make that process simpler. So I really strongly recommend getting a great podcast host. The podcast host will also typically provide you with the capability of creating a podcast homepage, which will also have all your podcasts on and have a player so people can play from the web, and let you in fact embed that player into your website as well. So podcast hosts are great.

Now having talked about these tools, the recording, the editing and the podcast hosting. I mean, typically these tools come out at around about 10 pounds, which is pretty much $10 Today, a month. So you're maybe talking about $30 investment a month in terms of the software tools to be able to do a really professional quality podcast. So you can see it's a really cheap and effective way to get your message out. I mentioned sound quality, I keep mentioning sound quality, I'm going to talk about it again. Sound quality is so critical. And what we find is that you know quite often when people record, they will say sound was great, it was fantastic. And then when someone comes to edit it, the sounds terrible. So it always sounds worse in particular sounds worse when people are listening to a podcast in a quiet area. They'll hear all the noises or the background sounds and any issues you had with quality of recording. So we always always say to our clients you know if there's any issues at all, whether that's poor sound quality, or guests not having a proper headset you know, issues with a network or just simply heavy breathing being picked up that you can't avoid. Always stop and don't record don't try and you know battle through sound problems. It really is going to come back and hurt you. And it's going to lose you listeners because nobody likes listening to something with poor sound quality. So if there's one thing you really need to be a little control freaky about, I would absolutely say get that sound quality as good as you possibly can. And lastly, if you want to do that practice runs are always a good idea. Fantastic. So we've created our podcasts, we've done the planning, we've gone all the way through to the recording the editing and now have published it using a tool like pod bean. How are we going to get people to listen to our podcast.

The first thing I say it is hard to get listeners, it is really tough. And it's probably one of the biggest challenges is I think when people go into podcasting, as a channel to reach a b2b audience, they imagine it's going to be easier to get listeners. But if you think about it, it's a real high commitment from a listener to commit to downloading a podcast, and then spending, you know, maybe 30 minutes, maybe more listening to a supplier. So it is a big commitment for someone to do that. And that means that it is tough to get people to listen. So I would say promoting is, you know, one of the most important things, and there's a whole range of ways you can promote podcasts. Clearly, you can promote podcasts through normal approaches, you know, so that could be anything from, you know, messages in an email footer through to display advertising, probably social media, I would say is the best approach we found by promoting podcasts and getting listeners, particularly as it's easy to promote each episode in turn. And if you're interviewing guests is great, because quite often, the guests will amplify your message and promote your podcast. There are also ways to really focus down on an audience of podcast listeners. So as an example, it's very easy to promote your podcast by buying ads on one of the podcast players, or indeed buying ads that are placed within podcasts. And both of those are really good.

The challenge is finding an audience that fits with your, you know, b2b audience. So you might find podcast listeners, but it might be a very broad spectrum of podcast listeners. And generally speaking, we found that unless a client has got a product that is applicable to quite a broad range of people, if you're a very niche b2b podcast, then you're probably going to struggle in promotion through other podcasts. But one of the things I would say is, rather than buying ads, perhaps you want to look at other podcasts in your sector, and invite the hosts of those podcasts to be a guest on your podcast. It's a great trick. So if, for example, you've got a podcast, and it's about robotics, you might want to look at the other robotics podcasts, and invite those those hosts on particularly the most successful robotics podcasts, because what that will do was then give you a promotion to that audience that we now know, a listeners of robotics podcasts.

So it's a great way to grow in a particular sector, is by inviting our hosts on. And I'm gonna go back to the consistency as well. Don't expect your first podcast to smash all records. Consistency really matters. You know, and most podcasts, you know, when you talk to the hosts, they'll say, yeah, it was 1520 episodes. And then suddenly, I saw a growth in listeners. So, you know, be prepared for it's a bit to be a long, you know, and frankly, quite hard work slog. But when you get there is just such a fantastic medium for getting really engaged relationship with your listeners. We're gonna give you a bonus tip, we always like to give you a bonus tip and the Napier webinars. And so we've got a few tips around interviewing.

So firstly, you know, if you're a host, you're conducting interviews, research, the guests write a structure beforehand, you don't have to write out every question. And in fact, it's better not to write out every question, it's better to just put the main ones and then be flexible. Otherwise, you end up with, you know, something that sounds a bit like an interrogation. You need to listen to the answers and ask questions based on the answers. Rather than just firing Question one, question two, question three. So be flexible, make sure it's a conversation and not an interrogation. Next, ask guests to explain things, chances are you and the guests are going to be, you know, far greater experts on the topic than anybody listening. You know, you're probably trying to promote a technology or a sector you're working in. And quite often the customers you want to reach and not as great an expert. So always ask guests to explain unpack things, you know, give it a bit of clarity.

Even if things like just explaining abbreviations. That's going to help more listeners, engage with your podcasts, it's going to help grow that audience base. Make the guests do the majority of the talking. I mean, this is a really interesting challenge that I personally face. I like talking you'll probably gather that from the fact we do webinars. But webinars are very different. There you have a presenter talking all the time. With a podcast, the host should talk as little as possible. The guest should talk as much and the host should really just be the person guiding the guests through a story. And whilst we're talking about that, always make sure you avoid interrupting or talking over people. That sounds very confusing. And it's very hard to follow. When you listen to a podcast because you've got no image of the people talking, all you've got is the voices.

So I would say, always try and avoid talking over each other. And lastly, give examples. As a great quote, the pictures are always best on radio, let's make the pictures even better on podcasts. So thank you very much for listening. As I say, you know, we do do a lot of podcasts. So I'm very happy to work with anyone who's got questions, and talk to you about how maybe you can launch a podcast what you need, and how we can support you. And typically what we try and do with clients is we try and make them as self sufficient as quickly as possible. It's not a difficult thing to do, to run a podcast. And so what what we think is getting clients running on their own.

Quite often clients will say, well, actually, we want you to draft the questions, we want you to find the guests we want, you know, maybe you to do the editing. And so we'll often do that. But you don't need someone sitting and listening to you recording a podcast, that should be something that you're very capable of doing.

So I'm just going to check to see if there's any questions. Okay. And looking here, we do have let me see. This is a great question, actually. So would we recommend running a podcast as a set of separate series, or as a single overarching thing? That's a brilliant question. The answer is we wouldn't recommend either we'd recommend doing what fits your podcasts best. We have clients who run seasons, so that they'll run a season of podcasts, and they'll have a break. And that's driven by availability of people more than anything else.

And also the fact that they want to create very distinct islands of content. So you know, one client I'm thinking of in particular, they want to talk about a particular group of suppliers. And then they want to move on and talk about a very different group of suppliers. So doing it by a season approach is awesome, because it groups or suppliers together naturally, it's a brilliant approach. Whereas other podcasts because there's no inherent natural grouping, actually, maybe it's better to be consistent and just publish, you know, every month, every fortnight every week, whatever your frequency is, and be consistent. And I think it's about picking what works best for your podcasts. Both of them can be great approaches. Okay, I'm very aware that we have run a little over a normal half an hour. I do appreciate your time listening. If there are any questions you've got, please do send me an email Mike at Napier b2b dot com. I'd be more than happy to answer the questions, or get one of our team that regularly produces podcasts to sit down with you and work out how you can kickstart your own podcast. And hopefully, you know, over the next few months, I'll be listening to a lot more podcasts and many of those will be from you guys. Thank you very much for your time. I really appreciate it.

Napier Charity Sponsorship: Why We Are Choosing to Support Foothold

This year we were approached by the organizers of the Electronics Industry Awards to be a charity sponsor.  For us, it was a no-brainer, and we snapped up the opportunity to support and raise awareness of a charity of our choice.

Napier is no stranger to supporting charities, and we regularly provide support to charities from our local St Wilfred's Hospice to Medecins Sans. In fact, last year we decided to make a charitable donation rather than sending clients' Christmas gifts, offering them the opportunity to vote for their favourite charity.

But, for the Electronics Industry Awards, we wanted to focus on a charity that dedicates its time to supporting the engineering community, an industry we are really familiar with. This is why we have decided to support Foothold, a charity focused solely on supporting engineers.

Launched in 1890, Foothold aims to ensure that engineers and their families feel supported in all aspects of their lives, from providing bespoke grants to help struggling families, advice and guidance on home and workplace issues and digital resources to help people take control of their wellbeing. Overall, they provide a helping hand so that engineers and their families can meet their needs emotionally, physically and financially.

With 23,722 digital wellbeing sessions delivered to support community members in 2021, and £2.1million spent by Foothold in delivering support across 50 countries, we are delighted to be able to help Foothold in sharing their message at the Electronics Industry Awards 2022 and support them in delivering the fantastic services they provide to the engineering community.

For more information on Foothold, and how you can support them, please click here. 

Electropages Announces Launch of The Hub

Electropages has launched The Hub, a new free-to-use platform for engineers in the electronics industry.

Designed to provide educational content, new product information and design solutions, The Hub offers engineers an instantly accessible catalogue of on-demand webinars, podcasts and videos from a range of industry-leading companies.

The platform provides the opportunity for companies to submit relevant content for free, which will be seen by thousands of engineers and electronics professionals from across the industry.

Plans are already in place to extend the services offered from The Hub, with commercial packages planned to be introduced around upcoming webinars and podcasts. This will allow companies to promote their event as 'premium content' through The Hub's channels, as well as generate leads with a GDPR-compliant registration form.

Companies such as Analog Devices, ST Microelectronics, RECOM, Samtec, ROHM Semiconductor, Harwin, Melexis are already supporting The Hub with content contributions. Jack Pollard, Media Account Manager at Electropages commented “More and more businesses are investing time, money and resources into this type of content to use across their websites and social channels. However, the content can only be seen by those that already follow the company. As a media brand with a global audience, we recognised an opportunity to create a platform that is hugely useful to both the engineer and electronics companies".

With organic traffic already seeing strong growth since the soft launch of The Hub in July, and the average duration approaching nearly 16 minutes, The Hub it seems has already hooked readers with its content, presenting a positive outlook for the future of the platform. The approach to implementing a combo of free and paid opportunities, with the option for premium content to generate leads provides a great mix of opportunities for companies depending on their campaign goals and objectives.

We look forward to seeing how The Hub evolves in the future and seeing the continued strong growth we suspect it will achieve.

For more information on The Hub, please click here. 


Judges Announced for Electronic Specifier's Electronics Excellence Awards

Last month, we reported on Electronic Specifier's new award the 'Electronics Excellence Award', which has been launched for electronica 2022.

Inviting exhibitors at electronica to submit their most innovative products, submissions will be judged via an independent panel, and Electronic Specifier has now shared that the judges are from a range of companies across the industry and include:

  • Robert Owen, Director of Worldwide University Programme at Imagination Technologies
  • Rupert Baines, CMO at Codasip
  • Helen Duncan, Content Marketing Specialist at MWE Media
  • Emma Botfield, Managing Director UK & Ireland at RS Components
  • Mark Patrick, Technical Marketing Manager at Mouser Electronics
  • Thomas Gere, Senior Business Development of 5G IoT Smart Connected Buildings at Renesas Electronics
  • Nigel Watts, President at WPG
  • Jamie Davey, Associate Vice President of Arrow Electronics

The judges will independently score the entries after an in-depth discussion and the highest scoring entry will be the winner, which will be announced on the Electronic Specifier stand (B4-451) at electronica on Tuesday 15th November at 12pm.

It’s interesting to see that several electronic distributors have been chosen as part of the judging panel, and I have cheekily wondered if they will be keener to recognise the suppliers they represent or potential new lines for their business. It will certainly be interesting to see which products they vote for, and we look forward to seeing the innovative products companies put forward.


Napier Named as Finalist for Two Awards

We are thrilled to announce that following an online vote within the industry, Napier has been named a finalist for ‘The Most Outstanding PR Agency’ category at the Electronics Industry Awards 2022, and a finalist for the brand new Instrumentation Excellence Awards 2022 in the category of 'PR Agency of the Year'.

We’d also like to congratulate several of our clients including Microchip Technology, Kinara, Fischer Connectors, Tektronix, Semtech, Fluke, Farnell, Yokogawa and ABB who have also been announced as finalists in either the Electronics Industry Awards or the Instrumentation Excellence Awards. 

Congratulations to all the shortlisted companies, good luck to our clients, and we look forward to attending the awards at the end of October.

New Editor-in-Chief at EE Times

EE Times has welcomed Brett Brune as its new Editor-in-Chief.

With a background in media that includes both editing and writing roles at the New York Times, USA Today, and the LA Times, Brett has a particular interest and expertise in some of the major topics within the electronics industry, including microchips, power, and manufacturing. He was also the founding Editor of Smart Manufacturing Magazine.

EE Times has released an introductory podcast which shares some further information about Brett and his plans for the publication. The podcast is available on the EE Times website and can be found by clicking here. 

We wish Brett the best of luck in his new role and look forward to seeing the direction he will take EE Times in moving forward.


Hybrid 'Future of Electronics RESHAPED' Conference Announced for October

TechBlick has announced a hybrid conference and exhibition on reshaping the future of electronics, focusing on the topics of printed, flexible, additive, hybrid, wearable, textile, 3D, structural and in-mold electronics.

Taking place from 12th-13th October 2022 in the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, Netherlands, the event will provide over 45 live onsite talks, and 50 tabletop exhibits. Speakers include companies such as Novo Nordisk, Meta/Facebook, ASML, Schneider Electric, GE Healthcare, Airbus, Wuerth, Fuji, and JCDecaux.

With the option to invest in a hybrid annual pass, visitors will be able to gain onsite admission, as well as access to the event's virtual portal, which provides all live TechBlick events for the next 12 months, a library of more than 500 videos and PDFs from past events, as well as access to year-round masterclasses.

The event targets professionals from all areas of the electronics industry, from innovators, material suppliers, equipment makers, and manufacturers, through to end users.

Two parallel tracks of industry-led masterclasses will take place, alongside a tabletop exhibition, built with a primary focus on encouraging networking.

With TechBlick an existing platform which focuses on emerging technologies, it's great to see them focus on the electronics industry and provide a hybrid platform to not only educate the industry but also provide a fantastic opportunity for professionals from across the electronics sector to network with each other. We look forward to hearing the feedback from the industry on what we are sure will be a fantastic event.

For more information on the show, please click here.