Elektronik Welcomes Birgit Fischer to Sales Team

Elektronik has welcomed a new member, as Birgit Fischer joins the Elektronik sales team. Birgit replaces Jeanette Rober who left the publication back in December 2019.

We wish Birgit the best of luck in her new role!

 

 


Entries Now Open for British Engineering Excellence Awards 2020

Entries are now open for the British Engineering Excellence Awards (BEEAs) 2020. Taking place on Friday 23rd October at the prestigious Landmark Hotel, London, this year's event features a total of 11 categories to enter, with winners also being entered into the 2020 Grand Prix award.

The BEEAs, now in their 11th year, provide the industry with an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the most innovative design engineers in the UK. Entries for the awards are free, and companies are able to enter as many categories and products as they wish.

Here at Napier, as always we support any awards that celebrate the hard-workers in the industry, and we wish the best of luck to all entrants!

To find out more about the categories and how you can enter, please click here.


A Napier Podcast: Interview with Adrian Tobey - Groundhogg.io

In our latest episode, on Napier’s Marketing B2B Technology Podcast, Mike, Managing Director of Napier, interviews Adrian Tobey, Founder of Groundhoog.io, who discusses where he decided he wanted to build a marketing automation system, and how he managed to become so successful in such a short space of time.

To listen to the interview and to stay up to date when a new episode is live, click one of the below links to subscribe:

Transcript: Interview with Adrian Tobey - Groundhogg.io

Speakers: Mike Maynard, Adrian Tobey

Mike: Thanks for listening to marketing b2b tech, the podcast from Napier, where you can find out what really works in b2b marketing today. Okay, so today my guest on marketing b2b tech is Adrian Tobey. Adrian is the CEO of groundhogg.io and he tells me that groundhogg does cool things. And one of the things that groundhogg is doing at the moment is developing a WordPress plugin that enables low cost marketing automation. So welcome, Adrian.

Adrian: Thank you for having me on, Mike. Pleasure to be here.

Mike: Great. Okay. Do you want to tell me just a little bit about what groundhogg is doing? And you know how you position the product?

Adrian: Yes. So, I come from a background in digital marketing and marketing automation, mainly from the Infusionsoft community. If you're familiar with the Infusionsoft CRM, now known as Kijk, colloquially, and I used to be an Infusionsoft certified partner, I was a certified partner for about three years. And I spent four years prior to that just in the digital marketing industry in general. Over that time, I have worked with a significant number of small businesses both in Canada and in the United States, some in Europe, developing campaigns and Infusionsoft and WordPress websites and integrating those two platforms mainly through another plugin that I produced called form lift, which is a WordPress Form Builder. And over time, Infusionsoft got more and more cumbersome for your typical small business owner to actually deploy effectively. So I mean, that's great for agencies, because you know, that gives them a reason to be on retainer, if the Small Business can't necessarily use it themselves, they have to go to an agency. And that agency is basically their digital marketing team, for the most part, and that was kind of our business model. The problem with that is that as the agency you know, it's good for the business. And it's like, kind of good for the agency. But it's not a very scalable operation. Since your tape series, you're technically just like a higher cost employee at this point. It's not, it's not a product. And I eventually just ended up I thought to myself, I really want to get out of this game. And there's no way that we can hand off Infusionsoft to these small businesses, because it's just the they can't handle it. So there has to be an easier way. And that's kind of where we started to look at. Okay, so what's the viability of just shoving the needed parts of a CRM, like Infusionsoft or clickfunnels, or Active Campaign just into WordPress, because the vast majority of our of our small business clients were able to deploy WordPress pretty effectively, themselves, make content changes and build pages and, you know, share that stuff on Facebook and all that good stuff, right, the basics, like so what's the viability of taking, you know, the funnels and the campaigns and the email marketing and all that just shoving it into WordPress, so that the journey as or the or the, the process wasn't necessarily as cumbersome as it would be doing, you have to do all of your WordPress work. And then you have to go to your external system and do all the work there. And then you have to connect the two and make it all work. And that's kind of really where groundhog started. And we started building the total suite of essential Sales and Marketing Automation features that a small business could use within WordPress.

Mike: Okay, and see, I mean, you said you're focusing on small businesses that because of your Infusionsoft background, or because you felt that, you know, trying to do anything other than small businesses was going to be too challenging as a startup marketing automation platform.

Adrian: Well, I mean, there's truth in both of those statements. There's, I mean, certainly going after enterprise clients with a WordPress plugin is probably not would have, we'd have a hard time finding product market fit for that. And WordPress is like what I know and I know small business and I know the struggles that that they have. So we went we I mean, it's definitely aimed at the Small Business Community solopreneurs entrepreneurs, smaller organizations, there's no question about that. And I mean, that's the WordPress audience. For the most part. I mean, there exists many enterprise companies using WordPress in some way, shape or form, but not for what we necessarily have. The other the other market that we actually really focus on that, you know, besides small businesses, and technically These are a subcategory of small businesses, but agencies. So I used to be an agency I used to be in an agency and I know a lot about being an agency and running an agency and handling clients and quoting and all that stuff. So we have a an entire product line. Like solely dedicated to helping agencies get better results for their clients as well. Because part of part of the problem being an agency in another community, like the Infusionsoft community, or Active Campaign, or pretty much any like Software as a Service product, is that issue of, you know, you want to move on and take on other clients and but you can't, because you are now like committed to one business and being their digital marketing house, because they don't understand how to make it work. So if we stuck it in WordPress, it would make the transition process of like, Alright, I filled all this stuff for you. Here's a video on how you use it and how you continue forward. And now you can hand it off, we make that process a little bit easier, and a little bit less cumbersome and make the implementation process faster and all this good stuff. So we're trying to provide a significant amount of value to agencies as well by providing our products to them so they can do it for their clients and just make that whole process easier.

Mike: Sure, I mean, it sounds to me a little bit like how HubSpot certainly started pitching where they were saying that agencies were there to help the client get started, but ultimately, that their vision, certainly in the early days was that the client would be running the system. I mean, did you did you see what HubSpot was trying to do and try and do it better? Or was that not relevant?

Adrian: I, you know, I, I took a lot of advice from a lot of people. And I certainly copied a significant number of strategies from other businesses that is not one of them. I'm actually I'm not familiar with the HubSpot startup journey, all that much I I took it I advice I took early on was if you look at what everybody else was doing, and just copied it, you basically remove your one competitive advantage, which is just being different. So I tried to refrain from copying too much of what other CRM and marketing automation tools were doing simply because I didn't want that to bleed into the difference factor that we offered our clients, which is we have it in WordPress, and we're just trying to make the whole process easier by removing external software for service. So I tried not to learn. I mean, it's useful to learn that information. But I tried not to deploy that, that those other others marketing strategies, or other serums too much. I mean, I certainly borrowed some ideas in terms of user experience, as well as I was functionality. But I tried to refrain from doing too much in terms of our messaging and marketing, in relation to because it just removed the difference factor.

Mike: Sure, sure. And I mean, obviously, the you know, the primary differentiator is the fact that it, you know, to an end user appears as though it's part of WordPress. I mean, do you see that there are any other major differences you've got compared to other market information platforms?

Adrian: So that I guess, I mean, that's, that's the big one in terms of messaging. There's, I mean, most CRM companies in our in our industry, are just solely focused on small businesses. And so I mean that that target market is evidently similar. So the biggest differentiator is the fact that it's self hosted versus software as a service. And a lot of our messaging is based on based around owning your data, you know, own don't rent all of the benefits of having self hosted software, versus kind of like the typical software as a service, which is kind of like, you know, we are your like one stop quick fix to, you know, all of these problems. We don't we don't we know that there's no quick fixes to anything. So we kind of refrain from that line of terminology. And we don't make it seem we try not to, like make or just like tell people that it's easy, because there's no it's not easy, right? marketing is not easy. Building funnels is not easy, we try to make it as easy as possible. And that's what we communicate by we are we provide communities support office hours, and all of these different methods of communication that you can get in touch with us to learn how you can put this process together that we're gonna have your back as you do it, but we try to refrain from making telling people, it's easy, like, but we do it we drive home the message that we're here to support them when stuff gets done.

Mike: Cool, and presumably a lot of the time you're supporting people who you know, certainly aren't email marketing specialists and probably maybe don't have marketing as 100% of their their role is that fair?

Adrian: That's the vast majority. That's the vast majority I mean, so a lot of our a lot of our customer a lot of our market and we knew this going in is people who are spinning up WordPress for the very first time they're digitizing their business and they're like, well, I heard from you know, Joe on the podcast or video or whatever, that I needed to have email marketing as part of my thing. And I just did a quick Google search and I landed here. So now what do I do next? right and that's a vast majority of our clientele is at that time. level of education in terms of, you know, what, what are the next steps. Fortunately, we provide a significant amount of training and resources in order to take them to the next step of education, which is, alright, well, I need to build a list, I need to provide value to this list. And I need to send something to this list when I actually have their email address, and we walk them through the steps of the beginning stages of that. But certainly, the vast majority are, as you described as like they've never touched, you know, they've never sent an email to this before. Or they have no idea how to write a hypnotic copyrighted email, or they have like, what the hell is a funnel, and you have to explain all this, you have to explain all this terminology and stuff and try to do that in an effective and concise way through our various courses that are available on our academy, as well as through our weekly office hours, where we get people who just have some simple questions, and we get on and like, Alright, what's your question? And then we walk through on a video? All right, well, here are the step by step answers to resolving this issue for you or getting you down the correct path.

Mike: Sure, and I mean, interestingly, you're pricing model is, frankly, you know, much lower than most other competitors. So why did you choose to go in at a very different price point to everybody else?

Adrian: Well, so I mean, it's a pretty typical, I mean, our pricing models, a pretty typical WordPress plugin business pricing model, we didn't we didn't rewrite the book, we actually went in with a different pricing model, called the all access pass. And it's not too different from that now. But basically, we just had various different levels of you like pay one yearly fee, and you get literally everything that we offer. And you get it for this price. And you can, you can install it on this many sites, and that was basically our model. And then we switched it up, let's say in September, to be October of last year, we switched it up to what it is now, which is pretty typical pricing. So yeah, basic plus pro and an agency license. Again, the package focused primarily just digital marketing agencies and people to do stuff for clients. And then the other three packages for your, you know, your typical business owner who's kind of wearing all hats and doing it themselves. Yes, so we go in, the main difference being our pricing and our competitors pricing in the software service industry is that we do not charge based on usage, you're not charge based on the number of contacts that you have, and the number of emails that you send or kind of like the regular pricing benchmarks, because we don't actually have any associated costs with the number of contacts that you have, or the number of emails that you send, because you're using a self hosted platform, we don't incur any hosting fees or management fees related to those things. So we don't necessarily have to charge for that. for that. What we do charge for is automatic updates, licensing and support. So if you want advanced support, you want to get in touch with our support team, our tech team and get problems fixed, then we charge for that privilege. And we also charge for the actual distribution of the software. So the licensing and or the automatic updates, again, that ties in back to distribution, which is unique for our business, simply because there's no there's no incremental pricing as your business grows. So if your business is growing exponentially using the software as a service products Active Campaign, your build your monthly bill is also going to grow exponentially. With groundhog that doesn't happen you pay regardless of whether you're at 100 contacts on your list or 100,000 contracts on the list. And we have people who have both, you pay the same $480 a year for the pro plan as you would you know either company so it's kind of just like democratized in that way.

Mike: That's a really different approach to billing compared to other systems. So, I mean, you mentioned you have people with 100,000 contracts. I mean, what is the biggest deployment of groundhogg that you've seen?

Adrian: The current one, the current largest one that I'm aware of, and this is a recent client and we're working with him very closely to make sure that all of this stuff is running smoothly. And I'd be remiss if I saying there weren't a couple hiccups at this at this level, I'd be remiss and I'd be lying if I said the runner up, you know part of working with our teams that we work very closely with these kinds of these love these levels of clients in order to ensure that they have good experience. And this person is at 380,000.

Mike: Wow, okay. This list, not the biggest list of I've ever heard of, but you know, pretty, pretty sizable, for You know, a WordPress website.

Adrian: But it's working. So it worked good. And we're getting sorted out and all this good stuff and he's happy and we're happy. And the next largest after that is I think we're on 175,000. And he's also he's also taken care of at this point. And then we have a lot of other people operating totally, like blissful in blissful ignorance in around anywhere from 50,000 to below.

Mike: Wow. And these guys are paying presumably $40 a month.

Adrian: Yep. Yeah, just we don't we don't charge. Maybe we should. I don't plan on charging for usage like, like, like the other like Software as a Service platforms. There's a couple of reasons for this. Technologically, it'd be really hard to keep track of that. So there's so there's the technical aspect, but also just, you know, from being like a company that does things differently. I don't plan on going down that road.

Mike: Okay, cool. So, I mean, you've said, you can get these huge databases running a one of the problems people come across, it seems to me, for example, setting up the email so that you get good deliverability could be an issue for, for some of these less technical customers, is that a problem?

Adrian: It's a problem. But there are solutions exist, right. And it's just whether you're aware of the solutions or not, we have we have a couple of basically typical solutions. So the worst solution is to just send email directly from your host, which some people do. And it's not recommended, because you're if you're on a shared host, say with and I love site ground for them, use them as an example, because it's the only hosting company I can think of, you know, when you use GoDaddy because nobody like GoDaddy. I'm going to use GoDaddy as an example, if you're on a shared host on GoDaddy. And you're basically sharing the same IP address on that host with 1000 other websites who are all sending email from that. And you can only send like 100 emails a day from GoDaddy hosting anyway. But you're sharing that IP address, and you have no control over the reputation of that IP address among all of these thousand different websites. And that's what happens when you send email from a shared hosting account. And this is true for any hosting company using shared hosting. And GoDaddy siteground. Any of them like they all did, this is the reality. So what we recommend is that you get yourself a dedicated transactional email service. And there are a significant number of those, one of the easiest ones to set up that we recommend is something called send WP, which is a dedicated WordPress transactional email service. And it's like a little it's literally like a one click install of like unlimited emails for like $9 a month or something ridiculous. I don't know how they make money, but they do it somehow. And so that's what they do. Alternatively, the big centres that I mentioned, people who have like massive lists 380,000 175,000. And those levels, they go right to AWS, we have an AWS SNS simple email service integration, which provides like bouncing, complaint tracking and blacklist and all of these other cool features. And it's API powered, it's really awesome. And that's what we do for the big people. And then somewhere in the middle, a lot of people like to go through our SMTP integration for stuff like sendgrid, or mailgun, or sparkpost, or any of those kind of like your typical SMTP centres, and the deliverability, that businesses experience is solely dependent on which provider they decided to go with, I experienced a supreme deliverability with AWS myself. And that's what we use for all of our email marketing. And I haven't had any issues with it. And I'm pretty happy with the deliverability. At this point, Amazon Web Services controls most of the infrastructure for a lot of the ISP s and their email clients. So they have a lot of control over their domain reputation and their IP reputation. So they can essentially, you know, they more or less write the rulebook on deliverability at this point. So I find that I get good deliverability going through their service.

Mike: Cool. Um, so if people have sorted out the infrastructure side and the emails, what do you see that really differentiates the customers, they get great value and great results from using groundhog against the customers that may be perhaps doing the wrong thing or not quite, not quite taking the right approach. I mean, what would you say would be the difference?

Adrian: It all comes down to education, I think and your level of participation in the community. I'm a lot I as I mentioned earlier, a lot of people come in our group with little to no education of digital marketing or email marketing. Some of the a lot of some people come in with much higher levels of education. Coming from other platforms, they're switching from another platform or they went through another marketers course. And they're coming in with that level of experience. And some people are just not. And if you try and go into groundhog and you try and start doing things, without a level of like pre existing knowledge of what you shouldn't be doing, then you're not going to have as good results.

As someone who went through that education process, we do our best to provide a level of education that brings everybody up to kind of the same level, I'm sure it could be better than what we're doing it and we're actively working on making it better. Um, but for someone who doesn't seek out assistance, or help or guidance, that is, you're not going to have as good results as someone who took those additional steps in order to learn from other people. We have various different ways many ways that you can get in touch directly with our team, as well as with other business owners, marketers, and people within our community. They have an open Facebook group and open user group. And you can just jump in there. And you can just ask, you know, the silliest questions or the most advanced questions, that's what it's there for, and people will respond to you and provide you with guidance on how to find resolutions to your issues, you can get in touch with us via live chat, you can open the advanced support ticket, you can jump on our weekly office hours, we have the groundhog Academy now with courses in there, too, specifically, a quickstart course, which shows you the steps to building your first lead magnet funnel, as well as course creators essentials a lot of people are doing or are doing their own education online for their specific niches. And we have courses dedicated to getting your marketing automation set up for those platforms as well. So there's lots of ways you can learn and educate yourself on proper solid digital marketing strategy and email marketing strategy. But if you don't take those steps, you're not going to have great results. And that's kind of just the way that it is.

Mike: Well, I mean, that's amazing. There's so many ways for people to learn. That sounds like an incredible resource. I mean, how long did it take groundhog to get to this stage? It seems like you've achieved an awful lot. How long has it taken?

Adrian: Just over a year, year and a quarter, three months, we started this whole thing I want to say, Well, I started actually coding myself. I built an MVP, like a first generation groundhogg in two months between August 2018. And I guess, October, yeah, October 2018. And then we hired our first employee. And from there, we kind of just kept working and building and working and building. And here we are today a year and a bit later, it’s amazing.

Mike: So how many people work for groundhogg now?

Adrian: Okay, so there's we actually have two, there's only two people on payroll, but our team is actually technically six. We steal help from a marketing agency in Toronto, we're actually based in their office, and we borrow help from their team, probably more than they should. But they're but so we have they're out there. They're actually in our team photo. On our websites, our team is technically six, or seven, I think I think it's like seven, but there's two people on payroll. But we're all kind of like in it together at this point.

Mike: And how many people are currently paying to use groundhog How big is the company in terms of revenue?

Adrian: So in terms of revenue, we have about 400 something clients actually paying yearly fees, and renewing, which is awesome. And then we have an additional 600 there's a nine, just over 900 active installations as quoted on the wordpress.org repository. So that would indicate 600 and something who are just using the orders of 500? Yes, 900 minus 400. So about 500 something people just using the free platform. That's because you can do a whole awful lot, just using just using the free version as well on the.org.

Mike: But that's a very high percentage. Paid customers versus free though, for most freemium companies would kill for that sort of ratio.

Adrian: Yeah, well, part of part of what you know, we made it, we know how with the percentage of typical conversion rate for freemium products, and it's not great, I'm not gonna let that happen. So we I, it was a conscious effort from the very beginning that at any cost, we should attempt to get someone to upgrade to some level of license, if not a full, like $440 a month, a pro plan than at least for advanced support or one of the extensions. So there are many ways to and I think a lot of that is down to our attempts at getting them involved in the community. Once you become a regular, like involved in the community, it's it's very, very it comes to like 90% more likely that you're gonna upgrade to some sort of plan. So as soon as you go through the guided setup installation, it's all about, you know, join us on Facebook, join us on Twitter, subscribe to us on YouTube, get them in the Facebook group, and they see all of these people doing these great things with the premium extensions. And then it's kind of just like, well, it's a matter of time at this point. So we have a super huge involved or push to get them in our community and just like active, and from that point, we start to see people upgrade without the community, I don't think we'd have the same conversion rate from free to paid, as we do. And I think a lot of the reasons that we don't see that that level of conversion from other friggin plugins, and they just they're missing a community aspect.

I think community in 2020 is probably one of the greatest things that you could introduce to your business in order to increase revenue and increase customer involvement. And if you don't have community at this point, I think you're you're greatly missing out on an opportunity to there, it's not super difficult to run a community, the way that I run mine is I have this, I have this, this Facebook group, first of all, and I communicate with this group, once per week for one hour, or 30 minutes to 45 minutes to one hour. I get on Facebook and I do a Facebook Live. And I just talk about a subject that I thought of maybe half an hour before I put some slides together really quickly. And I share with them my thoughts on some topic. Yesterday I did this, it was I talked a little about the global situation and how people are scared and what we as business owners are obligated to do in order to kind of like keep the status quo and ensure that we all get through this together. And I shared some thoughts on that. And I do that every week. And that's how I communicate with my people and keep them involved and engaged. And that's what leads to revenue. And that takes that whole process takes maybe I want to say five hours a week, involvements in your community. If you have if you don't have that time to spare, then that's okay. But I am fortunate that I have who supports me that and can also invest their time in the Facebook group responding to people communicate with people. And going through that, though, that those live calls to involve and engage people. I actually have people comment their issues during those live streams. People can comment their issues in the chat, because you can there's a chat system for Facebook Lives. And I will read out their question and answer it live on the call, I record it and I upload it to the Academy. So anybody who didn't catch the live, okay, at least get the benefit from anybody else's questions on the recording on the academy website. And then I push that out as an email broadcast to the list.

Mike: Amazing that sounds really helpful for your users. I mean, it sounds like you've really built a huge amount of momentum in a very short amount of time. I mean, I'm guessing you're, you're coming up on about $15,000 a month revenue, which is good for a company. Where do you see this going? I mean, what, how big do you think you can get in terms of a platform?

Adrian: Well, as any founder, I have close aspirations. Realistically, realistically speaking, I see is about 3000 users by the end of this year. So at the end of 2019, we were at 700. And I see us, if I just fed just looking at the metrics, I see us around 3000 by the end of this year, and from there, it's kind of anybody's guess, I'm hoping to get somewhere to around the so here's the thing, if I put it into context, with what other with other software's or service applications, Infusionsoft has maybe 50,000, somewhere between 50 and 70,000 businesses on their platform, Active Campaign has some more anywhere from 100 to 130. And somewhere in that range for us would be a massive accomplishment. And the time that we've been around, those companies have been around like way longer than we have. So getting anywhere near that within the next five years, would be nothing short of stellar. What I'd like and what you know, I you know, kind of if best case scenario, and it's just all sunshine and rainbows the whole way there, which I know it won't be. But if it was then I'd like to see like some sort of like the adoption of WooCommerce elements or where you're at that 4 million mark. And it's just incredible growth at that point. And you're just like, you're just able to help so many people. Realistically, I don't I don't I'm not sure if we're gonna be there in five years. While it would be awesome. Those are like WooCommerce has had a long time to develop that sort of that sort of following and, and Elementor is a low touch product. It's a page builder. It doesn't require the level of knowledge your expertise to implement as marketing automation. That's, so I'm aware of like the market that we serve is very specific. And I'm not sure if there's 4 million people in the WordPress community who fire our services at this point. But anywhere from 100 to 200,000 mark would be nothing short of just frickin fantastic, man.

Mike: That's, I mean, that's an incredible number. I mean, have you taken any funding or have people approached you and offered you funding?

Adrian: I can tell you a little about our funding. So at the start of all this, I did a friends and family round, and I was able to scrape together some dollars to support me for support me in my place for a couple months. And from there, and I'm current, currently, we're operating on on cash flow. So currently, I was fortunate to be able to scrounge together, the friends and family round and put that to good use. And I think that we know, we, unlike so many, you know, businesses that that failed to put together, it's like, what is it like, I ridiculous number of small businesses fail within the first year, it's like 90%, or whatever it is. And I'm fortunate that I'm not one, I'm not just another statistic in that category. And I was able to put that money to good use. And we're now operating on cash flow, which is great. A lot of a lot of companies can say that within their first year. So I'm fortunate and happy about that, I can tell you that we went we went out twice, to venture capitalists. So recently, most recently, I went to a pitch competition, like, I want to say, two weeks ago, so not even like not even like two weeks ago, I went and they all there was like five of them. And he goes and it's very intimidating. You stand in front of your screen and you do your pitch. I thought it was okay, I worked hard on it. And they're all like sitting there grimace face, you know, I thinking to themselves, I will decide whether you can move on or not. Right? Feeling powerful. And so I finished the pitch. It's like a five minute pitch, as they're asking you all these questions. And after the pitch the like, so what does it do? And I'm like, Oh, God. No, I don't get it, you know, and I'm like, I'm showing them the revenue figures and the profitability and all this stuff. And really literally out the presentation. They're asking me questions that I answered in the presentation, or at least I thought I answered, and it was just a total train wreck. So needless to say, that was not a successful venture. I also applied I applied to tiny seed, which is the guy who founded drift. Not drift sorry, trip. And I did not I got to the second round of that I did not make it past the second round, in order to get funding from there. I mean, at this point, the funding is not required, we're operating on cash flow. And really just funding would allow us to add an additional staff and grow a little bit faster than our current rates. When growth is nice, although not, you know, we're gonna get there eventually.

Anyway, it's just, you know, can we pick up the pace, essentially, but it's not something that we acquire. And the big problem is that VCs I found don't like investing in companies that don't have any IP. And that's one that's one thing about groundhogs that, since all of our plugins are technically licenced under GPL we don't necessarily have any IP because at any point, someone can go and fork it totally just like copy a certain level, right? And that that's a risk that we offer and we're basically just operating on trust in the community that nobody's going to do that. Um, but if you don't have any IP, then there's technically a lot you know, VCs, for technology companies, acquainting value to technology and not necessarily the service the community, the revenue numbers or any of that it's all about well what value in terms of technology Do you have to offer the marketplace? And if you can't show that that value or that technology is actually worth or that you can't keep it under lock and key, then all of a sudden your company is far less valuable than it would have been Have you been a software as a service company? Hmm. second hurdle to VC funding is annual is annually recurring revenue, we don't we don't have this time have any MRR? It all of it is arr. So annual recurring revenue versus monthly recurring revenue and MRR is really where people want to be at. Since it's easier to do revenue predictions and all this stuff and the renewal rate is it's easier to calculate turn all these things for annually recurring companies, that's kind of just like a WordPress thing that we have to do the hard service licensing and support on an Mr basis and we would not be able to operate on revenue ademar either. A lot of the reason what we're doing To do, the great thing that we do is we're able to collect that money up front, we're able to say, All right, we're gonna charge you for the year at this monthly price point. And that is essentially then you know, that's like four. So if it's 12 times 14, that's essentially, that's like 12 customers coming in at $40 a month in one month. And that allows you to do a lot more with that money and grow faster versus if you are only operating on that monthly budget every month. So that's that there's a couple things to think about there. But those are some hurdles that we face when when going out and trying to get other people to invest per se.

Mike: Well, that's, that's fascinating. And I think, I think what you've talked about how much you've achieved in such a short time would probably put anyone off trying to take the code and compete directly with you. So hopefully, we won't see that. I'm sure.

Adrian: Actually, I actually have I haven't I have a note on that. So I went to an event last year, and one of the speakers was talking about competition. We have a we have existing competition kind of in the WordPress space in a couple markets. These products are not necessarily equivalent to groundhog in any way. But there is overlap. And one of those is zero vs. Zero best CRM and they were recently acquired by the big man himself at automatic. And so that's something they are way more CRM focused than than we are, we're a lot of the marketing automation side. And then CRM is in there. And these guys are like way more CRM kind of like typical sales force kind of stuff. That's what that's what they do. There's a little bit of overlap there. And there's also a couple of WordPress mailing plugins, newsletter, mail poet, and those are more like MailChimp apps than Active Campaign or Infusionsoft is what kind of kind of like equate ourselves to or even HubSpot for us. And those ones are more serving the MailChimp type audience. So there's a little bit of overlap, but I would actually invite other businesses to kind of enter the market. Because if other people can show that or other businesses can make themselves viable, based on you know, the technology stack that we offer that would only serve to kind of educate the overall general WordPress audience. And when they eventually get tired of our competitor in that space, then they'll end up with us anyway. So it's, I find, I find that competition in the same place only seeks to educate the market even further. One of the biggest hurdles that we face as growing as a WordPress services company, is education in terms of people didn't even know if it was possible, right? And they're like, wait, I just found out this existed. I had never heard of it before. And I just didn't know it's not. So one of our major hurdles is as soon as someone actually finds out about us, they're all in there. Like this is frickin great, but the one of the big problems of outreach, and actually informing and educating the general WordPress audience that hey, listen, you don't have to go to HubSpot Infusionsoft Active Campaign. You can keep this in WordPress. And it's possible. And yes, it requires a little bit of configuration. But once it's set up, it's all hunky dory. So that's one of our biggest challenges and inviting competitors into the space will only seek to actually minimise that challenge for us.

Mike: Wow, that's, that's interesting that more competition could actually help you grow faster. That's, that's an amazing situation.

Adrian: Yeah, so And eventually, you know, eventually what happens is the winner wins out. So we saw that with WooCommerce, a couple of e commerce players existed in early WordPress days. WooCommerce was forked from one of them. And kind of the Battle of e-commerce plugins and sued and then WooCommerce, eventually one out has kind of been like the de facto one. And I and currently, since we don't have any competition, we are currently kind of the de facto one. But the education isn't there in order to bring that to a much larger audience unless I can get in front of like a million people at once. But I don't see that happening at any point in the near future. Just put me on a stage somewhere like Carnegie Hall or something.

Mike: That'd be great. I'd love to come and see you.

Adrian: Yeah. Competition would be Yeah, competition is welcome. And I'm not particularly worried about it. And like maybe the best plug in when and yeah, there's consolidation and all this stuff. So we'll see. Great. So I imagine I imagine it's a sector that will grow in the near future.

Mike: So if somebody wanted to try groundhogg, how would they go about, you know, evaluating it, trying it out and seeing what it does for them?

Adrian: Well, so we are a freemium company, which means that, excuse me, we're a freemium company, which means that you can go to wordpress.org for slash groundhog with two G's and download it and instal it on WordPress site. And you can go through the guided setup, most if not all of our education is totally free to consume and enjoy it. The only exception that is our certified partner programme, and we then you can just go As I go through the Quickstart, you can start creating funnels and you can start testing them. And you can even launch your files for totally on the free. The free repo version, there's this, like no payment required. And eventually, you'll come to a point, it's like, well, I want to do this really cool thing, or I saw someone in the group do this really cool thing. And then at that point, you can invest in a one of our premium licenses, one of our premium plans, if you want to test out some of the premium functionality before making your investment we have, we have this unique thing. So you can pay $9, it's a $9, one time fee. And what we will do is we will spin up a WordPress installation for you, which you can log into. And you can test out all premium functionality without making the upfront $480 per purchase. So that is another avenue that you can go down in order to test for testing, play, and enjoy yourself in a totally like yours to break and maintain happen with WordPress installation.

Mike: Amazing.

Adrian: And if you decide to upgrade after that, we'll put the $9 to your upgrade.

Mike: That's brilliant. And what if people want to get in contact with you personally, what's the best way to reach you, Adrian?

Adrian: So there are so many. Um, so first thing I would do is go to the open user group on Facebook called the groundhog open user group, I am in there pretty much every day. And you can ask a question and chances are if someone else doesn't respond, I will respond. I keep my head very, very low to the ground in that sense. And I really try to understand the turbulences and the and the roadblocks that our customers are having. So that I know and I can prioritise our team effectively. So first things first, open newsgroup. Second thing. We have live chat on the site, when you are more than welcome to bug our team and say, Hey, listen is available. And I am I'll come talk to you personally. Again, I like to I like to hear from customers directly. And finally, you can send an email to info@groundhogg.io. I can't guarantee a response I as you can imagine, as a digital marketer and email person, I get a significant number of emails per day. And all of them go into the same inbox because I have not organized effectively. So but you can try it, you can send me an email to info@groundhogg.io again with two G's at the end. And I will if I see it, I'll respond.

Mike: Fantastic. Well, thank you so much for your time agent has been fascinating, you know, hearing what you're doing and how quickly you've built up what's an impressive market information business. So I wish you all the luck in changing how people see marketing automation in the future.

Adrian: Thank you so much. And thank you for having me. I hope you have a wonderful day.

Mike: Awesome. Thank you, Adrian. Thanks so much for listening to marketing b2b tech. We hope you enjoyed the episode. And if you did, please make sure you subscribe on iTunes, or on your favourite podcast application. If you'd like to know more, please visit our website at Napier b2b dot com or contact me directly on LinkedIn.


Alix Paultre Moves to Evaluation Engineering

Congratulations to Alix Paultre who has recently announced his move from Embedded Computing Design to Editor of Evaluation Engineering at Endeavor Business Media.

We wish him the best of luck in his new role!


Hannover Messe Cancelled for 2020

After recently announcing that the Hannover Messe would be postponed until July 2020, the organizers have now announced that the industrial fair will not take place this year, due to the increasingly critical situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With comprehensive travel restrictions, bans on group gatherings, and a prohibition decree in the Hannover region, it's clear to see that holding the Hannover Messe was near impossible. The manufacturing industry is also being shown as struggling, as demand and sales in Germany decline, resulting in supply bottlenecks, production stops, and reduced working hours for employees.

“Given the dynamic development around Covid-19 and the extensive restrictions on public and economic life, Hannover Messe cannot take place this year,” says Dr. Jochen Köckler, Chairman of the Board of Management, Deutsche Messe AG. “Our exhibitors, partners, and our entire team did everything they could to make it happen, but today we have to accept that in 2020 it will not be possible to host the world's most important industrial event.”

As the first time in 73 years that the Hannover Messe will not take place, organizers are not allowing the event to completely vanish, with plans in place to form a digital information and networking platform that will be available to customers soon.

Various web-based formats will enable Hannover Messe exhibitors and visitors to exchange information and live streams will present interactive expert interviews, panel discussions, and best-case presentations. The online exhibitor and product search is also being enhanced, with a function that enables visitors and exhibitors to contact each other directly.

“We firmly believe that nothing can replace direct, person-to-person contact and we are already looking forward to the time after Corona,” added  Dr. Jochen Köckler. “But especially in times of crisis, we must be flexible and act pragmatically. As organizers of the world's most important industrial trade fair, we want to offer orientation and sustain economic life during the crisis. We are doing that with our new digital offering.”

It's fair to say that this was not unsurprising news to come from Hannover Messe, with other trade shows also facing the inevitable option to either postpone or cancel; and we look forward to seeing what the digital offering will provide visitors until it can take place again in 2021.


6 Tips for Improving your Email Marketing Campaigns

Whether you’re already an expert in email marketing or starting out new, your goals should be the same; to send effective emails that will engage your prospects or retain customers, which in turn will you help increase your sales.

As email marketing remains one of the most effective ways of reaching your prospects and customers, in this blog, we explore 6 ways you can improve your email marketing campaigns to enhance performance and keep your readers engaged.

Share content in a scannable and digestible way

It’s important to remember that your readers are busy and will often only skim read emails. This is why it’s vital to ensure that your email is written in a user-friendly way that is easy to digest.

Remember you only have a few seconds to make an impression, so create an email that has captivating headlines and use bullet points and headings to break up your content into sections. To ensure you grab your reader’s attention, keep your messaging short, succinct and to the point, so readers can understand the highlights of your email clearly.

Send emails at the right time

One of the best ways to improve the performance of your email campaigns and increase conversions is by ensuring that you are sending emails at the right time.

According to GetResponse there are two time slots in the B2B industry you should be aiming for in order to get the best email open rates and click-through rates (CTR).  This includes 9-11am and 3-5pm. However, it’s important to remember that the optimal time for email sends will alter slightly per sector due to customer preferences. To ensure you understand which time is optimal for your readers, your company should be tracking results from every email campaign. This data will be vital in understanding when you should send your emails in the future.

Use welcome emails to build strong relationships

Welcome emails are a key part of building strong relationships with your contacts and is arguably one of the most effective emails you can send.

Recent data has revealed that welcome emails have seen a staggering open rate of above 80%, with a click-through rate of around 22-25%.

A welcome email reassures your new lead that the signup has worked and that their content is on the way. A brilliant benefit of using email marketing within your marketing automation platform means companies now have the option to automate emails for every piece of content when it is downloaded via a landing page.

By offering something valuable or exclusive in your welcome email, you create a connection with leads and open new doors to further conversations.

Only send emails that are valuable

Your emails should always contain content that is valuable to your reader. When setting up your email campaign, ask yourself, why would the audience benefit from reading this email? Why would they open it?

If you keep this in mind, you will create and offer content that you know is helpful, useful and beneficial to your readers. This approach will also ensure that your reader engages with your content, resulting in more click-throughs, conversions, and sales.

Don’t bombard your contacts

It’s essential to remember the saying ‘less is more’ when it comes to your email marketing campaigns.

Although it can be difficult to find a happy medium, sending your contacts too many emails will see your engagement rates fall.

Each sector will vary, but it’s important that companies find the balance between making an impact to your reader, but at the same time not bombarding their inbox, so they feel that they have no choice but to unsubscribe.

Track your data

Tracking your data is vital to understand what is and isn’t working within your email marketing campaigns.

The only way to improve your performance is to understand what was and what wasn’t successful, and which tactics got you this result

Tracking your data via platforms such as Google Analytics or via a marketing automation platform, allows you to view how your emails are driving traffic to your website, and how those visitors behave once they arrive on your site, which can influence how you market to these people in the future.

 

If you want to know more about how Napier helps clients with email marketing, check out our case studies here, or get in touch to find out how we can help you.

 


Elektronik Announce Changes to Editorial Calendar

Elektronik has announced changes to its editorial calendar due to the effects the coronavirus is having on delivery and production downtimes in Germany. As such, Elektronik has made the decision to combine and make changes to the chosen topics for specific issues. Key changes to the editorial calendar include:

  • Trade fair issue Hannover Messe new: Issue # 14 on 07.07. (Instead of # 8
    on 14.04.). The topics remain according to the media data and No. # 14 will be
    supplemented by a Hannover Messe focus
  • Business & Markets (B&M) # 2: Merger with B&M # 3, new: Smart Cities, Energy & Mobility, RD 20.04.
  • Fair edition PCIM remains issue # 9 on 28.04. with display at the fair. In addition, Elektronik # 15, RD 21.07. will be thematically re-orientated to the PCIM and will be displayed at the trade fair.
  • Automotive # 8: Merger with Automotive # 7, RD 30.6.
  • Business & Markets # 4: Merger with B&M # 8, Industrial & Embedded
    Vision RD 16.11.
  • Business & Markets # 5: Merger with B&M # 6, new: Smart Cities, Energy &
    Mobility, RD 20.04.

It’s not surprising in these difficult times that publishers are cutting back on their print publications. We think it’s important to remember that this is not an indication of any lack of influence for the publication. In reality, it’s likely that Elektronik and other publications will see far greater online traffic, and the reduction in print issues reflects both the challenges of getting publications printed as well as the move to more online consumption of news during isolation. For further information on these changes, please contact the editorial team via their website. 


PCIM Europe Exhibition and Conference Postponed

Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH has announced the postponement of this year's PCIM Europe Exhibition and Conference, due to the increased risk of covid-19 in Europe.

The event will now take place on the 28th-30th July 2020 at the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre.

Petra Haarburger, Managing Director of Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH commented "The dynamic developments around covid-19 in Europe require all exhibition organizers to continually assess the situation. We very much hope that we have acted in the interest of all parties involved with this postponement and that we can make a joint contribution to delaying the spread of covid-19 in Europe".

Here at Napier, we are not surprised to hear the news of Messe postponing PCIM, which joins a long list of events who have had no choice but to postpone or cancel in this unprecedented time. We are looking forward to hearing about what we are sure will be a successful event, when it is able to take place.

To find out more information on the event, please view the website here. 

 


EETech Announce Media Partnership with 21ic.com

EETech has announced a new partnership with the largest Chinese electrical engineering community, 21ic.com. This move makes EETech the exclusive media partner to 21ic for North American and European companies seeking engagement with the Chinese market.

21ic currently provides valuable content across 15 industry verticals for the Chinese electrical engineering community, covering news products, applications, and trends.  With more than 1.1 million registered users and 12 million monthly page views, 21ic provides leading online resources for the EE community in China.

Adam LaBarbera, co-founder, and CEO of EETech commented “This partnership provides an incredible opportunity to expand our community of engineers and support a growing market. 21ic is the largest electronics website in China. Partnering to unify our audience and deliver meaningful content is the foundation for our continued growth as a key resource for the global engineering community.”

“This partnership enables EETech to provide greater support and a wider range of reliable, quality resources for our growing EE community,” added Bob Dumas, Vice President of Sales at EETech.

For more information on this partnership, please view EETech's website here. 


New Assistant Editor at IML Group

Congratulations to Sophia Bell who is the latest addition to the IML Group,  joining the team as Assitant Editor for DPA, PBSI, and Connectivity.

Sophia joins the team as a Film and English Literature graduate from the University of East Anglia, and will be working closely with Paige West (Group editor) to develop content for the three publications.

We wish Sophia the best of luck in her new role!


Drives and Controls Exhibition Rescheduled

DFA Media, organiser of the Drives & Controls Exhibition and its co-located events, has announced that that the show will be postponed and rescheduled for 25th-27th January 2021, and will take place alongside the MACH Exhibition at the NEC, Birmingham in Halls 9 and 10.

This decision means that the following co-located events have also been postponed:

• Drives & Controls
• Fluid Power & Systems
• Air-Tech
• Plant & Asset Management
• Smart Industry Expo

Although the decision to postpone was inevitable with the risk of the coronavirus. We are pleased that DFA Media has made the decision to postpone rather than cancel the event, as the revised date allows organisers to provide clarity and ensures that they have time and space to deliver the same high-quality event as promised, providing a safe and secure environment for the manufacturing sector.


Napier Feature in The B2B Marketing Agencies Benchmarking Report 2020

Napier was recently invited to participate in the B2B Marketing Agencies Benchmarking report 2020, and we were delighted to see that this year we have moved up in the league table!

Here at Napier, we take the approach that size isn't everything, and we are focussed on pitching our business to the right type of clients, where we know our knowledge and deep insight of the market will help our clients' campaigns achieve maximum impact. It's great to see that this approach has resulted in us ranking higher in the league table.

Managing Director Mike Maynard, was also invited to write a feature for this year's report, where he discusses what agencies need to do to avoid clients taking their work in-house. To read the feature for yourself, get in touch with us for a copy of the interview, or click here to get your own copy of the full report from the B2B Marketing Magazine... Don't miss us we're on page 56!


New UK Embedded Show Announced for 2020

Hitex UK has announced the launch of a new UK-based Embedded Show for 2020. UK Embedded will take place on the 14th May at The Windmill Village Best Western Plus in Coventry; and is aimed at the entire embedded marketplace, inviting the close-knit community of Embedded professionals and engineers, to come together and explore new ideas and technological advances.

The event will feature a strong conference agenda and will be supported with an exhibition, workshops, and training in response to engineers requiring time away from the office to be productive and application-led, not sales-led. Confirmed speakers already include Green Hills Software, LDRA, Pebble Bay and Feabhas. The exhibitor list is also growing rapidly, with confirmed names including Infineon, DCA, Anglia, ST, Renesas, LDRA and Thingstream, plus a healthy pipeline of others coming on board.

“This is a fantastic addition to our smaller, user-group events which Hitex has become well-known for hosting”, said Tanya Jane, Marketing Manager at Hitex. “There are a few large “expo” style events and many smaller one-day technical conferences. The gap between these micro-events and the larger-sized events is wide and has created an opportunity to plug a gap, which I believe we will achieve with this event.”

UK Embedded offers something for all engineers at different levels of experience; including junior engineers in their first roles, senior engineers exploring new boundaries, project managers, developers, and designers. The conference and exhibition are free to attend, with a nominal charge being made to secure places on the training workshops.

At Napier, we think it's great that Hitex UK is launching a show to keep innovation a priority in the UK. With some great speakers already confirmed, we look forward to hearing all about the event and the great feedback we are sure it will receive.

To learn how you can take part, or attend UK Embedded, please visit the UK Embedded website. 


AV ELETTRONICA Announces Changes with New Independent Publisher

AV ELETTRONICA has revealed changes to its magazine for 2020, announcing new ownership by an independent publisher, who will relaunch the magazine with innovation in mind, and will design the magazine to offer information and opinions in a higher level for professionals in the electronics market.

The publication will now feature an improved structure and will include new elements such as  'sections' that include interview articles with honorary characters on the international scene from leading organizations. As well as 'columns' which enable readers to focus on the primary ideas dealing with topics of recent hours, new scenarios, major events and news coming from suppliers.

With 4,000 copies for each issue, AV ELETTRONICA will be a bi-monthly magazine, and will also be available in a digital format.

At Napier, we are really pleased to see someone new take on the publication and place their focus on it; and we look forward to seeing more creativity and innovation from the AV ELETTRONICA team.


Semtech's Lauren Roady - Marketing Expert Interview

Lauren Roady, Digital Corporate Marketing Manager at Semtech, is the latest marketer to take part in our marketing expert interview series. From Lauren's top tips for marketing automation campaigns to her view on the 3 biggest marketing challenges, we asked Lauren a variety of questions to learn everything we could about our latest marketing expert.

In which marketing activities do you specialise?

I’ve had the great opportunity to support everything from event marketing to sales enablement in my career so far, but I’ve found my happy place in digital marketing analytics. Digital marketing itself is an enormous landscape, so “specialty” is probably a misnomer. There are so many hats to wear in this field, every day brings a new challenge, plus the standards and toolsets are constantly changing. I’m a content creator, UX designer and statistician rolled into one. In school, I excelled at math and statistics, and love a good Pivot table, so the data analytics that come with digital marketing are like a warm cup of tea for me. You see a lot from this behind-the-scenes position in an organization; people outside of marketing communications have no idea the amount of elbow grease that can go into a single campaign. It’s rewarding to be able to measure the results and celebrate with the hard-working team that made it happen.

How did you get to this point in your career? Was it planned, or did you just take opportunities when they appeared?

In college I studied graphic communication with an emphasis in print and image management, earning B.S. from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, one of the few graphic communication programs in the U.S. I love print because it is a fantastic intersection of design and technology. There’s an amazing world of engineering and science behind those tiny little dots on paper that make a printed image. From packaging to signage, print is all around us every day. While I didn’t choose to make a career out of printing, that knowledge is advantageous in marketing communications where we are constantly using imagery and visual experience to communicate or enhance our message.

By sheer luck, I’ve had the great opportunity to contribute to high growth businesses in earlier roles in my career. In a previous role, I rocketed from the first marketing professional on payroll to the manager of a department covering complete in-house services for multiple business units in just a few short years. That level of exposure to continuous challenges and growing responsibilities gave me the opportunity to sample from every specialty within marketing communications. That experience wearing many hats in a high growth organization gave me the flexibility to pursue a more specialized role in digital marketing.

What are your top tips for a great marketing automation campaign?

  1. Set it but do not forget it. Messaging changes, market maturity evolves and new content is constantly becoming available. Drip campaigns should be revisited on a regular basis just to refresh content alone. Performance metrics should also be reviewed to optimize deliverability and engagement.
  2. B2B can learn a lot from B2C. Every morning I open my personal email and delight in the clever campaigns that consumer brands are running to get my attention. It’s inspiring and challenges my paradigm in B2B. Though the sales and buying process for B2B and B2C are starkly different, people are still people and principles of brand awareness and thought leadership still apply when influencing prospects.

What have been the biggest changes to B2B marketing in the last 3 years?

The bar is continuously rising on best practices. By my observation, personalization was the golden ticket in the Tenties (2010-2019). But now segmentation and personalization are a bare minimum, and new privacy laws rolled out in recent years (GDPR, CCPA) make leveraging personally identifying data a delicate dance to maintain consumer trust.

The vast amount of tools in the market have also been game-changing. What sets “good” marketing apart is not just a clever marketer any longer, but the variety and complexity of tools at his or her disposal. The IBM Marketing Trends report, which I adore, coined the term “martecheter” in its 2019 issue. A martecheter is a technically savvy marketer, and IBM states this is one of the greatest marketing advantages.

What do you think will be the biggest change in the way you approach your campaigns in the next 3 years?

It’s very easy to stay siloed in a warm a cozy marketing communication bubble and get lost in the metrics of digital marketing. The challenge for professionals in my role is to come up for air and get a reality check by aligning with sales and business development, to more effectively fill the lead funnel.

In the martech world, I am very interested to see how artificial intelligence will be further applied to everyday marketing tools. Advancements in natural language processing and search sentiment, for example, will be interesting to watch.

What are your 3 biggest marketing challenges?

  1. Demonstrating return on investment. Marketers create so many touchpoints for a brand, many of those offline or outside of our marketing automation platforms, making it difficult to attribute campaign efforts to revenues.
  2. Sales and marketing alignment. Has a B2B marketer ever answered this question without mentioning sales and marketing alignment? This is a classic challenge, particularly for corporate marketing where long term thought leadership and awareness objectives are often prioritized over near term sales conversion objectives.
  3. Balancing experimentation with known formulas for success. Trying a new strategy, tool or process can often be disruptive, but well worth the temporary discomfort. Making mental space for experimentation is hard, but necessary in order to evolve and deliver new value to our customers.

Tell us about the best campaign you have ever run.

Sometimes the most outstanding campaigns can be shockingly simple. At Semtech we launched a campaign offering side by side comparison of two connectivity platforms for the Internet of Things (IoT). Campaign elements included a gated infographic, blog, and week-long social media campaign. The organic traffic and social engagement were so outstanding, we realized it would be a strong candidate for a pay per click (PPC) campaign. The content itself was simple and low budget to create. Years later, whenever this campaign is reshared on social media, it’s almost as powerful as the first time. The key to success with this campaign was simply the buzzworthiness of the keywords.

Which campaign didn’t work well, but taught you a lot?

Early in my career, I made the mistake of allowing too much human error to influence campaign reporting. I’ve learned that unless you’re using technology and automation to measure a result, you should expect nothing, and certainly should not rely on manually collected or subjective data. It’s humbling when a campaign fails because it reminds me that my preconceived notions or opinions are nice, but what really matters is the data. I keep my favorite quote written on my office whiteboard:  “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” - quality guru W. Edwards Deming

If there was one thing you could change about marketing automation systems, what would it be?

I’m quite pleased with some of the new features I see being rolled out around AI. For example, when an email campaign has an above average unsubscribe rate, I like it when my marketing automation system proactively points that out for me and tells me what I could do to improve in the future. There are seemingly endless metrics for me to track, so when a system is smart enough to flag anomalies and bring them to my attention, and then go the extra mile to tell me what to do about it, that system becomes more than a tool, it becomes a critical asset. Analysis paralysis is a real problem in digital marketing, and AI can help direct my attention to where it will make the biggest impact.

If you could get more marketing budget, what would you spend it on?

Data integration and sanitation. The volume and variety of data within an organization and its tools (plus external resources) are so powerful. Harnessing all that data, ensuring it’s clean and reliable, and turning it into actionable insights is the stuff marketers dreams are made of.

And a little bit about you… What do you like to do in your spare time?

I live in beautiful Camarillo, California with my cattle dog and two cats. I enjoy road trips and hikes with my dog, cooking for my family, and reading my way through the public library. In a never-ending pursuit of craftiness, I am teaching myself to sew in 2020.

What career would you have chosen if you couldn’t work in marketing?

I’d probably try to find some way to make a full-time career out of writing Yelp reviews. I love giving feedback, and appreciate when others leave thoughtful, objective reviews for me to read when evaluating destinations, dining, entertainment, etc.

If you had three wishes from a genie, what would you ask for?

  1. Apparition (a la Harry Potter) – it’s 2020, why are we still wasting time on long plane rides and sitting in traffic?
  2. Three more hours per day (one uninterrupted work hour, one for personal life, one for sleep)
  3. A real-world Ctrl+Z button (with unlimited use, of course)

 


Napier Joins Eurocom Worldwide as UK Member

We are delighted to share the news that Napier has joined Eurocom Worldwide, the global PR Network for B2B and Technology.

Napier joins the Eurocom network as the UK member, joining 26 PR and marketing communications agencies in 40 offices, covering 70 countries across all five continents. Similar to Napier, all agency members specialise in B2B with a focus on key technology, industrial and commercial sectors.

“The UK has historically been a key market for our global network”, commented Robin Baker, Chairman of Eurocom Worldwide. “After our former long-term UK member was acquired, we have been screening the UK market for an agency with a similar DNA to our members – and the result could not be better. We’re delighted to welcome on board Mike and the Napier team!”

As we head further into 2020, we are excited about the future as part of the Eurocom network. As a UK member, we now have the opportunity to partner with like-minded agencies all over the world who share our dedication for the B2B and technology sectors, and who thoroughly understand our business approach.

Mike, Managing Director at Napier commented “Napier now has access to a rich pool of partners who can likewise refer to us business as well as support our UK clients abroad. With the first Eurocom conference due to take place in March, I am looking forward to building relationships, and getting stuck in as part of the network”.


Vicor and Napier Awarded Online Banner Marketing Excellence Certificate by Electronics Weekly

We were delighted to be recognized by Electronics Weekly, alongside our client Vicor, who presented us with a certificate of excellence for online banner marketing 2019.

The certificate was awarded in recognition of outstanding performance and engagement by achieving the highest MPU total number of clicks, and highest Wallpaper click-through rates.

We would like to congratulate Vicor on this fantastic result!

 

 


EETech Media Relaunch EE Power

EETech Media has announced the relaunch of its EE Power site, offering visitors access to new features and content.

As a leading online source for power electronics product news and industry announcements, EE Power's new site introduces a wide range of both practical and aesthetic changes for visitors to enjoy. This includes a new bookmarking system that allows users to save articles and add favourites to their personal collection, as well as several new content categories to aid in improved, user-friendly site navigation.

EETech Director of Digital Content Kate Smith commented, "EE Power is a growing community where power experts can interact with their peers and contribute to trending conversations. With this relaunch, we hope to show our dedication to the EE Power community with our investment in the brand.”

The site will also feature a brand-new technical forum, alongside new tools and calculators, to help drive user collaboration, connect readers, and guide the evolution of EE Power’s content, whilst also helping engineers further their education and knowledge of power engineering.

“This updated version of EE Power will help users from young power engineers to industry leaders, connect and continue learning about the exceptional power content they have come to expect from our site,” EE Power Editor Hailey Stewart said.

For further information, and to view the new features and content yourself, please click here. 

 


From Intern to Business Development Manager

I think its fair to say that my journey at Napier has been a successful one. I originally joined the team back in 2016 as a Summer Intern, which was my first real insight into the world of PR and Marketing.

As I headed into my third and final year at Bournemouth University, Napier offered me the great opportunity to stay on as an intern and work one day a week, as I finished my degree in Media and Communications.

Being an intern at Napier allowed me to see theory in action and gain a vital understanding of the day-to-day running of the business, as well as helping me understand what would be expected of me as I left the student world behind.

After completing my degree, I was thrilled to be asked to join the team full-time as Marketing Specialist, with a 50/50 focus on supporting Napier’s business development activities and client work. My daily activities included writing content for Napier, updating the website, as well as content writing, and organising and creation of ads for our clients.

The great thing about working at Napier, is that the management team guide you and give you time to understand what aspect of the job you both like and excel in the most. For me it was obvious that Business Development was the route I wanted to go down, and once I had made that clear, the management team were fantastic in letting me know what I needed to achieve in order to reach the next step in my career.

In September 2018, I was promoted to Business Development Manager, and was entrusted with the responsibility of running the business development activities for Napier, including our sales strategy, lead nurturing, content marketing and building relationships with existing and potential new clients.

Now in the second year of my role at Napier, I feel privileged to be part of a company that provides a clear path of progression for their staff and puts its trust in young people to help them kick-start their career.

I know that my journey to where I am today, would not have progressed as quickly or successfully without the amazing support and training I received from both management and my colleagues. It’s true what they say, “find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life forever”. (Amy Poehler)

 

At Napier we always looking for new people to join our team. If you want to work at a place that challenges you to be the best version of yourself, get in touch today, and find out if Napier is the right place for you.


6 Tips to Getting Started with Marketing Automation

Marketing automation can provide B2B marketers with the opportunity to market more efficiently, quickly and successfully. But making the commitment to purchase a marketing automation platform can be a big decision, and B2B marketers can find it daunting to understand where they should begin, with such a wide range of resources available to them.

It’s important to have a marketing automation strategy in mind when getting started. If you don’t, its easy to get lost in the wonderment and capabilities of a marketing automation platform, without achieving any real results.

Here at Napier, we are keen supporters of marketing automation and have experienced first-hand how it has improved sales for our clients. This is why we’ve pulled together our top six tips to help marketers use marketing automation systems successfully from the beginning.

Marketing Automation must be strategy-led

As with all marketing initiatives, the implementation of marketing automation needs to be strategy-led in order to be effective.

You need to understand where marketing automation fits with your overall marketing strategy plan, and it simply boils down to one question ‘What are you trying to achieve?’.

Whether its lead nurturing, or an increase in sales,  its vital to know what you are trying to achieve, in order to understand whether you are being successful.

Focus on your pain points first

B2B marketers can often fall into the trap of trying to fix every problem at once. With marketing automation it’s important to focus on your true pain points, and get the basics working first.

Marketers should look at getting basic templates in place and start with launching campaigns that achieve simple ROI-focused goals. This could include a simple goal such as save time, reduce labour costs or increase leads.

Whatever the campaign or automation, they should be easy to measure and report, so you can understand what works, and what you should change moving forward to achieve even better results.

Optimise at every stage of campaign creation

Once your marketing automation campaigns are up and running, it can be easy to push them to the sidelines as you look forward to the next big step.

You should be consistently checking the performance at each stage of your campaign creation, and optimising each element based on performance.

Remember poor processes don’t move a prospect through the funnel, and weak messages don’t engage your audience.

Marketing automation systems offer great reporting features, and you should keep a close eye on performance, to understand how you can refine and optimise each stage of automation process moving forward.

Align sales and marketing

To gain the best results from marketing automation, your sales and marketing teams need to work together towards one common goal.

Marketing teams should work closely with sales to determine and implement best practices for content, lead nurturing and lead scoring. This will mean only the most qualified leads are sent to sales and will help both the sales and marketing team identify where the customer is in the buyer’s journey.

Aligning the sales and marketing teams will also help bridge the information gap between the two teams. Marketing automation provides a great opportunity for all information to be in one place, where sales can learn what marketing activities have driven leads to the company, what they want, and the best way to convert them into customers.

Understand your customers

Marketing automation can provide a great advantage to your marketing efforts, as it allows you to deliver the right message to the right person, at the right time. However, the system can only do this successfully is if you have identified personas in place.

Having identified buyer personas is vital to allowing the system to do its job, as they provide you with a great advantage to deliver messaging and content based on that specific persona’s attributes and behaviour.

For example, setting up workflows based on personas can be a great way to follow up with customised emails with content that you know will be of interest to them.

Don’t’ get overwhelmed – ask for help!

This may seem like an obvious tip, but with marketing automation platforms having such a wide range of capabilities, and without the right training or resources, it can be easy for B2B marketers to get overwhelmed when onboarding with a new system.

Luckily, you are not alone. Onboarding and getting used to a new system can be tricky, and there are plenty of resources available to help with any queries you may have.

Here at Napier, we work closely with our clients to help them with the tricky process of onboarding and getting the system set up. From getting the system running, to creating your basic templates, Napier can help you iron out any issues you may have.

 

If you’re looking to implement marketing automation into your strategy or have any questions you’d like to ask us. Why not drop us an email, we’d love to help you.


Value of Video in 2020

Over the last few years, its clear that video has become a key marketing tactic, and with the digital landscape continually shifting, marketers have no choice but to deliver their content the way consumers want it.

Yet, some marketers are still hesitant in investing a significant amount of their budget in video. If your still wondering whether a video investment is right for you, check out our infographic below that shares some key video marketing stats, to prove why 2020 is the right time to make your first marketing video.

 


PCB Design and Manufacturing Live Returns for 2020

PCB Design and Manufacturing Live has announced its return for 2020, taking place on Thursday 12th March at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon.

Organised by MA Business, publishers of New Electronics; the show is the UK's only dedicated PCB design, manufacture and test event, providing visitors with a comprehensive programme of CPD-accredited seminars, and the opportunity to network with PCB experts and over 120 market leading suppliers offering innovative new solutions and interactive product demonstrations.

With the show in its third year, research has revealed that more than 40% of all visitors are there to solve a specific query related to PCB design, test or manufacture. “PCB Live is unique in the electronics industry” commented Peter Ring “and not just because it showcases everything connected with PCB design, test and manufacture. This is a real problem solving event: small enough for visitors to get around in a couple of hours without missing anything, yet big enough to offer a selection of solutions, ideas and inspiration whatever the needs of the visitor”

PCB Design and Manufacturing Live is co-located alongside three other specialist engineering technology events under the overall banner of the Engineering Solutions Live event. All pre-registered visitors will receive a free entry pass to the British Motor Museum where 300 iconic vehicles marking the path of UK automotive design and manufacturing excellence may be viewed.

For further information, and to find out how you can attend. Please click here.

 


5 Best Practices for Social Media

There’s no denying that social media has gained momentum and is quickly becoming a key element for many B2B marketers when putting together their marketing strategies for the year ahead.

But with 2020 in full swing, how can you ensure that moving forward your social media strategy will ensure success?

We’ve pulled together five best practices for social media you should consider, in order to achieve optimal results from your social media strategy.

Identify the most effective channel for your audience

It’s important to understand that one social media channel may be more effective than the other. Identifying where your audience spends the most time, is important to ensuring that your messages are making an impact and being seen by the right people.

With LinkedIn leading as the most effective social media channel for B2B marketers (a staggering 92% of marketers were recently reported as leveraging LinkedIn over all social platforms), its crucial for marketers to recognize where their target audience is already engaged, and focus their budget and time on cutting through the noise on that platform.

Establish your social media voice and tone

How do you want your customers to perceive you? Creating a strong, and consistent voice is key to building a real relationship with your audience.

What does your company stand for? What makes your brand stand out? How are you unique? Make those elements of your business the inspiration for your online voice.

Be sure to share relevant, and informative content that encourages conversation. Social media provides you with a line to talk with your customers directly, so ensure your tone is conversational and relatable. You want your customers to interact!

Remember, your tone and voice must stay consistent across all social media platforms, you want customers to have the same experience no matter where they encounter your brand.

Personalise your brand with the showcase of employees

Several B2B companies already do a great job of showcasing their employees and success. By highlighting your employees, you allow the audience to put faces to the company and ultimately personalizes the brand.

This is important for both small and big B2B companies, as people are the heart of your business, and sharing this information creates a great perception of your company culture.

Showcasing your staff can also increase your reach and engagement. For example, instead of posting a photo of your product, why not post a photo of the developers behind it, a photo which would likely be shared on those developers’ social networks as well.

Experiment with content and posting times

Paying attention to what’s working and what’s not in terms of post timing, format, creative, and content, is the only way you can continually evaluate and enhance your strategy for success.

Experimenting with content and posting times is an important step in understanding what works for your company.  Every audience is different, so you should run experiments and examine audience insights to figure out what works best for your brand.

By listening to your audience, and regularly checking the data of your performance, you can adjust your tactics quickly and efficiently for optimal success.

Keep an eye on the competition

Competitors can give great inspiration for your social activities and offer you an opportunity to learn from what they are doing and understand what you can do instead.

Competitor analysis can provide great insight into which channels or networks competitors are focussing on, which type of content gets the most traction from their followers, and their posting frequency.

This is all information you can use to your advantage, as remember, your competitor’s weakness can be your opportunity.

Conclusion

It’s fair to say there is no one ‘right’ approach to handling your social media strategy. As a B2B marketer, it can be challenging to find and connect with your target audience. Fortunately, best practices are in place to help you achieve the optimal results from your strategy.

If you have any questions, or want to find out how Napier can help you with your B2B Social Media strategy, why not get in touch, we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

 


New Distribution Editor at Elektronik

Congratulations to Julia Lamml, who has been confirmed as the new Distribution Editor at Elektronik.

Julia takes over the role from Cornelia Meier, and her key interest areas include: digitization, business development, strategic management and positioning, trends in electronics development and services for developers.

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

 

 


MarTech Podcast Interview: Understanding the European Marketing Landscape

The MarTech Podcast, hosted by Benjamin Shapiro, interviews innovators and industry experts, to provide listeners with insights on how these experts use marketing and technology to drive business growth and achieve career success.

In one of their most recent podcast episodes, Benjamin interviews Mike, Napier’s Managing Director, who discusses how marketing strategies can change around the globe, and how marketers can understand the current European marketing landscape.

Listen to the full interview here, or via your favourite podcast app, and don’t hesitate to get in touch and let us know your thoughts.