Napier Shortlisted For 2023 Electronics Industry Awards- Vote Now!

We are delighted to share that Napier has again been shortlisted for the Electronics Industry Awards (EIA) in the 'Most Outstanding PR Agency’ award category, and has also been shortlisted for the Instrumentation Excellence Awards (IEAs) in the category of ‘PR Agency of the Year’.

As a team, we love the work we do and strive to design, develop and implement award-winning campaigns for our clients. Voting is now open for both awards, and we'd like to ask for your support in voting for Napier. It only takes a few seconds to cast your vote, and can be done by:

Thank you so much for your support, and we'd also like to congratulate several of our clients who have been shortlisted for award categories this year.

Good luck to everyone shortlisted, and we look forward to attending the award ceremonies later this year.

EETech's Industry Tech Days to Partner with electronica

EETech has announced that this year, its virtual event, Industry Tech Days will partner with electronica as 'Marketing Sponsors'.

As a five-day free digital conference and trade show hosted on the All About Circuits website, the event hosts live sessions, keynote forums, and provides technical content for electrical engineers and electronics industry experts across all areas of the electronics industry.

With previous years regularly generating 40,000 unique visitors in its own right, the electronica tie will no doubt be a huge draw and boost this considerably, as electronica undertakes promotion for the event.

Dates for this year's show are still to be announced, and we look forward to hearing more about the event as more details are released.


Successful Spring Restart for European B2B Fairs

The editorial team at publishing house TIMGlobal Media share their views on the successful return for European B2B fairs so far in 2023. 

The expectations for the first industrial fairs in 2023 were quite high. LogiMAT, HANNOVER MESSE, and Interpack in Düsseldorf, as well as MECSPE in Bologna or the upcoming SPS Italia event in Parma, are some of the highlights in a diverse portfolio of industrial events.

Industrial exhibitors continue to rely on direct dialogue with their customers and the intensive exchange of personal conversations to find solutions for individual problems. The first events of 2023 have also shown that international visitors from the Americas and Asia are back to meet their peers.

Across all the different industrial sectors present at shows, companies are looking for answers from three areas. What are the solutions to the shortage of skilled personnel and talents? How can supply chains be strengthened and organised more resilient for the future? What measures need to be taken to control (energy) costs and make the necessary contribution to the industrial transformation of society and industry?

To find exciting new answers and deliver solutions to our readers, for us as a B2B publisher, trade fairs are still an important place to discover new products, and trends and to talk to experts from different sized companies from start-ups to global groups. Without this diversity of information, it would be much more difficult to gain an overview of many different technologies and to identify the topics that are relevant to our industrial readers in their daily work or that will soon become important for them.

Will AI Kill Your Website?

Ian Poole, Editor and Owner of Electronics Notes shares his views on how AI could affect website traffic and content marketing in this guest blog post.

There is a lot of talk about AI and chatbots like ChatGPT, as well as AI-based search that's being introduced by Bing and will be introduced by Google.

There is a lot that is unclear about how this new search technology will affect the Internet, but what is clear is that it will revolutionize the Internet and provide a cataclysmic change to the way we all use search and websites.

It will undoubtedly present an existential threat to many websites and it is clear that in a year's time, many of the popular websites we have come to rely on will have ceased to exist.

It will also have a major impact on search marketing, and many of the currently held views will have to change.

We've already started to see small changes. Over recent years, there has been a growing trend for search engines like Google to improve their search experience. One major element has been in giving a short answer at the top of search results, albeit with a link to the website for further reference.

This provides many people with the answer they want, so there's no need to go any further to find out any more.  This has resulted in many top websites seeing significant falls in traffic, mine included. This is not the only reason by far, but it has been a significant reason for large drops in traffic seen by many sites.

AI takes this a huge step further. Already ChatGPT, and other websites like give extensive and complete answers to queries. I did a search on Phind asking what a superhet radio is and it returned a 700 word answer giving a very good summary. Sadly, it did not reference my Electronics Notes website which is ranked number 3 on Google behind Analog Devices and Wikipedia, but interestingly Phind used a few video descriptions as the sources for its answer.

Having answers like this is far more convenient for the searcher who only has to perform the search, and there is then no need to go to a website that may or may not provide the answer that is needed. Using the traditional approach to perform a search, the search engine would provide a variety of websites that were appropriate and the user would visit these and synthesise their own answer. With AI all of this will be done, and only very few people will need to visit any websites.

In their recent presentation in May 2023, Google showcased what their new AI-based search will look like - it is expected to be launched later this year, but no date has been given.

Again, this new technology presented a much fuller answer to the queries, and as a result many people will not want or even need to go any further. Interestingly Cathy Edwards from Google who was giving the presentation stated that Google will put lots of links to relevant websites so people can easily click through. She said they wanted to keep the overall ecosystem strong and healthy. But let's face it, who is going to click through to a website when they already have the answer!

It is interesting that even Google, which says that the introduction of AI to search will have a huge impact on the Internet, cannot predict the outcome and the effect it will have on websites.

However, one conundrum for the search giants is that they rely on a vast number of independent expert websites from which to draw their search answers. However, if they kill them off because they don't refer visitors to them, then ultimately the answers they give will not be able to draw on such a wide field of expertise and information and they will be less informed.

Leaving aside the problems for the search giants, the main issue is about the existential threat posed to all websites by AI-based search.

With many publishers already finding it difficult to return profits from their digital outlets through advertising, this will be the final straw. News publications in particular have had to put paywalls in place in order to try to gain sufficient revenue to keep their sites viable.

Many smaller publications will not have this option and it is certain that very many will go to the wall.

The issue is particularly important for websites that rely heavily on search for their traffic. In fact, many websites keep a very keen eye on all the Google search algorithm updates and many report huge changes in traffic as a result. So, it is very important to them.

The main challenge is to know what to do. At Electronics Notes we have been trying to prepare for this, and we are experimenting with a variety of new ideas. Although the outcome of these cannot be confirmed until after the Google AI-based search engine is released (most sites get the majority of their search traffic from Google), one of the clear messages is that all websites will need to rely less on search traffic and more on other sources.

In order to maximise what little traffic might come from search engines, all the pundits say that the best options are to have high quality content that is well written and properly optimised.

Although it is difficult to predict what will work and what won't, it is clear that all websites should look very carefully at what will happen in the near future. Also, the concept of content marketing might need to be updated. Whatever the situation, a good, well thought through plan is needed to ensure that the effects of this cataclysmic change can be weathered, and hopefully they might even bring some benefits to websites.

A Napier Webinar: Will AI Take Your Marketing Job?

AI tools like ChatGPT have received a lot of attention lately. From social media to blogs, AI tools and the capabilities they have is being discussed everywhere you look. But will AI tools truly change the way we approach marketing? Could they even take your job?

We address this in our on-demand webinar 'Will AI Take Your Marketing Job?', as explore the advantages of AI, but also the limitations marketers can face when using these tools. We cover:

  • AI technology for marketing
  • How to take advantage of AI
  • How good at marketing is AI today?
  • Overview of the best AI tools
  • What the future might hold

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: ‘Will AI Take Your Marketing Job?’ Transcript

Speakers: Mike Maynard

Hi, and welcome to our latest webinar from Napier, where we're going to ask whether AI is going to take your marketing job. So it's great to see a lot of interest for this webinar. And what we're going to do is we're going to do a very quick whistlestop tour through AI. And look at how it's affecting marketing, and really trying to understand the implications for people who are involved in marketing.

So, in terms of our agenda, we're firstly going to ask whether we should worry about AI. I mean, maybe it just isn't that big an issue. We'll then do a little bit of a dive into what AI actually is, and what we mean, when we talk about AI. And in particular, I think a lot of the hype at the moment has been around generative AI. So we'll talk about that. We'll discuss whether AI works, I think that's very important. Depending on who you talk to, there'll be very different views about the quality of the content that AI generates. We'll spend a little bit of time talking about chat GPT. And then other writing tools. Obviously generated text is one of the areas where AI has been incredibly successful. And this is very broadly applicable across a wide range of different marketing disciplines.

So we'll take a look at some chat GPT. And writing will give you a little word of caution about some of the issues surrounding AI. We'll look at what I can do that's beyond, you know, generative AI. So this is going to look at some of the things that you can do with AI, that perhaps is going to help speed up other aspects of your job other than creating content. And lastly, a summary. And I would very strongly ask anyone who's got questions, please put them in the chat as we go along. And we'll deal with all the questions at the end, if that's okay. So firstly, I mean, there's obviously been a lot of hype about AI. We've all seen, you know, the news about how massively important AI is. But the question is, you know, should we worry. And I guess, you know, one of the things we can look at is the impact on jobs. And AI, according to Goldman Sachs could replace equipment of 300 million jobs. And if we look about what they were saying, it was saying that the report that they wrote was saying about a quarter of the work tasks in the US and Europe could be replaced. And interestingly, the US and Europe are in line to get hit worse than most other areas in the in the world. And that's because there's far fewer manual jobs. And obviously, AI is not going to take over manual jobs at the moment, although robotics is doing a good job of, you know, coming in and doing similar disruptive things to manual jobs.

But I think what was interesting was as part of that report, when the BBC reported it, and they talked to some experts in AI, and they pointed out that actually, it might not be a case of fewer jobs, it might be the face of the case that there's more competition, so you've got competition from other people, and competition from AI. And here we see a professor suggesting the journalists will face more competition, and that will drive down wages. And the analogy they gave was the introduction of GPS, and platforms like Uber, and that actually resulted in lower wages for taxicab drivers. Not fewer drivers. In fact, if anything, it resulted in more drivers over a period of time. So it's going to be very interesting. But clearly AI is going to have a very big impact on what we do. And that might be in terms of reducing the number of jobs it might be providing competition to what you do. And that competition clearly can drive down wages. Now, I'm actually okay. Because I don't know if people listening to this webinar know but one of my hobbies is short track speedskating. And I asked chat GPT about short track speed skaters, he gave me an excellent response, listing some of the best short track speed skaters ever. But of course, I had a bit of an ego. So I decided I was going to tell chap GPT that I should be one of the best short track speed skaters in its list. Now, this doesn't happen every time if you want to go and try it sometimes check GPT claims and it's never heard of Mike Maynard and however much I try and persuade Chet GPT that I am a good speedskater It completely blanks me. But other times it comes up with his completely made up story about this Canadian short track, speedskating called Mike Maynard, who, as far as I can tell, never existed only exists in chat, GPS, memory, and yet, you can see, chat GPT has very confidently given details about my career as a Canadian short track speed skater.

And I think this is something that's very important before we, you know, really rush into AI, and all get panicked, AI makes mistakes, and actually AI probably makes worse mistakes than people do. Because AI is always incredibly confident. And so whilst Unfortunately, my career as a Canadian is short track speed skaters entirely false. The reality is, is that AI is not going to be able to completely replace humans, because there's a risk that AI gets it wrong. And in fact, there's even a term for this, it's called hallucinations. So AI is hallucinating something that really didn't exist. So now, hopefully, we're a little bit less worried. Although we've been told it can impact jobs, we know that AI is not perfect.

So let's have a look at what AI is. And basically, AI or it's also called machine learning is really simulating human intelligence. And typically, what it does is it uses a neural network. So you feed this network data, the network is modified based upon the data. And then it can process new data in the same way. And the reason we do this is it's modelled on a very simplistic understanding of how the brain works, where the brain house neurons, and those neurons are connected together. And those connections are made stronger or weaker, depending on our experiences. And that's what learning is, very crudely speaking. So neural networks attempt to replicate this mathematically. And basically, a neural network is a number of nodes or neurons, as they will be in the brains. And there's input layers, output layers, and then there's a hidden layer in the middle. And there can be multiple hidden layers. So if we look at chat GPT, one of the big things that chat GPT did was when moving from GPT, to GPT. Three was they massively increased the number of hidden layers, and that gave a much more powerful neural network. And all you're doing is you're feeding numbers, which represent anything from text to images in one side. And the other side is outputting numbers, which can then be turned back into text and images.

So it's a very abstract thing. And this is one of the challenges of neural networks and machine learning is that actually, when you build a neural network, you don't have a deterministic understanding of how it's working. And so it can be very hard to know exactly what's going on. And this is one of the reasons why you have these hallucinations. And they're very difficult to deal with if you're building a neural network. So that's all very technical. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to get my friend Shrek to explain it. And Shrek had a conversation with Donkey and talked about ogres and tried to explain that Ogres are like onions. And it's not that ogres make you cry, or ogre stink, or indeed that they go brown in the sun. Really, the thing is, is layers, onions have layers. Ogres have layers.

So they both have layers, and layers in Shrek mind was complexity. And that is exactly the same in neural networks. So basically, a neural network, the number of layers is very important that impacts the complexity. Although not everybody likes onions as Donkey pointed out, and probably not everybody likes layers as well. And one of the things we're talking about is why those layers make it difficult to build these complex neural networks. So let's get into what a neural network can actually do. I mean, we've had a very brief theory around how it's built. But let's see how we can use AI. And so AI that creates things is called generative AI. And what you'll see is you'll see throughout some of these slides, you'll see images and most of the images in the slides from now have actually been created using generative AI. So I've used darly, which is an image generator a lot of people are familiar with. Obviously, there's other ones like stable diffusion, and you can see it generates some interesting images as we go through But although we've generated images, it's interesting, this looks at funding for European AI startups. And if you look at it, the vast majority of startups have been funded around text generation.

And the reason for that is, it's now relatively simple to generate text that is more or less equivalent to human quality text. And that text can be used in a very wide range of different applications. So you can, for example, create blog posts or articles from Ai generated text, you can also generate sales emails. And you know, something that people involved in PR may have seen is there's already PR systems offering to do AI pitches to journalists, I'm sure journalists have seen it as well and feeling terrified about the onslaught of spam they're going to get from machines, which of course is going to be one of the challenges is that creating volume with any of these AI tools, whether it's volume of text or volume of images, is trivial. It's the quality that really matters. So anyway, most people are focused on text. And a lot of startups are focused on tax because they're using the same model as chap. GPT. So, for those of you that don't know, there was an organisation formed called Open AI, very crudely formed to make sure that AI didn't do bad things to humans. And, and they created these GPT models started with GPT.

One, we're now at GPT. Four. And these models are basically what's called large language models. So they're very big neural networks that can actually create text. So a large language model is a neural network that's typically been trained with large amounts of data has many parameters. And it basically does self supervised learning. So you feed it data, the neural network kind of learns from that data. Or, to put it more simply, what the neural network does, is it takes a lot of data, so a lot of text. And it tries to use that text to predict what the next most likely word is if a human was replying. So if you put in a query, the neural network is trying to predict the next most likely word, and then the next one on the next one. Interestingly, though, if you do that the responses sound very automated. So actually, what happens with neural networks, and this is exactly what happens with chat GPT is it will produce the most likely word around about four out of five types. And then one out of five times approximately, it'll produce something that's, you know, likely, but not the most likely, and that produces a much more natural response. But crudely speaking, chat GPT, and any of these GPT based models, they're returning what they think or what they aim to be the average response.

So one of the first things to say is, if you're concerned about your job, and whether AI is gonna take it, if you're above average, you've actually got an advantage over AI, so you should feel confident. So hopefully, at least half of the people listening to this webinar are now feeling a little more relaxed, a little more confident about the situation. So large language models are very important and a chat GPT. And the GPT models that underpin it are probably the most talked about models, in terms of AI today. So one of the issues we've had is that open AI has gone from being open as it named suggested. And actually, it was designed to be a nonprofit to being a company for profits, basically driven by the success of chat GPT. So we know how GPT three was trained. And in fact, there's a table here on the slide that explains exactly where that data came from. So if you look at it around about 85% of the data that was used to change, chat GPT was from the web. So that's something called common crawl, which is a database of text from the website, from websites online. It's something called Web text two, which is a smaller database of website information, and Wikipedia. And those three things formed about 85%. And then about 15% of the training data came from books, there were two book datasets, book one and book two. As you can see, whilst AI people create very, very clever neural networks, they're not great at branding and naming. And this was the GPT three training set. And it allegedly cost around about $12 million in terms of computer time to train GPG, three GPT four, as I say, open AI has now become for profit, they've not revealed how they've trained GPT four. But Sam Altman, who's the CEO, has actually said it was probably over $100 million to do that training. And this is very interesting, because anyone who's used chat GPT and asked for up to date information will have found that chap GPT says, oh, no, I was trained about a year ago. And I don't know anything that's more recent. And obviously, any of these neural networks, it's difficult to keep retraining them, because the cost of doing that is incredibly high. So you're talking $100 million. That's compute time.

And obviously, a lot of compute time actually is electricity to power those computers. So it's not necessarily particularly environmentally friendly. And it's not cheap to keep retraining. So it's likely moving forward that what we'll see is we'll see a lot of these large language models being trained on a periodic basis, rather than being continually trained. If anyone's use Bing, and use the chat tool on bing, bing does something slightly different in that it actually runs a web search and feeds the data into the chat into the GPT engine, which then produces the Bing chat output. So we're seeing basically, what would be if you like the first half of a page of big results actually being presented as pros, rather than being presented as a list of websites. So it's really using that GPT engine as much as possible to present results, rather than necessarily to go find that information. That's different from asking Chet GPT a question where it relies on its training. So hopefully, we've not gone into too much detail on AI and what's happening with AI. Let's look at how it can be used in marketing?

Well, the first thing is, is there's been a lot of issues with using AI. And whether that's Amazon realising that they took all their prejudices, when they were hiring, and programme them into the AI they used as a recruiting tool, all the way through to CNET, using AI to generate articles on personal finance, and getting a lot of plagiarism identified in that article, or in those articles. So there are problems with using AI. And a lot of people have tried to use AI and failed. But what I'd like to try and do is I'd like to try and investigate whether you can spot AI. And so what we do is we've got a n, two images of the dog here, and I've popped up a poll. So you should see that in your right hand side. So please go to the poll on the right hand side and tell us which one is real. One of the dogs is real. And one of the dogs is generated by AI. And we'll run this for about another 10 seconds or so if you can put your your votes in.

So thank you very much everyone. This this is very interesting, because the one thing we can say is that people are certainly struggling to work out which dog is real and which dog isn't. So 45% think the dog on the left is real. And 55% think that dog on the right is real? Well, the good news is, is that the hive mind of everybody on the call has actually identified the right dog. So just 55 to 45% we actually got the answer, right. So that's good news. But clearly, it's not obvious which one is real and which one isn't. We can do a similar thing if we look at text. So what I'm gonna do is I will get a pull up again for the text. If you can just have a quick skim here. There's text on the left text on the right, so two columns. And one of the columns is real text and one of the columns is AI from chat GPT and I will give everyone about 45 seconds to read the text and try and predict which one is real and which one is AI.

That's great everyone's voting, we've got about another 15 seconds for people to finish reading and work out, which is which.

This is very interesting, we're a little bit more confident here. So 58% of people actually has gone to 6040. Now it's gonna last voting 60% of people think the text on the left is AI. And 40% of people think the one on the right is AI. And I can tell you, I put this search term into Google. And so one of these is actually the top result in Google. And the other one is AI generated. And the good news is, again, we've got this right, so 60% of you thought that the left one was AI. And you've got that absolute right, the left one was AI. This reflects exactly the results. I've done this same test three times now. And generally speaking, it's about 55 to 60% of the audience, know which one is AI generated, whether it's the image or the text, but you can see that the quality of AI is actually very good, it can fool a lot of people. To be fair, the quality of the human text in this example, perhaps isn't the best quality, but it was at the top result. So now we know it can fool people it can work. Are people using AI in marketing? And the answer is absolutely. I mean, for sure. I think anyone who's been on LinkedIn recently has seen some LinkedIn posts that are maybe less well written or they'd expect, and they're clearly AI generated. But if you look at it, some people are doing some really good work. So on the left hand side, there's an example of an agency.

There's using AI to generate backdrop images. And also, what we're seeing is particularly around programmatic ads, a lot of focus on AI for generating headlines, and body copy, to make it quicker to generate ads. So we're definitely seeing people use this both in terms of releasing products, and also using more general products to drive AI. So this is not coming, this is something that's actually happening now. So let's have a look at some of the tools you can use. So, chat, GPT, I'm sure most people on the call will have at least seen it. It's really good. Because you can do an awful lot of things with chat GPT, it's not great if you want long form or detailed copy. So if you want it to write an essay, it's not fantastic. It can often be a bit simplistic. You know, if you ask it for an agenda, it's probably going to have, you know, opening, it's probably gonna have closing, you know, and a prep two or three bullets that are related to whatever the agenda is for. But it's not necessarily hugely insightful, but it is great, fun and great for generating ideas. And so we asked him to write 10 Google Ads headlines, promoting a webinar that discusses whether AI will take marketing jobs.

And you can see it's actually produced, you know, a really good selection of, of headlines there. So I think it's, you know, clearly able to write good effective headlines, you might not want to use all of them. So future of marketing with AI question mark, probably not the best headline. But certainly in terms of removing writer's block and speeding up the process, we can see chat GPT is really, really effective. And it's definitely a tool that can be used for many different content creation projects. I mentioned it can also be fun as well. And so here we have a press release in cockney rhyming slang, promoting a webinar that discusses if AI will take marketing jobs, so Iliev and generate a Cockney style, sort of East London, press release, great fun, not quite sure how you'd ever use it. But again, it can be kind of amusing. It's also excellent writing songs as well, if you want to get some fun, some song lyrics written. So chat GPT is great. It's probably not great in terms of writing in depth articles. And if you think about it, what chat GPT is doing is it's trying to predict the next word. It's not really thinking in terms of structure of an article. And so what's happened is there's a number of different products that are now available that are designed to help people write long form content. And so two of the most well known are writer and Jasper and what they do is they introduced this concept of structure. So, you know, very simply, you can go to the tool you can say, I want to write an article about out whether I will take marketing jobs, initially, the tool will produce a list of bullet points. So the key points you want to make, you can then edit those bullet points. And then what it will do is it will write paragraphs or sections around each bullet. So you basically build a structure by working with the AI tool. And then you produce the content. And this produces much more engaging and interesting content, then you get if you just asked chat GPT to produce an article.

So the question is, do people actually read it, though, so we decided to try it. And what we did was we actually posted a range of content on our blog. So we posted content that was written by experienced writers. So basically, some of our PR pros, we posted content that was written by people who don't normally write. So typically our design team, and we posted AI articles. And we measured the time on page for each of these articles. And you can see this kind of a grouping. And the orange ones are to the, to the left, or the least time on page. And the red arrows to the right tend to have more. So clearly, the red is typically better quality than the orange. Now, interestingly, if we actually look at what those arrows mean, the inexperienced writers performed worse than the AI generated content. Now, to be fair, we didn't take raw AI generated content, we use Jasper, it was an interactive process. So we were guiding them the AI. And we also sub edited the content afterwards to make it read better. So in fact, because of the editing and the interaction, it took us almost as long to generate the AI content as it would just write from scratch.

But doing that work makes the AI content more effective, more engaging, than someone like a designer writing and our designers are not, you know, terrible writers. I mean, there's some good content there. And experienced writers starting from scratch still, on average did better than AI. But you can see that whether an experienced writer starts from scratch, or starts with an AI, it's actually getting very close. And I think that's very important. One of the things I would say is these numbers would probably be very different if we just use the raw AI output, because in long form content, there's always sections that really don't read well. And the AI models, the large language models are still progressing. So today, it still does need sub editing. And as I say, to do a good job, it takes about as long as writing an article from scratch. So it's not quite there in terms of accelerating, although if you have writer's block or don't know how to start, it's absolutely fantastic. One thing that is worth mentioning is we left our blogs up for a couple of months before telling anyone they were AI generated, and no one noticed, which I think, you know, certainly, you know, highlights the fact that the quality of the article was pretty decent, it wasn't a poor quality article. Of course, one of the challenges we have is whether these AIs are actually able to do what they're doing. And what they're doing is they're taking the information they're given.

And they're using it to learn and then they're regurgitating it as outputs. And here you can see, I mean, this is an AI generated image that still has a Getty Images watermark. So this article talks about Getty Images, claiming that stability, AI unlawfully scraped millions of images from their site. And obviously, pulling in copyright images is a breach of copyright. And anyone who's dealt with Getty will know that Getty is incredibly proactive and protecting its copyright. So there is a huge risk of using this content. And the same thing happened with CNET, where plagiarism was found in the articles that they wrote using AI. So in terms of protecting a brand, I'd say that using AI is potentially a very high risk at the moment, because of the potential to actually include copyright material. It's stable diffusion, for example, their CEO, was asked whether they used any copyrighted images in their training. And his answer was, well, we're pretty sure it's in the hundreds of millions of copyrighted images, but we can't be certain how many so clearly, you know these these tools are very definitely trained on copyright content. And there is a real potential risk and that this is something I think that companies looking to rush into using AI needs to be very careful about and particularly with images because quite often with things like watermarks, you know it can be easy for able to track that. And I think we'll see more and more lawsuits around ownership.

Another thing worth mentioning is whether you actually own the content. And this is fascinating because there has been one court ruling in the States. And that first court ruling, which was a lower court, so it's not necessarily going to stand. It says that if you use AI to generate content, you don't own the copyright because you didn't create it. So if you use AI, you can't claim copyright in the US at this stage. With anything you create, there hasn't been anything to set precedents in the UK. And I'm sure this is something that's going to play out in the courts over many, many years. But you know, looking at AI, there are certainly going to be issues around law, and around IP, that are gonna take a long time sought out. But the good thing is, even if we're not gonna use AI as generative AI, it could do more things than generate images and text. So AI can have an opinion. And this is something we tried at Napier, we wanted to see whether it could predict more effective or less effective headlines. So he asked it, whether get your free sample or free samples will be more effective. And actually, the answer that chap GPT gave was really very good. I mean, it was very clear. It used sensible logic. And it did pick get your free sample, which is more likely to perform better on Google ads, than free samples.

Obviously, it does depend on a lot on context. But, you know, it's great, you can ask chat GPT and get an opinion on the quality of headlines. You can also take the pain out of data analysis and, you know, people I know, hate these, this sort of stuff, you know, is a click through rate of 1% better than 2%. If the sample sizes are 1000 2000, you want 95% confidence. So this is a statistically significant difference. So are we saying that there's a 19 out of 20 chance that the click through rates are genuinely different, and 2% is better. And it's not driven by randomness. So we can ask chat GPT lists, and chat GPT loves this because it can produce lots of lots of content. And it will come out and it will walk you through the process that you need to do for analysis. And you can see it's got the formula, it's got the calculations. But most importantly, the last sentence says, with 95% confidence, we can conclude that the click through rate 1% is better than 2%.

So this means that if you're a B testing, you can actually have you know, a very easy way of testing to see whether your two ads one is better than another. And that's a really important part of a b testing, because a lot of ads get picked as being better, although in fact is randomness. And you could be going down the wrong routes. So it could do analysis. It can also do things like answer complicated questions. So one of the things you can do is you can get a plugin for chat GPT that sits in Google Docs. And so here we have an extract of a spreadsheet. And this spreadsheet had a bunch of customer names. And we just asked chat GPT to identify which of the following industries communications, industrial automation, security, agricultural or other is served by this company. We then give it the next cell we drag it all down and chat GPT very quickly will categorise the industries. As you can see on line seven, it's not perfect. It's categorise something as other because it didn't know. But basically check GPT has done a very good job of categorising the majority of companies. So if you're looking for example, to run a campaign, you want to cluster by industry, chat. GPT is a great solution. If you've got this Excel, if you've got the sorry, Google Docs plugin, Google Sheets, plugin, sorry. And you also are probably using AI anyway in marketing. So whether it's programming, programmatic advertising, whether it's text to speech or speech to text, whether it's editing, spoken content, or video content, whether it's recommending content on your website, or even chatbots. Typically, AI is now becoming embedded in a lot of tools. And we actually think this is going to be one of the things that's going to be a big trend.

The interesting thing is the general AI models, the GPT models, they weren't really well, they weren't actually probably better than specialist advertising language models. But they can be embedded easily into tools. So they almost disappear into the background. And you've kind of got this wizard or helper that's going to help you use either, you know, Google ads or whatever. and optimise it and make it better. So we see this as being a big trend. And it's certainly something to watch with any martec tool you're using, because I'm pretty sure they're looking to invest in integrating AI. Some other uses of AI one is summarising, you know, in marketing, we all have a lot of content. And Microsoft, if you're a Microsoft company, they've already said that they're going to produce tools to summarise meetings, and produce different summaries of meetings. So it's definitely something that that's happening, a lot of people are using it. And you can actually also have tools that will write summaries of web content. So if you're writing newsletters, for example, there's tools like glass that will pull in multiple articles from the internet, summarise them and create your newsletter automatically. Generally speaking, these generative API's are very good at summarising.

So they do tend to produce pretty reasonable summaries, although again, they can't be relied on to be perfect. It always needs a proofread. And certainly, you know, if you've seen some of the experiments where people have asked for summaries of books on which the AI's had been trained, then often book summaries are not so good. So definitely summaries are something we think is going to happen. editing video, is another thing that looks like it's gonna happen. If you look here, this is a tool called Content fries. And what it does is it takes long form videos, and it pulls out highlight clips. So that's really exciting, really interesting, and could potentially help with repurposing quite significantly. And you can even have artificial people. So this avatar is called Emma. And we're using her for some outbound marketing. Now, although she is a real person in real life, she never says any of the things. She says in our videos, we literally type a script, and we get a, you know, very realistic human moving and talking with the words that we type in. So AI powered avatars, I think are going to become a very big thing. And I'm pretty sure that you'll start seeing a lot of videos coming into your inbox, that are AI avatars that look like that they've recreated a personalised video.

But in reality, the AI is generated, and it's all been automatic. And then lastly, I mean, as an agency, we're always on the lookout for threats. And there are tools that claim to effectively replace agencies. So digital first is an example which claims you can log in and create an execute marketing plans in seconds. We have tested this, I would say it's a long way from creating and executing marketing plans. With AI. It's not very creative. It's very limited in what it can do. But certainly, I'm pretty sure that they're working hard to find ways to actually help drive campaigns. And I certainly think if we look forward in AI, things like Google search campaigns, increasingly, what we'll see is a lot of AI acceleration around that. That's a fairly formulaic approach. And I think what we'll do is we'll we'll see for a lot of campaigns, you know, some of the keyword research being done by AI, and also some of the ad content being generated by AI, at least the first pass. So, in summary, we think current AI technology has its limitations. But it is going to be massively important. If anybody is working in marketing, they should be looking at AI and looking at how they can use it.

If you're talking about creativity, I mean, just be above average, and you'll be okay. So, you know, hopefully, we should be able to all manage to maintain our jobs in marketing, by introducing creativity and innovation. But I think, you know, imagining that because AI doesn't completely replace you, it can be ignored, it's completely wrong. And using AI to accelerate work is definitely something that needs to be done. Obviously, be careful. And particularly Be careful if you're taking AI generated content, that you're not plagiarising either images or text. And today, you know, I'd be really clear on this. Napier is not using AI to generate content. And there's a couple of reasons for that. Firstly, you know, if you look at our business, we're not at the content farm kind of level, we're at the higher quality level. And it's probably the case that AI is not quite at that level yet.

In terms of is offering the ability to write deeply technical specialist articles for our clients. And I say yet rather than it won't be, but also, we wouldn't want to expose our clients to risks of being seen to have taken content from other copyrighted sources. So, you know, please use AI, please make it part of your day. But the good thing is, is I asked Dali, to create an image of a robot holding a sign saying you're fired. And it didn't quite manage to make you're fired. It was honestly the first attempt it came back with. And so I feel that although AI is definitely something that's going to change our jobs, as of today, it's still got some limitations. And I think the future is still bright, particularly if you're creative and innovative in marketing. So thank you very much for listening. I very much appreciate the time you spent. I'd be really interested to know if anyone has any questions. So if anyone's got any questions, please type them into the chat.

Okay, I've just got one question. So the question has been asked whether the Add In for Google Sheets is free, or if it's a paid for it. And so obviously, chat GPT has a couple of options. Most people know about the fact you can access check GPT for free. And you can pay for an upgrade that gives you access to the new model, the GPT four model, which produces better content. There's also something called an API the interface for computers to talk to. And this is what the Add In for sheets actually uses. And that API is also paid for. But the cost of using it is pretty small. So unless you're dealing with huge datasets, it's a pretty trivial cost.

So it is paid for, but it's not expensive. And I think that's something we're gonna see a lot of with AI is that using AI more and more, I think will become paid. But the reality is, is those AI queries don't cost a lot to run. And so the actual cost won't be too big. Well, thank you very much for listening. Everyone. Obviously, if anyone does have a question, and they haven't. Oh, actually, I've got got one other question here. Are writer and Jasper free? Or is there a charge? Both writer and Jasper are companies and they are paid for products? They do have free trials. And I can't remember exactly what the deal is. I think Reiter has a free tier. And Jasper has a free trial if I'm right. But but don't quote me on that. But they're, they're definitely paid for tools, if you want to use it. And I've also got one last question here about whether I'm aware of any ad or campaign done by AI that's been super successful? And the answer is I'm not, it's not something we've particularly looked for. I'm sure people have done campaigns out there.

I know recently, there was a I think it was a Sony, or it could have been a Canon photography competition that was actually won by an AI generated image. And it was won by a photographer who generated the image, specifically to highlight the potential impact of AI on photography. So I really appreciate everyone listening. I think I've probably still got a couple of questions that might be coming in. But what I'll do is, if anyone's got any questions that I haven't covered, please feel free to email me. And what I'll do is I'll send an email back and if I do have any coming through on chat afterwards, I'll send those through as well. Thank you very much for listening. I hope this was useful. And as I say, please send me an email, Mike at Napier b2b And I'd be happy to answer any questions. Thank you.

150 Lead Generation Tips and Tricks

Generating leads is one of the key goals of many marketing teams. We’ve worked on many lead-generation campaigns and have found that it’s possible to optimise them in many different ways. In fact, we have 150 ideas that will help you run better lead-generation campaigns in the future!


A great strategy is the basis of all great campaigns. If you think carefully about how and why your lead generation campaign will work, you're much more likely to see positive results as opposed to simply pushing out another campaign that looks much like the previous one.

1.      Focus on quality over quantity

The well-known 80/20 rule, which asserts that 80% of outputs result from 20% of all inputs, applies to lead generation campaigns as well as many other things in life. It’s important to understand the campaigns that generate the best results and invest time in making them even better. If you make the 20% of campaigns that generate the best results more effective, it's a much better use of your time than trying to get less effective campaigns up to par.

2.      Be topical

If you're able to be agile, creating lead generation campaigns around topical issues is always going to help increase conversion rates. Fortunately in B2B, the news cycle can be quite long, so you don't typically have to respond overnight. However the quicker you can provide content offers that address changes in legislation or hot topics for the industry, the more effective your lead generation campaigns will be.

3.      Create offers for different buying stages

We all understand that prospects move through a series of stages before they buy. The simplest model is AIDA (awareness, interest, desire, action) but you probably have your own sales funnel or customer journey. At each stage, the needs of the audience changes, so build a model where you have different content that you offer to meet the needs of the prospect as they move towards becoming a customer.

4.      Build personas

Great lead generation campaigns understand the need – or needs -  of the customer. Building personas is one of the most effective ways to understand your audience, from what motivates them to the challenges they must overcome. Use personas to understand what your audience cares about and to create solutions that will generate leads.

5.      Understand the different members of the DMU

Almost nine out of 10 B2B purchases are made by a decision-making unit (or buying committee). Too often we see lead generation campaigns focusing on only one member of the DMU. The best campaigns engage several key members and group leads together by creating a rich picture of the team making the purchase decision.

6.      Understand the customer journey

Building a strong understanding of the customer journey will help you identify the points at which your audience is ready to engage, and the information they need at each of those stages. Although it is possible to use a simple sales funnel model to create lead generation campaigns, the best results are achieved when you precisely target the right information to the right prospect at the right time.

7.      Use scarcity

One of the best strategies to engage an audience is to create the impression of scarcity. Whether it's a limited time offer, or you require people to “qualify” for the content or programme you’re offering, creating artificial scarcity is a great way to drive action.

8.      Promote offers on product pages

Sometimes lead generation campaigns are seen as separate from other marketing activities such as the company website. This is a mistake! Make use of your website and other marketing channels to promote your lead generation campaign. In particular, offering lead generation content on product pages can not only increase the performance of the campaign, but often provides information the prospect is looking for but can’t find, helping them make a buying decision.

9.      Use your blog to host lead gen offers

Blogs are a fantastic place to promote lead generation campaigns. Typically, when someone is reading your blog they are researching or learning, which is an ideal mindset for your offering of helpful content. Driving traffic to your blog is expensive, whether you use SEO or other tactics, so make sure you take advantage of this traffic by promoting your content offers.

10.  Create content that follows on from blog posts

A great way to offer relevant content at the end of a blog post is to generate “follow on” content from those posts. This might be a white paper or ebook that goes into more detail than you could within a blog post. This type of content offer performs well on the blog as the best performing blog posts will  identify the topics that are of greatest interest to your audience.

11.  Use emotion

It's a bit of a cliche that, even in B2B, we are still marketing to humans. However, the desire to follow corporate style guidelines and not say anything controversial sometimes makes our lead generation campaigns a little dull. Don't be afraid to use emotion in your campaigns to grab attention and make prospects understand the importance of what you're talking about.

12.  Solve problems or help people get promoted

This is perhaps the best, and possibly simplest, tip to improve your lead generation campaigns. If you want someone to register on a form (therefore generating a lead) you should either solve an issue they are struggling with or offer information that will impress others in the organisation. Put simply, if you can help someone solve a problem or get promoted, your lead generation campaign has a good chance of succeeding.

13.  Make your brand stand out

When building a strategy for a campaign, it's important to stand out from the competition. This can be as simple as using a particular colour palette, or as complex as building a campaign that allows you to “own” a key issue within the industry.

14.  Learn from your mistakes (and successes)

When you are planning the strategy for a lead generation campaign, it's always useful to review campaigns you have run in the past. Look at what worked, and what didn't, to find out what you can learn from previous campaigns. Most importantly, identify where campaigns failed in the past and don't make that mistake again!

15.  Ask for referrals

Don't be afraid to ask for referrals in your lead generation campaign. Whether it's giving someone the chance to share content with a colleague, or using telemarketing to ask if there are similar or partner companies that could be approached, referrals are a great way to get new leads. This is particularly important for Europeans, who tend to be less willing to ask for referrals than our American colleagues.

Martech Tools

Using the right tools makes lead generation so much easier. If you have the right marketing technology, and it’s set up correctly, it will make running your campaign simpler and easier.

16.  Have the right tools to track your leads

Make sure you're able to record and track leads in your CRM. You need to go beyond just capturing leads and monitor them throughout the nurture and sales processes. If you can't track leads accurately through their life cycle you won't know the impact that your campaign has had on the business, so any metrics you generate will only tell part of the story.

17.  Keep your marketing database up to date

If you're not updating the marketing database, you'll obviously not have the information you need to analyse your campaigns. Spending time making sure the database is updated, and using automation tools to save time, are critical for any lead generation campaign.

18.  Segment your database for better targeting

Personalization is crucial, and that is much more than just putting the recipient’s name at the top of an email! By segmenting your database, you'll be able to send more relevant messages, whether you're trying to get a contact to become a lead, or nurture that lead to become a customer.

19.  Link your tools together (CRM, marketing automation platform, social, etc)

Today it's possible to link your marketing technology tools.. By sharing data between the tools, you’ll build greater insight about your contacts and also have more information about the touchpoints for those prospects. Some systems offer capabilities for multiple channels - for example, marketing automation platforms - while others have built-in integrations. If integrations don't exist there are middleware platforms like Zapier and Make that will integrate your systems.

20.  Use reporting to improve performance

All too often campaign reports are just used to show that money has been well spent. This is crazy! Make use of the data in your reports to understand what worked, and what wasn't so successful. Spending a little time analysing your reports rather than justifying the expenditure (which I hope you already have) is a great way to ensure your next campaign is even more successful.

21.  Use the mobile apps for the tools

Many tools offer mobile apps that can allow you to quickly access data about campaign performance when you're not in front of a PC. Setting up those mobile apps means you'll always have information at your fingertips, something that your boss is bound to notice!

22.  Make use of automations

It's much easier to think of ideas for campaigns than to execute the campaigns themselves. With the many different channels and tools, most organisations have ideas for far more campaigns than they could ever run. Fortunately, today’s marketing technology systems offer a wide range of automation features and making use of them is one way to increase the number of campaigns you're able to run.

23.  Build campaigns around goals, not the capabilities of tools

When your organisation has spent a large amount of money on a marketing technology tool, such as a marketing automation platform, it's often tempting to try to make use of all the features that are available. However, you don't get leads by using features, you get them by executing well-designed campaigns. If you build your campaigns around specific goals, you're much more likely to generate results than if you attempt it using only the latest shiny feature in your favourite tool.

24.  Research to allow multi-channel campaigns

We all know intuitively that sending your marketing messages through a single channel is much less effective than a multi-channel approach. Use your marketing tools to research the different channels used by your audience, and to deliver your message across as many of these channels as possible. Although it’s a cliché, “omni-channel” is the way all good marketers should be thinking.

Working with Sales

The Sales organisation can be a great resource when designing and running lead generation campaigns. More importantly, they will probably be the ones who are most vocal about whether or not the campaign was successful. Working closely with sales is essential to creating a great lead generation campaign.

25.  Ask Sales what leads they want

Assuming your leads become qualified, they'll be passed to your business development representatives or Sales team. Ask then what they are looking for before you start planning the campaign. If you involve them up front you'll have a much clearer target, enabling you to be far more precise in the way you design the campaign.

26.  Target key accounts (ABM)

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Is a very effective way to target your marketing spend to the organisations that are likely to have the biggest impact on your bottom line. Even if the campaign is designed to address a very broad audience, it's often worth using ABM tactics to target a proportion of the campaign budget at segments likely to generate the best results.

27.  Agree a marketing-Sales SLA

Always make sure you have a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the Sales team. Clearly define what is meant by “marketing qualified” and “Sales qualified” leads (MQLs and SQLs) and make sure the process for nurturing and handing over ,the leads is understood by both sides.

28.  Group leads by opportunity (or company)

We all know that the vast majority of business-to-business purchases are made by a group of decision-makers rather than an individual. If you can group relevant leads from a single sales opportunity, or even group them by company, you'll make it much easier for the sales team to piece together who is involved in the decision-making unit. This will make their sales process simpler and more effective.

29.  Review progress frequently with Sales

Everyone hates when a campaign has been completes and suddenly Sales says the leads do not meet expectations. It is therefore important to have frequent informal check-ins with the Sales team to avoid the embarrassment and frustration of finding out after the campaign is completed that you were targeting the wrong audience.

30.  Filter out the rubbish before it gets to Sales

This should be simple. Any good lead qualification process will ensure that irrelevant or erroneous contacts are filtered out. However, we often see leads that are obviously gobbledegook get passed through to Sales. Ensure you have a robust process to validate contact data and qualify leads.

31.  Promote big wins among the Sales team

We all too often hear negative stories from Sales about lead generation campaigns. Like most things, bad news is far more likely to be passed on than good. Make sure you highlight the successful campaign you ran. Don't be frightened of running a little internal marketing to promote the successes: getting Sales to buy in to following up relies on them believing that there will be a benefit to them and the company.

32.  Make sure you work with channel partners too

It's not just about your direct Salesforce. Your channel partners are a vital part of your Sales organisation, so make sure you talk to them, too. Frequently we see the needs of channel partners being somewhat different from those of the direct Sales force, so don't assume they will be the same.

Choice of Channels

In today's digital world there are numerous marketing channels you can use to generate leads. Here are some tips on how to decide which channels to use, and how to customise the content f each channel.

33.  Use social media to warm leads up

Particularly if you are running an issues-based campaign, social media can be a great way to warm up leads and make them aware of a particular topic. If you have a strong following, social media can be an incredibly cost-effective way to reach a large audience. You can then follow up with lead generation on social, email or other channels to drive the lead into your basket.

34.  Make the messaging match the channel

Although your communications will have to match the company voice and style guide, you need to tweak the way you say things for each channel. A corporate landing page may need to be much more formal than a post on Facebook or Instagram. Think about your audience’s mindset on each channel and make sure the style of your content is optimised for the way they're thinking.

35.  Use social for retargeting

Paid social is a fantastic tactic, particularly when you use it for retargeting. Think about using audiences that have already engaged with your content on the social media platform, as well as retargeting those who have visited your website.

36.  Multi-channel is more effective than single channel

When considering different channels, it's important to think about how you can use multiple channels for each campaign. As well as increasing frequency, which is therefore likely to increase effectiveness, multi-channel campaigns make it more likely that you are using all recipients’ channel of choice. Not everybody is active on LinkedIn, but an equal number of people don't respond well to e-mail direct marketing. Picking multiple channels makes it more likely you will engage with each contact in a place where they are receptive to your messages.

37.  Email might look good, but beware of talking to your “fan club”

Often the most effective lead generation channel is an organization's own database. However, because people on the database have probably volunteered their contact details, there is a good chance that you are simply talking to your “fan club”. Don't compare the results of emailing your own database to other channels and tactics without understanding the inherent bias: you need to reach new audiences, which is not something you can do with your existing database.


Email is a great way to generate sales leads, whether you are trying to activate dormant contacts in your own database or using a third party database to engage with a new audience. Email is also usually a critical part of any lead nurture campaign.

38.  Recipients are vanity, leads are sanity

Like many aspects of digital marketing, it's easy to get seduced by the numbers. Particularly when running e-mail campaigns, it's often easy to focus on the size of the database to which you'll be sending emails. Quality is always more important than quantity. Make sure you focus on relevant contacts and build analysis around those results rather than the number of emails you send.

39.  Write great subject lines

If recipients don't open your email, your campaign won't work. The subject line is crucial, as a poor subject line will be quickly deleted without the content being read. Great subject lines grab attention and make the recipient want to read more, but don't try to be too clever: the subject line should reflect the information offered in the email.

40.  Use AI for inspiration

Artificial intelligence tools are beginning to have an impact on a wide range of marketing activities. We recommend making use of these tools to generate inspiration for your e-mail subject line and copy. However, don't rely on AI tools to write everything: today AI generates derivative text that can sound bland and boring. Also, if you're using AI to create images, be careful around issues of copyright.

41.  Have clear CTAs

Having a clear call to action is crucial for any e-mail campaign. It's not just about putting a link in the text and a button to click: you need to make sure that the CTA communicates exactly why the recipient should click through, and what benefit they will get.

42.  Don’t waffle in emails

Your audience is busy. Don't imagine that they have time to read long emails that give complex and detailed explanations of what you're offering. A great rule is to have only one message and one call to action per email. If you want your lead generation campaigns to work, less is more!

43.  Use HTML and plain text

Don't use only one format for your emails. HTML Is great for including eye-catching images and laying out text in a logical and readable way. But HTML looks like an e-mail from the Marketing Department. Including plaintext emails, particularly if the “From” address is a real individual, can make your campaign more authentic and produce better results.

44.  Remember the from address matters

Email recipients use the ”From” address as one of the factors to determine if they want to open and read an email, or just delete it. Research shows that having a From address from a real person is likely to increase open rates and engagement. Try to avoid generic email address like “Sales”, which might discourage recipients.

45.  Know your DKIMs from your SPFs

Email systems use technology to validate that an email server is entitled to send messages on behalf of the domain in the From address. There are two main technologies: DKIM and SPF. If you don't set up your systems correctly, there is a much greater chance of your emails ending up in spam folders.

46.  Use email templates and standard formats

There is no need to continually design custom layouts for every marketing email you send. Your recipients won't remember the layout of an email you sent them three months ago! Use standard templates and formats to speed the creation of your campaigns. It won't affect the performance, but it will allow you to run more campaigns and therefore generate better results.

47.  Don’t always reinvent the wheel

You'll often want to send similar campaigns to different audiences, or achieve the same results as a campaign that you ran a couple of years ago. Don't be afraid to reuse or refresh existing content. If it worked well previously, it's likely to still be effective today.

48.  Newsletters still work

Although it’s one of the oldest email marketing approaches, newsletters are still very effective. We often see campaigns falter because an organisation does not have sufficient resources to create compelling nurture sequences. Although it's always better to have a custom nurture process, if you have nothing else, adding your contacts to your e-mail newsletter (with permission if you have an opt-in policy) can be surprisingly effective.

49.  Consistency wins

Although we have all seen the odd campaign that has been disproportionately effective, the reality is that there is rarely a campaign that works like magic. The organisations that have the best lead generation results are usually the ones who work consistently to create and deliver campaigns. Consistent output almost always trumps an incredibly creative one-off campaign.

50.  Multiple emails are better, but there is no magic number of emails

Like almost any aspect of marketing, repeating the message increases effectiveness and delivers better results. Most email lead generation campaigns will see better results with several emails rather than just one. However, there is no “right” answer to the ideal number of emails in a sequence for lead generation. The best number will depend on what you want to communicate, as well as the behaviour of your audience. Tracking campaign results against the number of emails is a great way to ensure you get a better understanding of what works for your audience.


Retargeting is an incredibly powerful tactic that can be used to great effect in lead generation campaigns. Being a little more creative with retargeting can produce a dramatic improvement in your results.

51.  Don’t always insist on a registration immediately

Most campaigns designed to generate leads will root the contact directly to a registration form as the first step. If you have a great content offer, this can be the best approach. However, sometimes it can be better to demand less at the start: for example, offering a video on social media, and then retargeting the people who watch it, will enable you to focus your budget on an audience that cares about the issue you're discussing.

52.  Retarget people who have visited key parts of your website

Visitors to your website are a fantastic resource for any lead generation campaign. Make sure you consider whether visiting a part of your website indicates a level of interest that could result in the contact becoming a lead. Also, don't forget to retarget people who visit your landing page but don't complete the form: this is a surprisingly effective tactic as people are more likely to fill in a form on second and subsequent visits to the landing page.

53.  Use retargeting on social

When thinking about retargeting, Google is often the go-to place. Although Google can offer a great channel for display advertising to your audience, don't forget social media. In particular, LinkedIn can be very effective for retargeting as people are in a business frame of mind when they are on the site, although advertising costs on LinkedIn can be quite high.

54.  Test lifetime in retargeting audiences

When creating a retargeting audience, you're able to specify the length of time that contacts are targeted. Your buyer’s journey should help inform the optimum lifetime, but it is always worthwhile checking by testing different lifetimes. Sometimes, however, you will be limited in what you can select if you have a small audience, as a short lifetime might make that audience too small to target on the platform.

55.  Exclude audiences to be more accurate

When creating a retargeting audience don't forget to consider who should be excluded. This could be people within your organisation, or you might be able to use behavioural information to determine other segments that will not generate high quality leads.

56.  Don’t rely on audience extension or similar audiences

Most platforms offer the ability to create look-alike or audience extension segments. If you are a B2B company with a specific audience, it is highly likely that the algorithm to identify look-alikes will be far too broad. Although it is possible to use these features successfully, most of our clients find the performance of campaigns that use them to be very disappointing.

Google Search Ads

Don't forget search advertising as a way to promote your content! Search engine marketing can generate leads through content offers, particularly if your content relates to popular searches. There are some simple ways you can use search advertising to drive more leads.

57.  Do promote content offers with search ads

Probably the most common way of generating leads is through content offers. Don't forget search ads when deciding your strategy to promote this content: if it solves a problem or answers a question, there's a great chance that people are searching around these topics, so maximise your results by running search ads.

58.  Target your competitors’ brands

A great approach is to target searches for your competitors’ brands. If you're trying to persuade the audience to switch supplier, then engaging them when they're searching for information about your competitors’ products is a great way to do this. Don't forget, you can't use competitor trademarks in the advert text (although you can bid on searches for trademark terms).

59.  Answer important questions

Search is a great way to identify the questions your audience is asking. Using search intelligence, you can find common search terms that relate to the questions your content can answer. If you do this, don't forget to advertise on search engines around the questions you are answering.

60.  Long-tail searches work best

The more specific the search terms you bid on, the more effective your campaign. However, these long tail searches often have relatively low search volumes, so be prepared to run your search campaigns for a longer time. We see some “evergreen” campaigns on search that consistently generate leads quarter after quarter.

Direct Mail

Direct mail sounds like it should have been eliminated as a tactic with the advent of the Internet, but in many ways it's more effective than ever.

61.  Postal mail is not dead!

It's easy to forget that postal mail is still a valid tactic for marketing and lead generation. In particular, it's great for reaching out to dormant contacts on your database or as part of an account-based marketing campaign. Direct mail, particularly creative and eye-catching direct mail, works well because so few organisations use it in a business-to-business context. Sending physical mail stands out and can actually generate great return on investment if it is well targeted.

62.  Find out where your recipient is sitting

After the pandemic, remote working has become more common than ever. If you're sending postal mail, you really don't want it ending up at head office if your contact is based many miles away. So make sure you understand where your contact is based before sending.

63.  Be creative

Physical mailers can be expensive, and postage is a significant cost. It makes sense to invest time to be highly creative and generate mail pieces that really grab attention. One of our best physical mailers involved sending a pebble from the beach with a story around it. Ask us if you'd like to know more!

64.  Invest in quality for key prospects/customers

Account-based marketing tactics allow you to focus your budget on the targets and customers who make the biggest difference to your business. Where you do identify those most important contacts, it really is worth spending the money to send high quality mailers rather than low-cost postcards or other low-impact items.

Trade Shows

Despite webinars becoming incredibly popular during the pandemic, there is still huge demand for face-to-face trade shows and conferences. Attending an in-person event can be very expensive as an exhibitor, so you need to make sure you optimise the number of leads you generate to ensure a great return on investment.

65.  Use give-aways to gather leads

We all love a bit of free swag! It's always good to have something to offer in exchange for a badge scan or business card. Branded giveaways have been proven to work over decades. We recommend giveaways that will either sit on the recipients desk or be played with by their children as being the most likely to continue to remind them of your brand.

66.  Business cards are still useful

People still carry business cards! Although badge scanners have largely replaced business cards as a way to gather leads during events, some people still prefer to leave a business card, so make sure you have a glass jar or something similar to collect them.

67.  Scan in business cards

It's easy to forget about the pile of business cards you collect at an event. However, there are lots of apps that will scan in business cards to your phone and provide an uploadable file for your CRM or marketing automation system. Make use of these tools and scan in business cards as quickly as possible so you can ensure your nurture campaign runs in a timely fashion.

68.  Competitions can gather lots of leads

You've probably seen many trade show booths that have some sort of prize draw. Although it's true that sometimes these competitions generate lower quality leads, having a competition can increase the number of contacts and generate good qualified leads if you primarily offer it to the people who are already on your booth.

69.  Make sure Sales people don’t “steal” leads

Salespeople can be sneaky! We've seen many of them put the business card or contact details of the best leads from an event into their pocket rather than feed it through the Marketing team. Making sure the Salespeople see that your follow up process is effective is crucial to gaining their confidence and make sure they don't slip away with the best leads from the event.

70.  Have follow-up emails prepared before the event

If you generate leads at trade shows, you'll want to nurture them with follow up emails. Make sure you generate these emails well in advance of the event. If you leave it to the last minute, inevitably the event itself will absorb all your time and you won't get the emails written, resulting in less effective nurturing because your campaign will run some considerable time after the contact details were collected.

71.  Invite trade show contacts to engage with other content

The previous tip mentioned nurturing the contacts you gather after the event. At the time, it can be hard to record exactly what any individual was interested in, so encouraging them to engage with additional content after the event will not only help qualify the lead, but also provide more information about topics that interest them.

72.  Badge scanners are a good idea

Exhibition organisers charge an extortionate amount for the privilege of using badge scanners. Don't try to cut corners: if you want to generate leads, the most effective way is to scan someone’s badge and you have little alternative but to pay the price demanded by the organisers.

73.  Get guest speakers where possible

If you're running your own event, guest speakers are generally more effective for attracting attendees than your own team. Guest speakers give the appearance of independence and credibility, significantly enhancing the impression given to potential attendees.

74.  Involve customers to provide testimonials

At events, having customers speak and talk about successful projects with your organisation is incredibly powerful. Don't feel that you can only use customers who had the perfect experience: often tales of how you helped them overcome problems can be the most compelling stories to potential customers.

75.  Make events fun

You're running an event because you want to sell something. But don't forget that the emotional response to the event is incredibly important. Make events fun and enjoyable, and your customer will be more likely to buy.

76.  Make events and webinars educational

Your customers’ time is extremely valuable, so make your events and webinars as educational as possible. If they feel they gained value from attending, they will be much more open to sales conversations if they felt the event worthwhile.

77.  Send multiple invites

You might think your event is the most important thing in the world, but prospects and customers probably don't think the same way. They might not reply to the first e-mail they receive about your event or webinar. In fact they might also ignore the second! Send several invites and reminders before the event to maximise attendance.

78.  Promote events on multiple channels

Like other marketing campaigns, events should be promoted across multiple channels. Think about who you want to reach, and which channel might be most effective. For example, if you want to attract existing customers, then getting sales people to share the event on social media is likely to be highly effective. However, organic social media is less likely to reach an audience that is not already engaged with your brand.

79.  Partner to attract new prospects

To increase attendance, think about partnering with complementary suppliers. It's amazing how often this approach benefits both sides because, although you're both working in the same market, you probably have very different customer bases.


Most generation campaigns rely on content offers that are gated behind forms. Getting the content right is critical to the effectiveness of this type of campaign, so make sure you check out these content tips.

80.  It’s the title (and cover) that matter most

We often see huge amounts of effort being put into the generation of high-quality content, and then little attention being paid to the title and design of the cover. Don't forget that this is typically the only part of the content your audience will see before they fill in the form,  so spend time thinking about what would be the most attractive title and how you can make the cover more enticing.

81.  Test different titles

Experimenting with different titles, and running AB tests, can make a huge difference to the conversion rate of your landing page and forms. Don't be afraid to test several versions of the same content with different titles to determine which one works best.

82.  Talk in your customers’ language

When generating content, it's so easy to write in a way that's attractive for people who work in your organisation. But in practice, your customers probably use slightly different language and tone, so try to make sure you write using their terminology rather than your own.

83.  eBooks beat white papers

The white paper has been incredibly successful for a very long time, but testing shows that conversion rates are higher for ebooks.

84.  Research is valuable

One of the most effective forms of content is a report based on research you have done. Your customers will want to know how others doing the same job in different organisations think, so survey research around attitudes in the market you are addressing can produce content with exceptional conversion rates.

85.  Tools and calculators get engagement

Content doesn't just have to be presented as written text or by video. Although lead generation calculators and other online tools can sometimes seem a little simplistic, they do get great engagement and can be great sources of leads. It can be time consuming and expensive to do the programming work to create a calculator, but often the results are well worth it.

86.  Webinars are still great

During the pandemic there was a huge rush to produce webinars. Although demand for webinars has fallen due to some organisations producing poor quality online events, the large number of webinars that are available, and the option to attend face-to-face events, mean that webinars still work. Even if the performance of your webinars have fallen, it's likely that the quality of engagement and return on investment makes the time to produce them very worthwhile.

87.  Offer content to follow-on from the webinar

Just as physical events offer content that follows on from your webinar, valuable content is particularly important for subsequent webinars because people are probably attending to learn something more, and therefore will be open to engaging with additional materialabout the topic.

88.  Keep webinars short (<45 mins)

It's hard to stay focused on a webinar for a long time. Most of our clients find attendees start to log off somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes after the start. Although some people will continue to watch the webinar for well over an hour, we recommend aiming for around 45 minutes as this seems to be the optimum length.

89.  Double-down on the best-performing content

It's vitally important to monitor what content generates the best results. You'll probably find a small percentage will generate the vast majority of leads. Don't keep creating completely new content; repurpose the best performing content as source material for different channels, formats or just new versions of the content you know works best.

90.  Try different formats

Most companies focus on a small number of formats. For example, you might be highly invested in the company blog or prefer to create only white papers. Try to avoid such a narrow focus: having a wider range will allow greater reuse of content, which will save you time, and also mean you are more likely to be engaging every member of your audience in the format they prefer.

91.  Video can be gated

With many companies posting their video content to sharing sites or leaving it ungated on their website, you might think that gating video is a bad idea. If you have the right video content - for example interviews with board level executives of your customers - then gaiting video might not only be possible, it might be the best way to generate high-quality leads.

92.  Worry about design

Although tools exist to create content in different formats without requiring any design expertise, you should be very conscious of good design. Great design not only makes the content more attractive and encourages people to read it, it also makes consuming the content simpler and increases the likelihood of that your audience will remember the message.

93.  You can gate content that is publicly available

Just because information is available in the public domain, it doesn't mean you can't gate it. One of the best lead generation campaigns one of our  clients ran was a collection of publicly available blog posts packaged up as an ebook. If you can make the content more convenient to consume, then it's definitely worth considering using publicly available information for lead generation.

94.  Create teaser content

It's important to try to show your audience what they will get if they register for your content offer. Creating short teaser content, particularly on social media, is a great way to increase interest in your content and therefore improve the conversion rate of your landing page and forms.

95.  Test which format is most popular

Just because you like a particular format, it doesn't mean your audience will like it, too. It's important to test different formats to see which one is most effective. Does your audience prefer white papers or ebooks? Is video preferred over written content? Although you can use rules of thumb, your audience will be slightly different from everyone else’s and testing is the only way you will really understand their preferences.

96.  Use snippets to promote content

When creating teaser content, don't overthink it. Quite often the table of contents and first chapter of an ebook, which takes virtually no effort to produce, is great teaser content. Think about how you can use snippets from that content as a teaser rather than having to create something new.

97.  Promote your offers in other content

If someone is reading, watching or listening to your content, then it's likely they are open to more. So promote within your content. Perhaps the best place to do this is in podcasts, where you can generate leads by offering things such as ebooks to download.


Whether it's a social media post or an email, one of the first steps in lead generation is a call to action (CTA). Getting the call to action right is critical to ensure your campaign generates the results you want, and keeps your boss happy.

98.  Make sure your CTA is visible (above the fold)

Although it sounds obvious, it's easy to let your call to action be hidden below the fold. This is particularly common with emails that might look great on a desktop, but hide the CTA when viewing on a mobile. Make sure you check that your call to action is clearly visible on all devices.

99.  Be clear - not clever - with your CTA

When writing a call to action, it's not the time to be clever or witty. A clear call to action will always outperform one that is more confusing, no matter how clever the language you use.

100. Make your CTAs stand out visually

Make use of visual cues so that your CTA stands out. In particular, think how you will draw your audience’s eyes to CTA buttons through placement, design and colour.

101. Start the CTA with a strong verb

It's a bit of a cliche, but it does work. Starting your CTA with a strong verb, which can be as simple as “download”, is a great way to improve the performance of your campaign.


In most cases when you're collecting contact data, you'll need a form. The design of the form can have a huge impact on the conversion rate of your landing page, so follow these tips to maximise the number of leads you generate.

102.  Limit the length of your forms, particularly for lower-value offers

In general, the shorter the form the higher the completion rate. This isn't always the case, as some research has shown that for high value items, a longer form can perform better. In most cases, however, reducing the number of fields is a good thing so consider whether you can eliminate any fields from your forms.

103.  Don’t just use the default text on the submit button

The submit button is a call to action. Make use of the text on the button by having a strong verb and sell the benefits of submitting the form. Leaving the button with the default “submit” text will reduce the conversion rate.

104.  Don’t space the form out too much

Although design is important, too much space can have a negative impact on forms. If you space the fields out too much, the form looks bigger and your audience will be less likely to complete it.

105.  Use progressive profiling

Marketing automation systems and most form managers can do progressive profiling, where once you have the answer to one question the system automatically adds a new one. By getting your prospects to fill in multiple forms, you increase the information you gain about them without ever making them face a form with a large number of fields. Progressive profiling can therefore enhance your data as well as increase conversion rates.

106.  Auto-fill fields

If you know information about the contact, don't make them type it in again. Auto-filling fields reduce the amount of work to complete the form, and therefore increases conversion rates.

107.  Hide auto-filled fields

If your systems offer the capability, it's a good idea to hide the auto-filled fields. This reduces the length of form that your audience sees, making them more likely to complete and submit it.

108.  Use hidden fields to send more data

You can gather more information than your contacts enter on the form. Hidden fields allow you to gather additional data: a great use of this is to harvest the Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) parameters from the URL, which means you have information about the source of the lead added to the contact records.

Landing Pages

Most lead generation campaigns route the audience to a landing page where they need to fill in a form. The design of the landing page can have a huge impact on the results your campaign generates.

109.  Use dedicated landing pages

The first tip is always to use a dedicated landing page. Routing your contacts to pages that are not designed specifically to convert with a form fill will reduce the performance of your campaign because they have much lower conversion rates than dedicated landing pages.

110.  Landing pages should only do one thing

Generally, the purpose of a landing page is to get someone to fill in a form and submit it. When designing a landing page you should only have one objective, and typically it's form completion. Although it might seem helpful to have other information available to landing page visitors, this approach will reduce the conversion rate and make your campaign less effective.

111.  Don’t use too much text on landing pages

Landing pages should only do one thing. Too much text will distract from the goal. Keep your text succinct and clear, and always remember that overcomplication is a bad idea.

112.  Use the thank-you page to make a second offer

When someone submits a form on a landing page they are typically routed to a thank you page where they can download or view the content. This is an ideal place to promote related content, particularly if you have a form with progressive profiling so you can gather more data about the contact.

113.  Make your headline action-based

Tests show that landing page headlines are more effective if they're action based. A very simple example of this would be changing a headline from “Marketing Ebook” to “Download Your Marketing Ebook Today”.

114.  Have clear subheading

Subheadings can expand on the page headline, and generally landing pages perform better if they have a subheading. Like all content on your landing page, make the subheading clear and succinct.

115.  Include an image

A landing page that just has text is not very inviting. Adding images will, in general, compel the viewer to linger and increase conversion rate. Typically landing pages have an image of the item that is being offered, for example the ebook. A good image, which requires good cover design, makes a big difference as the content being offered feels more tangible to the visitor.

116.  Use bullet points

Keeping the text short is important, but bullet points arre more effective. Bullet points make it easy for the visitor to see what is being offered and the benefit of sharing their contact details to secure the item. We always recommend using bullet points on landing pages.

117.  Make form visible

Don't put the form at the bottom of your landing page. Making the form visible above the fold will increase the conversion rate of the landing page. It's not always possible to have the form immediately visible on mobile, but think about the designed to ensure that visitors don't have to scroll endlessly to find it.

118.  Have a text and visual CTA

On the landing page it is important to not only have a clear call to action in the text, but also to have a visual CTA that really stands out. Sometimes we see the clever use of arrows to highlight the form that needs to be completed, although you should match the visual CTA to your brand.

119.  Remove distracting navigation

We mentioned previously that a landing page should have only one purpose. Removing distracting navigation content from the template allows the visitor to focus on the content offer and the form, resulting in better performance of your landing page.

120.  Make sure your landing page matches the CTA that drove the prospect there

This seems obvious, but if you're running several different campaigns with many landing pages and promotions, you might have a mismatch between the advert, blog post or other item that drives the person to the landing page and the content on the page itself. Always try to ensure the landing page matches the CTA that brought the person there in the first place.

121.  Encourage social sharing of landing page

You should make the landing page as widely available as possible. Any “free” promotion of the landing page is a good thing, so encourage visitors to share the landing page on social media profiles to increase traffic and leads.

122.  You need several landing pages

Don't feel you only have to create one landing page. Visitors coming from different sources may need slightly different landing pages, and optimising the page to their needs will maximise your conversion rates. Just make sure that each landing page does only one thing.

123.  Use social proof

Even if you are a well-known brand, “social proof” is likely to improve the performance of your landing page. Make sure you include customer testimonials, relevant certifications and other credentials that will provide reassurance that you are a reliable supplier and have delivered successful projects to existing customers.

124.  Use SEO

Increasing the distribution of your landing page is a good thing, so make the page visible in search engines and think about SEO. Having the landing page rank well in organic search can dramatically increase traffic and therefore the number of leads you generate.

125.  Support all devices

Don't assume your audience will visit the landing page from a desktop or laptop computer. Make

sure you support all devices, particularly mobile phones.


Your website should be one of your best lead generation tools. Here are some ideas to increase the number of leads you generate from the prospects who visit your website.

126.  Use popups and (not too intrusive) promotions

Don't be afraid to use pop ups and other promotions on your website to generate leads. You obviously don't want to overdo it and spoil the user experience, but having these types of promotions on your website can be a great way to generate leads.

127.  Offer gated related content on web pages

Offering related content is a great way to help website visitors. If the content is behind a registration wall, it's also a great way to generate leads.

128.  Promote your newsletter

Newsletters are one of the best ways to nurture contacts, and a good newsletter is highly valued by recipients. Don't forget your newsletter when building pages on your website, and make sure that there are multiple promotions and ways to sign up to receive these regular emails.

129.  Make sure forms are on key pages

Forms shouldn't only live on landing pages. Make sure you have forms on key pages that coincide with the best performing blog posts or other content.

130.  Use SEO to drive traffic

Obviously, you'll be using search engine optimization to drive traffic to your website. Understanding the search terms that are being used to drive people to particular pages can lead to helpful insights about which content to promote. Also don't forget to optimise for organic traffic that is searching for problems your content can solve.


LinkedIn is an amazing lead generation tool and we believe it's worth a separate section of these tips and tricks. The ability to target people based upon company and job role makes it an excellent platform for lead gen, but you need to get LinkedIn right as it can be costly.

131.  Use LinkedIn lead gen ads

LinkedIn lead Gen ads are fantastic. They generally produce better conversion rates than your landing pages will. However, the ads can be expensive in terms of cost per lead, so use them for your most valuable prospect companies or job roles.

132.  Don’t worry about LinkedIn guidelines

You'll see many different guidelines on LinkedIn, and often the best advice is to ignore them. Like many platforms, LinkedIn wants to maximise its revenue, so suggestions such as the minimum audience size should be 300,000 people are somewhat self-serving. In fact some of the best campaigns we've seen on LinkedIn have targeted an audience of just a few hundred. Small audiences mean more personalisation and relevance, which often produces better results.

133.  Understand LinkedIn data you can use

LinkedIn offers you a range of demographic and firmographic information that you can use to target your campaign. It's important to understand the data you can use and its impact on the audience you reach. Experimenting to understand what it means for your particular industry is invaluable.

134.  Know how LinkedIn does matching

LinkedIn doesn't always exactly match the criteria you enter when selecting an audience, particularly when it comes to job title. In fact, LinkedIn groups different jobs together, so putting in one job title will result in the campaign targeting people with different, but usually similar, job titles.

135.  Review the demographics of people who engaged

When running a LinkedIn campaign, you can review the demographics and firmer graphics of the people who have engaged with the campaign. It's essential to make sure the people who are viewing and clicking your ads are the ones you really want to target. This is particularly important as LinkedIn doesn't always deliver exact matches to your criteria.

136.  Link your marketing automation tool to LinkedIn

Many marketing automation tools offer a direct connection to LinkedIn. It's always worth setting this up to avoid the need to manually upload the leads you generate. Let's be honest, uploading leads probably won't be your top priority, and at some point there will be a delay, but getting the contacts into a marketing automation system will impact the effectiveness of your nurture campaign.

137.  Use personal networks

Although advertising on LinkedIn is incredibly powerful, don't underestimate the value of organic LinkedIn posts. If you have salespeople with great networks, it's worth spending the time to explain to them the value of posting about your campaigns.

138.  Make it easy by sharing canned posts with the Sales team

One way to get access to your Sales team’s great networks is to write the posts for them. There are systems available that aim to make it easier to share “canned” posts, but often sending them as emails is a better way to ensure the salesperson sees and acts on the content you've created for them.


We've mentioned testing several times in this blog post, and it's vital that you test to understand the behaviour of your audience and what works best for them. Here are our tips to help you develop a better testing strategy.

139.  AB test often

Try to make testing apart of all campaigns. The more you test, the more data you'll gather, and the more you'll know about your audience.

140.  Ask different people for ideas

Marketing doesn't have a monopoly on the best ideas. This is particularly true when testing. It's always worth asking other people, particularly the Sales team, for their ideas and trying them out. Even if you don't think an idea will work, it can be worth trying: you might be wrong, but even if you're right you might learn something from the test.

141.  Have a plan for testing

When you run tests there should always be a reason for doing it. Each test should be designed to answer a question or find something out. Make sure you have a clear plan for your testing. It will not only make the process easier, but it will help you analyse the data at the end of the test.

142.  Never think you have reached perfection

It's easy to think you've understood your audience and have the perfect campaign, but people change over time. Even if your campaign is performing brilliantly, it's important to keep testing as attitudes and behaviour can change. You might even be able to improve the performance of what you think is the “perfect” campaign.

143.  Remember different personas respond differently

When testing it's important to make sure you run separate tests for different personas. Different personas have different needs and interests, and will not behave in the same way. Each of those personas is also subject to change.

144.  Measure quality as well as quantity when testing

Don't be a slave to the numbers when you are testing. Simply counting the number of leads might not be the best measure of the performance of your lead generation campaign. So include qualitative metrics that measure how good the leads are, as well as volume metrics that count the number.

145.  Focus on the outcome, not on vanity metrics

With any campaign it's important to focus on the impact to the business wherever possible by measuring the value of business done with the leads you generate. Even if you can't, use metrics that assess the quality of the lead. Relying on vanity metrics like impressions, clickthrough’s and even form fills can be misleading.

Steal Good Ideas

However good your organisation is, you won't have all the good ideas. We strongly recommend looking at what the best in class companies are doing and make use of this intelligence to inform how you run your lead generation campaigns.

146.  Monitor your competition

Make sure you also keep an eye on your competition. You don't want to blatantly copy their campaigns, and copies are likely to be less effective anyway. However, you should understand your competitions’ strategy and when you see a great idea executed, it's always worth thinking about how you might do something similar.

147.  Ask customers (or Sales) what information would help

Your customers probably have some of the best ideas for lead generation campaigns - even if they don't know it! It's always worth asking customers what information would help. If you can't talk to customers the Sales team is the next best alternative.

148.  Spy on Google Ads

Because of transparency requirements, it's possible to see the Google ads being run by your competitors. This is a great source of ideas as well as competitive intelligence.

149.  Use social to monitor offers

Many lead generation offers are shared on social media, so monitor what your competitors and customers are talking about.

150.  Use an agency for ideas

Our last tip is the one we naturally think is most important: use an agency! Agencies bring a unique perspective because they have run lead generation campaigns for many different companies, and therefore have lots of data, experience and ideas.

Hopefully, you've seen this in the tips and tricks we've shared in this blog post.


A View of the Electronics Supply Chain in 2023

We were delighted to receive a guest blog post from John Ward, Senior Director at Commodity IQ, (part of SupplyFrame), who shares some market analysis and data insights on what the future of the electronics supply chain looks like in 2023. 

Recession risks have subsided somewhat, and central banks are advancing in controlling inflation. Still, electronic component lead times are improving faster than prices as demand deteriorates in some markets, inventories are at historical highs, and new disruptions could emerge with a further intensification of the Russia-Ukraine war and China’s continuous COVID-19 challenges.

In early May 2022, Supplyframe predictive intelligence identified the sharp downturn in consumer electronics, PC, and smartphone demand by analyzing the engineering design actions, demand sourcing signals, and contract pricing for specific electronics components widely employed in these sectors like DDR4 DRAM in PCs. We are still experiencing this downturn and weakened hyperscaler and enterprise server demand.

The Supplyframe Commodity IQ solution – which provides always-on, holistic electronics supply chain analytics and analysis  –  has revealed that the electronic components value chain is getting some pricing and lead time relief for the first time in several quarters. However, price reductions are still hard to achieve despite lower demand and lead times. While inventories may have peaked in some categories in Q4 2022, electronic component lead times remain more prolonged than historical norms, and specific semiconductor devices still have factory lead times of over 48 weeks.

Nevertheless, there is reason to be optimistic. Commodity IQ operational metrics reveal that component availability has largely improved, and prices have stabilized across many commodities and sub-commodities, particularly for passive components. Additionally, Commodity IQ data exposes opportunities for enhanced supplier negotiations, better-timed sourcing events, and 360-degree supply chain visibility.

Commodity IQ forecasts for the first quarter of 2023 point to an 8% decline in the number of rising lead times and commodities with part allocations for active and passive components.

Similarly, according to the Commodity IQ Price Index for Q1, the number of component pricing dimensions will be reduced by 14%. Moreover, and unsurprisingly, global electronic component demand and sourcing activities quarter-on-quarter in Q1 will be down by 2%, while engineering design will be off by 20% – further evidence of demand erosion.

Component inventories, while bloated for some components like memory and small case-size ceramic capacitors, for devices like automotive-grade microcontrollers and FPGAs remain far below the Commodity IQ Inventory Index baseline. For example, microcontrollers/microprocessor distribution and supplier inventories in December 2022 were nearly 50% lower than in December 2021. Analog ICs, microcontrollers, and discrete ICs (especially power MOSFETs) will remain constrained and high-priced in Q1 and beyond.

What does the future hold?

With global macroeconomic and political uncertainty in the foreground, we have entered the new year with positive signs for normalizing supply-demand balance and reduced pricing and availability pressure. For H2 2023, excluding memory devices, the forecast is for 85% of semiconductor pricing dimensions to be stable and the remainder to move squarely in the buyer’s favour.

Extended lead times will endure into the year's second half for semiconductors, including programmable logic devices and passive components like automotive-specific resistors. Yet, as world economies exhibit remarkable resiliency in the face of inflation and threats of recessions, Q3 2023 lead times for all electronic components are forecast to ebb dramatically from Q3 2022. Nearly 60% of lead time dimensions are projected to decrease in Q3 versus about 1% in Q3 2022, and none are expected to increase in Q3 compared to a massive 73% in the same quarter of 2022.

A Napier Webinar: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Using B2B Customer Journeys

A key component of any successful B2B technology marketing campaign is the analysis of customer’s behaviour and the process they go through when choosing products and services. Customer journeys allow you to map these behaviours and provide a tailored marketing and communications plan to quickly move the customer from awareness to opportunity.

Watch our on-demand, 'A Practical Guide to Understanding and Using B2B Customer Journeys', where we discuss what customer journeys are, and cover:

  • A simple four-stage model to getting started with customer journeys
  • Example customer journey maps
  • How analysing customer touchpoints delivers tangible results
  • Why different personas follow different journeys
  • Designing campaigns to accelerate customers along their journeys

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: ‘A Practical Guide to Understanding and Using B2B Customer Journeys’ Transcript

Speakers: Mike Maynard

Hi, and welcome to the latest Napier webinar, where we're going to talk about customer journeys. So customer journeys are really, really interesting and an important part, I think of any approach to marketing. But maybe the interesting thing to do is to take a look at, you know what some people say about customer journeys. And so what I'm going to do is I'm going to pick Drake. Now, obviously, you know, maybe maybe r&b stars are perhaps not your useful, or most used quote for information about marketing. But he's got a lot to say about journeys. Sometimes it's the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination, this is very true.

The customer journey, experience treats teaches you an awful lot about the company that you're working with. But I think more importantly, sometimes the journey is actually really amazing. And as Drake says, you know, sometimes you'll look back from that journey or wish you could go there again, because of all the experiences. And I think this is this is really important is that, when we think about, you know, the companies that we're promoting as marketers, it's really important to remember that you are not just promoting the product or the service. But actually, it's important to make sure that whole journey towards becoming a customer is a journey that people can enjoy. And they find useful and helpful.

Because ultimately, that's what's gonna make you know what your product is today. So it's going to be really important to actually, you know, build good and effective customer journeys, because a lot of the way customers perceive, you know, b2b companies today is around, you know, how they experience going from, you know, just sort of starting to talk to the company all the way through to becoming a customer. Anyway, we're gonna move on and have a look quickly at, you know, the different things we'll talk about today in the webinar, and then dive into customer journeys themselves. So today, we're going to do a little bit of history, you know, where does this concept of customer journeys come from, it's actually a relatively new concept just over 30 years old. We're going to talk about the sales funnel, which actually, I guess was the original customer journey, and why it was always wrong. We're going to talk about a concept called the buying journey DNA very closely linked to customer journeys, as the kinds of things you need to think about as you build your customer journeys. And within that, particularly, we are going to look at buying styles. So what people are how people approach buying particular b2b setting.

One of the things I think, you know, a lot of people associate with customer journeys is customer journey maps. And customer journey maps are really interesting. It's kind of a graphical visual representation of the sequence of steps that someone goes through in terms of starting out as a prospect going all the way through to becoming a customer, and hopefully staying with you as a customer throughout the product or service lifestyle. So we'll have a look at mapping and give some examples. And lastly, we're talking about next steps.

So the kinds of things you can do after listening to this webinar, to hopefully help improve your marketing campaigns. So let's start off with a brief history of customer journeys. As I said, customer journeys are a relatively new thing. They were actually first introduced in a book called service wisdom that was published about 34 years ago, by Chip Bell, and Ron Ron's empathy. So these two guys, were really looking at customer service, rather than necessarily marketing. But they came up with concept of the journey. And they said, the goal of customer journey mapping is to create and retain a deep understanding of the customers experiences, while he or she is traversing the path taken between having a need and getting that need met. So they were very focused on this mapping on this, this idea of, you know, really drawing this graphical representation.

And really, it's all about, you know, getting inside of the customer's head, understanding what they're seeing and feeling and understanding their experiences. So I love that. I think that's great, you know, really trying to understand the experiences. And so let's just talk about what actually a customer journey is. And so, a customer journey from our point of view, this is a Napier definition. I mean, there's lots of different definitions, but we see it as experiences a customer has, whilst moving from awareness of a product through purchase, to the time the customer no longer interacts with the brand or products. So very simple, similar to the definition of, you know, going from from having a knee to having the need met. But I think it's really important. I mean, from our point of view, customer journeys. It's not just about what you do as a brand. You It's all the experiences that the customer has, it's definitely something that is more than just what you can influence or control.

And particularly, you know, things like word of mouth information is a key part of a lot of customer journeys, and shouldn't be underestimated. The next thing to say, is a customer journey is not just about, you know, making someone move from being a prospect to a customer, it's not just pre purchase, it actually matters, what happens after the purchase. So, you know, customer journeys is not just related to sales and marketing, it's also related to the whole customer experience. And then lastly, you know, customer journeys, customer journey maps are often used interchangeably, the map is a visual representation. And the journey itself is what the customer experiences. So customer journeys, you know, I think, a fairly obvious thing, you want to track how the customer feels, or how that what they experience, from, you know, this point where they first start moving from awareness, all the way through to when they no longer interact with you. Now, historically, that was very much something that people used to talk about the sales funnel. So this is sales funnel, this is actually the sales funnel, used by Salesforce, and they talk about, you know, going from awareness of the company to interest to evaluation, they need to negotiate the price, then you just close the sale by making a payment, and then you repurchase and that's kind of their, their concept. It's great. There's lots of, you know, really clear stages in there.

But I don't think we ever really believe that people flow through that funnel in a nice smooth manner. So, you know, once someone starts evaluating, it doesn't mean they're going to move straight on to negotiating price. And actually, I think, you know, a lot of people with complex and expensive software products like Salesforce, they may well evaluate, and then go back and be interested, and then come and evaluate again, the following year, you know, very often we see, you know, even hear clients talking about, well, we're looking at, you know, this CRM package or this other SAS package, but we're not gonna do it this year, we're gonna look maybe next year, we're too busy, or we haven't got the budget or whatever the issues are. So if we're to be honest, we never really believed a sales funnel. It's a great model. You know, and the idea of moving people from one stage to the next, I think, is super important, you know, someone's in that interest category, getting them to really evaluate, it's important if they're evaluating, getting into start talking about negotiating a price. I mean, that is super important. It's not really reality. And this is certainly something Forrester thought.

So Forrester famously produced this kind of crazy funnel, where they tried to emphasise the fact that buying decisions are complex. And so what you see is you see the funnel, not not being a one way, route, and also not being a single route. So people can go back in the funnel, and they can also take choose to take different routes. And I think this is much more realistic. I mean, that the this diagram, I think, was very widely cited when it came out. And it really made a very clear point. But the reality is, is that people don't take funnels, they take journeys, and those journeys can take different routes as you go through. So what makes up a journey? What what is the DNA behind the journey?

Well, this concept of the buying journey, DNA was introduced by a guy called Lewis, who wrote a book about why how customers buy very much about b2b purchases. And it talks about several things that make up the buying journey DNA. So behind the buying journey, there's elements. So the first element we look at the top is triggers. So triggers are what start the journey, what caused people to begin that and that might be having a need. Or it might be some marketing information that exposes opportunities, or indeed, highlights that there's a need that the customer wasn't aware of. So we have a trigger that's important that starts the journey that's different from the journey itself. And it's something you've really got to focus on. The next item that Louis put in was steps, steps are the customer journeys, we normally talk about it. So they're the stages of the journey. And it's really important to understand those steps. But equally, I think, you know, it's important to realise the journey and the whole DNA of the journey is not just about a sequence of steps. And particularly in b2b, that's the case. And we're talking about the steps later. And particularly when we look at some journey maps. He said you got to consider key players.

And the key players are the personas basically, that would create the people who buy the product or influence the purchase or, you know, part of the decision making unit. Or if you're an American, you probably call it the buying committee and So these these key players are really important. And actually, these key players will often follow different journeys. So, for one product, you don't necessarily have one definitive journey, it could be different depending upon the persona. We're talking about buying style. And effectively Lewis position, the buying style is having two axes, people either believe that they've got choice, or they go for value. And they want a solution or a product. And we'll talk about that, because I think this is really important. Quite often, there's some trendy marketing approaches, which is just well, we have to sell solutions. Actually, you know, if we look at this, not everybody wants a solution.

There's value drivers or the value proposition that companies offer. And it's really important to understand, you know, what drives the reasons pushing people to buy. And then correspondingly, the last item is buying concern. So the things that will stop people buy. And this is really interesting, because I think if you look at value drivers, you can have a product that produces obvious value for a customer. So let's say you've got a product that reduces waste in the manufacturing process, it cost 10,000 pounds, it will save the customer, customer 20,000 pounds, there's, you know, an immediate return on investment, you know, first year you're actually going to get a 200% return, it's clearly a good thing. Surely everyone's going to buy it. And the answer is no, not everybody will buy it. And there'll be reasons why maybe they don't buy it, you know, and one particularly good reason might be that there are alternative products that might be cheaper, that have a better ROI. Or, alternatively, there might be a different approach to saving that waste, that doesn't require investing in a product, it might be changing the manufacturing flow. And so addressing buying concerns is very important. So this is all together, all the things you need to consider when you're thinking about a customer journey is not just the steps, what we're going to do is we're going to focus on a couple of these. And the first thing we're really going to focus on his buying style, because I think this is particularly interesting for business to business, because a lot of people assume that, you know, conventional wisdom is always the way to go. So what happens is that people have different approaches.

And Lewis said it can be mapped on two axes. And one axes is whether somebody is looking to choose between multiple suppliers, or they've got something that drives them to buy from only one supplier. So typically, they're buying on value on price. And this is this is very interesting. And I think, you know, a lot of people when they're talking about marketing, they look at price driven customers, we all see that in our markets. And they think, oh, no, we really got to work hard, you know, convincing the customer that our price is the cheapest. And actually, that's really hard to do. Because the mindset of a value buyer is there is only one supplier that can provide what I need, I need the cheapest price, only one supplier can provide the cheapest price, they are typically quite closed in the way they approach supplier selection. And actually, it's usually far better to look at buyers who consider they have a choice and market to them because they're much more willing to consider multiple vendors. Unless, of course, you're prepared to be the lowest price supplier. On the other axes, it's really interesting. And Lewis said something about today, you know, I think most marketers are like, Oh, you shouldn't sell products, you should sell solutions. And actually, you know, Louis said no, there's two sorts of buyers. You know, one source knows they've got a problem, they got a need. But they don't know what's going to satisfy that need. They don't know what they want. And the other type of buyer is they've got a need, and they know exactly what they want. You know, and this, this might be a case of, you know, somebody who needs a particularly in an M five nut and bolt, they know what they want, they know what they're gonna buy, it's not necessarily a solution sell. But equally, you could offer you know, products to customers that are looking to attach wings to aircraft where you know, they have a need, they may not have a defined solution, so the solution cell could come in there. So I think it's important to remember that and remember that there are customers who believe that they want value, typically something bought on price, or something that they know is going to deliver a certain level of quality at a certain price and people who want products.

And, you know, Lewis actually went on and he talked about, you know, these different approaches and how they might approach buying. So he talks about Starbucks as being you know, somebody knows they need a product they want value If so, if you know you want a cup of coffee, you're going to potentially go to Starbucks, you know what you're going to get, you know, the price is what the price is going to be. And it's going to be better than, you know, some sort of more sort of bespoke coffee shop where perhaps the coffee might be better, but you're actually going to pay a lot more money. So he talks about that product value kind of axes there. And if someone believes they've got choice, but they want a product, then typically they're going to have a sort of select approach. So they're going to look at the suppliers and offer the product, they're going to put the list of products that are available in they're going to kind of rank them. And this is where, you know, you'll see a lot of, for example, technical sales being done on data sheets, where it's important to get all the information that the customer needs, because they know what product they want. And they know they know the matrix is going to meet all the specs is going to meet. And they just want to sort and select you need to be in that shortlist. If you don't provide the data, they won't be able to so on select easily, you won't actually be one of the suppliers that they consider. If they believe they've got choice, and they've they've, they need a solution.

So they're looking for it, they're going to search and choose this is really interesting. And to me, you know, a lot of this is around, who are the suppliers that people trust and view as being the ones to go to so a lot of this is driven by brand, because they're not going to know exactly what they buy until they start interacting with the different brands. So I think searching shoes is very much a brand different driven thing. Obviously, there will potentially be some shortlisting there. But it's much harder to shortlist solutions than it is to shortlist products. And lastly, and this is a very trendy term in the service industry, which is trusted advisor where a client will come to a supplier, you know, maybe maybe it's a law firm or an accountant. And whenever they have a problem with that particular area, they will just ask for the solution and asked what they should do. And this is something where if you can have a client that is feels they can only buy for you because then you're the only supplier they can really trust you've got this relationship, you've worked with them a long time, you know, the customer believes you're the only one supplier can provide what they need, then you can become a trusted adviser. And that's really interesting. But clearly it requires the customer to not only be looking for a solution rather than a product, but also to believe that they have no choice in terms of where they go. So it has interesting implications on service businesses and b2b.

So these buying styles are very important, as I've talked through them, you'll realise that not only is how you approach the customer, and the way you sell to them very different, but also their journeys very different. You know, if you believe there's only one supplier, you're gonna go straight to that supplier classically in the trusted advisor. If you've got a law firm that you always work with that says the firm you trust you feel they know your business, there's not really going to be any supplier selection, you're just going to go to them and talk to them about your next problem. So that's a very different customer journey, to maybe somebody who believes they've got a lot of choice, and then still looking for a solution, they are going to search and choose amongst brands, and they're gonna have a process of evaluating different brands to see who they believe is going to be the best one to provide the solution. So we've understood that different buying styles have different journeys, same with different personas. So the reality is there can be many, many customer journey maps for selling one particular product. Typically, most people limit the number of customer journey maps they produce, mainly to manage complexity.

And also because the customer journey map should really be very, very detailed, the more detailed you can get it the more effective it is. And clearly it becomes exponentially more difficult with the more personas and buying styles you consider. So let's have a look at a customer journey map. Well, I mean basically a customer journey map can be whatever you want, it can be as simple and complex as you like. But what it needs is it needs the steps or the touch points that you have with the customer. So you need to know what is happening to influence that customer and good customer journey maps will also consider things that are not directly related to your brand. So that might be word of mouth information. Or it might be you know viewing content on a trade publication.

Obviously, you've got those steps those touch points those touch points will then generate actions from the prospect. So you need to know what should happen as a result of each touch point. Mosca customer journey maps also include emotions, so most people want to understand how the customer is feeling. And that can be based upon the challenge they're facing the need Have that's got to be met. Or it can also be emotions that are driven by the touch points. And a lot of customer journey work is done around existing customer journeys, and trying to evaluate where customers are less happy. And then look at ways to, you know, change that. So at that particular touch point, they become slightly more happy. So, emotions are very important. pain points, obviously, a very important is where the customer has a need or a pain point, you really need to understand that and how well that customer understands the need is very important.

And lastly, solutions, you know, as part of the customer journey, you're providing that solution, you might want to also include that in the map as well. So, lots of different things you can put in the map. But there's actually no right format. There's some conventional styles, but you can do really whatever you like, whatever makes sense, in terms of mapping the customer journey, so you can see an example here. But what we'll do now is we'll actually go through, and we'll have a look at a couple of customer journeys that have been created, you know, so you can see some examples. So here's a simple customer journey. It's interesting, you know, the journey has been put into funnel like stages, there's four stages, we can see with the four colours. And what we can see is actually, this, this indicates emotional state, by the line, this line goes up, the customer feels happier. And we can see at each stage, we've got the various steps within each stage. And so we're tracking you know, how well they're doing. And this customer journey, also insert some eventually quotes that what the customer might be thinking.

So, you know, what we can see is, you know, obviously, this person is trying to go to see a film, they're going to a cinema. And you know, step two, their question is, can I find somebody that's closer I don't really want to travel, we then see some issues with travel. So we can see lots of different things as the customer flows through. And this is quite a simple map, and actually, will quite often use maps like this, to work with clients. So here's an example of a customer map that's based on something we did with a client a little while ago, you can see that we've categorised the interactions into basically four stages or phases. And each phase where you've got information about what the customer might be thinking. So for example, I don't know, the mega core offer for station infrastructure and and what they're going to supply us. We'll talk about, you know, the content that will supply. And we'll talk about the touch points. So the channels we're using to reach the customer at the start.

So where customers might have low awareness, we want to drive awareness, you can see well, it using lots of different channels. So you know, we might be posting video on YouTube, we might be doing Google ads, we might be doing ads in publications, all sorts of things to drive touchpoints, because we're going to have to reach quite wide, we don't necessarily have an engagement with that customer. And then you'll see with this customer journey map, we move through and we get much more focused and effectively this is, you know, one of those classic customer journeys that you'll often see with b2b where we're trying to, you know, create content, use that content at the awareness stage to generate a prospect, and then nurture that prospect with a sequence of emails and maybe some Google ads as well. Other customer journeys can look very different. And I mentioned things can be very different. This is a customer journey for a software as a service products. Zendesk, which is a support desk product, and they show the customer journey as a cycle. Obviously, with SAS, there's typically a renewal period, quite often annual renewal. And so it's very important to make sure that you understand that customer journey, and you understand what can cause that customer to either reorder and remain a customer to actually just pick and choose another product or maybe not reorder and then come back a bit later. So perhaps a lapsed customer coming back.

So very different style, and very focused on the different touch points here. You'll notice that this one doesn't include things like customer, emotional state, or anything else. It's very simple, very straightforward, but equally a very clear model and it makes it clear what you have to do to ensure that the customer engages with you and ultimately reorders and remains a customer one of the things I would say is that real customer journeys have an awful lot of touchpoints and so we can see here this is a simple PowerPoint template created by slide salad that they're you know offering as a off the shelf customer journey. I'd always caution against trying to use customer journeys that are off the shelf, almost certainly your journey will be very different to other businesses. And the emphasis on different steps will be very different. But if you want, you can pull off the shelf customer journeys like this. Interesting though this is even itself with all these steps is quite limited. You know, for example, there is no concept of word of mouth.

So there's no idea of the customer, you know, asking either friends or colleagues or anyone else what's happening. And even in b2b Word of mouth is hugely important, and completely omitted from this. So beware if you get those off the shelf journeys, because often they can miss important stages as well. So we've talked about journeys a lot, and we've mentioned how complex they are, and how many steps are. And I think one of the challenges that you know, b2b companies have is, we still tend to think about, oh, we're going to run, you know, an email nurture campaign to move people through the customer journey. And that actually, is often the wrong approach. If you're looking to move someone through an entire customer journey, I mean, for a start, you need a product that is bought in a fairly short timeframe.

And a lot of products actually take a fairly long timeframe to buy. I mean, we have, you know, clients that have products that are large capital investment, that can take years in terms of the customer journey, trying to create campaigns that run over years is just not the right thing to do, you'll never get the timing right, you'll never be able to understand exactly where the customer is. So you need to simplify. And one of the ways you can simplify is actually simplifying down into it to less steps, there's touch points of the customer journey. But actually, a better way is to use something called micro journeys. So here we can see, and this is a consumer example. But it's equally applicable. We've got a customer journey where someone is basically flying on an aeroplane. And we're looking at one element of that customer journey, which is the check in. So if we go and expand here, we can actually see that the customer is checking in. And there's multiple routes through this journey. So we can actually understand that in more detail. And what we can do as marketers is look and see, well, how can we make this journey more effective?

You know, and you can see, actually, maybe this has already been done, you know, there was a route to check in with a mobile app. But also, there's additional routes here where the airline sends either an email, or an SMS, or maybe a call. So help the customer check in, remind them to do it. So you know, quite often, you'll see, you know, different customer journeys being looked at like this, and then people looking at adding extra routes. So if a customer doesn't take one route, there's a parallel route that's going to take them through the maybe includes a little nudge from the company that they're interacting with. So, you know, micro journeys are great, because it then makes this large and potentially quite long term customer journey more manageable.

They're still quite complex. And it is okay to simplify. And the reality is, is no matter how hard we work, we'll probably never perfectly replicate the customer's experience in any customer journey. So, I mean, my advice is to balance you know, getting accuracy and detail alongside making sure that you've got a customer journey model, which is, you know, close enough to reality, but also simple enough for you to be able to, you know, optimise and manage it. And this can be an iterative process. If you've not looked at the customer journey for your customers before, you might start with something fairly simple. And then iterate. Once you've identified the problems in that that journey at a fairly high level, you may then dig a bit deeper produce a journey that is a little more divided up into more steps, and then look and optimise again. So iteration as well, in terms of improving the customer journey is a great idea.

So what do we do next? Well, I think you know, the first thing I'd say is think about customer journeys. and not think about customer journeys, just in terms of a funnel, I need to move on from one stage to another, but gain the customers perspective. They are complex, you've got to remember that. And so you might have to simplify certainly in the early days. But really just try and get into that customer's head that mindset and really understand what's stopping them moving from one step to another. And if there's anything you can do as a marketing professional, to help them move forward. Obviously the way to do this is to ask customers, the best source of information on customer mindsets is the customers themselves. I would say you know me Make sure you think about personas and buying styles. Which buying style do you generally work with, and do different personas involved in the decision take different journeys.

And this is super important. I think it's one of the areas where your customer journeys, you know, a really a dramatic level up from, from simply thinking about the sales funnel, is it's much easier to think about these different personas and different buying styles. And when you've got your journey, definitely split it into micro journeys, don't try and boil the ocean all at once. Just try and take a little segment of the journey and try and optimise it. And then you know, when you've got that micro journey, analyse the stages and look at, you know, not just where opportunities are lost. I mean, obviously, we want to look at where prospects drop out and maybe go to another supplier, see if there's anything we can do. But also look at where progress slows.

And this is something that we're really focused on as an agency is making sure that we can help clients increase the velocity of prospects through the journey. And the reason we're worried about that is that if you can get the prospect to the end of the journey before anyone else, the prospect will be bought, or will have bought with you before they're ready to buy with anybody else. So you're going to win that sale. So don't just look for losing customers or potential customers, but also look for where that's progress through the journey slows down. And look if there's anything you can do to increase interaction, and make it you know, easier for the customer to buy and stay with you. So that's really what I wanted to talk about in terms of customer journeys, it's I think it's covered a lot of what we need to know.

And hopefully, it's going to give you a bit of a basis in terms of how you can go and build your own customer journey. And look to optimise it, obviously now what we can do is maybe look to take some questions. So I'm just gonna check the chat and see if we've got any questions from people. Okay. Okay, so we've got a great question here. How can someone easily spot a weak point in the customer journey? And what are the typical methods to solve this, which is really interesting, I mean, in business to business, quite often, this weak point is something you can pick out with data. You know, and a classic example of a weak point might be, you've got a particular, you know, nurture, campaign or email that you send out at a certain stage in the journey. And that triggers a higher than average level of opt outs, or a lower than average level of interaction. And it's really where you've got these items where you're actually not hitting your average level, you've got to ask, well, is that because of where people are in the journey? Or is that because what I'm sending is not the right thing. And quite often, you know, what's being sent is not the right thing.

So I would definitely say, you know, look through the journey, look at the data. And that usually gives you a good, good insight into where your weak points are. Okay. Okay, we're being asked about micro journey. So the next question is, can we give an example of a micro journey? It's another great question. I love this. And, you know, a really good example might be if you're selling components that have data sheets, so a lot of our clients will have components that might be a semiconductor company, they have a datasheet, that gives you information about that product. And typically, what's going to happen is someone's going to be interested in a product, they go to your page, they'll download the datasheet, they'll do some evaluation. And from that datasheet, they'll then decide whether or not to purchase perhaps, an evaluation board if they need an evaluation board to develop, or maybe a sample if they just want samples to test the product. And quite clearly, you know, there's a micro journey there. And that whole process of buying a product, if you think about a product that needs you know that there's maybe a a complex part like a microcontroller. You know, there's a whole big journey for around that. But just the step from datasheet to development kit is a very small micro journey.

And so thinking about you know, how many data sheets you get downloaded versus how many development kits you sell, and looking to optimise that ratio, so increase the number of development kits per datasheet is a great example of improving the performance of a micro journey. Okay, and we'll do one more question. And the question is, if the customer journey goes beyond purchase, how important is customer satisfaction in the journey? And I think this is this is really interesting. You know, ultimately, customer satisfaction as a metric pretty much determine is that analogous to how well the journey has gone for the customer. So if the customer is happy, generally they've had a good journey. That's not always the case. You know, you can have a customer journey that has lots of, you know, potholes and mistakes. aches and errors. And if you fit fix them, you can still end up with very high customer satisfaction. The reality is is fixing them may not have cost your customer satisfaction, but it's cost you money in terms of time and effort to fix the problems.

So, customer satisfaction is very important. And ultimately, if you look at customer satisfaction, the higher the level of satisfaction, the more likely people are to give word of mouth recommendations. And word of mouth can be very simple. You know, if you look at, you know, a b2b situation where you're selling to a big organisation, and quite often there are multiple projects you could sell into whether you're selling software or components or whatever. And what you want is people already using your product to be, you know, at least positive about the product, and if not, if not, maybe ambassadors and going out saying everyone should use this product. So high level of customer satisfaction, we'll get that high level word of mouth, which will increase your chances of winning future projects. So great question, you know, customer journey.

The satisfaction is really important. high customer satisfaction, though, doesn't always mean that you've had a great customer journey. It doesn't mean the end of the journey has been good. But it could it could still mean that there's problems in the journey. So don't think the two are the same. Well, thank you very much, everyone, for listening. I hope you found this webinar useful. If you've got any questions, please do send me an email. My email is Mike at Napier b2b dot com. I'd love to talk about it. We love working with clients, helping them build customer journeys and then optimise those stages within the journeys. And I hope you're able to build journeys and use it to make your sales processes more effective and ultimately increase the performance your company. So thank you very much

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

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,,,,,,, and on 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 and, 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.