IET Innovation Awards 2017 are Open for Entry

The Institution of Engineering and Technology innovation awards for 2017, are now open for entry. These prestigious awards aim to celebrate the best innovations from not only the industry, but also academia. As they share the landmark work and developments taking place across vital areas of science, engineering and technology.

With a wide range of 15 categories to choose from, including transport, sustainability and cyber security. The awards cover every aspect of the engineering industry, with each category judged by a panel of individual and impartial experts. The deadline for entries is the 7th July 2017, and the shortlist will be announced in late September followed by a black-tie awards ceremony and dinner on the 15th November 2017 at the Brewery, London.

The awards offer free entry and are open to any individual, company or organisation with any idea, product or technology development. The IET innovation awards are quickly growing in popularity, attracting over 300 entries each year, with an increased 500 guests attending the ceremony dinner this year, to celebrate the successes of the shortlisted entries.

To find out more and to share your brilliant ideas at the awards, take a look at the IET Innovation Awards website for more information: www.theiet.org/innovation


Network, Engage and Learn at What’s New in Electronics Live

What’s New in Electronics Live is just around the corner, and promises to be a busy event, presenting the latest products and services in the electronics industry. As well as live debates, forums and competitions.

Held at The NEC in Birmingham in Hall 8 from the 9th-10th May, there is the opportunity to see over one hundred companies and brands showcasing all aspects and processes of the electronics manufacturing industry, as well as two full days of free technical content. The event also includes an innovations forum, round table debates, and technical workshops. What’s New in Electronics Live isn’t one to miss.

Open from 9.30am to 5pm on Tuesday the 9th, and 9.30am-4pm on Wednesday the 10th, this event offers companies and individuals to network with key industry contacts, and discover the emerging opportunities and challenges facing the electronics industry.

To register and gain speedy entry to the event click here to sign up.

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Good News for the German Print Advertising Market

WEKA FACHMEDIEN revealed a bout of good news, highlighting that mediaskop recently announced advertising statistics showing that the German print advertising market in the electronics segment has grown in 2016.

In contrast to last year, print advertising volumes grew by nearly 6% and ad spending rose from 26 million in 2015 to 27.7 million in 2016. This encouraging growth, reflected well on the German print market, and on WEKA FACHMEDIEN, whose magazine Markt&Technik achieved outstanding advertising turnover growth in 2016; 46% higher than its nearest competitor. The success does not stop there, as both Elektronik and DESIGN&ELEKTRONIK, also achieved increased sales turnover.

This news shows that print still isn’t dead yet in Germany, and is actually showing strong growth, despite the move to digital media.


PSD Power Systems Design

Jason Lomberg replaces Alix Paltre at Power Systems Design (PSD)

Jason Lomberg has been appointed North American editor at Power Systems Design He replaces Alix Paltre, who recently left the publication to move to Open Systems Media, and also offer a freelance writing service. With seven years at ECN (Electronic Component News) as their digital editor, Jason brings a wealth of online and newsletter experience, as well as a great track record as a journalist.

Interestingly, Jason’s most role was at Gannett Newspapers, where he was a regional audience analyst, using analytics to guide decisions across the brand. This means he brings some interesting expertise around maximizing online traffic that could help to boost the performance of the PSD website.

Jason’s new position with PSD as North America editor allows him to focus solely on the power market in North America. We're informed that PSD is also in the process of hiring a journalist in Europe to cover the European power news, which will mean PSD is the only English language power publication to have dedicated editorial coverage in both North America and Europe as well as their long-established Chinese based publishing efforts in Mainland China.

It's great to see PSD continuing to commit to hiring strong, experienced journalists, and I'm particularly pleased that they have decided to hire resources in Europe as well as the USA. It certainly shows that independent publications can continue to invest, and publishers don't need to sell to large distributors to succeed.

Jason can be reached at: [email protected].

 


Congratulations to Michelle Winny on the birth of her baby boy!

Huge congratulations are in order for Michelle Winny of Electronics Magazine, on the birth of her baby boy Dylan.

We wish the best to both Michelle and the new addition to her family.


Google

Google Updates Meaning of AdWords "Exact Match"

From the 1st April 2017, Google AdWords initiated changes to the way in which close match variants work on exact match keywords. The introduction of this change will see an expansion of close variant matching, to include the rewording and reordering of exact match keywords. In an effort to make it easier to reach consumers in different ways they search.

This change has been met with mixed reviews, with writers such as columnist Adam Levy summing up the problem in one simple sentence, that this change will affect “two major parts of what we advertisers have historically loved about exact match: preserving word order and keeping out filler, or “function,” words”. With an air of uncertainty surrounding this change, combined with the previous resistance of the introduction of close variants in 2012, it is no wonder companies are worried about the impact this change will have on their accounts.

But not to worry, for as Google’s trust in machine learning continues to grow, there is the belief that advertisers can let the algorithms take over, allowing them to focus more on other aspects of their companies. The positives continue to grow as writer Ginny Martin explained how Google pronounced that their early tests “indicate advertisers could see up 3 percent more exact match clocks on average while maintaining comparable click-through and conversion rates.”

Google is also attempting to soothe advertisers concerns, stressing that they will not change the word order or function words in exact match, if it would alter the meaning of a consumers query. With this matter resolved, it is hard to ignore the benefits this update holds for advertisers. This expansion, will grant reach for advertisers to target audience’s they never could before, as well as preventing them from having to create large lists of keywords, a vital time-saving aspect.

Although this change might take a while to adjust too, savvy companies will know how to make the most of this update, ensuring they stay in control by revisiting not only their keywords but also their negative keywords, to guarantee exact match is making as much impact for them as possible.


Publishing as the new information currency

The following is an opinion submitted to us by Brett van den Bosch, editor of South African publication Dataweek. In it, he considers the value of publishing, and the impact of distributors buying their way into the publishing industry.

 

The current era of human civilisation is often described as the information age, but I would argue that we've crossed the Rubicon into what could be better described as the data age. At face value that may seem a trivial distinction, but then so much of our lives has been trivialised into data points to be traded on the online market. Google has evolved from everyone's favourite search engine into one of the world's technology giants on the strength of its business model of gathering data about our online behaviour - our interests, habits, proclivities and naughties - and packaging that data as a commodity to be sold to its clients, the advertisers and marketers of this world. Facebook was built on a similar philosophy, and in case you didn't know, although you technically 'own' all the data they have on you, they can legally do whatever they want with it - photos, comments, the works; it's in their terms and conditions.

Brett van den Bosch, DataweekOf course, the B2B publishing business has evolved to keep pace with the social revolution that is the Internet, by offering an ever expanding menu of online dishes: banner ads, mass e-mailers, podcasts, videos, even pop-up ads (bleugh!) have become de rigueur. Most publishers in the engineering sector still supplement their diet with the tried and trusted staple of print, but even that has changed as recent years have seen some venerable publications migrate to a digital-only model. We in the publishing business are inclined to view our platter of offerings as a selection of ingredients for our clients to concoct their flavour of the week, but perhaps there's some value in changing our way of thinking to viewing our intellectual property as a currency rather than a medium (or more accurately a menu of media).

If we think in those terms, one could say that mass print media was the information currency of the 20th century, insofar as it was the dominant method of propagating news and opinions. I'm no historian, but looking back in time I would guess the Egyptian empire at its height was the first time the medium of information - papyrus - evolved into a currency of sorts. After all, the Egyptian government in those days was prepared to pay more for a book - any book, so I'm led to believe - than its weight in gold, such was its insatiable thirst for knowledge. Later, paper money would even become the preferred denomination of currency itself, a trend that persists to this day.

Seeing as my mental meanderings have brought me back to modern times, why do people put more stock in the dollar than any other currency in the world? Because it's seen as reliable and relatively stable - it's trusted. In the context of the recent proliferation of fake news - and let's be honest, anybody can say anything they want on social media and some fool will buy it - the publishing industry is still, for the most part, regarded as a touchstone for trustworthy information. May it always be that way.

Should we not then consider looking at this changing of the guard, from print to digital publishing, as a market-driven evolution to a new form of currency, just as we have moved from physical cash to digital banking to Bitcoin? Whereas print was to publishing as notes were to currency - in the sense that once it leaves your hands there's no accounting for who possesses it or what they do with it - digital marketers hold us to account for the number of page views, the quantity of clicks, the amount of time spent on a page, and various other metrics they believe define the value of our work.

The value, or rather the worth, of the information we as publishers purvey is no longer in the eye of the beholder. It is increasingly becoming a commodity with a market value that places a greater emphasis on the actioned than the actionable, that covets the quantifiable over the qualitative, or informative. We can argue until we're blue in the face that those raw numbers don't represent the true value of our content, but marketers are more and more insisting that they do. And who are we to argue? It is they who pay the bills after all.

The recent trend of electronic component distributors taking over established publications (as Arrow Electronics did when it bought United Technical Publishing and ICC Media) signals their intent to profit from this new currency, just as banks profit from every transaction that passes through their hands. The question is not so much whether the publishing industry is able to adapt to the ensuing paradigm shift, but whether the information consumers - the B2B engineering sector at large - will trust them the way they do us.


Engineers and Social Media

Results are out for the Engineer’s Social Media Report

IEEE Engineering360 Media Solutions, recently conducted its annual ‘Social Media Use in the Industrial Sector’ survey. The online survey, which results were released in the Engineering360 Research Report, looked at a broader engineering section, and asked engineers and technical professionals in the industrial sector about their frequency of social media use, which social media platforms they prefer, and what work-related activities they perform on social media.

The US based survey targeted 850 respondents who are a mixture of engineers and technical professionals, and although there were no outstanding results from the survey, there were still many interesting findings that are worth the attention.

A fascinating finding from the survey is the position social media has established in the industrial sector. As social media has evolved into a reputable media channel, more engineers and technical professionals are beginning to rely on its online services.  LinkedIn is the most popular platform among the sector, with a staggering 65% of engineers and technical professionals maintaining an account on LinkedIn. Significantly, the age group 18-34 years old, maintain accounts on nearly all platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Delving further into the results, 54% of respondents use social media to find product reviews, whilst 43% use social media to find out expertise.

Although social media’s postion is slowly becoming more important in the industrial sector, the results reveal that it is not a leading channel or prime concern for engineers and technical professionals. 55% of respondents considered social media to have too much noise and not enough substance, whilst 64% believe social media is inefficient when compared to other methods such as search engines, supplier websites and online catalogs.

It seems the industrial sector is reluctant to accept the full benefits of social media and integrate it fully into their work activities. Yet, with the steady increase of young engineers and technical professionals joining the industry, with a massive 66% of respondents in the 18-34 group using the popular channel of YouTube for work-related purposes, it is hard to argue against social media making a bigger impact on the sector in the years to come.


BEEAs and Elektra Awards 2017 open for entry

The British Engineering Excellence and Elektra Awards 2017 are now open for entries.

Launched in 2009, the British Engineering Excellence Awards have 11 categories, with Engineering Ambassador and New Product of the Year (Aerospace) being introduced for the first time. With previous winners ranging from chip designs to earth moving vehicles, the awards allow you to experience a wide range of the UK’s engineering and innovation capabilities.

The Elektra Awards which is now on its 15th year, is described as the most prestigious award in the electronics industry. With 24 trophies up for grabs, across categories such as business awards, and Excellence in Design. Competition is continuing to get harder as companies strive to be the best in the industry.

Both awards have an easy, quick online entry process which is completely free. The entry deadline for the BEEAs award is Friday 14th July 2017, and for the Elektra Awards is Friday 16th June 2017.

For more information to enter click here for the BEEAs and click here to discover how to enter the Elektra Awards.


Elektor Launches Elektor Business Magazine

Elektor recently began publishing a new magazine under the name Elektor Business Magazine.

This new magazine aims to establish "bidirectional links" between the electronics industry and research institutions. As well as ambitious hardware and software developers in home labs, startups and spinouts.

Elektor is breaking away from its usual audience, as Elektor Business Magazine aims to educate startup companies on high-tech technology, offering solid guidance to those in need. This interesting turn for Elektor, with the magazine also being printed in both English and German, as well as introducing the importance of bidirectional links, reveals a want for them to expand out of their normal target audience.

To find out more, check out the latest editions of Elektor Business Magazine.


Elektor to Host Rebecca Geier’s Workshop Tour for Marketers

Elektor has invited Rebecca Geier to Europe, to host a Smart Marketing for Engineers Workshop Tour on Elektor’s behalf in June 2017.

Rebecca Geier is a well- known American marketing specialist, who was a member of the marketing leadership team at National Instruments for 14 years, and holds more than 25 years’ of global marketing experience in engineering and scientific markets.

The Smart Marketing for Engineers Workshop tour will aim to present highly tangible and measurable information targeted at any technical audience. Interestingly, Rebecca, similar to other engineers, is known to not hide behind ‘management speak’, as she will zoom in or many different choices a technology oriented company has to make to be successful.

Elektor is encouraging business deciders and marketing specialists to take notice of this workshop and participate. With a long list of benefits after you’ve completed the workshop, such as a prioritized plan for marketing investments, and a draft campaign and content marketing plan, it seems this workshop is an opportunity you wouldn’t want to miss.

The workshop will consist of a day and a half, and will be held in Munich the 12th-13th June, Berlin from the 15th-16th June, Aachen from the 19th-20th June and Eindhoven on the 22nd-23rd June.

To find out more about the in-depth topics covered during the workshop, read about Rebecca's tour on the Elektor website.


electropages

It’s not just Arrow who has entered the publishing business

At embedded world this year there were some people muttering about the ownership of Electropages.com by Mouser. I have taken some time to write about this, as I wanted to get my facts right, and I'm pleased to say Electropages and Mouser were both very open and helpful when I asked them about the situation.

Electropages was formed when Craig Dyball approached Brian Butler back in 1999 with the idea of creating an online publication for the electronics industry. The publication grew and developed, with a large proportion of their advertising revenue being driven by distributors, and in 2015 they made an eye-catching appointment by bringing highly-respected journalist Paul Whytock into the team. They’ve also been very proactive in developing apps for both iOS and Android. It sounds like a nice little publishing business that frankly has done rather well over the years. But that’s not quite the full story.

Back in 2014, the company was quietly sold. Quietly sold to Mouser: a direct competitor of many of the bigger advertisers on the platform. Today Mouser owns all the shares and has the only directorship in the company. Yet it’s my understanding that some of the best customers of Electropages were completely unaware of the fact that they are doing business with a company owned by a major competitor.

There is nothing wrong with a distributor owning a publication. Although they didn’t necessarily make a lot of friends with their acquisitions in the USA, it’s arguable that Arrow helped secure the future of the publications they bought, as they were not particularly loved by their previous owners. Arrow was very up front about their acquisitions, whereas Mouser have been rather secretive, raising questions about possible conflicts of interest.

To be fair the ownership has not been hidden when it comes to records at Companies House. It’s pretty clear who owns the company, but you do wonder why both Electropages and Mouser omitted to actually tell anyone of the change of ownership. I can certainly understand that they didn’t want to upset the advertisers, and any discussion would potentially raise questions about the future of Craig and Brian at the company, but it seems obvious that not being as open as they could be would only cause bigger problems when the news finally got out.

There is no suggestion of the companies doing anything wrong, but it doesn’t feel right. Although Electropages has definitively told me that there is no sharing of data with Mouser, the lack of openness fueled concerns like these during embedded world.

When I contacted Electropages, there certainly wasn't any attempt to conceal the situation. To be fair to Craig, he was very open about the relationship with Mouser, and explained the desire to have the site run on a "business as usual" basis after the acquisition. He also arranged for a statement from Mouser, which is very clear, and also suggests that there is no passing of data between the two businesses:

"Mouser confirms that Electropages, the UK-based digital marketing business, is a wholly owned subsidiary, and this has been a matter of public record since the acquisition three years ago. Electropages runs, like so many other Berkshire Hathaway companies, as a totally independent business.

Both Mouser and Electropages serve the electronic design community worldwide. Mouser’s goal is to be first to make new electronic products and technologies available to its customers and to offer the widest choice from leading manufacturers. Electropages’ goal is to be first to communicate news of new products and technologies, so there were clear synergies.

Electropages runs as a fully independent business under its founder, Craig Dyball. The acquisition by Mouser provided him with the financial resources to develop the site, adding further value for its readers and advertisers. The growth of Electropages, which now has over 97,000 subscribers, an increase of 80% from three years ago, attests to the ongoing success of his strategy."

What’s the future for Electropages? Despite feeling unhappy at the way they kept people in the dark over the site ownership, I’d like to believe that there is nothing to worry about and that the site will continue to grow and develop. They’ve been one of the more innovative publications, and I’d love Mouser to support them to become bigger and better. Perhaps their biggest challenge is convincing the direct competitors that advertise on their site that there is nothing to worry about, and that the businesses are independent. At this stage, however, it is clear that the advertisers haven't fled the site, so I'm hopeful that Electropages will continue to have positive momentum and remain one of the publishers with the most innovative approach in our industry.


New Assistant Editor for Electronic Product Design and Test

Electronic Product Design and Test has recently employed Sam Holland as their new assistant editor.

Sam is an English Literature graduate from the University of Portsmouth, and has strong background with admin, publishing and editorial experience. As someone who describes himself as a determined person, we know Sam will be a perfect fit for Electronic Product Design and Test (EPDT).

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


OpenSystems Media appoints new European Editor

alix-paultreCongratulations to Alix Paultre who has been appointed as the new European Editor of OpenSystems Media. Alix is taking over from Rory Dear (who is focusing on the commercial side of the business), and will help OpenSystems Media expand their reach into Power and Analog, as he will handle not only European content but also Embedded Analog and Power coverage.

Alix is hugely passionate about technology, having experienced many different industries across the technology market. For the past 20 years, he has worked with several media companies including Electronic Products, Advantage Business Media and most recently, Power Systems Design.

As one of the last remaining independent media companies, and a leading publisher of electronics magazines, OpenSystems Media believes Alix will be a great fit to their team. Rich Nass, EVP of Embedded at OpenSystems Media, defines Alix as a long-time industry veteran, and is excited to have someone of Alix’s caliber on his team.

Alix current resides in Wisebaden Germany, and is looking forward to contributing a regular column on power and helping continue OpenSystems Media’s growth in Europe. He recently left his previous role at Power Systems Design (PSD) after several successful years, and we understand that the search for his replacement at PSD is well under way.

We wish Alix the best of luck in his new role.


What’s New in Electronics Live announces inaugural Innovations Forum

Following on from the recent announcement of an embedded area, What’s New in Electronics Live (WNIE), which will be held from the 9th-10th May at the NEC in Birmingham, has announced plans to hold their first Innovations Forum.

The inaugural innovations forum will discuss ‘Open Innovation as a New idea, Device or Method. Driving towards 2020, what does innovation mean to you and your business?’ With plans to encourage professionals to take part from all different aspects of the supply chain, I’m sure this discussion will not fail to grasp the attention of industry experts. It will be held on May 10th, from 10.00-12.00 and will bring together five key industry professionals, who will give a concise innovation technology focussed presentation, and will be covered by key members of the media.

With the forum’s main focus to transfer knowledge and improve competitiveness surrounding the key strengths of the UK, it is no wonder the seats are filling up fast.


Electronics Notes Rising in Popularity

Electronics Notes is a web based online resource platform which provides radio and electronics tutorials and notes which aims to teach and help their audience learn about electronics.

The site, which has only been live since October last year, is now serving over 100k page views a month, and is continuing to see an increase in the amount of traffic on the site. Electronics Notes, is adding new resources regularly and have developed their own YouTube channel, which already has 500 subscribers after only 3 and a half months.

It is nice to see that experts, and professionals alike are taking advantages of these resources available to them, and as Electronic Notes continues to rise in popularity, I’m sure more people will become aware of how vital sites like these are to helping the electronics industry grow and expand.


EE Times Europe becomes eeNews Europe

EETimes Europe and EDN Europe Rebranding: Interview with Andre Rousselot

andre rousselot eeNews Europe eeDesign NewsEETimes Europe and EDN Europe have rebranded to eeNews Europe and eeDesign News. In this interview, Andre Rousselot explains the reasons behind the rebrand and talks about the future of the two titles.

 

Why do we need a rebranding?

The rebranding is required because of Aspencore’s decision not to renew the licence agreement between UBM and EBP originally signed in 2009. This licence agreement has been very successful  for UBM as it has established the EE Times and EDN brands in Europe at no cost for UBM. However, the rebranding will give EBP total control on its publications once again.

 

What else is changing?

The acquisition of EETimes and EDN in the USA and Asia by Aspencore has also resulted in the cancellation of a long-term content sharing agreement and a long term sales agreement.

  1. Content sharing: this agreement was beneficial to both parties as it allowed our European Editors to repurpose US generated contents and both US and Asian Editors to repurpose content generated in Europe. In the past few years, after the folding of print editions in the USA, the content stream towards the USA was far greater than the reverse flow.
  2. Sales agreement: the independent team of sales people from EBP was selling advertising for USA and Asia and the Asian sales people were selling for the European products

 

How much did you own of EETimes Europe and EDN Europe?

We own the circulation database and website; the only thing we licenced was the brands. I'd already made the decision to not use eetimes.eu a few years ago: at that time UBM's intentions weren't clear and I wanted to control the URLs for the publications. [note - at the time I questioned the logic of using the new URLs for EETimes Europe, but now it's clear that Andre was right and I was wrong!].

We have given Aspencore the European URLs so they can use them in the future, if they want (e.g. eetimes.eu, eetimes.co.uk).

 

 

Why did Aspencore buy EETimes and EDN?

According so senior sources at Aspencore, the official reason is to keep publications alive to inform engineers around the world. The reality may be far different as it appears that Aspencore  guided by Arrow ( the owner of Aspencore) to create a monopoly of publications in key markets such as the USA and Asia. In the age of Big Data, correlating audience data of publications and websites with customer data of a large distributor is a big temptation especially when you own both!

Some have used the term “The dark side of electronics industry publishing and I like the analogy and people in the industry are now calling EE Times a “toxic brand” which makes me less sad to have to abandon it after so many years...

 

How are EBP’s products affected?

  1. Publications: except for the name change to eeNews Europe and eeDesign News Europe, nothing will change as EBP is and remains the unique owner of the reader data bases of these publications.
  2. Websites: the websites will use new URLs and the old URLs that remain the property of EBP will be forwarded to the new URLs, eenewseurope.com and www.eenewsdesigneurope.com respectively.

 

Has the rebranding driven changes to the editorial teams?

All editors will continue working for the new titles and websites

  • Julien Happich is the Editor in chief for eeNews Europe and also runs LEDlighting
  • Peter Clarke is in charge for Analog, MEMS and Sensors
  • Christoph Hammersschmidt runs Automotive and Smat2zero
  • Nick Flaherty runs Power Management and T&M
  • Jean-Pierre Joosting is Editor in Chief of MWee and runs RF and Microwave
  • Graham Prophet is Editor in Chief of eeDesign News Europe
  • Rich Pell is the US based editor for Smart2zero.com
  • Alain Dieul is Editor in Chief of Electronique C&I

 

Any plans to return to print: for example with eeDesign News Europe?

We have no plans to print either of the titles. The digital magzine generates revenue and is reletively low cost to produce - certainly lower than print. If we have opportunity in the future, then we will look at print, but I think it's unlikely that returning to print would be possible.

 

When is the official date for the rebranding?

The first issues with the eeNews and eeDesign brands are the April issues

The websites will be rebranded in the last week of March

 

Where can I find the new media data ?

New media data can be downloaded from the new site:

 

 


New LinkedIn Sponsored Content Format

Updated Specification for LinkedIn Sponsored Content

Just over a month ago, LinkedIn started gradually rolling out its new desktop experience. This redesign was prompted by user feedback in an attempt to make using LinkedIn a faster and more intuitive experience and to be more consistent with the mobile app experience. As part of this project, LinkedIn has changed the way sponsored content will be displayed. With sponsored content providing the best ROI on LinkedIn for B2B marketers (according to our data), it's important to understand what the changes will mean.

 

What’s new for LinkedIn sponsored content?

Navigation has been simplified and on viewing user’s profiles, the new ‘highlights’ section makes it easier to see mutual connections, group memberships and employment history users might have in common.

 

Why does this affect B2B marketing?

As a part of this shake up, Sponsored Content ads will be displayed in a different format ‘for an optimal viewing experience’.  This change means that Sponsored Content ads will appear larger in the news feed, meaning that images are more important than ever. In addition, sponsored content ads will no longer display description text.

See the screenshots below for a before and after view. The description text is underlined in red:

BEFORE:

Old-Style LinkedIn Sponsored Content

AFTER:

New LinkedIn Sponsored Content Format
.

The removal of description text means that marketing messages in the introductory text need to be even clearer. When including links to landing pages or website pages, the sponsored content post title and image will be automatically scraped from these pages, so you need to ensure that your web content on these pages is relevant to your post topic on LinkedIn, if you’re sponsored content is to be effective.

If needed an image can be manually uploaded and added to your sponsored content post, ideally with a pixel width of 200 or more. If the image is smaller than 200px, it will display as a thumbnail on the left-hand side of the introductory text.

 

Making the most of sponsored content introductory text

With the loss of description text, marketers have even less space to communicate. Although a LinkedIn post can include up to 600 characters, sponsored content posts only display the first 150 characters. If the text exceeds 150 characters, the post text will be truncated and "...read more" will be displayed to continue reading the remaining text. This is true for desktops but mobile devices may truncate the text earlier. Landing page URL’s are also counted in the total number of characters and those over 23 characters are shortened by the LinkedIn shortener, this is especially worth noting if you are going to the effort of using a vanity URL. With the reduction in available text space, compelling and relevant copy (and landing page) is a must, if sponsored content posts are to be successful.

To achieve the best results from the new-look sponsored content marketers need to make sure posts fit the following best practice criteria:

  • Image Size: 1.91:1 ratio (1200x627px) Industry Standard
  • Introductory Text: 150 characters or less, including the landing page URL
  • Title: 70 characters or less

 

Learn more

To learn more about using LinkedIn, contact Napier or download our guide to creating the perfect LinkedIn company page.

 


Electronics Bulgaria Celebrates 5th Anniversary

Congratulations to Electronics Bulgaria who are celebrating their 5th Anniversary, having launched in 2012.

Electronics Bulgaria is the largest Bulgarian web portal for Electronics, providing specialized information on products, technologies and know-how services for the industry. It provides daily, up to date expert and valuable information for professionals working in the industrial sector in Bulgaria.

As one of the 11 specialized portals in the group IndustryInfo.bg, which holds 90,000 monthly readers and 20,000 subscribers, the Bulgarian web portal has become a popular and very useful source of information for professionals. Due to Electronics Bulgaria’s content and focus, the portal has been formed as a unique media channel connecting specialized companies with their target audiences.

We wish Electronics Bulgaria the best of luck for the future, and may their success continue.


EE Times Europe and EDN Europe to rebrand

EE Times Europe becomes eeNews Europe
The announcement of the change of name to eeNews Europe
to EE Times Europe (click to enlarge)

In what is probably going to be one of the least surprising moves in the electronics media this year, Aspencore has decided not to continue licencing the EE Times and EDN brands to European Business Press, and so the publisher is rebranding the two titles.

EE Times Europe will be rebranded eeNews Europe, while EDN Europe will become eeDesignNews. The editorial teams for the European titles will remain unchanged, and we're not expecting any major changes to the titles.

The vertical sites published by EBP will also be renamed with the "ee" branding. So we will be seeing eeNews Analog, eeNews Automotive, eeNews Power Management, eeNews LED Lighting and eeNews T&M sites launched (with the same content as the previous websites).

The official switch of brand will be on 1st April 2017. We're hoping to get an interview with EBP's publisher, Andre Rousselot to find out more. We'll also be talking to Aspencore at embedded world to find out whether they have any plans to use the EE Times and EDN brands in Europe.

Of course the driver behind the change is Arrow's acquisition of the UBM titles. I think it's hard to read too much into the move: frankly I would have been surprised if they didn't stop licencing the brands. We can guess that the media acquisition fever that Arrow had isn't going to be quite as virulent this side of the Atlantic (surely EBP would have been an obvious acquisition for them?) and of course Arrow clearly does want control of the titles they own.

 


What’s New in Electronics Live adds an Embedded & Developer Area

What’s New in Electronics Live, the newest event of 2017, will be held from the 9th-10th May at NEC Birmingham, offering the opportunity for visitors and exhibitors to network with key decision makers and experts from the electronics industry. The unfortunate cancellation of the 2017 UK Device Developers Conference, left the software and chip arena without a platform within the UK. With many experts from this area keen to make impact on the UK, the What’s New in Electronics Live have decided to add an Embedded and Developer area to their event.

This area will be formed through a mix of technical content, stand space and smaller showcase pods, to ensure the platform is successful in engaging its visitors.  Pricing for this particular area has also been reduced, to encourage companies to participate and support this area by showing their products, and speaking and reaching out to other members within their network.

There has already been huge support received, with companies such as Hitexd, Lauterbach, Vector and Phaedrus already committed to being involved. The organizers of What’s New in Electronics Live also have a large database, which is currently reaching out to over 75,000 email addresses and 8,500 social media followers, in an attempt to interest and encourage more companies to take part.


Engineers and Social Media

Tech Publications' Plans for 2017 Reveal Surprising Results

At Napier, we take a keen interest in knowing the future of the technology industry, from marketing to the publication world, so at the end of 2016, we launched our B2B Tech Publications Outlook 2017 survey. Our aim was to gather a deeper insight into Tech publications plans for 2017, with an interest on their view of the importance of social media, native advertising and print magazines.  The data collected from several tech publications proved to be surprising, presenting the respondents as finding it tough to be innovative and grow with new digital technology.

A surprisingly strong consensus was that print magazines will still be very important in 2017. Although digital media consumption is continuing to grow, European publishers are still making good money from print. The results also showed tech publications are reluctant to use social media: when asked if social media would be important to their publication in 2017, only 50% of respondents believed it would be. This is an unexpected result, suggesting tech publications feel no need to change their ways, and in fact are quite happy taking a traditional approach.

Interestingly, our results revealed that Tech publications believe native advertising will grow faster than social media. When questioned how important social media and native advertising will become in 5 years, native advertising was favoured as being the most important to tech publications.

For 2017, tech publications continued to surprise us with their main priorities. Increasing revenue from data was the lowest priority for tech publications. Many also believe that their main source of website traffic, Google, will not change in 2017, suggesting that their newsletters and other promotions are less effective than search.

It is worrying to discover that B2B tech publications responses for 2017, are only vaguely different from what they told us in the previous year, 2016. It seems Tech publications do not value increasing their focus on social media. Their main focus continues to be their existing data base, new readers primarily are coming via Google searches (which means they are unlikely to return unless the publication shows up in a future search), and they view data as their least important priority. It is tough for Tech publications to balance everything that could potentially help them, but I am confident, that when they feel the time is right, B2B tech publications will develop and change, to continue to fit in with our new digital world.


2016 Data Protection legislation roundup

2016 was an important year for data protection. Although many marketers still find it hard to believe that legislation will determine to whom they can and cannot send emails, some found out the hard way as regulators across Europe dealt out some significant punishments.

How up to date is your data protection knowledge? Do you remember the implications of these things that happened in 2016?

  • Privacy Shield (the replacement to Safe Harbor)
  • The General Data Protection Regulation
  • The impact of Brexit on data protection
  • Digital Economy Bill
  • e-Privacy Directive (which bizarrely didn't get any privacy as a draft was leaked)

Check out the review of data protection in 2016 by Osbourne Clark to find out more about what happened last year, and how it will change your marketing in 2017.


electrical sourcing MMG

Electrical Sourcing to close

Sadly, MMG Publishing has decided to call time on Electrical Sourcing, with the January / February 2017 edition to be the last one published. Always a smaller publication to it's big sibling, Electronics Sourcing, the closure of the title shows how difficult it is for publishers to take an idea and create a franchise of titles from it.

Mark Leary, the publisher at MMG told us, "Electrical Sourcing has not followed the same successful momentum that the other MMG publications are generating and has not been covering its own production costs for quite a while. With limited sales income it is no longer viable to continue publishing."

The good news is that the editorial content for Electrical Sourcing, such as industrial automation, sensors, lighting, box build and enclosures will be merged into an even stronger Electronics Sourcing.

 

 


2016 mind of the engineer

Do Engineers Really Care About Time-to-Market?

The 2016 Mind of the Engineer survey covers many aspects of the electronics engineering industry, and here at Napier, we took an in-depth interest into the results, presenting our clients with the most significant and interesting outcomes of the survey.

One feature which really stood out were the results involving the responsibility of profitability. It seems directors do not believe engineers or engineering managers should be responsible for profitability of their company, as 66% of respondents believed profitability was the primary responsibility of corporate management.

This is particularly interesting as there seems to be so much focus from electronic component vendors on profit-related messages such as time-to-market. With such a high percentage believing profitability is a primary responsibility of corporate management, it's interesting to analyse why suppliers hold such a different view to this matter.

Obviously engineers make many decisions that have a potential impact on profitability, and anyone who has talked to this important group knows that these decisions are made with careful thought. So clearly these metrics do matter to engineers. In fact 54% of respondents in the survey agreed that management is in alignment with engineers, suggesting that managers take engineers recommendations seriously and engineers are concerned about the issues that managers prioritise.

The profitability-related messaging does work, but we're left wondering whether too many companies are focused on second-tier concerns for the engineers that select products. We believe that there are better ways to describe benefits that will resonate more strongly with engineers. Contact us for more information about how we think component vendors should engage and excite this important audience.