The E&T Innovation Awards 2020 Goes Virtual

The E&T Innovation awards has announced its move to a virtual online event, joining the long list of award ceremonies who have decided to take the virtual approach.

Celebrating the very best in new innovation across science, engineering and technology, these awards showcase the latest and greatest ideas from every corner of the industry.

Taking place at 4pm on Thursday 19th November, the E&T Innovation awards are open to all, offering more people the opportunity to see some of the incredible achievements recognised by the awards.

For more information, and to register for your free place at the virtual ceremony, please click here. 

Great Success for Electronic Specifier Expo

We wrote about Electronic Specifier's Expo back in June this year, and so we were delighted to hear the news that the event had gone well.

Having taken place on Monday 1st September, the expo featured a significant number of key industry players sharing their product, solutions and expertise across show booths and the virtual exhibition’s webinar content.

With 400 electronics engineers, students and industry experts joining the event, and 56% of registrations attending the expo live; interactive content covered the automotive, medical, industrial and IoT sectors. The webinar sessions featured intuitive content such as COVID-19’s long term impact on medical equipment design, cutting through the self-driving hype, and how to create the connected factories of tomorrow.

With virtual shows taking place for the foreseeable future, it's great to see that that the Electronic Specifier Expo generated a huge amount of interest amongst attendees, who even without the physical element, still enjoyed their time at the show.

For anyone unable to attend the Electronic Specifier Expo, all content is available on-demand which you can access here. 


School for Startups Podcast Interview: B2B Marketing

The School for Startups podcast, hosted by Jim Beach, interviews entrepreneurs and authors that provide advice to help listeners either grow their business or start one.

In their most recent podcast episode, Jim interviews Mike, Napier's Managing Director, who discusses how he came to the decision to run a PR and marketing agency.

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.

Napier Launches Virtual Trade Show Platform

Napier has launched its own virtual trade show platform –

Designed specially for the B2B technology industry, Napier has created BoothCloud to specifically enable rapid deployment of virtual trade shows stands for technology companies.

Unlike normal trade shows, the platform delivers a booth specifically designed for each client with no content restrictions in place, enabling Napier to develop a reusable booth with a low development cost and cost of ownership.

“With the uncertain future of trade shows due to COVID-19, we identified an opportunity where we could help our clients engage with their customers” commented Mike Maynard, Managing Director of Napier. “By developing on open-source software, we provide our clients with a booth that can be re-used for multiple events, maximizing return on investment”.

With booths already successfully deployed for several of Napier’s clients, BoothCloud provides a fantastic solution for any B2B company looking for a highly customisable virtual trade show stand at a reasonable cost.

For further information please view our webpage at


A Napier Podcast: Interview with Chris Dickey CEO of Visably

We are delighted to share the latest interview from Napier's Marketing B2B Technology Podcast.

In our latest episode, Mike, Managing Director of Napier, interviews Chris Dickey, PR veteran, founder and CEO of Visably, a new SaaS start-up. Chris shares his insights into the strategy of Search Engine Visibility, and how he helps his clients maximise the likelihood of discovery on the first page via brand visibility, media and leveraging other people’s websites.

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 Chris Dickey - Visably

Speakers: Mike Maynard, Chris Dickey

Mike: Thanks for listening to marketing B2B tech, the podcast from Napier, where you can find out what really works in b2b marketing today. Welcome to marketing b2b technology, the podcast from Napier. Today, I've got Chris Dickey from visibly as my guest. Welcome to the podcast, Chris.

Chris: Thanks for having me, Mike.

Mike: So I'm Chris, you used to be in PR, and now you're actually moving into developing search engine optimization software. So that sounds like a big change to me.

Chris: Yeah, it absolutely has, no question. I can tell you in all honesty, I'd never in my wildest dreams thought I would be a tech entrepreneur. But here I am. I know for the last 17 years I've been a PR professional, mostly working in agencies. The last 11 years I've been managing operating my own agency called purple orange brand communications. We're located in the Rocky Mountain West in the United States. We recognised several years ago that are, that are the most influential PR heads that we could acquire for our clients were the ones that were showing up at the top of search results. In this was happening by and large, just it was just fortuitous. We there was no strategy behind it at the time.

But you know, just to compare and contrast, we at the same time, we were still winning kind of the big national splashy PR awards and PR mentions in major United States publications. And what we what we saw was the most productive hits the hits that our clients would kind of come back to us on and say, hey, what's going on here, or we saw this massive uptick in our website and tonnes of sales coming to this, you know, this one PR hit? It was always the hits that were showing up the top of search. And the funny thing is, is it wasn't the media outlets that you would typically expect it was, you know, the most kind of I think crystallising moment for me was we went out we won this huge award from a huge national publication for one of our clients. And it was kind of the pinnacle award in its category for the entire year. And we kind of checked back with the client after a few months on that particular product launch and we said hey, you know, how's it going tell us how like your sales are coming along. And they're like, it's it's pretty mediocre, it really hasn't picked up a whole lot. And I was kind of like scratching my head and thinking Gosh, like we won what was like the pinnacle award in the in the, in the space for this one client in having kind of huge reach extensively in what's going on. So I just happened to kind of open up my browser and I typed in the words best sleeping bag 2017, which was what we were marketing, a sleeping bag launch was for an outdoor brand. And sure enough, the endorsement or the award from this particular publication was showing up on the second page of search. And on the first page of search was a bunch of stuff that we hadn't worked on, or we hadn't really focused on. In at that moment, I realised my God, that's what's going on like the if the if the PR hit that we acquire does not live beyond the flicker of the moment that it's published, it has incredibly limited value for our audience, or for our clients. And, you know, think about the customer journey from the point where you know, you're looking for a sleeping bag to buy and you don't know where to start, I would say 95% of us are going to start with search, at least from the perspective of just some top line research. And that's where the customer comes is search in within the search engine landscape, you have a very predictable click-through rate, it starts very, very high at the top of the organic results, something like 30% for the very first organic result. And then it drops down to nearly 1% at the bottom of the first page. It's only 10 results there. And then there's almost no traffic on the second page to search. And so when you look when you step back and you look at it, there's 70% of all the clicks for any given keyword are going to land within the first five organic results, which is very limited amount of real estate to make a splash or have an impact with the customer. And when you and you know I think from a marketers perspective, you have to think about what are all the different ways that I can create brand visibility within this top very kind of elite tier of a websites and search in it. could be your own website, there's a, there's a there's this, there's a potential however small for you to rank your own website within that top five organic results. More likely, however it might be through a media hit, it might be through a result, you know a review that you've set up as a PR practitioner, it might be one of your e commerce partners that is that has featured you on their landing page is one of the recommended products, but they're, you know, thing that someone's looking for. It might be an advertisement, you know, so there's all these potential touchpoints. And that's, that's what I call search engine visibility, how do you maximise the likelihood of discovery on the first page of search?

Mike: So that's pretty interesting, because what you're actually saying is, unlike conventional SEO, which aims to improve the ranking of your own website, what you're trying to do is surface other websites where your products could appear, and then be at the top of particular Google search results.

Chris: I think I think it's the whole thing, you know, in all, in an aggregate, if you will, but yes, like, I think there's a huge underleveraged opportunity, leveraging other people's websites, other people's domain authorities, and this is publishing, right? Like, this is what we do with publishing, this is why we, as PR practitioners go out and we work with publishers, because they have a bigger voice than us, they have a bigger audience than us, they have a more influential website than us, we're going to use their platform to tell our story. And that's, that's a huge industry right there. It's, it's kind of crazy that people haven't taken that jump from the PR industry of leveraging this, this these third party platforms, and looked at it through the lens of search, which is where customers actually start a lot of their product journeys. So you know, do you go to your favourite, you know, I don't know, magazine website, when you want to go buy like a new gadget? No, you probably start on search. And if you're, if that if that trusted media source happens to be there are another one that you recognise, you'll, you're more likely to click on it, and see what they have to say about it. But, you know, the fact of the matter is, is that that that, that very specific customer who's looking for the widget that you have to sell, they almost always start their journey on search.

Mike: Interesting. So you're almost ranking, if you like the publications you're targeting, by their performance in certain search results.

Chris: We absolutely are. And this and my agency has been doing this for several years now. And so this kind of, you know, inter visibly, which is this company that like I this software company that I have been working on for the last year and a half. So the idea that we decided to start essentially building media lists based on Google search results, Google does a fantastic job of elevating the most relevant media or journalism or content at any given subject. Right. And, and not only are they elevating the most relevant publications, but also the writers and the people who are covering these different beats. I think the one of the biggest challenges for any PR team is identify who are the right people to talk to, when it comes to our media rage, like who's writing about this subject. And so, you know, here, here, we have a very sophisticated search engine, elevating the best content the world and there's no way to really mine that data, there's really no way to kind of pull that out. I said, I'm doing it manually. And that's what we were doing as an agency. So we were actually identifying these keywords that we felt were very high likelihood to be used by our clients, customers to find their products or brands, non branded keywords, if you will. So what we're interested in is people not people who are typing in the name of their branding keyword in Google search, but people who are typing in product characteristics, so say like, like I said, best sleeping bag, instead of saying Beth, North base sleeping bag or something like that. It's it's really somebody who is not brand loyal, who's looking for recommendations. And that's, that's the ideal customer that we're trying to get in front of here. And that's, that's where, who PR is typically trying to reach is that kind of very top of funnel person to create brand awareness. So it really does fit together quite nicely. But anyways, you put you put this, you get your keywords together, and you kind of identify what are the keywords that we need to be using, or we need to be focused on and once you identify those keywords, you pop them into search, and you see what shows up. And then what's really interesting is that there's a good likelihood that there's a lot of conversation around your brand and search, but you would have no idea that it exists or no idea you know that it's there. Unless your own website was showing up on the first page of search, or you had an ad on that page, otherwise, there's no way to kind of footprint your brand presence on the first page search and identify all the different like, like I said earlier, what's the likelihood of discovery within any given keyword search. And so that's really what visibly is trying to automate is that we go through and we look at the content, and we don't we look at every single link on the first page of search, and not just the link, but the content on the other side of that link. We look for positive brand matches, and then we organise it in some kind of unique ways.

And so another thing that we recognised as a PR agency, it wasn't, it wasn't valuable, just to identify where your brand existed, you really needed to also segment the search results by channel, right, because there's so much stuff that's irrelevant to the PR practitioner or the whatever, you know, marketing is so siloed in these various channels, like we have PR teams, we have e-commerce teams, and we have digital advertising teams, and we have our SEO teams. And unfortunately, they don't talk to each other as much as they should, you know, they all kind of go off and do their own thing in different directions. Yet, when you look at search, it's like this big, multi-channel sandbox where they're all playing together, they're all kind of competing for the same cliques. And yet, there's not really a unified strategy being put forward here. So that's what we're trying to solve. We're trying to get these teams together, we think there's, you know, there's an opportunity to look and say, oh, we're gonna, we're gonna optimise organically for this keyword, we're gonna bid cost per click, you know, for this keyword, because we have lower visibility here. There's a lot of e-commerce opportunity for this keyword, so on and so forth, until you really understand what these various landscapes look like, and how to build smart strategies to improve brand visibility within each keyword.

Mike: Interesting, so Visably is actually going out and looking at what's on the pages for each of the top 10 or the first page search results. And then it's telling you whether your brand is on the page or not on the page

Chris: Yeah. And then we segment it. Yeah. So what we're doing is, we're identifying Is it an earned media result? Or PR journalism hit? Or is it e-commerce? Or is it brand owned? Or is it something else. And the nice thing about that is then you can cleanly extract all the PR hits, and you can cleanly extract all the e-commerce hits. And you can also see, I think the other most a really important piece of this is is that the visibly shows you your blind spots shows you the areas that maybe you weren't thinking about very critically, that you should be

Mike: Interesting. So you can actually pull out a list of the earned media that publications and identify those where you're not actually appearing. So you can identify effectively PR opportunities, is that what you're saying?

Chris: Yeah, and I think the other opportunity, the other kind of big third party opportunity here is with an e-commerce. And so in the United States, like we have these really huge kind of e-commerce giants like Amazon, and Best Buy, and maybe Home Depot and things like that. And within those stores, they're like their own ecosystem, so thousands of products. And it's if you can merchandise, well create visibility within those stores, you can do quite well as a brand. What I think is missing from that equation is that these that these big e-commerce properties do really well in organic search, they're showing up in the in the top three top five search positions over and over again, for these really high volume keywords. That's part of the reason that they're maintaining their dominance is because they make it really easy for people to click through and buy. In, you know, I think people's search behaviour or purchase behaviour is very similar to how it is in search. It's like they either click through on that landing page that is at home at Home Depot or Best Buy or something, and they and they see those recommended products in if they'll probably make a decision right away. Which of those products are right for them or not right for them. If they have to dig much deeper, they're gonna probably miss, they're not gonna they're not gonna find it. So there's an opportunity right there for brands to go back to their e-commerce partners and say, Well, these are a bunch of keywords that we're not on your landing page for. How can we change that these are all merchandising opportunities for these brands as well.

Mike: Interesting so it can apply to PR but also to even channel strategy as well in terms of getting usability. Absolutely. And I mean, you've talked a lot about consumer, which is obviously, you know, the area that you've been very focused in. But is this applicable across a wide range of markets? A lot of our clients, for example, on consumer, in fact, we're very focused on business to business technology. So does this apply equally to b2b? Or is it a consumer phenomenon?

Chris: I think it can do both for sure. You know, Visably, is a b2b SaaS solution. So and when we were doing our research in the category, very, you know, looking for software solutions, is there's tremendous amount of PR around that, you know, and blogs and, and writers and influencers and things like that. And so, again, search dredges up the most relevant shared content and for any given category, and it gives you a shortlist of Like, who do I need to talk to who I need to reach out to, which are the writers, you know, for the SAS industry. So especially for SEO, in PR, it's like, you know, you start doing this keyword researching like, oh, best free SEO tools, boom, like that keyword, right there has a tonne of traffic. And there's, it's all PR hits on the top page. And it lays out this roadmap for us as a company, a young company that just launched to say, oh, here's who we need to talk to you to go out. And here's how our customers are looking at the space because we know because this volume, is there, this search this monthly search volume. And then we can go out and hopefully try to get, you know, build some visibility for ourselves doing a strategy like that.

Mike: That's really interesting. So you're applying the tool to actually building the business, which is, which is great to hear.

Chris: We're trying to walk our own walk. Yeah.

Mike: I'm, I guess, I've got to ask, you know, you've obviously moved from a PR background into, you know, as a SEO Software startup, that that's a big jump. I mean, how hard was it to develop a software as a service product?

Chris: It was just, I mean, I have to say, it's been really exciting. It's, it's a bit of a jump, for sure. But up until now, for the last, you know, 17 years of my career, I've been very focused on helping other people sell their stuff. And this is the first time ever, that I'm actually doing it for myself. So I have to say it's, it's just kind of thrilling to be in charge of, yeah, your marketing for a product that you own.

Mike: And in terms of pulling the data in you literally calculating stuff yourself for you. I mean, presumably, you look at the Google search page, and then go and look at the pages. And I also noticed you have some scores and values on the results that you get, I mean, how do you calculate those?

Chris: It's, it's an amalgam of a lot of different stuff. It is there is a waterfall of technology that happens a second, you press Search on And some of it is our proprietary technology. And some of it we're relying on third party vendors for but the majority of it is ours at this point. And we're moving toward a model where it will be all of ours hundred percent ours within the next year. So

Mike: Amazing, because, I mean, one of the things that it actually does is it gives you an equivalent add value for the clicks you're supposed to drive, which is something I found very interesting, because it's getting close to giving a value for PR.

Chris: Yeah, and it's actually I think the equivalent advice that we're giving is much more relevant than what the PR industry has used in the past. You know, in the past, I've had a real tough time with equivalent ad value, because it's never truly equivalent, right? Like it's, it's the size of the ads versus the size of the PR placements never the same. ads are something that are there's no fixed price on a you know, on an ad and like newspaper or magazine, it's always like kind of wheeling and dealing that that that that price. So the thing about cost per click is that it's a very consistent metric that's played out across. You know, it's like this is how much you pay for a click on Google period. And this and we can tell you very precisely what the estimated clicks were for your content within any given search. And so we have a we have a very precise estimate of this is the equivalent ad value that you just acquired for your customer. Like if they had to pay for this many clicks for this keyword, they would have had to pay this much. And I'll tell you right now, Mike, something that your audience will be excited about and you'll be excited about is that we are rolling out probably next week. Search locations specific data. So you'll be able to search I think, I think the I think the, the software that you probably checked out, just pulled up generic USA search address. But what we are rolling out is you'll be able to search anywhere in the world or any kind of key cities in the world.

Mike: So not just by country, but by city as well.

Chris: Not every city, but we do have all the big ones. Yep.

Mike: Oh, amazing. And presumably, the Visably technology also works with multiple languages, because you're just looking for a brand.

Chris: It does. Yeah, it does work for multiple languages, although I will caveat it saying that our channel segmentation technology or identification technology is strongest within the English speaking language. So we do have some international sites, we have a handful of international sites, we have about seven and a half million sites total categorised at this point. And we find that that actually, you know, we're dealing with a smaller landscape, because we're really exclusively interested in the first page of search, because that's where all the traffic and all the magic happens. But for sites that don't show up with the first page of search, we're less interested in trying to categorise them. And sometimes there, there's, there's so many sites out there, I'll give you a quick anecdote that it's kind of interesting. We, we acquired a list of over 100 and 1 million sites in the United States that were that were registered, it was every single site that was registered, you know, in the United States for the last, you know, since like 2014, or something. And we, we did all this analysis on the audit, and we whittled it down without a doubt. And we found that almost 95% of those sites on the hundred and 1 million list, even more, I think, was like 98%, they were part they weren't even real sites, people, people, people had just bought the web domains, and we're just sitting on them. It's like real estate, you know, people buy these URLs. So I think, you know, the world, the world of like active sites is showing up in the on the top of search, it's actually not as large as we might think it is. The amount of energy that it takes to get a top search position is quite a lot. And I think it actually stands to reason that that that universe would be smaller than we might imagine, and that it would be

Mike: Presumably you're categorising the sites based upon an algorithm. You're not having some era

Chris: Yeah. And sites and work well, it's a, it's a little bit about the mean, I mean, it's machine learning, and it's AI. But you anyone who's ever done any AI in the past, know that you have to start with a data, you have to start with the training data set. So what you do is you build this data set, and then you give it to the machine and you teach the machine in that. And then the machine teaches itself how to how to understand these correlations between like what is earned media and what is owed to media and so on and so forth. But it has to start somewhere. You have to you have to tell it what is earned media and own media at the beginning. And so we did that by hand at the beginning. And we did some of it with us, some of it with people who we hired as temp kind of employees. And then we actually ended up hiring a group of people who were dedicated to doing it like 180 hours a week for several months. And we ended up going through and categorising and know something in the neighborhood of 60 or 70,000 domains by hand, and then that became our data set that we then trained machine to do the rest.

Mike: So it makes it tough for someone to come in because they've got to create that data set themselves.

Chris: Yeah, and the data set is only as accurate as your humans are. And we found that our you know, in the beginning or humans weren't that accurate. They, they were making some mistakes. And so yeah, you go through and you do constant refinement. And so coming up with a really strong training data set is actually quite a challenge.

Mike: Interesting. So, I mean, one of the things I think that that always worries, particularly PR professionals is that SEO can be very complex and technical if somebody was using Visably. I mean, how difficult is it to start getting value from the tool straightaway?

Chris: Oh, it's it's so easy. And it's so it's kind of fun to I think because it shows you right away like what your footprint looks like within any given search result. And sometimes, you know, especially for young brands, like their footprints can be pretty light. But for more established brands say it was like Unilever or something like that, and they would they be all over the place, but there's no way to track that information. There's no way to see who's having that conversation about their brand online? And so all of a sudden, we kind of like show what's going on there. We also show this kind of this structural breakdown of how the SERP is I think what, what what SEO is will kind of recognise is that search results end up being either transactional in nature or informational in nature. And what I mean by that is that people rather, you know, the search engine has to make a determination when you type in, like, like a very broad term, like, like running shoes, to say, am I gonna? Is this person looking to buy a pair of running shoes? Are they looking to learn about running shoes? And that's something that at least Google does every single time you type in a keyword and they have to make this determination? Is this is this a transactional search intent? Or is it informational in nature, and the informational stuff is what has a tonne of value for the PR industry? And there's a lot of it, there's a lot of information. There's a lot of like, people asking questions and people getting recommendations, and it's all PR. And so I feel like if we harness our tools, and we start looking at how do we how do we do a better job focusing our PR efforts around search? It's it's a really straightforward ROI for clients, because it's really quite easy reporting. And we actually provide that on visibly, as well as just how can you do better reporting and show impact and show and show actual customers qualified customers, not just like audience numbers, but qualified customers? I think that's a big difference. And then that equivalent add value. It's like, you know, I think any marketing teams who say, oh, wow, like, we do spend a lot of money at Google every single month, and you just acquired this much equivalent add value for us that that makes sense that that clicks, so no pun intended. But anyways, yeah, it's, I think the other the other piece about visibly, that is really useful for PR pros is that it provides this really useful roadmap about who to contact, and it's a, it's also a list building tool. So, you know, we allow you to download a spreadsheet with the results. And with it within that spreadsheet, every single outlet is tagged as as as earned media or something else. And then you can just kind of store it and grab all the earned media hits, and then pop that in, and that that becomes your media.

Mike: Fantastic. I mean, it's, it's a fairly new tool, I mean, how long is Visably been live and available for people to use?

Chris: Well, we, we rolled it out for the first time in closed beta this past winter, early, early 2020. And then it wasn't until this summer that we kind of released an open beta version of it. And so right now, what we have is entirely free, there's an either, there's no place to even put it into credit card. So don't even worry about that, we're not gonna charge you at all for for using it, we're looking for feedback, we are rolling out a pro version of the tool, which will be much more robust. And what what the pro version will allow you to do is set up campaigns with with dozens or hundreds or even thousands of keywords, and then monitor much larger kind of data sets, and how your search visibility is performing and much larger data sets. And then I think the other really powerful thing about the pro tool is that it will allow you to extract all the PR hits out of a, you know, extensively thousands of search results. And so you'll get these really huge media lists that you can build out of them.

Mike: So you could look at all the keywords that client cares about and understand which publications are on the first page for across all those keywords in one go.

Chris: Exactly. And I think like I said before, it exposes your blind spots. And I think that as an agency owner, that was really helpful for us to identify, wow, like, we were we don't we, you know, we thought we had the relationships with everyone who mattered. But then we looked in search. And we did this analysis, and we realised there were a whole lot of people who we didn't have relationships with who we didn't know very well. And so it kind of showed a spotlight and a whole lot of people who we we needed to do a better job with. And so that was really valuable for us. And then what we would do as well as agencies, we would kind of benchmark our success, we'd say okay, here's where you are in q1 of this year. Then after we worked on this keyword for a few months, here's where you are in q3 or q2. And you could show this progression of like dominance across the page, like pretty much any, any, any any result in the page you would click on would say buy our clients product. And not only does that are you getting in front of a lot of customers there but you're typically focusing on keywords are the most competitive keywords out there. And from a client's perspective, they have the least likelihood of ever ranking their website for this keyword. So you're creating visibility in places that they can't reach organically, which they really appreciate.

Mike: Fascinating. So you can do things that the SEO guys can't achieve, which I think our pros would love to hear that.

Chris: Yeah, I mean, you know, PR pros already know this, like, from advertising, it's like, you know, we're able to get earned media hits in big publications that might be more too expensive for our clients to advertise. And yet we're building visibility through the publication of their own pages, it's the same thing for the internet, we're able to use the domain authority, if you will, of these large publishers to get the top of search. And that top of search position can be a very, very powerful, powerful place to be. Definitely.

Mike: So how's it going with Visably at the moment? I mean, how many people do you have using the tool?

Chris: We're brand new, I don't want to share about numbers right now. We'd love for more people to come check it out. So we've only really been promoting that we exist since the beginning of July. So just this month, honestly, and, and you know, what, what, we don't even have anything to sell yet. So we're, we're still quite early on. I think for us, it was really important that our technology was working right before we told people that we existed. And that, you know, there's like I said, at the beginning of every station, there's this huge waterfall of technology, that has to happen very, very quickly. For once you press that search button, I can tell you right now that the majority of solutions, software solutions in this space, none of them do it live, we are pulling live search results. And we are we're scraping a lot of websites, for every single time you do that. And there's a natural latency that happens with every single website that you're scraping. So you know, it just takes a little bit longer. And when I say it takes a bit longer, it probably takes like eight to 10 seconds to get a result back from from Visably, whereas you might be used to getting resolved back in like two to three seconds on their platform. The other platform, what they're doing is they're caching their results. And so you're seeing results that they that they scraped, and then they put into a database. And they might be as it might be as old as a month old, you know, so it's not really very fresh data. And with visibly, we're just making sure that you guys are seeing what's what's happening right now at the moment that you're doing it. Yeah,

Mike: I mean, when I played with it, that to be honest, I don't think it was even a 10 second delay. It was very quick.

Chris: Well, thank you. That's, that's great to hear. Makes me it makes me very, very pleased to hear that.

Mike: Brilliant. So if your plan to have a free version available forever. Is that is that the goal? And then have a free tool?

Chris: Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. So we, we I have, we have no plans of ever making what's currently available behind a paywall. That's pretty much our kind of our trial version. And people can kind of could do go on there and do some research and kind of see how it works and see if they like it, and then this and then this pro version will be much more robust and will be I'll allow you to track these things over time automatically and do much, much larger campaigns that way.

Mike: So the pro version will be able to show you how your visibility for certain search terms improves over time.

Chris: Yeah, yeah, exactly. So I'll give you a better example. So for these for these brands, especially consumer brands that operate in different verticals, in you know, say like, say, say visibly, for instance, even like we're a b2b company, we have multiple potential customers like this is a multi channel tool. So we have, we've ecommerce teams that may want to use this. And we have PR teams that may want to use this, we have SEO teams that may want to use this and so on. In each one of them, what what we might want to do is put together say like, anywhere from 20 to 30, keywords that are all around SEO, and then we'll start monitoring that as like a campaign, then we'll put in 20 to 30 keywords around, you know, PR software, most are monitoring that as a campaign. So once you kind of, you know, start to segment, you know, your users, that's essentially what a campaign is. And then you can kind of see how you're doing across that landscape. And then you can also do all this lunch, all this link building or sorry, not link building, but list building. Link Building is important too. But list building is kind of what as PR professionals, we do a lot of that.

Mike: Fascinating. When do you think the pro version will be launched?

Chris: Well, our hope is this fall. So we're looking at an October timeframe.

Mike: So pretty soon then. So pressure.

Chris: Yeah. pressures on pressure has been on for a while. Yeah. pressures on to make some money. And we're spending a lot of it right now.

Mike: It sounds like there's been a lot of investment in development and technology that obviously at the moment, you know, you're not getting any money back for so I guess the question is, you know, people listening to the podcast, how do they get to try visibly and take advantage of the free version?

Chris: Totally, yeah. So just come check us out, were visibly And it's a very simple signup form, and then you're in we don't, we don't limit the amount of searches you can do. And feel free to check it out. And like I said, I think starting as soon as next week, we will actually probably this weekend, we will have, you'll be able to search, specifically anywhere in the world, especially in the UK.

Mike: Amazing that that will be great. I mean, I've certainly had a play with it. And it's very, very user friendly, very easy to use. So I'd recommend everybody tries it. I also noticed you had a fabulous white paper as well on the website, talking about search engine optimization, or search optimization for PR pros.

Chris: Yeah, so that's, that's also free. And it's at the top of the navbar, you'll see white paper and we have a fairly in depth. It's pretty dense, but it pretty useful. Kind of white paper on the intersection of PR and SEO.

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

Chris: The best way to reach me is Visibly SEO at twitter. I'm at LinkedIn under Chris Dickey, or you can go to the Visably website and just reach out to email address, and that will make it to my inbox.

Mike: Awesome. Well, that's great. I mean, I really appreciate your time, Chris, having played with Visably, it is certainly the most straightforward and most relevant PR approach to SEO I've ever seen. And a very different take on SEO where we're not just looking at the website but looking at where we get coverage. So I found this fascinating, and we'll certainly be using visibly going forward.

Chris: Well, thanks so much, Mike. I'm excited to hear more of your thoughts as you integrate it into your campaigns.

Mike: 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.


Elektra Awards Postponed to 2021

We were surprised to the hear news of the postponement of the Elektra 2020 awards. Breaking tradition of extending the deadline, organisers have made the decision to postpone the Elektra Awards night until 2021, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Existing entries will automatically be entered into the re-scheduled awards, and companies now also have the option to revise or modify existing entries, as well as add additional entries.

The coronavirus pandemic has certainly presented several challenges to trade shows and award events. With many deciding to take the virtual event route, it was surprising that the Elektra's took the decision to postpone, especially after the entry deadline.

At Napier, we look forward to hearing about the great work that has emerged across the industry, and to hear of projects that have made a difference through these challenging times at the Elektra awards in 2021.

For more information on the awards, please view the website here. 


HubSpot's State of Marketing Report 2020

We were delighted to receive our copy of HubSpot's state of marketing report 2020, which surveyed over 3,400 global marketers, and were excited to delve in for an in-depth look at the latest decisions marketers are making, and the trends we should be seeing this year.

Read on for some great stats and insights into the marketing landscape.

Content Marketing

A content marketing strategy allows you to engage your buyer personas, tailor content for each stage of the funnel, as well as boost brand awareness. So we were surprised to learn that only 24% of marketers planned on increasing their investment in content marketing for 2020.

The report also revealed that video is the number one form of media used in a content strategy, with promotional videos and brand storytelling the most common video type created by marketers. As seen in the chart below, both blogs and infographics are surprisingly quite far behind video in popularity.


Digital Advertising Strategy

As organic channels continue to become more crowded, we've seen many of our clients turn to the paid advertising approach as an effective way to get content in front of the right people.

With 68% of marketers stating that paid advertising is 'very important' or 'extremely important', it's great to see that more marketers are understanding the benefits of a paid advertising approach. The stats also show a promising future of the right goals being put into place to achieve success, as 33% of marketers revealed they were using paid advertising to increase brand awareness, whilst 24% use advertising to impact direct sales.


Websites and SEO

Websites have become increasingly important in communicating with your audience, and the goal should be to create a concise and effective user experience; so it was great to learn that 68% of marketers would be investing in a website upgrade in 2020.

The report also provided insight into the tactics marketers have found to be the most beneficial in improving site performance and ranking, with optimizing mobile performance coming out on top. Other key stats also revealed an encouraging future for SEO, stating that:

  • 55% of marketers consider SEO either 'very important' or 'extremely important' to their overall marketing strategy
  • Over 52% of marketers are investing in technical SEO updates to their website
  • Roughly 50% of marketers consider their SEO tactics to be 'very effective' in helping them achieve marketing goals

Email Marketing

Email is still alive and well, and marketers are continuing to see some great results when implementing email marketing in their strategy, with a staggering 80% of marketers seeing an increase in email engagement over the past 12 months.

Interestingly, promotional emails are the most common email type that marketers are investing in, and message personalization is seen as the number one tactic to improve email performance, followed closely by mobile-friendly emails and email automation campaigns.


Additional Findings

The report also uncovered some interesting findings on different areas in marketing, revealing that the top priority for marketers in 2020 is “generating leads”, as 61% confirmed that their company is currently using ABM.

68% of marketers say their business uses automation in some way, but of those who are automating marketing, only a shocking 23% are automating their content delivery.

Although the report has revealed no major surprises, it's encouraging to learn that our thinking of the future of marketing aligns with the data. The use of video has continued to become more effective, and both ABM and marketing automation is on the rise with progress still need to be made in automating content. It's also great to see SEO being viewed as such an important tactic to assist with growth.

To read the full report, you can download your copy by clicking here.




New Platform Announced is a new online platform, providing the latest news, articles and updates from the oscilloscopes industry.

The platform is a sister publication of All-about-Test and features an 'Oscilloscope KnowledgeBase', which provides readers with a comprehensive collection of whitepapers, application notes, YouTube videos, webinars and other application-oriented information. 

With more than 60 documents and videos already available, the KnowledgeBase provides users with in-depth information from several different oscilloscope suppliers. 

Here at Napier, we are always pleased to see a new platform being launched to inform the industry, and it's great to see that will be able to provide users with the latest information from several oscilloscope suppliers in one place.  

To view the website, and KnowledgeBase please click here. 

Digital Marketing Masters Podcast Interview: Account Based Marketing with Mike Maynard

The Digital Marketing Master podcast, hosted by Matt and Kari Rouse, provides listeners with actionable and tactical information they can use to immediately improve their sales and marketing.

In their most recent podcast episode, they interviewed Mike, our Managing Director, who discussed how Napier uses Account-Based Marketing to help businesses target their marketing budgets to the biggest and best opportunities.

Listen to the full interview here, and don't hesitate to get in touch and let us know your thoughts. Announces New Ownership has announced new ownership, with the online flagship site having recently been sold to The Engineering Network Ltd.

Launched back in 2007 by engineer Jonathan Severn and his business partner Geoff Lock, the website has established itself as an industry-leading site for thousands of machine builders across the UK, and its associated monthly newsletter is dispatched to more than 4,000 opted-in machine builders.

Moving forward, the platform will be handled by a new publisher and editor, Mark Newby, an engineer with almost 4 decades of experience in the engineering press field.

Commenting on the sale, Jon Severn said “I am delighted that is in such good hands. The new owners know the publishing industry inside out and, most importantly, they also understand the engineering market. There is no doubt that has a great future ahead of it with Mark Newby at the helm“.

“The platform has commanded respect from the machine-building community and those who supply it from the day it was launched" added Mark Newby. "When I owned a leading engineering event, The FAST Exhibition, was always the biggest producer of quality visitors to the events, year after year. Few would argue that has a first-class reputation amongst the audience it serves, and those who sell to them. Jon and I have known each other for a long time and it is a privilege to be continuing and building upon the excellent work he and Geoff have begun."

We look forward to seeing the direction Mark will take with the site, and wish both, Jonathan and Mark, the best in their new endeavours.

A Napier Study: The Impact of COVID-19 on B2B Technology Marketing Budgets

In May 2020, Napier conducted research to understand how the COVID-19 crisis was affecting B2B Technology companies' marketing plans, investigating the likely impact COVID-19 would have on budgets, as well as the changes in tactics that would need to be adopted in order to adapt to the crisis.

We are pleased to share with you our final report, which analyses our results and reveals surprising outcomes, such as the unexpected result that many marketers expect to increase their budget as a result of the crisis.

Our study also highlights the budget decisions B2B marketers are making for the second half of 2020 and provides insight into:

  • How B2B marketing budgets are being affected
  • Key changes in the allocation of budget
  • The move to focus on online activities

To download your copy of our report, please click here. 

Alternatively, you can also register for our on-demand webinar, which provides insight into what other B2B technology marketers are doing, in order to help you make better decisions.

If you have any questions on our results, please don't hesitate to get in touch, we will be happy to provide answers to any queries you may have.

German Publication photonik Launches English Website

German publication photonik has announced the launch of its English language website, Laser and Photonics, which will cover topics such as optoelectronics, and opto-semiconductors including sensors and LEDs, machine vision, data communications, 3-D printing, PCB manufacturing and lithography.

Similar to its German sister site, the website aims to address development engineers and the users of photonic products throughout the industry and within science. A monthly newsletter is also being sent to users highlighting the latest events and innovative developments in the field of Optical Technologies, as well as upcoming events and new products.

With the optoelectronics market only featuring a small number of publications, it's great to see a big publication such as photonik make the decision to launch an English language website and expand its reach further outside of Germany.

A Napier Webinar: The 7 Marketing Automation Campaigns that Should get you Promoted

It’s no secret that when used right, marketing automation platforms can produce fantastic results; and the key to success is to implement campaigns that find the balance between only scratching the surface and over-engineering the activities for little or no additional return.

Without the right campaigns, marketing automation platforms can easily become overly complex and difficult to manage. But if you get the campaigns right, you will quickly see the fantastic results marketing automation platforms can deliver.

Napier recently held a webinar 'The 7 Marketing Automation Campaigns that Should get you Promoted', which provides a great overview of the campaigns you can implement for specific situations. We address:

  • Why simple campaigns are often the most effective
  • A walkthrough of 7 marketing automation campaigns that should get you promoted
  • An overview of some other great campaigns for specific situations
  • Why the campaigns you create, and not the tool you use, really matters

Register to view our webinar on demand by clicking here, and don’t hesitate to get in touch and let us know if our insight helped you.

Napier Webinar: ‘The 7 Marketing Automation Campaigns that Should get you Promoted’ Transcript

Speakers: Mike Maynard

Good afternoon and welcome to the latest Napier webinar. And this webinar is entitled The seven marketing automation campaigns that should get you promoted. Obviously, we do have a complete money back guarantee. So anything you've paid to attend the webinar will be refunded if you do follow the advice and don't get promoted. And the first thing to say is, if you do have any questions, please put them into chat. And we will definitely answer those at the end of the webinar. So, at any time, just put them into chat, and we'll cover them at the end.

So, what am I talking about today? Well, we're going to start off and talk about why often simple campaigns are the most effective. And this is one of the messages you will see throughout the webinar is that overthinking things can often be a bad idea, keeping things simple, can be a lot better. We'll then talk about these magic seven marketing automation campaigns. To give you some examples of some of the campaigns, we've seen that work really well. And will also give you a couple of additional bonus ideas, or ideas for specific situations, particularly people in e commerce. And finally, we'll have a quick review of one of the tools that people are using. One of the things we do believe here at Napier is that the tool you use for market automation actually isn't the most important thing. And in fact, many different tools can achieve the same goals. So it's not all about the tools, for sure, it's more about your campaigns, and your creativity, rather than necessarily the technology.

So in terms of introduction, at Napier, we think there are only three sorts of market automation users. There are people who overthink marketing automation and they make things way too complicated. And there's people who use market automation tools, but really only scratched the surface so they don't really get the full benefit. And finally, the third type. And the type we want you to be is those people who can use marketing automation tools to create results that feel almost magic. So, these incredibly good results that some companies get from marketing automation. Our belief is that the people who create magic, their key to success is creating simple campaigns that are also very effective. So we'll talk a little bit about that going forward.

Now before we start, I want to talk a little bit about personalization. People discuss personalization a lot when they talk about marketing information. And it's absolutely the case that personalization is incredibly important. But as you'll see from the slide here, not everything that's personalised is necessarily good. News bills are very, very personalised. And frankly, I don't get particularly excited opening any bill that lands on my doormat in the morning. So the important thing about personalization with market automation is the amount of data that you can gather about a prospect, the information gather about you know, what they need to achieve, what they're interested in, and what their problems or pain points are. And if you address those to your audience and personalise the content, based around those items, you'll find your campaigns are very, very effective. And simply just getting the right name in the top line of an email is not going to make a huge amount of difference. In fact, most of the people who send me bills do it and I still don't love them. So it's very much all about, you know, meeting people's needs, and helping them solve their problems. So we're going to have a look at some of the marketing campaigns. And I think the interesting thing is when we put this together, we were thinking that, you know, for each campaign, we'd be giving examples of emails and workflows, and maybe some lists and lots of technology. Actually, when we put the presentation together, we realised that most of this was irrelevant and should be fairly straightforward. So what we want to do is, you know, really focus on what makes the difference.

So the first campaign is following up a form for whether this is someone who's downloaded content or asked for information, or you know, perhaps signed up for an event. You know, this is one of the most basic automation campaigns, but one of the most important. So send at least one email in response to someone doing this and preferably send a sequence. But the most important thing is make sure that sequence adds value. And you add value by sending relevant information, so information that's related to the reason they filled in the form, because that gives you a good indication of the topics they're interested in, and maybe even the problems they're facing in their role. Now, at Napier, we have a really strong view that you've got to focus on moving the prospect along the customer journey or through the funnel. So each email should also have an objective to try and move people from one stage to the next. Whether that be from awareness to interest, interest to desire or ultimately desire to action. So it's all about moving people through that funnel. And typically, people do that by making an offer. So making a follow up offer, which is generally some content that is more suited for people who've moved a little bit further along the customer journey, and a little bit closer to making a decision.

Um, so people ask us a lot about timing. Well, the first thing is, is don't use automation, to replace real responses if people contact you. And what you want to do is get back to them, make sure you get back to them in person as quickly as possible. So automation shouldn't be an excuse for delaying responses. There's been numerous studies about the effectiveness of picking up the phone to people who have just downloaded white papers or other contents. And the timescales are frighteningly short. And there's a huge difference between calling someone within five minutes of downloading and calling someone a day later in terms of the results. So definitely make sure you have a timely response. People also ask about the speed that you send emails to follow up. What we see typically amongst our clients is that the workflows tend to space the emails out too much. Marketers imagine that anyone who fills in a form and downloads a white paper is going to be examining every word on that white paper for the next five weeks, that's just not the case. So don't be afraid to have relatively short intervals between your follow up emails. And the only way to really know what the right interval is, is to do A/B testing, so to test shorter and longer intervals between emails and see which get the best response.

So here's an example of a very simple follow up email. And they don't have to be laid out as complex HTML emails, they can be very simple and straightforward like this. And here we have someone who's downloaded a b2b social media ebook, so a very general bit of content, on b2b, b2b, social media. What we're trying to do with this email is find out or start finding out which platforms these people who've downloaded the content are interested in? Are they interested in Facebook? Or are they interested in LinkedIn? So the first thing we do is offer them a Facebook marketing report, if they start downloading, engaging with Facebook content, it probably suggests that they're interested in Facebook activities. If they don't download like this but download a follow up email that talks about LinkedIn, then clearly, they're much more interested in LinkedIn. So we're always building information about the people who we're interacting with, using our marketing automation platform, and building up that profile, purely for the reason of being able to better give them more targeted and more relevant information going forward. So the more we understand them, the more relevant the content that we can send them.

The other step as well as to keep moving people through the funnel, as I said before, and obviously to people typically look at fairly broad stages in funnel. So you know, here's a typical one that looks at awareness, consideration, purchase, and then people becoming buyers. And within the awareness and consideration, there's multiple sub steps. And as you can see, with the previous email went from having a general interest in b2b social media, to really trying to understand specifically what the person is trying to achieve. So we're offering very similar content, we might have that similar content that's much more specific. There's maybe a different format such as you know, if someone downloads a white paper, then we could offer them a webinar. If they download an E book, we might offer them a video and at some point, we will always recommend including a candidate Mail, which is a particular type of nurturing email that I'll talk about later on in the presentation. The goal is always to move people down through this funnel or along their customer journey. But if you do find that people aren't responding to the content, then it's always worth having an automation that goes back and tries again, a little bit further up the funnel, just to understand the level at which your particular contact is working. So if they're purely in the consideration phase, so looking at different options, so perhaps you offer, for example, a microcontroller. And they're just trying to gather information about microcontrollers, they won't respond to, for example, an offer of an evaluation board to start programming that microcontroller. So if you're not seeing a response to something that moves them down the funnel, go back, because it's likely that they'll be interested in content that's back at that stage that they were when they engage with you initially.

So this is how you create the follow up to, to form fills. So very simple process considering, you know, what would be the next step for your typical customer. After filling in the form would it be, you know, to get more information, or would it be to, for example, evaluate a product, or maybe it would be to even get some pricing. So it's very much about trying to understand and then trying to move that customer or potential customer through their journey to become one of your buyers. However, sometimes this doesn't work. So often your work with a response to someone filling in a form and getting nothing back from them, you're try going back up to a higher level in the funnel or earlier stage in the journey, you still won't get anything, eventually the lead goes cold, and quite clearly, you, you're going to have to stop emailing them and give it a bit of a break. But this usually means that we have clients with large numbers of contacts in their database that aren't really actively engaging. And so the second campaign, the campaign that can be really effective is to reengage a cold lead. So here we have our poor lead out in the cold walking through the snow. And we've got to think about what we're trying to do well, the first thing to say is we're not necessarily trying to get them to click on an email. The goal is to find out if the content is contact is relevant, maybe that they're not currently working on projects that would use your products or services, to find out if they're still interested, and maybe find out if they're worth keeping on the database. And, you know, when I talk to clients, I'm always very keen to avoid talking too much about database size and number of contacts, it's very easy to build up very large databases, with a vast majority of contacts are completely inactive, and you have no idea whether these people are actually still working. Or maybe they've retired or perhaps they've just sent all your emails to spam and will never buy from you again, none of those people are going to be useful to have on your database. So the goal with any kind of reengagement is to try and find out if the contact is relevant, interested and worth keeping as a contact on your database.

So there's lots of different ways to do this. And, you know, I've given a few examples here, anyone from Starbucks, to HubSpot, and Duolingo. And it's all about trying to get some sort of response that shows that the prospect is still interesting, interested. Sometimes that's very simple that your lingo simply asks if they're if you're still interested. And other times, you might, for example, give people the option to be taken off the list to show that they're no longer interested. And then sometimes you either give them a content offer, or as in the case of Starbucks, they're actually giving a chance for you to enter your birthday. And so you get birthday rewards so to see if people are interested, obviously, you're unlikely to send a gift Starbucks your birthday, if you don't like coffee and aren't interested in getting any vouchers from them. So all of this is about trying to understand whether that contact is relevant and interested. There's also something which is generally called by marketers the breakup email often you see this with a cheesy subject lines, I've had emails, you know, that have subject lines like it's me, not you, or time to part ways and one very good trick is to Have an email, where you just say, Look literally just replies with one, two or three, you know, where are you? And we've actually used this email with quite a lot of success, to find out if people are still interested. And, you know, number two is I want to talk, let's schedule a time to talk. This certainly is not the majority of your cold leads are going to come back and say, Yes, I want a conversation. But believe it or not, we do get responses coming back with number two. And clients or contacts we thought had lost interest, actually are then ready to talk. So the idea of having this breakup email is one to say, you know, look, if, if you're really not interested, let me know. But, you know, let's have one last chance. And the last chance creates that feeling of scarcity, which obviously is critical in a lot of marketing activities, and can often trigger some action from the contact. So in terms of re engaging contacts, this this, what I've seen called as the market is Hail Mary, of the breakup email is always a good way to, you know, have one last go at trying to get people to engage.

Campaign three is newsletters. Now, I think a lot of people are going to be surprised that newsletters can get you promoted. I think personally, newsletters have a pretty bad rap. Generally, a lot of people think that newsletters are rather outdated and uninteresting. But actually, if we look here at Napier, for example, one of our biggest sources of news new clients is actually our newsletter, where we have inquiries coming back from sending the newsletter out. There's very simple rules with newsletters. And that really is a great content means a great newsletter. And I find it interesting that, you know, we still see companies who will advertise on publications, newsletters, but not invest in their own. And I think, you know, if we look here, this is a newsletter from the electronics industry. It's not the most beautiful email you've ever seen, for sure. But actually, this newsletter works pretty well. And we know our clients have got pretty good results from it. And the reason is, is because the newsletter includes relevant content to those engineers, they've got a good database, and they're sending them content they're interested in. So if you can create a newsletter, which requires a frequent supply of really good, strong, engaging content, that absolutely say that's one of the campaign's that could get you promoted.

The next campaign is event follow up. I always think that follow up after events is a bit of a dirty secret between marketers and engineers. Because everyone knows, it's never as good as you imagined it will be as you're setting up the booth for the event. So this is my favourite sales, quote, you know, I love my sales job. It's just the work I hate. And I think most sales people quite like being sales people, but most of them absolutely hate the cold follow up after trade shows, particularly if they've not met the individual they're contacting. Not only that, I mean, salespeople are incredibly busy after events, they've taken time out for the event. They spent time, you know, meeting people already knew and often finding opportunities that way, they've almost certainly got what they believe is the great hot lead and far better than anything else you can give them. And so the fact is, they will not call all the leads. So one of the most important things is to have a mechanism to follow up automatically. And marketing automation is a great way to do that, where you can at least follow up with a couple of emails thanking people for visiting the stand, and just trying to see if anyone has an immediate requirement. And if people do and they come back to you from this, this engagement email after the event, it's a great way to then grab the salespersons attention rather than giving them a long list of all these people waiting in line to get to a trade show of which you know, most probably won't have an immediate requirement. And so it's about finding out those contacts who are willing and ready to talk.

Campaign five is the sales connect email, I find it quite surprising. This is one of the emails that a lot of people seem to forget about when they use marketing automation tools. And I think it's because people tend to come from bulk email tools. So the kind of tools that are there to distribute mass emails, they move to market automation, they're obviously continuing to run things like newsletters which are absolutely bulk emails and making them look Like marketing emails. However, don't underestimate the value of creating emails that look nothing like marketing emails. So I'm gonna give an example from HubSpot, where they actually send out emails that look like their personal emails from a salesperson. They don't need to be HTML. And in fact, other than the fact that in the signature, there's an image and some formatted text, this could almost be an email that was in plain text, it's not about the look, it's about making it feel personal. And there's a there's a couple of things that HubSpot recommend here. So you know, the first thing is to personalise the first name, so obviously call the person by their name, they didn't quite manage it with this example. It's then to make sure that you immediately personalise with the salespersons name. Now, this does require sometimes some quite complex logic in the back end of marketing automation systems to make sure that every contact that gets entered into your database gets allocated to the right person. So they get an email from the salesperson that is going to work with them going forward. But it's definitely worth it. And writing an email like this gets much, much higher response rates than sending a standard marketing email. And it's also important to make sure it's very easy for the recipients to schedule a meeting or schedule a conversation, if that's what they want. There's a lot of scheduling tools you can use, most market automation systems will offer one. And if not, there's other services that will allow you to effectively put the power into your potential customers hand and let them schedule the meeting. So making it easy for the recipient is really important. And then finally, the signature that really personalises the email, and makes it feel that it's not an email from, you know, marketing at or sales that it really is from an individual person. And HubSpot. Obviously, they they're very focused on also including images of the person as well. So it feels even more personal when you see the image of the person that's supposed to be sending the email. It goes without saying that Sophia has absolutely no idea who's receiving these emails, it's all done automatically. And it's all about making sure that you get as many outbound contacts as possible. That's then going to give Sophia as many conversations and opportunities to sell as possible.

Okay, so campaign six it is is a different tack. So you don't just have to use marketing automation tools to send emails to the contacts on the database. Sometimes it's really important to send internal emails. So one of the things we do at Napier is we have a list of potential customers we really care about. And so these are companies that maybe we're pitching for, or perhaps they're companies that we just really want to work with. And if this, what we do here is we have an email that actually tracks those people. And if they visit the website, will get an email like this, which says the contact for your target list has visited the website and looked at and we'll have a URL there. It will give their name the company, the country and also the lead owner. The reason we do this is actually this email goes out to multiple people so we know who has to take action. And if it's not us, we're certainly on the ball chasing whoever owns the lead to make sure they take action. It's a really good email and it can often trigger a great conversation with a potential customer you really care about. HubSpot do a very similar thing as well, and what they do in addition to highlighting it to salespeople is they will also actually send out another Connect email. Now, different industries and different companies have a range of views on whether or not it's creepy to send out an email based upon activity on the website. HubSpot has the benefit that they're basically selling to marketers and the marketers are looking to buy marketing automation so they understand what HubSpot is capable of. So the barrier for being creepy is much much lower. But in many industries, people will choose not to send an email and certainly not to reference pages that they know the prospect is viewed, simply because it just feels wrong, it doesn't feel right for the relationship. So I would always, you know, be keen to inform people internally when your key prospects hit the website, I would definitely look at what you believe is right for your brand as to whether you send follow ups directly to the customer or not based upon their website browsing activity.

So the last campaign is onboarding. So this is people who've either just started working with you, and getting them up to speed with what you do, which is something that you know, someone who's more service base might do. Or perhaps it's a customer who's bought a new tool or a new product, and it's to give them some degree of confidence, they've done the right thing. So it's really to avoid any chance of buyer's remorse. So if we have a look, this is an interesting study that was done by copy hackers. And so they were asked to create onboarding emails. I think probably most people will be familiar with Wistia, and copy hackers did a number of things that ultimately resulted in a three and a half times increase in the number of conversions Wistia got for people moving from trial to a paid programme. So this means that every lead was three and a half times more likely to actually turn into a paying customer a massive increase. And the thing I find very interesting is, predominantly what they did was they increased the volume of content. And you can see, you know, the left hand side email, to brand or not to brand, this is a little bit light-hearted. And it's really talking about how you can brand your Wistia videos. But what copy hackers did was not only did they change the headline, but they include a huge amount of information for people to read. And they know that whoever they're sending the email to is interesting Wistia because they've signed up for a free trial. And actually, it turned out that all this extra information, increased engagement, and made it a much more successful campaign. And if anyone's interested, there is a link on the presentation that lets you see exactly what they did. And some of the other tricks they used as well as creating longer emails. So where people either download a software tool or buy a hardware development, but board, or perhaps even just purchase a product for the first time, these onboarding emails can be very, very useful, increasing engagement. And my view is they're massively underestimated. In b2b, they're very frequently not part of the campaign, I strongly recommend thinking about onboarding emails where it makes sense.

So those were our seven core ideas, we have a couple of additional ideas that I just like to run over. So the first one is to make your salespeople love you, unfortunately, your sales team on necessarily going to promote you. But they can certainly make your life difficult. So what we recommend is what we call it a time-waster automation. And it's all about minimising the effort for a salesperson to say, this lead is not a lead, I want to follow up so rejecting a lead. And there can be a couple of things you do with that. So we literally have a drop down for every lead that we generate internally. And within that drop down, we can reject that lead very quickly, just by selecting the appropriate option. And that could be for example, that we've had an inquiry from a competitive agency who are just trying to check up on us and see what we're doing. And there's no point in US following up that lead. So we want to be able to remove it from our processes very quickly. Or it could be someone that we know is tied into another agency and is never going to move. And again, we just want to make it easy to to skip through to the next lead which hopefully is going to be more valuable when you have one of these time waster automation. And there's two options, I mean, one is simply just to delete the contact, take them off the database, and the other is to create what I call a sales suppression list. So this would be a list of people who have been marked as time wasters to make sure they don't go back into the sales lead flow. And either way you choose to do this whether you choose to delete or put on suppression list. You know both are good approaches. And it will depend upon how you work with your sales team. But the key to this is making it as easy and as quick as possible for sales to move on to the next lead, and spend their time on the valuable contacts, rather than spend their time on the less valuable time wasting contacts.

The other thing we wanted to talk about was simple, but effective e-commerce, emails. And there are two emails that I think you know, pretty much everybody uses. One is an abandoned cart email. And I did try and get an example of an abandoned cart, email and abandoned a couple of cards and didn't get any email responses. So clearly, it's not as widely used as perhaps it should be. But quite often, for anybody who sells online, this is, you know, the email that gets the biggest return on investment. The one thing I would say is a lot of people do what pro flowers do, which is offer a discount. So you know, you've got things that you started to check out with you stopped, when you have a discount, you can have 10% off if you buy these products. Of course, the problem with that is is that people very quickly catch on. And they'll always abandon their cart to get that 10% discount voucher. So don't train customers to expect discounts. The other email that is always very effective is people who bought this book that type emails, we ran a campaign for a client, with these emails, that generated over a million pounds in additional sales. So hugely effective emails, there can be some issues. So this is an email I got recently, which offered me the Scottish flag, the Welsh flag and actually the Italian flag as well. The reason I got this is some while ago, I bought a union jack, but I bought union jack to actually go to sporting events. And being English, I'm very unlikely to want a Scottish or Welsh or indeed an Italian flag at a sporting event. So I mean, be careful of algorithms. Obviously, Amazon has got an algorithm that says, you know, people buy one flag quite often buy another. But in this case, it's clearly not worked very well. So even Amazon, with all their resources, don't always get it right with the people who bought this product are likely to buy those algorithms. Although I do have to say Amazon has made a fair bit of money out of me with the emails they send recommending products that are related to things I've bought.


Finally, we want to talk about campaigns. It really is about the campaigns, it's not about the technology. A lot of what we talked about today have been very, very simple email campaigns that can be used in almost any marketing automation system. So almost any micro motion platform will deliver great campaigns. So think about the content, not the technology. And always look to simplify workflows, I think the worst thing you can do is find a feature or a capability on a marketing automation platform, and then try and build a campaign around that capability. It's far better to, you know, start with what you want to achieve, and then work out how you're going to do it. And this rather sexist quotes from Maslow, I think it's very good, you know, the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail. And indeed, the lady only has a hammer, everything she encounters might look like a nail as well. So don't just think of your marketing automation platform as a tool that you must use in a particular way. Think of it as a tool that's going to enable you to create the campaigns you want to create.

Um, finally, you know, to kind of emphasise this, you know, Napier is a certified SharpSpring, and certified HubSpot partner. But actually, we work across all marketing automation platforms. And we are not interested in pushing clients down particular platforms. There are reasons that we have that clients have chosen Marketo pardot, Eloqua, SharpSpring, HubSpot or act on or any of the others. But our ability to use these campaigns really stems from this approach of building the ideas and the concepts first, and then doing implementation second. And this means we can very quickly move and transform campaigns from one platform to another. And really, you know, ultimately the goal that everyone should be aiming for, is looking at return on investment, and where you can track sales all the way back. Looking at what the contact did, right when you first acquire that person Contact, which is possible. Certainly, if you have online purchasing, then I would absolutely recommend doing that.

So that's completed the slides. Obviously, I'd like to answer any questions, I think there's already some questions that have been asked. So just give me a second, I'm just going to have a look for them.

Okay, so the first question is about receiving a business card or visiting card and exhibition. So is it allowed to contact a lead after getting the visiting card and exhibition? This is a very difficult question, actually. So GDPR requires that you have certain policies about how you handle data. And within that you can decide whether you're going to adopt a policy of legitimate use or a policy of pure opt in. So if you build your GDPR strategy around purely opting in, then the answer is no, probably just taking a business card and exhibition isn't enough to justify an opt in. However, GDPR allows the use of legitimate interest within the b2b sector. And legitimate interest says, My business has a legitimate reason for contacting this person. And if somebody gives you a business card and exhibition, quite clearly, you have a legitimate reason for doing that. And if you're following legitimate interest as your GDPR policy, then absolutely, you can definitely add that person to your database, and process that data. As another thing as well, um, GDPR doesn't actually technically cover, I'm sending emails as such, it covers processing data. And processing data also includes processing data on paper. So once you start processing that, that business card, whether it's by simply reviewing it, or storing it in a file, and you're already impacted by GDPR. And our advice to clients is, unless you have a particular reason, absolutely, taking a legitimate interest approach is always the best way to do things.

And a second question I've got, which is a great question, which is how do you know who has visited your website? So this is an excellent question. And the answer is, this is what your marketing automation platform will do automatically. The way they do it is by putting a cookie on every browser that visits your website, and then trying to associate that cookie with a particular individual. So one way they can do that is if you fill in a form on the website, so if the person comes to your website, fills in a form, they can then associate the date of the entry in that form to the cookie. But also, if you send someone an email through your marketing automation tool, and they click through to the website, they'll actually have some coding on that link that will allow a marketing automation tool to associate the records that contains that person's information with the cookie on their browser, so then they know who that person is. And every time they return to the website, they will know who that is. And obviously, with market automation, the vast majority of visitors are anonymous. So you haven't actually been able to associate the cookie to an individual. And this is why with moderation, it is important to be very proactive with email campaigns, because that's what places that cookie and Associates it with an individual is by people clicking through and emails. So it's really important to to do that. So you can associate people with the activity on your website, there are a few systems and some market automation systems also do this, they will do something called IP lookup. So what it will do is it will look at the IP address of visit your website. And it will try and work out which company they're from. And large companies tend to have static IP addresses that are registered to them. So quite often it's easy to associate a particular visit with a particular company. There's some major downsides with this. In particular, it tends to only work with large companies. And if you've got a large number of people you're targeting within that particular company. Say for example, you're looking at an engineering company and trying to target engineers and you really have no idea which person that is. So you can understand that someone from particular companies visit your website, but you really can't do anything with it because it could be one of thousands of engineers at the site. So you can, you can sometimes take a guess, if you have very specific campaigns to specific individuals. And you can use IP lookup, but generally speaking, it's through people clicking on emails and filling in forms the lecture associate an individual with a website visit.

Well, thank you very much, everybody. I think I've covered all the questions I just checked, there's nothing else. So I think I've covered all the questions. I really appreciate your time with this webinar. And look forward to talking with you when we present the next webinar. And if anyone's got any feedback, please do let us know what you think of the webinar. And if anyone has any questions that they think of later on, please do contact me. My email address is Thanks very much, everyone.

Success for PCIM Europe Digital Days 2020

We were delighted to hear about the success of PCIM Digital Days, which recently took place as a replacement for PCIM Europe 2020.

The two-day online event saw over 4,506 suppliers and users participate on the online platform, with a total of 74 exhibitors, who were able to showcase their company profiles and product innovations while interacting with users.

The event featured a comprehensive lecture programme, and participants were invited to interact via matchmaking sessions, a business speed dating event, as well as via an after-work hour session with 25,700 conversations taking place in total.

"We are very pleased with the success of our “PCIM digital days”, commented Petra Haarburger, Managing Director of Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH. "However, the personal encounter remains important and cannot be replaced digitally, which is why we look forward to PCIM Europe next year in Nuremberg, however, we are convinced that digital formats will continue to be a useful addition in the future".

Here at Napier, we think it's great that 'PCIM Digital Days' went ahead for 2020. Although interaction can not be replicated to the level you can achieve at a face-to-face trade show, 'PCIM Digital Days' offered the best alternative and was able to provide a platform that the power electronics industry could use to get updates and network with fellow professionals during the current pandemic.

PCIM Europe has confirmed that the 2021 event will be taking place as a real-life event from 4th-6th May 2021 in Nuremberg.

Latest Updates from German Publisher Huethig

We were delighted to receive several updates from German publisher Huethig, which has been busy extending its digital offering, as well as saying goodbye, and welcoming new members to its editorial team.

Editorial Updates

Huethig has welcomed Petra Gottwald to the team, as the new Editor-in-Chief of trade journal productronic. Petra joined the team earlier this year, replacing Marisa Robles who has moved on to a new job in the industry. Petra is an engineer, with more than a decade of experience in print and online publishing, and has a background in textile technology and mechanical engineering.

The publishing house has also recently said goodbye to Hans Jaschinski, who retired as Editor-in-Chief of elektronik industrie at the beginning of July this year. Hans has handed over his role to Alfred Vollmer, who has been working alongside Hans for the last few years and will now be responsible for the trade publication, with support from the editorial team.

We look forward to seeing the direction Petra, and Alfred take the publications in, and we wish the best of luck to Hans in his retirement.

Digital Versions Available of all Huethig Publications

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit the globe, Huethig launched digital versions of their publications including AUTOMOBIL-ELEKTRONIK, elektronik industrie, elektronik journal, emobility tec, IEE and productronic, which have been available to readers since March 2020.

With no requirement to register online for access to the magazines; here at Napier, we think it was great that Huethig were able to act so quickly, and were able to deliver a digital option to their readership from the beginning of lockdown. To view all digital versions of the publications, please click here. 

Launch of App

Huethig has also shared news of the launch of its all-electronics app. Available on both IOS and Andriod, the app has been designed as a digital extension to the portal.

The app allows readers to access Huethig's digital magazine archive and features a search function with bookmarks as well as the opportunity to access videos, images and audio files. The user is able to download the magazine to read offline, and moving forward editorial articles in the magazines will be able to present further information via a page scan, which will provide direct access to other websites, PDF documents and videos.

For a direct link to download the app, please click here. 


Not Another Marketing Podcast Interview: Marketing Automation. The Good, the Bad & the Chat Bot

The Not Another Marketing podcast, hosted by Jon Tromans, provides listeners from small and medium-sized businesses, with advice and knowledge from experts on several topics, including content marketing, SEO, social media and email marketing.

In their most recent podcast episode, Jon interviews Mike, Napier's Managing Director, who discusses the good and the bad about marketing automation, and his opinion on chatbots and the future.

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.

A B2B Ignite Session: 6 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Martech Stack

I was lucky enough to recently attend the B2B Marketing Ignite event over a period of 3 days, attending various sessions on topics including ABM, branding, data insights and the Martech stack.

One session that stuck out for me was a presentation by Kirsty Dawe, CEO at Webeo, who is a marketer turned vendor. Her presentation titled 'The 2020 Martech Stack', shared some fantastic insights in what marketers should really be considering when choosing their own Martech stack for the year. With 1000's of suppliers to choose from (you only need to look at the Martech 5000 to understand how many), it can be hard to narrow down which supplier is the best fit for your company.

CMO's currently spend 26% of their budget on their Martech stack, but with only 58% using it to their full potential, the right choices need to be made to ensure you not only get the best match for your company but that you also choose the technology that you are able to use to its full capabilities.

Here are the 6 top things you should consider when choosing your Martech stack:

Decide What is the Most Important 

It's important to map out what you are looking to achieve. For example, are webinars going to be a big focus? If yes, then you need to make sure you invest in a good webinar software. Is marketing automation a focus, or is it actually just email marketing you are looking to do? Make sure you understand the differences between a full marketing automation platform like Marketo, compared to Mailchimp which is all you would need for email marketing.

Use Specialists to Your Advantage
When choosing the technologies/platforms for your Martech stack, you should ensure you choose the platform that has the right specialist to help you. Take time to understand how the specialists can help, although you will want to learn the system, a good specialist will help train your team, while also taking responsibility for the most important parts. This is a great advantage into getting your system up and running quickly.

The Biggest Suppliers aren't Always the Best
Although it can be easy to pick the biggest suppliers, that doesn't always mean it is best for you. It's important to remember what is the problem you are looking to solve? Ask yourself who can solve this best? Often companies will go for the biggest supplier, but then will find 3 months down the line they aren't the best fit. Find out which suppliers have proven success with clients like yourself, and make sure they understand what you are looking to achieve.

Do you Have the Time to Commit?
Suppliers often believe that for companies to be successful, and get the platform up and running efficiently, they need to be able to commit to the first 45 days. Don't choose a platform that you don't have the time to invest in. Why spend the money, if you have to stop onboarding halfway through due to other priorities? Technology in your Martech stack can provide fantastic results, but only if you invest the time to get it working properly.

Always Have a Back-Up Technology Owner
You should always have more than one person in your team who understands how to work the technology. This will avoid any awkward situations, such as if a person leaves to move on to a new job, opening the potential risk of the system going unsued for several weeks or months, while someone new gets up to speed. Ensure you have a team big enough to include a 'back-up'; someone who knows enough to carry on the job and help avoid your company waste money on an unused platform.

Use Agencies to Your Advantage
Agencies can be great allies when dealing with suppliers. Look to choose a supplier that will be happy to work with your agency. This will be hugely beneficial to your company, as it will ensure that stuff gets done and can help take tasks off your plate when you get to busy.

A Napier Podcast: Interview with Remy Gardien - Webinar Geek

We are delighted to share the latest interview from Napier’s Marketing B2B Technology Podcast.

In our latest episode, Mike, Managing Director of Napier, interviews Remy Gardien, who is the CTO at Webinar Geek. His knowledge of webinars, and experience helping the many customers at Webinar Geek, meant he was able to pass on a wealth of knowledge.

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 Remy Gardien Webinar Geek

Speakers: Mike Maynard, Remy Gardien

Mike: Thanks for listening to marketing b2b tech, the podcast from Napier, where you can find out what really works in b2b marketing today. Welcome to another episode of marketing b2b technology, the podcast from Napier. Today I've got Remy Gardien, Remy is the CTO of a relatively new company for us outside of the Netherlands company that offers a webinar platform. Welcome to the podcast Remy.

Remy: Thanks for having me. It's an honor.

Mike: Great to have you. I mean, we've seen a huge interest in terms of webinars across all of our clients, particularly due to people being locked down from COVID, do you think that what I can only call the webinar phenomenon is something that's going to be long term, or other is the use of webinars going to decay as people get more freedom?

Remy: I think it's going to be long term. And we've seen a slow but organic, the increase in demand in webinars is a concept of last five years or so. And last few months have been received a huge increase compared to the years before and the reason why is going to probably go into stays. For me to fold. It's one that organizations in this time where we're sort of forced to do more of our communication remotely, they see that it has added value, you see that it works, it's probably works best for many organizations as a complimentary to the, to the face to face, to face to face communication. But the other part of it is also like our audience, like our people nowadays follow way more online content and consume on online content they did before. So if I would have like a training or something in a couple of months, I would probably as an attendee, or as asked myself, why can't this be done online, so it's also something that, that your audience probably demands you or our expects you to do so. And I don't think that's gonna, that's gonna go away, it will probably be a bit more of a compromise, if you will, between the two, but I don't see it going away.

Mike: That's very reassuring. And we actually recently launched some webinars that have been, from our point of view, very, very successful. And we actually chose webinar geek. But I'm really intrigued to know what on earth possessed you guys to enter the webinar space when there's some huge players who are very, very successful in the market, such as WebEx and Citrix?

Remy: Yeah, well, we, we lost it, I think five years ago, and you always have to look for something I mean, if you start an company, and you do something that that other companies around are also doing, you have to find your own niche, but also look at what can I contribute to this space? What can I do better or different? Because there's all I mean, this whole concept of a webinar is very, very, very big, and many people are looking for different things there. And we found that we could have like, added value in user friendliness. So to make it really accessible, back when we entered the market, many of the other players were requiring for you, for instance, to for you to install extra software and streaming was Netflix not that accessible. And we thought we could make a difference there. And also in terms of support, because I mean, webinars challenging in two ways, two ways. One is and that's for many companies still the case it's new as a concept. So you have to find your way into how do I do a webinar? How can I make it successful? How can I get my message across, but there's also a technological aspect of it. And so the challenge is bigger than with something that you already are familiar with. So the way we do support is something that really makes a difference because we, we help people we are very direct, very approachable. And because we realised that a lot comes to you if you want to enter webinars as a as a user.

Mike: Okay, and I mean, in terms of that, what are the main questions you get? Are they around the technology or around actually doing the webinar?

Remy: It's actually about doing the webinar, probably we get a lot of questions around. What would your recommendation be as in how do I set up my email flow or how do I invite my attendees. How do I connect? And then the other part is how do I position my webinar tool, if you will, in my as mixed with my other tools, because many I mean webinar tool is just part of, of your of your marketing mix, often you haven't given an email to your CRM tool, maybe for webinar to when you want to position that as part of that flow, because you might want to send your own email. So you might want to grab Elisa districts and put her into your CRM system. So we get a lot of questions about that as well. And some of the questions are purely technical, how do I how do I get my webcam to work? What would your recommendation is for a weapon would be or a microphone, if you will?

Mike: Okay. Um, and I'm interested in I mean, who's using webinars, you can obviously use them for internal training, you can use them for communicating with your existing customers or trying to win new customers? Where do you see people using webinars? Is it for all three?

Remy: Yeah, you see it for all three, are, the biggest part of our customer base is using webinars for a lead generation. So we have many coaches use the platform and Netherlands, for instance, there are a lot of coaches around people that help you with being successful in in life in business or with anything basically, and they do a webinar to interest a larger group of people into a specific subjects, and try to convert them into paying customers, we have customers that take a core for take, take a more individual sessions with, with the one that's you doing webinars, so they use it very much as a as a sales tool and try to convert leads into customers, but and the other group is an E, like you say it's it's elearning and education, people that that do life with most but many of them also recorded webinars to to inform your audience about a specific case. And then our analytics help you to, for instance, see, okay, who watched actually my content and who asked all the questions correctly, stuff like that. And the third one is indeed internal, or external communication, especially now with, for instance, the bigger companies, they need a way to communicate with all their personnel, for instance, and webinars are a great tool to do such a thing. So those are the three main ones. And we've seen slowly changed me to those a lot of lead generation. And now we see it used for a lot of different things. And especially of course, due to the whole COVID period, we saw people using it to do education, like teach their students. A lot of a lot of, I would say gyms, sport lessons online, yoga, lessons online, all that sort of stuff. So it has become very, very diverse. And that's a great thing to see actually the way that that you really make a make a difference two to two people to two organisations. Yeah.

Mike: That's, that's great. I mean, it sounds like it's everything from a single person business up to the largest companies are using it.  I'm intrigued to know, I mean, we've started with with a webinar programme, how should we measure how successful our webinars are?

Remy: Okay. It depends a bit on which of those use cases you have, I mean, the first case that he did, I talked about the coaches, the one of the lead generation, they measured very much on the on the scale of how much do I sell, and how much people do I reach? So you have like, maybe 100 registrations and the measurement is okay, how many of those 100 do I get to be able to do watch my webinar, either life or my recorded replay off the words. And we also have group of customers that that evaluate their webinars based on for instance, you have elevation so they send their they give a valuation form right after the webinar to all our viewers. And one of the questions is, how valuable was this webinar content for you? And and they evaluate their webinars based on how well it's rated way based on the viewers. And some yen measured by the number of contacts that they that have a longer related they get a relationship with after the after the webinar, so that's very diverse.

Mike: Okay, and in terms of number of attendees, I mean, I'm really interested to know, typically, how many people would you see attending a webinar? I mean, I'm sure it's a it's a big range, but is there kind of a sweet spot in terms of number of people to make it work? Well?

Remy: Hmm. Yeah, it's a big range. I mean, we see webinars with with as few as five to 10 people, but there's also webinars with up to 2000 people. In a way The more you have, the more people you reach, but on the other hand, the more you have to Fewer people, you can maybe reach more personal like answering questions and that sort of stuff. So, and I know the sweet spot between 50 and 100 is sort of the average average we see across the board, that seems to be sort of the sweet spot into Yeah, reaching a large audience while still being able to interact with you with with with the viewers in some way.

Mike: Great. You've mentioned this interaction, at the end answering questions or, you know, engaging after the presentation. I mean, are there is there any advice on how to approach this to, you know, for example, provide questions, but without being too demanding on your audience?

Remy: What do you mean, exactly?

Mike: So, I mean, I'd love to ask my, my audience for my webinars about 20 questions after each webinar, and I try and keep it down to just a couple. So, you know, is there an ideal number of questions or you better engaging more in a live q&a than asking questions in the feedback section afterwards?

Remy: I see, um, I would say, I mean, it depends a bit on on your, in the in the b2b people generally have more time to actually stay along for your webinar and hold on and stick with you after the webinar even to to ask their questions. And the q&a part is often something that works very well, although, and if you spend a lot of time answering questions that for a part of your viewers might not be relevant, they might drop out. So we always try to keep that part a bit short and stick it to and stick to the subject of the webinar as a whole to keep that into the scope. Because you tend sometimes to have a lot of questions that go very much in detail to Maybe someone's personal situation. And then the rest, we asked like, can the application form and in terms of questions between five and 10, that's should be sort of the max, depending on except if you want to do something like in the education market, where that's, that's maybe mandatory, but yeah, so my say would be in a Q&A. That's, that's, that's always a valuable part of the webinar. But the challenge there is to keep it within, you know, within a certain range that it's still relevant for every one of your viewers.

Mike: So it seems to be a real need to focus when you're doing webinars to make sure you know, people are getting what they expect. Is that fair?

Remy: Yep, that's fair. We also do q&a webinars regularly for for for our users who want to know a bit more in detail, specific questions. But the challenge there as well is sometimes you have questions that are very detailed to someone's personal situation, like, Hey, I have this to do and I have these five cameras and two microphones, what kind of devices would you recommend me to use? And it's, if you go too much into those kind of questions, and the rest of the audience will be like, it's not really relevant for me, I can't learn anything from this. So we try to we try to route them back to like, okay, we're going to get back to you after the webinar. And then we, we use the wish we follow it up with those individuals later and get into more details, a tailored conversation to someone's specific needs and questions.

Mike: Perfect. So we all need to make sure that we don't get too hung up on a particular question or particular topic. Are there any other mistakes you see people making when they create webinars that, you know, either cause people not to register or to lose interest during the webinar?

Remy: Yeah, I would say still focus is one of it's one of the key things. And it requires something different as well. I mean, we see many people doing it for the first time and having not have enough practice is something that usually you can see or hear. And the reason is that is and this is what we hear a lot from, especially people that start with webinars is, hey, it's so weird for me to be talking to a camera, rather than talking like I was used to or like it, it's in like in groups and physical groups of people. And it's really takes something different. I mean, you have to be, yeah, you have to almost imagine your audience there. And that takes some practice. So like with anything and the more, the more preparation you do more carefully, you prepare things like a webinar, the more effective it will probably be like in terms of you talking about your content, but also the technological aspect of it, the more comfortable you are, the better. A webinar often goes because it's your it's it's very personal, right? Because you're broadcasting yourself you're in you're in view, you're you're audible and so the more comfortable you appear, and the more engaged probably your audience will be And that is less a lot to do with both preparation and a bit of experience, because the more often you do it, of course, the more comfortable you get with it.

Mike: Now I can certainly relate to that we, we did a few practice runs of our first webinar. And in the end, we recorded it, but it certainly wasn't the first run through. So I'm intrigued to know, I mean, you, you've pointed out the difference between, you know, giving a presentation where you can see the audience and a webinar there. Is there any advice on how to overcome that awkwardness where you get absolutely no feedback? Because there's no audience in front of you?

Remy: Yep. Well, what is it? One is practice. But there's also another aspect, it's, and that may be also within the preparation. I mean, there is still room for feedback and interaction, but you have to prepare some of that. So prepare questions, but bear interactions I use, I personally use a lot of polls. Okay, what is your first time here? Are you already familiar with webinars as a whole? And those kind of questions get the audience sort of engaged and make it more interactive sort of becomes a little less awkward, rather than you spending 30 or 60 minutes non stop just talking into a camera without any feedback at all? You want to? Yeah, answer some questions, you want to pull a bit about your audience, you also want to know your audience, right? Because it's breaking into the relatively smaller groups. It's not that everyone is the same, it's the same in terms of need or where they're from or what kind of company they work for, what kind of role they have. So you want to get to know your audience a bit. So these poll like questions about what is your role? or How long have you been with this? Are you familiar with this subject? Those both give you some sense of interaction, which makes it less awkward, but also gives you more information to make your webinar more personal, more relevant for those that are watching.

Mike: Perfect, now that’s really good advice. I mean, I've tried posing in webinars, and obviously one of the issues is not everybody responds, how worried should you be that not everyone's responding? Is it just that they don't want to respond? Or are they actually not listening?

Remy: You shouldn't have to worry at all, except when no one responds, that problem is probably not a good thing, although that depends on your, your, the size of your viewer group. But I sometimes always prepare for that case, as well, because I've had some q&a webinars that were rather small, skinny, early days. And what I learned from it is that I really have to prepare what I'm asking. So if people don't answer on a poll, I sort of have something to say about it. And if no one else questions, I make sure that I have pre sort of made up questions or questions that we're sending and fonts ready, so I can answer those. So I still get to have because yeah, your audience might not even be aware of how many people are watching. So you can make it appear as if it's a bit larger. And it also makes it less awkward than that silence for you waiting for questions, because it also takes some seconds, right for people to actually type in their questions. And for you to wait. So it's good to prepare a bit of that and make sure that you start already answering questions and get into that. Yeah, get into it, too. But overall, if unless it's no one responding, I wouldn't be too worried of people not responding. I mean, we see a lot of this is also how people consume content nowadays. I mean, someone might be on their work computer or in front of their laptop, and they're very engaged with someone might be just listening a bit and doing something else in the background. Someone might be on their phone, where it's not, might not be that handy to start a chat message or to answer a poll or something like that. So you have to be aware of that your audience can be anywhere on any in any environment.

Mike: Perfect. That relieves a lot of stress for me now. So thank you. I'm just looking at the presentation itself. Is there any advice you can give people when they're creating the slides for the webinars? I mean, how does two slides for webinars differ from a normal face to face presentation would you think?

Remy: Not that much, actually, I've looked at a lot of slide decks over the last few years and they don't differ that much. The most of them follow a very straight out path as in like the typical your typical sales presentation, like a build up, tell something about yourself like a personal story of or how you who you are, and then what you've done. And then you go into explaining something to tell about your subject matter. And then at the end, it's sort of more the interactive part. So we, of course, we sweep things on both sides of the edge. Man, some people have large slides like I've seen people having 600 slides and basically if every sentence that they say to bring it on a slide, which is hilarious. kind of funny. But if that's worked for some, then who am I to say something about it? Yeah, it's just with any presentation and you want to keep it, you want to keep it brief, you don't want to put too much information in your slide, you want to don't want to bomb people within over overwhelm people with information, right, you want to you want to focus there, as well as something that is important. And this helps a lot with practice as well. I mean, I've seen many first timers do their presentation in front of friends or family. And that really helps them to, to improve their story. And this is the nice thing about webinars as well. I mean, we have users who do the same sort of webinar, like weekly, for instance, and then you really see this story evolve, because they learn a lot, they learn a lot from feedback from questions. Some decide at some point, okay, this is my, my perfect presentation, I'm going to use that recording and, and converted into an automated webinar, for instance, which is a webinar that will be broadcasted as if it's live, but actually, it's recording, so sort of distress free version of offer webinar. And some just make it up as they go. I mean, it's that's a very personal thing.

Mike: I mean, it's interesting, you bring up recordings, a lot of our clients will record webinars that offer them on demand afterwards. I mean, do you see that those on demand webinars can be as successful or more successful than the live event?

Remy: Probably more successful, and probably the combination is the strongest of all, where you spend a lot of time into your life events. I mean, you spend a lot of energy at it, and you have some, a lot of viewers and interest. And this is also where the earlier thing that talks about subscribers versus viewers, it's not that if only 50 of the hundred are watching, it's bad. I mean, you still have your recording, and we see the value of the recording being becoming much more stronger in over recent years. Also, because your recording last forever. So you can, you can still engage with your audience for a longer period of time. Plus, if you Yeah, if you spent so much time on those preparing your talk, you might want to offer those recordings as a whole or maybe replace your live webinars with automated webinars. But your recording is always there. So you can always when you put it on your website or put it in make it part of your email flow your newsletters, and this is also how people are more and more used to consume content, right? We don't always want to watch something at a specific date and time we want to consume video whenever it suits us best. And webinars are just another part of it. And this is also how I do it. I sometimes provided webinars I'm like, it's not the right time for me, I'm just gonna subscribe anyways, I can watch the recording later when it's when it's convenient for me. And I might be even more focused at that point, because I really made time for it. And I yeah, I really want to watch it.

Mike: Perfect. One of the things that you mentioned right at the start that I'd like to go back to is a lot of people are doing webinars to generate new leads. Is there a trick to getting people who aren't familiar with you or your brand to come along to a webinar? What's the best way to market that webinar to people who perhaps don't know you very well?

Remy: That depends a bit. There are many ways of course, I mean, the most common ways is your addition, kudos, email, and newsletters that are still a valuable way of inviting someone to tag along for your webinar. We see a lot of customers who use advertisements like Facebook advertising or LinkedIn advertising or Google advertising to get people to register for your webinar. But one side note I want to make there is that what we sometimes see is that the more accessible you make it for someone to register, for instance, I'm going to do a Facebook ad and I can't make it in such a way that people only have to click in in their registers, what you might get is that a lot, a lot of people register, but very few will actually watch your webinar. So sometimes it's more about quality leads and quantity of leads. And and I think that's very important as well to to take into account and also who is your audience I mean, we see a very generic, very generic way of inviting people and you get a lot of people to register for your webinar, but half of them is not even within your intended audience. So it's very good to think about to ask yourself those two questions in advance. Okay, who do we want to target and you have some, the more detail the better. And how do I target where are my potential viewers? Are they earning LinkedIn or Facebook or are they in are they reading magazines.

Mike: And I guess that's back to the focus message as well, isn't it? It's focused on the people you want to attend.

Remy: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, for me personally, focus is very important in everything. I mean, it's also as, as a company, I mean, we, we are a webinar tool, we are part we are we are active in the market of online communication. But marketing online communication is also very big. So we, so we might also become a meeting tool or do something else with the video. But focus is very important to stay somewhere and to choose for something and then be very good at the thing you're focused on. Because like we like we all know, the more things shoe you want to be good at, and the emptier, you can be good in anything. Right?

Mike: yeah, absolutely. Perfect. Good. Good advice. Again, back to that, that, that focusing and making sure you get the valuable people rather than just going for, I guess, the vanity metric of the, you know, the biggest number of registrations or attendees. And so if somebody has been listening to this, and that, and they are keen to start a webinar, but they've not done it before. I mean, think about it, how difficult is it to launch your first webinar?

Remy: It's very, very, very easy. It is, I mean, it is easy. I mean, you have to prepare for it just like with anything. And there's like I said, there's two things, there's the content side of things, you want to make a good presentation, you want to have a good story to tell. But you also want to take care of the technical part, right, you want to, you want to present the best version of yourself. So it might make sense to invest in that microphone or webcam that is a bit better than my built in webcam. And the same goes for your internet connection, you want to make sure that it works well. And video streaming is a bit of a different thing than didn't just internet browsing. Is it? Is it wise to be on a Wi Fi network where the receiver is two floors down those things you have to think about, but also they should be part of your preparation. So in general, we see that it might take up to one two weeks before someone if someone runs through the whole thing of preparation of content, technology preparation, practising with with family, friends, colleagues, fine tuning the presentation, Bernie the interaction part, I mean, in theory, you could start a webinar in 10 minutes or five minutes. But if you're very new to the whole concept, you probably want to take a bit more time and do it well. Yeah, that would be my advice to actually use those One, two weeks. I mean, and the software like ourselves, we offer a trial period of two weeks. So you want to use that period to actually not only test the tool, but also tests your story test how you how you are you are in front of a camera. I mean, it's not for everyone as well. I mean, yeah, that that's something as well that you have to if you're in a company, okay, think about who is best suited to talk in front of the camera without an audience. Yeah, ask yourself questions.

Mike: And I mean, a lot of webinars, particularly in our industries, that is just shows the slides and not the presenter, you've mentioned a couple of times about being in front of the camera there, is it important to show your face as well as showing the slides,

Remy: I would say so it makes it more personal, rather than hearing into an audio conversation. But this also, we see, I see this being very flexible. A lot of those lead generation sales kind of webinars, they start with the camera and the slides. And then the presenter often makes the decision I'm going to hide myself from the view and I'm just going to show my content because that's where I'm in here again, focus, that's where I want to focus with my, my viewers to be so I don't want them to look at me but look at my content and hear my story immerse in my story. And then at the end, they're gonna pop up again and then do the more personal q&a part. So but overall, I think it's good for every anyone if they if you're if your audience can identify with yourself know who they're talking with. I mean, business is very personal to me and right. So trust, and it's something that it helps if, at least at some point in the owner, you're in front of the camera, but don't worry if you don't want to be in front of the camera for like the whole hour or two hours. That's, I think that's totally fine. But yeah, I think as in I know what you're talking about, because I followed a lot of webinars in earlier days, and it was always traditionally very much audio and slides, but I for me, my experience is much better if I can see someone at least at some point in the story as well.

Mike: Perfect. Okay. In terms of how you're doing a webinar geek, I'm really interested to know, you know, presumably, you've been incredibly busy recently with people working from home. How are you going to follow what I guess is a big increase in use in terms of driving growth over the next year?

Remy: Yeah, the last few months, It’s been quite hectic for us, but in a good way, I'm not complaining at all it was, it's very, it's a very healthy period to be in from a business perspective. And we learn a lot. And this is also the example I gave earlier about, let's put, let's take one of those examples, the gym sort of sport or the yoga type of webinars, we see, we see, we saw a big increase. And it's really, it helps us to also identify who we are, and what kind of tool we are and how people use you. I mean, you might know you might think of yourself, okay, we're a disk company, and we're doing this but if you're, if your audience is doing, it's using it in an entirely different way, you have to anticipate so we took that last few months, as, and still take this time to, to as a learning period for us to learn more about our customers, our users, to learn more about how online communication is shaping up to be and how it's evolving, and that helps us a lot and helps us to also focus on the right things in terms of taking it to the taking it to the next level help people to, to make the most of their webinars and help people to make the most out of their their content and recordings. That's an area where we have a lot of focus on currently, because so much content is produced, so many webinars are going on. So this means a lot of recordings and we want to give our users the tools to actually use those recordings and bet them on your website or put them on a dedicated recording page. Use those recordings for automated webinars so you can generate leads or have viewers like all the time 24 hours a day almost so we run working very hard on making dos building dose tools that can make you use your content for yeah, for a longer period.

Mike: So fantastic. I mean, if people are listening to this, and they'd like to get started and try running a webinar, and how would they you know, get a subscription to webinar geek and what would they need to do?

Remy: Yeah, so it is and like I said, we offer a two week free trial so you can use it without any obligations and we are we are available on the live chat which means you can talk to us at almost any time and we're happy to help not only in the in the technical part of it, but also the yeah, the how best practices and tips or references we have a lot of blogs on how you can actually do webinars how to present in front of your camera, what clothes to wear, even or how to talk or what's how to build up your presentation, how to invite your audience and, and how to and again, how webinar or your webinar tool as part of your marketing mix. How can we connect your webinars to your email to your CRM to other tools that you use? And there's a lot of possibilities and like saying yes to almost anything and almost anything is possible. And but my general tip would be to start small start just with a webinar. Don't go all out fancy, like I want to integrate with every platform and I want to do a whole studio approach. Keep it simple. Get some experience, learn from your webinars, learn from the response that you get from your audience and build upon from there and also see for yourself and determine Okay, what's How do I this relating to your question? How do I what for me is a metric that can tell me something about how successful I am? When is this successful for me?

Mike: Perfect. No, that's great. And I'm not sure if you're going to want to do this, because you've said almost anything as possible. So you may get some requests. But if people wanted to contact you, where's the best place to reach you?

Remy: I personally can be reached at But you can also talk with us at any time on the website. There's this this bubble icon in the chat. I can drop your question anytime and if you're if you mentioned my name I might be answering myself even.

Mike: Perfect. No, that's brilliant. Thank you so much your time Remy. I know you're really busy at the moment and really appreciate it and it's been a fascinating overview of of how to run webinars successfully. Thank you.

Remy: Thank you for having me. Have a good day

Mike: 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 or contact me directly on LinkedIn.


EE World Online Welcomes Jeff Shepard as Lead for Power Electronics Vertical

We were surprised to hear the news that Jeff Shepard has joined the team at EE World online, as a contributing writer focusing on power electronics technical content for EE World's Power Electronic Tips site.

As the founder of The Darnell Group and Darnell Research, Inc., Jeff has extensive experience writing about power electronics, having launched the PowerPulse website in 1999, the first daily news website for the global power electronics engineering community. Additionally, he published The PowerPulseDaily newsletter, which covered the latest technology and industry developments in all aspects of power semiconductors and power electronics.

“Jeff is a highly recognized and respected industry source on power electronics technology,” commented Aimee Kalnoskas, Senior Editor, EE World. “He joins the ranks of other experienced EE World authors including Executive Editor, Lee Teschler, Senior Editor, Martin Rowe and contributing writer Bill Schweber, to develop content creation for our audience of electronics design engineers challenged with keeping pace with increasingly complicated power technologies.”

We understand Jeff's move relates to the news of PowerPulse having been sold to another publisher, and we will let you have more information when it is announced publicly.

We wish Jeff the best of luck in his new role and look forward to reading some of his content on the website in the near future.




Napier Launches Marketing Automation Naming Convention Tool

Here at Napier, we understand that there are various elements a company has to consider when onboarding to a new marketing automation platform, and often companies are so eager to get going that they don't stop to think about the simple tasks such as naming conventions.

Whether you are someone who has worked with marketing automation for a long time or someone who is new to automation, a common theme we often hear is that they wished they had taken the time to set up a naming convention from the beginning.

It's important to decide on an internal naming convention that the entire team will use. This will ensure organisation across the entire company and will provide a streamlined view of all your assets, allowing for quick filtering to find exactly what you are looking for.

As the system becomes more complex with further elements, your organised naming conventions will allow you to provide insightful reports, and clearly identify which asset is performing the best; as well as reducing the error of risk, if you are sending multiple emails in different languages.

Napier's Marketing Automation Naming Convention Tool provides a clear layout of what your naming convention could consist of. All you need to do is fill in the relevant data and watch the tool do the rest! Try it out now, and get it in touch to let us know if it has helped you.

You can view Napier's full range of online marketing tools here.

British Engineering Excellence Awards Rescheduled for 2021

Mark Allen Group has announced the decision to re-schedule the 2020 British Engineering Excellence Awards (BEEAS) to next year.

Now taking place on Friday 26th March 2021, the decision to re-schedule stems from the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the wish to celebrate and reward the remarkable achievements in the industry at a more appropriate time.

Paul Fanning, Editorial Director of MA Business, commented: “Having celebrated the 10th anniversary of the BEEAs in 2019, it feels painful to know that we won’t be holding an event in 2020. However, this decision has been taken in the best interests of our guests, employees, and entrants and that has to be our priority. With that in mind, we found ourselves with little alternative other than to postpone. With the UK likely to have some disruptive social distancing measures in place for some time to come, our plan at Mark Allen Group is that by postponing the awards, we will give our industry the time it needs and create the ideal opportunity for us all to celebrate the achievements of engineering designers together next year."

This decision will be an unsurprising one for the industry. With the future of social distancing still uncertain, we are seeing more and more events postpone to next year, in the hope that we will be able to gather together once more and celebrate the fantastic achievements within the industry.

Entries for the awards are still open, with voting due to close on Friday 4th September 2020. To find out more about how you can enter, please click here. 

Power Systems Design Host Virtual PSD Power Panel

Power Systems Design (PSD) recently held a 'Virtual PSD Power Panel: Standing Out from the Crowd' webinar, which took a deeper look into GaN and SiC products; and focussed on a range of companies that detailed their own unique products and the benefits that they will bring to the next generation of power designs.

Key speakers included companies such as WolfSpeed, Analog Devices, and Infineon Technologies, with the webinar covering:

  • How driving GaN/SiC devices can be a challenge, and how to overcome it
  • An overview of applications powered by silicon carbide and the technology's capabilities
  • How advancements in SiC technology helped create the lowest on-resistance SiC FETs
  • How GaN can be amazingly robust to AC line swells, surges and fast transients

The webinar is now available on-demand, and you can register by clicking here. 

EETech Unveils 'Industry Tech Days' Virtual Conference

EETech media has unveiled its virtual conference 'Industry Tech Days', which will be the largest ever virtual trade show and conference for electrical engineers.

Due to be held from 31st August to 4th September 2020, the five-day event will transform the community-driven website All About Circuits into a digital expo floor, allowing attendees the opportunity to step into the traditional trade show environment from the comfort of their own home.

Exhibitors will have digital “booth” landing pages on which to showcase their content, and these booths will provide live interactions through which community members have the opportunity to learn about new products and pose questions in real-time to engineers at their preferred suppliers.

The event will feature 30 plus live sessions, spanning hundreds of topics across 15 premium event tracks which include cybersecurity, IoT Connectivity, Embedded Systems, and Test & Measure Innovations. The virtual platform will also offer participants the opportunity to participate in fireside chats, panel discussions, and specific product training courses.

“In-person events in the foreseeable future will be heavily reduced and limited,” commented Adam LaBarbera, co-founder and CEO of EETech. “Our goal is to replicate the traditional, in-person trade show experience in an internet-suitable format. We want our community to gain significant value from the experience and interaction.”

With a focus on providing content around 'hot' topics of interest for All About Circuits users, EETech's 'Industry Tech Days' will certainly be an extremely informative and community-driven event for the industry, with attendees able to discover and access the same high-quality and relevant content they could expect at a normal trade show.

To find out more information, and who you should contact to discuss exhibitor opportunities, please click here.

A Napier Podcast: Interview with Ash Jones- Great Influence

In our latest episode, on Napier's Marketing B2B Technology Podcast, Mike, Managing Director of Napier, interviews Ash Jones from Great Influence, who shares how he has helped leading CEOs increase their influence on LinkedIn.

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 Ash Jones Great Influence

Speakers: Mike Maynard, Ash Jones

Mike: Thanks for listening to marketing B2B tech, the podcast from Napier, where you can find out what really works in b2b marketing today. Welcome to marketing b2b technology, the podcast from Napier. Today, I've got ash Jones of great influence on the podcast. He's an expert in LinkedIn, and he's helping some of the UK his biggest CEOs and founders to build their influence on social media. And welcome to the podcast Ash.

Ash: My pleasure. Happy to be here.

Mike: Great. Okay. Um, so tell us a bit about your background. How did you get into social media marketing?

Ash: Um, how I got into social media marketing was actually way back. Now, I've never answered this question before, no spoke about this actually. I'm a Manchester City fan, and I follow the club's social media accounts. And I always thought what they were doing was really cool. And I saw a video one day that gave like a behind the scenes of that social media team. And I thought that'd be a great job. So I decided to study at university. And I was a little bit older than the rest of the people in my class, I think most of them like 18, 19, I was 25. And I thought, when I finish, I'm going to be 28. And everyone else is going to be 21. And they're, they're definitely, I'm definitely lazier than them at that time. So I need something that's going to give me an edge because they, they're younger, and they've got more energy. So I was looking for something to do alongside University and I met someone called Steven Bartlett. And he was starting a startup. They're called wall Park, which was a notice board for students, but online. And he just dropped out of university, he was 18. So I decided to help him with that for a while for this was like 2012. I did that for a couple of years with him. It was a bit on and off between university, but it gave me something to do. And then around that time came the idea from that project for an agency that not be an agency at the time, but for something called social chain. And in 2014, late 2014, Steve managed to with his business partner at the time, Don, they managed to get investment, the idea of social chain and start building it out. And the idea behind it was that they owned quite a few pages on social media channels. So like Facebook pages, Instagram pages, Twitter accounts, that were all focused around niche communities, such as like football and fashion and fitness and things that would appeal to young people. And they leverage those channels that sometimes had millions of followers to promote brands. And that was the idea. So social chain would have a football page with 5 million followers on Instagram. And I don't know a football related brand said nyck would come to social chain and say, hey, we've got this campaign, we want to reach more people, we want to reach young people, your account is ideal. Let's do something that was the very basic idea of social chain. So Steven Dom got investment for that idea. And they they asked me if I wanted to be part of it at that point. So as part of the founding team at social chain, and that was late 2014. And fast forward to today. And they went from like five of us back then. And there's over 700 people in the social chain group.

Now social chain is part of a wider group as well. They IPO went public last year, with some of the biggest brands in the world, apple, Spotify, universal, Coca Cola, you name it. Yes, it's a bit of an agency success story over the past four or five years. And my role within that was to help Steve to build his personal brand online. So he had a Facebook page, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat and LinkedIn. And it was my job to grow those channels for him and push the content that he was creating onto those channels and that went incredibly well. He's got over 1.5 million followers across social platforms now and I think it's fair to say he's, if not the UK, his biggest marketing influencer online right now is definitely one of the top few. So yeah, that is whole experience of social changes. Steven Barlow for me was a huge learning experience and I decided to sell my own business doing something similar that I've done with Steven in helping a CEO to use social media to build more awareness for that business. I started offering that as a service and create my own business around it to help other CEOs and founders. And that's what I've been doing for. It's my two-year anniversary on Monday. I’ve worked with a few reputable people along the way, who Mark Amani have pretty a lot of things, and they're the UK is number one fast fashion brand part of the boohoo group. And Julian Hearn, who's the founder of hue to the UK, his fastest growing company right now in terms of revenue, I think. I'm working with Oliver Cookson, who's the founder of myprotein, myprotein, you know, industry leaders in their, their field and e commerce. So yeah, a few other reputable people that I've worked with along the way since working with Steve and not going really well. And yeah, that's a bit of a whistlestop tour.

Mike: Brilliant, I mean, I find it very interesting, because you've really built a specialisation around promoting people, and particularly promoting, you know, CEOs and executives, rather than promoting companies on social media. Why have you done that? Why does that interest you?

Ash: Um, because I think that by nature, that the term social media is about people. And there's a reason why brands tend to struggle on social media, because their social networks there for people to connect with other people up at heart. So, especially when you're talking about B2B, a lot of the time we all know that. How do I put this? Like no, everyone can see through the, the BS in VTV. They know when something is genuine and when it's not. And a lot of the time, they're so used to seeing corporate messaging, and working on corporate messaging and working on market and messaging and seeing marketing communications, they are way more heightened to be immune to it than general consumers would be like us as marketers, we're way more immune to marketing messages, just because we're exposed to so much of it being in the bubble. So the challenge then in b2b becomes, how do you make a message resonate, and feel authentic, and capture attention to an audience who it's really, really, really, really difficult to get them to take notice to a market and communication. And I think that's where the power of it comes in of leveraging a CEO rather than leveraging the brand. And somebody said it to me the other day, they said, the power with it, is that you're able to get a message that would usually be hidden from a brand seen from a CEO, because people just take notice of the more people buy from people, people take notice of people. And then you get the elevated status of a CEO, where everyone kind of places more importance on that role. And naturally, they Garner more attention than others. So it's really just about being smart in terms of the environment and thinking what's the best way to get a message out there right now. And I'm not saying it's the best way, it's not the best way at all. But it's definitely something within the mix of b2b marketing that I think is heavily underutilised and underleveraged. And it's not strategized. And when it is strategized and leverage, well, it really performs in terms of helping resonate and capture attention. And it's just a thing of timing as well, like LinkedIn now is on a huge rise as a as a social network in the way that Instagram is already solidified. And Facebook has already solidified as a social network. LinkedIn is coming into that now. It's moving out of being perceived as a job platform and a recruitment platform. And people are treating it more like a social network. So I think that's the reason why.

Mike: And is most of your focus around LinkedIn then.

Ash: Yeah, yeah, I'd say so. And the reason for that is simply because it's the biggest opportunity. I was watching a video that Steve Bala from social chain that I used to work with did yesterday. And he was saying that right now, when you comment, like if from your personal profile, you comment on something or you like something, the chances are that LinkedIn will show that to a high percentage of your connections that you choose. Engage with someone else. And that compounding network effect means that people are getting more reach than anywhere else. And that if you look at every other social platform, it always happened. But it always stopped at a point. So, early years of Facebook, it's something we saw with social chain, social chain was able to get people to like, do able to grow pages of like 250,000 people in their day in 2013. And that's just not it's impossible in 2020, you'd have to pay a lot of money to do that now. So we know that the history of social media platforms tells us that they start off giving organic reach out in spades. And then over time, they take that away. So the fact that LinkedIn is still doing it heavily means it's in its goldmine moment. And the history of other social platforms tells us that's not going to last forever. So that's kind of why I focus on LinkedIn more than other platforms. Right now. It's just down to the opportunity at present and that the time sensitivity of it.

Mike: I love I love that goldmine moment. And, and just digging a bit deeper into LinkedIn. I mean, we talk to a lot of clients who have problems getting good reach for some of their company posts. So do you think LinkedIn is particularly strong for individuals posting or a company page posts also effective?

Ash: Yeah, I think it just plays back to that aspect of, we're in a b2b space. And personally, it's almost like I see the logo of, say, an agency on LinkedIn. And my mind just goes, That's not interesting. So you just go straight past it. Because I'm so used to seeing, I think it comes down to door content as well. So what will happen typically, with an agency, they'll hire someone internally to handle marketing, and it's that person's job to sit there five days a week and come up with content. And it's just not, it's not realistic to have interesting things to say, five days a week from an agency. But the onus is there on that they have to do something with the time. So that means that they're putting out a lot of door content. And because I'm personally exposed to door content 7080 90% of the time from agencies, when I see the the profile picture of an agency, and I know it's the agency, my brain just automatically makes the decision that that's not useful, not a good use of my time, and I keep scrolling past it. So the problem with LinkedIn and other social platforms, you've probably got about between half a second and two seconds to capture someone's attention. And every time that you negatively do that, so when they scroll past, the first time they ever follow you, they'll look at what you're posted. If their experience is negative, it's going to stick with them. And if you repeat that negative impact 20 times the next 20 pieces of content they see from you are all things that they couldn't care less about, than the 21st time, they're just going to skip pass, you've lost them. So I think that's the problem with company pages is a lot of the time, there's a lot of content going out that 90% of it is really not not interesting, or it's not valuable to the reader. And that results in after certain amount of time you lose the attention and lose the engagement. Whereas with individuals, we're willing to give them a lot more Slack, because we know them as people. And I think it just comes down to that.

Mike: So that's really interesting. And so it is all about being personal. I mean, what would you say to CEOs of some of the more conservative B2B companies that perhaps feel that it's either not appropriate to promote themselves personally, or they tend to take a very corporate and as you say, rather dull approach to the content they post.

Ash: Um, I don't think it has to be about personal. I've got clients that I work with where none of it is about them. And it's always about weight. So there's, there's, I think there's an in a way scale when it comes to personal branding, or of that term. And you can be at either end of it, and you've got people who are really, I, it's all about them. It's all about their journey. And you've got people that way. And it's all about what we as a business are doing and how we're building. And for some people that I might sue and actually might make sense, because they're that good and that attractive as people and there's they're charismatic, they're really interesting and captivating. Whereas for some people who might be concerned with the ego side of it or the self-serving side of it, that doesn't mean that you don't have to use LinkedIn, for example. Just because you don't want it to be about you doesn't mean you'd have to use it. You just use it in a different tone. In a voice, and it becomes your, almost like the messenger for the business story, and what the business is doing and shining more of a light on that it doesn't have to be about the individual.

Mike: That's, that's really interesting. So you can actually take almost a personal account to make it much more about the company rather than about the individual, which is a, perhaps a different approach to what you'd see on other social media platforms.

Ash: Yeah, and it doesn't have to be personalised though people think that they something I hear a lot is, Oh, do you have to open up and start get like their emotional and do you have to start document in the struggles and all this kind of thing. And I don't think you have to do any of that at all. It's a personal decision. Like I, Me, personally, I use LinkedIn. And it drives a lot of good business. For me, it drives opportunities, it drives new conversations, it closes leads. And I never talk about, I don't actually talk about my business, that at all, really, I don't talk about the clients I work with, I don't talk about the things that I'm going through from a business point of view, I don't talk about my own personal feelings towards anything last stay away from it, because it's just not me. It's not authentic to who I am. For me, my channel is about thought leadership. And it's just about giving people good advice on a thing that I do. That's how I use it. And that, to me, is the most authentic way for me to use it. It doesn't make me feel like I'm an imposter when I'm posting things. And I think that's really important to remember, for people, what you're doing has to be really authentic to who you are. And it has to make you feel comfortable with doing it as well. Because people will think that you need to be more personal. And they'll open up and they won't be comfortable with doing it. But they'll do it because they think that they have to. And that just puts them off ever using the platform again, when it's just the butterflies in the stomach, it doesn't sit well and it puts them off going back next time. So yes, it doesn't have to be the case. It can be more strategical, shining a light on the business and talking about the business rather than the individual.

Mike: This, that's a really interesting take, actually, so make sure you do something you feel comfortable with, because that's going to encourage you to use the platform. I think that's great advice.

Ash: Yeah, I think also that it has too much. For me, it's all about creating an online version of the offline person. So what I mean by that is that you can make a decision when it comes to content of you can storyteller around the business and the growth of it. Or you can talk about the tactics that the business does and client work and stuff like that. So, for example, if a social media agency and the CEO of a social media agency starts talking about updates to the platforms, and how to increase engagement and all the tactics side of things that they do services, but then offline, all he does is talk about the vision and leadership and growth of the company and doesn't talk any of the tactics offline. And there's a mismatch there. And people so if they do a panel, offline, or a talk, and it's all about storytelling, and the business and the growth there, and the vision and the culture and things like that, and then online, they're talking just about the tactics and the service, and how to optimise and all these things, then you're getting a different version of person, offline and online. And that can be quite jarring. So it's about a lot is for me, it's just aligning, who is the person offline in real life and trying to create a curated online version of that person?

Mike: As that's brilliant advice. Really, really interesting. And, you know, I'm intrigued when you start working with a company, I mean, what is it you do? How do you work with a CEO to help them, you know, be themselves online, but also be effective online.

Ash: It's 50/50, it has to be a relatively collaborative process. So the content that I make tends to boil down to one or two things, it's either business storytelling content, so it's things that happening in and around the business, how's the development of it going? What's the direction? Is there any milestones that have happened, client wins, recruitment things, stuff like that. And case studies, or is thought leadership, which is external, it's talking about the industry and their own opinion on the things that that they're doing and, and where the industry is going, which is internal looking around their business for content or external looking around their industry for content. And I'm almost like the second step of that. So take for leadership. What I'll do with a client is I'll get them to feed me what they've been thinking essentially. So within a week, there's a lot of conversations that we'll personally have in our in our roles. conversations, meetings, and developments, and progress and challenges and opportunities. And all these things can make interesting thoughts. And they already are making interesting thoughts in that CEOs head. But the difficulty is that they're not taking the time to sit down and try to extract what those interesting thoughts are. They're not observing or reflecting on it. They're just in autonomous mode. And they're thinking and thinking and thinking. So all this stuff is just stuck in their heads, which is really, really interesting 90% of the time. So it's my job to try to tap into that. And I have to create a process that works with them to get that out. Whether that's, they might, they might be fine on video, and they'll do a podcast or audio or written blogs, or I have clients send me WhatsApp or voice notes at the end of a week on a Friday afternoon. And they'll say, hey, Ash, so I'm just going to go through the week, this conversation is me in I this phone call this is happening within the business. And my thoughts on that have been this. And any other interesting things that they've been thinking throughout the week, it's almost like a brain dump for them at the end of the week. And then it's my job then to look at all that and go right, what in here is going to work on social for this person in relation to what they're trying to achieve, who they're trying to talk to, what's the audience that they're trying to reach? How do they want to position themselves, what things that they feel they want to be talking on and be a thought leader on? So I'll look at the information that they give me this brain dump of sorts, and I'll start to pick out the interesting things. And then it's my job to turn those interesting little nuggets and ideas and thoughts into something that you'd see on LinkedIn, that would be a very engaging piece of content.

Mike: And how do you measure your success? I mean, what are you looking to achieve as it reaches engagement? Is it just producing the content?

Ash: It's three things in reaching engagement. So just social metrics? Are they going in the right direction? Are they increasing over time? It's, is this driving? What that ultimate like KPI metric is, which might be leads, new business conversations, Meteor opportunities? Is it driving those things? And also, is it helping to achieve what they want their ultimate position into being? So I get them to decide at the start? Like what? How do you want to be perceived? Ultimately, what is the position that you want to take off in the minds of the audience that you're trying to reach? What's the big goal in terms of your position and in relation to your business and the business itself? And over time, is the content pulling back to achieve in that position in? Is it always every piece of content, we do take it one step further to solidifying that position in a perception in the minds of the audience, because you can influence people's perception through content over time. If it's strategic control out, so those are the kind of three things that I focus on when, when trying to decipher whether what we're doing is working.

Mike: That's, that's brilliant. I mean, it's a looking at the approach in in multiple ways. I mean, when you say, you know, CEOs have to decide how they want to be perceived. I mean, could you give us some examples of, you know, what people are trying to achieve on LinkedIn as CEOs?

Ash: Um, yeah, again, it depends. So a lot with some clients I work with, it's, it's just, I want us to be positioned as the, one of the leading agencies in our sector, which is this sector, and I also want us to be positioned as one of the best places to work in our industry, that will be the position, you know, that's one of my clients wants to achieve. None of that is about him. It's just, it's just about he's, so his content becomes helping achieve those things, is helping position the business as a leader in its sector, which is thought leadership and showing that the business does that, and the culture side of things. So it's is it's about positioning the company somewhere that's great to work there takes care of their people. And none of that is about the eye. Whereas some people will be like, I want to be one of the most influential people within my industry, which is a very different tone and approach to to the previous one. So yes, it just depends on on what they're trying to achieve, really. And there's, there's, there's nothing it's gonna sound awful to say, but there's nothing that I can't do. for them. It just whatever they want. To achieve, I can help them achieve it, I feel, they just have to really be self aware and understand what it is they're trying to achieve. And that's the thing that I focus on one first working with clients is because a lot of the time they don't know what they're trying to achieve, they just think doing it is a good idea. So it's almost like trying to focus on the bigger picture at start and really nail what that bigger picture looks like in a framework. And then yeah, moving forward from there, and ensuring that it all pulls back into trying to achieve those things at the start.

Mike: That's, that's really good advice. So you know, the first step on any social media campaign is to be really clear about the goals. And I think it's very easy just to rush in and start posting, and not really have a clear objective. So I think that's, that's great advice.

Ash: Yeah, hundred percent, I see a lot of the time, even some people that I work within the first month, it feels super skygo. It's just a scattergun approach. So just is not contact the sacred content, but they'll be doing a lot of different things at the same time. And it's like, you almost have to narrow it as you go. And really start to hone in on what they're trying to achieve and what they're trying to say.

Mike: Brilliant. I think that's, that's key. I'm sure, one of the things that our podcast listeners would want is some, you know, ideas and tips on how to improve their LinkedIn presence. So, you know, I mean, the first thing to talk about maybe is reach, you know, how did you get more reach? Is it all just about getting the biggest network you possibly can? Or is it different to that?

Ash: No, I think for me, it's an organic approach. So you'll get some people will just build a big audience. And that's not necessarily like people that they know, they're just connecting with people. But for me how I approach it is just good content. Put good content out there, understand what your audience resonates with and start to narrow what you do more in that direction over time. So the content is becoming more relevant to the audience, which results in greater reach. And then from that greater reach, just connecting with the people that are engaging with that content. So it's like organic, audience building, you're only building your audience, when it's people who care about what you've got to say, a lot of the time, I personally only just, it's just people who connect with me. So I know for a fact that if I'm putting content out there, it's resonating well, and someone connects with me off the back of it, then it's someone who's interested in what I've got to say. And in terms of how people, I think the best way that people can get started in doing that, is, like I say, observe and reflect, take, take once a week on a Friday, Friday afternoon, just book out the 10 minutes in your diary, and turn the voice note function on your phone on and just talk about what your week has been like and any things that you've been thinking about this week, in particular, or interesting thoughts that come off the back of the things that you're reflecting on? And then listen to that back and listen to it with through the filter of would this make a good, interesting piece of content for who I'm trying to engage with? And I think the answer will be, yeah, at least be one thing in there in a week, it tends to be the case with clients, every time we do that exercise, at least one piece of content comes on the back of it. So yeah, that in terms of how can you create content in a really easy way, it can take 10 minutes on a Friday, just by doing that exercise, and it's something that I do with a lot of clients, and it really, really works. And then yeah, just get involved get stuck in there get pointed out. And the biggest thing as well is I'm I always learned is that you learn as you go. So you can do as much pre approach you can do as much planning and that kind of thing. But the majority of the time the learning comes from putting content out there and seeing what works and what didn't.

Mike: That's brilliant. I mean, so the, the idea of actually testing things and seeing where they work, I think is great advice. I mean, is there any kind of rules of thumb as to what types of content work better? You know, I hear a lot about video on LinkedIn at the moment.

Ash: Um, I think video was a conversation. like six months ago, everything was video video,video, but I I'm not sure. I'm just not sure whether the browse time is there. Because I don't feel that personally, I'm not spending a minute solid on one person's piece of content on LinkedIn. It's very much a casual browse environment for me. And I feel like that's the same with quite a few other people. So I think it's very difficult to get people to watch something that's 1234 minutes. So I think Yeah, video really works. I found when it's short, and it's really relevant to the point or it's valuable. If it's just casual video, it tends to fly I personally, I only do text posts for myself, and they really, really work. I'm a big fan of just doing text posts. But I don't think there's one thing that takes priority over others to a big degree, video works, image works, text works, articles work, it's just good content. At the end of the day good content will work no matter what format it's in on LinkedIn.

Mike: Right? That's really good advice. Um, is there anything else you suggest people think about as, you know, your top tip for either avoiding the pitfalls of, you know, doing the wrong thing, or alternatively, you know, being more effective on LinkedIn.

Ash: Um, yeah, if it, if it's something that Steve said to me yesterday, or the day before, he said, if the world has already heard it, I don't want them to hear it again from me, which is a really interesting point. And if you look at things through that point of view, you're never going to produce content that is vanilla, or it's easily ignored. And that doesn't mean that you have to have a really unique engaging point of view, that's groundbreaking, it just means you have to tell it in a different way. So you can take a very basic point that everyone has heard, like, I don't know, Mental Health Awareness Week, last week, I saw a lot of people doing content around that. And mental health matters is a super generic basic point of view that everyone is heard and everybody understands the importance of. But that doesn't mean you should avoid that point, you just have to tell it in a way that people haven't heard before. And how you do that is maybe by talking about your experiences in your business, handling that as a, as a subject, how is the business coping with people's what, what do they put in place for employees, and nobody has ever heard that unless you've told that before, unless you said this is how our business approaches mental health for our employees, then it's a completely unique point of view, because it's about your business and your experiences. So I think that idea of like, don't put, if if a message is already out in the world, they don't need to hear it from me again. But that doesn't mean that you can't lean into the generic and broad and widely spoke about topics because that's where you get a lot of ideas and inspiration. It's just about spinning them in your own unique way, in a way that no one's read before.

Mike: I think that's, that's great advice. Thank you. So if people listening to the podcast would like to know more or perhaps work with you to either build their profile? Or if they're in the marketing team, the profile of their CEO? How would they get in contact with you?

Ash: LinkedIn, which I'm just Ash Jones on there. And you'll see like my tagline says about working with CEOs. My website is great and my email

Mike: Fantastic. Thank you. I hope people listening do get in contact because I know you can add a lot of value. So thank you very much Ash. I really appreciate your time and all your insights today.

Ash: Oh, my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Mike: 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

Elektronik World of Solutions Virtual Trade Fair Announced for July 2020

WEKA FACHMEDIEN publication's Elektronik and Elektronik Automotive, have announced Elektronik world of solutions a virtual trade fair due to take place from 20th-31st July 2020.

The fair aims to offer companies within the embedded industry a new opportunity to network and exchange information with fellow professionals. As an exhibitor, companies can set up their virtual stands to present product innovations, and visitors can use live chats to get in touch with exhibitors in real time.

The trade fair will also feature a digital exhibitor forum, where exhibitors are invited to share further information via a detailed presentation in a specific speaker slot.

Exhibitors will also receive all contact details of stand visitors, the participants from their speaker slot, and contacts from chat requests, all in compliance with GDPR.

As trade shows continue to be a thing of the past in this new COVID reality, we think its great to see further publications jumping on the virtual bandwagon, and we look forward to hearing the industry's viewpoint on the fair once it has taken place.

For more information and to find out how you can participate please click here.