Profiling Stakeholders in an ABM Campaign: Why OrgChartHub is such a Cool Tool

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is one of the hottest topics for B2B technology marketers: Get it right and the results can be almost magical. Since it was pioneered by the ITSMA, ABM has grown in adoption and impact.

The ITSMA developed a seven-step process for ABM:

  1. Knowing what is driving the account
  2. Playing to the client’s needs
  3. Mapping and profiling the stakeholders
  4. Developing targeted value propositions
  5. Planning integrated sales and marketing campaigns
  6. Executing integrated sales and marketing campaigns
  7. Evaluating results and updating plans

Much of this language is familiar to marketers, something that I believe can make us a little too complacent. Specifically, it’s too easy to rush through step three, mapping and profiling the stakeholders.

Today, campaigns are generally based around personas: You might have one for the engineer making the technical decision, another for their boss and another for the purchasing team. They all need to be communicated to in different ways, with different information. With ABM, however, you need to go one level deeper to ensure that you maximise the return your campaign will generate.

Once you move to one-to-one ABM, where a single customer or prospect is the focus, these personas become real people. Of course, they will retain the characteristics of their persona – at least, they will do if you got the persona right – but they adopt individual traits that can be just as important as the persona and role.

A persona to a marketer is very different to a sales persona. While marketers consider motivators and behaviour that is implied by the role, sales people are much blunter. You’re likely to hear your sales team refer to the customer’s decision makers as, “He’s great: he loves us. Or "She doesn’t like us, she prefers competitor X and so she is a blocker.” This level of understanding of the individuals within a business is one of the keys to unlocking the magic of ABM.

It’s obvious that people who are championing your organisation with a customer will want very different communications to those that are blockers. ABM gives you the opportunity to customise the communications based, not just on the individual’s persona, but also their opinions about your company.

So how do you deliver customised messages without making everything a time-consuming, manual process? If you are using HubSpot, then OrgChartHub is a fabulous solution, and something that would win our ABM Product of the Year award, if we gave out awards! This simple tool lets you build org charts of your clients and prospects in HubSpot, tag individuals with their sales personas and, providing you are on a paid plan, create smart lists to deliver content – from emails to landing pages – that is customised to that persona. It doesn’t impact the operation of marketing personas, which is a great feature built-in to HubSpot, but rather sits with those personas, allowing you even more granularity and control.

If you’re struggling to get ABM to deliver the results you want and have some good sales insight that can be used in the campaign, then perhaps sales personas are what you need. I’d love to help you enhance your campaign – send me an email and let’s talk.

If We Leave the EU, You Could Lose Your Website Domain!

OK, we are all bored of Brexit, and by the time I have uploaded this post it’s likely that the most likely outcome will have changed (probably several times). There is, however, a potential consequence of Brexit that some marketers may not have considered.

When, or if, the UK leaves the EU, the EU has stated that its regulatory framework for .eu domains will no longer apply to the UK. This means that:

  • If you are British, you will no longer be able to register .EU domains, nor will you be able to renew any existing .EU domain names, irrespective of whether they were registered before the withdrawal date.
  • The Registry (EURid) will be entitled to revoke .eu domain names on its own initiative.
  • UK rights, such as UK trade marks will no longer be effective in an action against bad faith .EU domain name registrations.
  • Agreements between Registrars and Registrants of .EU domain names can no longer effectively designate UK law or a UK court or dispute resolution body.

Now of course this could be overruled by transitional arrangements in a withdrawal agreement, so even if the UK does leave the EU, these events might not come into effect – at least not immediately. I would, however, recommend reading the EURid Brexit notice, just in case.

The Real Problem for UK Businesses

There will, of course, be a few businesses that stand to lose a .eu domain that they are actively promoting. Although this is a major problem for them, with almost all online activities from website to email impacted by the change, realistically most organisations have chosen other TLDs such as .com or

There will also be a grace period of two months, so nothing will change immediately. If you have an EU subsidiary, of course, you can easily overcome the potential issue by simply changing the registration of the domain to be in the name of the EU company: something you should really be doing now.

Losing a domain isn’t the only thing that companies without subsidiaries in the EU should worry about: the change to the impact of having a UK trademark will be keeping many people up at night. If you have a UK trademark, it will be possible for competitors to register a .eu domain for your brand, potentially damaging your reputation. You’ll no longer be able to use the UK trademark to stop them. If this is a concern, registering an EU trademark is the obvious solution, but be aware that this takes time so don’t delay the application!

A Sad Goodbye to Richard Wilson

Napier was saddened to hear the news that Richard Wilson, former editor of Electronics Weekly, passed away this month after battling a long illness.

Richard was a key member of the industry, and one of the loveliest people you could know. Over 20 years, my respect for him as one of the best journalists in the industry simply grew and grew, and he will be dearly missed.

Our thoughts are with Richard’s family and friends at this difficult time.

Why You Need to Think Again About Web CMSs

I was an engineer, so I can honestly say I find website content management systems (CMSs) fascinating. I remember the early days of the web: in fact, I have used Gopher, had a Compuserve account and remember when AOL was [just about] cool. Anyone who can remember these days will agree that it’s so much easier to make information available today than it was in the early days of the internet.

There have been a couple of things that have driven the dizzying improvements to the web: firstly, the availability of easy-to-use hosting services outside of walled gardens such as Compuserve, and secondly the creation of easy-to-use CMSs.

Website CMSs

For those of you who don’t know, a CMS splits the content from the presentation, or in language that non-geeks might use, it lets you add content to a website without having to be a web programming nerd. The introduction of CMSs meant that content could be posted to a corporate site without needing a team of coders to create and upload HTML and CSS. This meant content updates could be done quickly and easily by the people who had the content, rather than the slow and sometimes painful process required by hard-coded HTML sites.

Websites, however, aren’t like word documents. It’s important to have a consistent look throughout a website, so CMSs use templates. Most CMSs, however, had a philosophy of delivering a single chunk of body copy within the template. This is now rarely the case, with background images, widgets and other layout techniques making page layouts much more complex.

A couple of years ago, the solution was custom coding of the CMS. In fact, I’ve written custom WordPress code for a client to insert related case studies and links to content, based on the specifics of each page; as there wasn’t a good way to achieve the same result using pure WordPress at the time. Today, however, everything has changed.

Why You Don’t Need to Customise WordPress

I’m going to talk about WordPress in particular. Partly because our web team uses WordPress and partly because it’s such a good example of what has happened to CMSs. I also see many WordPress sites that used hard coded content blocks in a customised WordPress environment to create a layout with zero flexibility. Note that I’m not talking about the development of themes: here you still need to hard-code to create a custom layout; I’m referring to the customisations that mean you have to fill in several boxes when you create a page, and the coding will then place each block of content in a specific place on the page.

Today I don’t believe there is a need to customise WordPress to create the layout you want. Firstly, the core WordPress editor has switched to Guttenberg: this is a new approach that allows you to place content in multiple blocks, rather than a title and single piece of content. For some websites, this editor is more than enough to allow you to deploy the layout you need.

Some sites, however, require even more complex layouts and functionality. There are a number of plugins – WPBakery is probably the best-known – that give you almost unimaginable control over your content and layout by simply dragging and dropping blocks. It’s really that easy. You don’t need to be a programmer to create a layout with columns, sidebars, background images or even parallax scrolling. The cost of this incredible power is ludicrous: $45. That’s probably less than the cost of the time to publish a single blog post for most enterprises! Oh, and if you’re using a paid-for 3rd-party theme, you’ll likely find that WPBakery is bundled for free!

Despite the fact that these capabilities are now easy to deploy and use, and are very, very cheap, I still see clients struggling with hard-coded custom themes. They’ll typically want to have a slightly different page layout for some new content, and either have to pay for additional custom coding or compromise and use the hard-wired layout that almost meets their needs. It’s crazy to have to compromise with the technology that’s available today.

Break Free of Hard-Coded WordPress Customisation!

The reality is that migration away from a hard-coded layout is really simple and typically very quick. Yet companies struggle with their limited hard-coded systems because it’s what they have always done, and they don’t believe that it’s either possible or easy to migrate to a more modern approach. We disagree! If you want to find out how easy it is to move from a limited theme where you have to ask a web developer every time you want to do something different, simply email me and I’d be happy to talk to you about how we could make your website cheaper, easier to use and more flexible than you ever imagined.

Napier and Armitage: the inside story

Today we announced that we have merged with Armitage Communications, a really exciting development that takes the existing Napier Group (Napier and Peter Bush Communications) to the next stage of our journey and means we can be an even better agency for our clients.

We aren’t perfect… but we’re very, very good

We are always looking for other agencies that can bring new things to the Napier Group. Although we invest a lot of time and money into training, once you realise that perfection is unachievable, the opportunities to combine the best bits of two great organisations becomes very compelling.

What Armitage brings

There are so many things about Armitage that made me want to do the deal, but they can be summarised by three things:

People: the talent in Armitage is truly amazing. I’m blown away by many areas in which they excel, including the quality of their writing; their design and animation; and their marketing automation and database expertise. These skills are basically a reflection of the talented people at Armitage. The team are also nice people. I want to only work with people I like, and the Armitage team are wonderful from David Armitage downwards.

Culture: Armitage has a culture that in many ways is like Napier. They care about doing a good job for the client and are proud of the work they do. They also bring a culture of real creativity that generates some of the best PR concepts I’ve seen. It’s going to be great to be a part of this culture.

Markets: the business reason is that Armitage is a B2B technology agency, just like Napier, but works in slightly different markets. They are much stronger in industrial automation than we are and have an impressive communications practice. There is no point in an agency getting together with another one that has conflicting clients, and this isn’t the case with Armitage.

Napier’s contribution

A company acquisition is always hard for a managing director. It’s easy to run after the new, shiny business and forget about the great organisation you had before. I’m confident this won’t happen as I’m still excited about Napier, even after 18 years. If I was a client, I can honestly say I would hire Napier: perhaps this isn’t surprising, but I’ve always thought of running an agency as being a job where you try to create an agency whose fees you’d happily pay if you were on the other side of the fence.

Like Armitage, Napier has great people and a strong culture. In addition to the complementary markets, we bring expertise in processes and efficiency; an outstanding approach to training and development and loads of experience working in other European countries. Peter Bush Communications has a team with market expertise that is synergistic with Armitage’s markets and I’m sure the two business units will work together closely.

Isn’t this all about size of the business?


Let’s face it, one of the nicest things you can do is to give people jobs. And I would be lying if I said my ego wasn’t massaged just a little by the chance to run a business like Armitage, as well as Napier and PBC. But there have been many other, probably easier, opportunities to grow by acquisition that we’ve had over the last few years and we’ve turned them down. If we were looking for other agencies to get together with just to grow the business, the Napier Group would already be three times the size.

Getting together – it doesn’t matter what size you are, it’s always difficult

I was talking to a client who was involved in multi-billion-dollar acquisitions, who said to me that he felt that size of deal didn’t really impact complexity, and that it might even be easier to negotiate a huge deal because you had a bigger team. He’s a really nice guy, and I don’t for a minute believe he really meant what he said (the deals he worked on have transformed an industry), but there is an element of truth.

Once you start trying to bring two businesses together, you get lawyers involved. While they do a really good job, things are always more difficult, more complex and slower than you ever imagined. We thought that it would take two months to get everything completed and it took more than twice as long. It’s been a nightmare having to keep quiet about something that is so exciting and such good news for so long, and I’m relieved I can finally talk about Armitage publicly.

What happens next?

Fortunately, we have some experience: getting together with Peter Bush Communications was extremely successful and we are looking to repeat the success with Armitage. We’re moving to single systems for our back-office, but initially there will be little change in the way that any of the three companies in the Napier Group work on a day-to-day basis. Each business is rightly proud of their brand, and we want to develop and grow the Armitage brand as part of a strong group of companies. The priority for me, however, is to ensure we share the areas of unique expertise of each of the three businesses with the other two.

From a client point of view, it probably means that very little will change in the short term. Hopefully in the long term we will be able to help you with more projects and have a larger team with an even broader range of skills working for you.

The teams will have an opportunity to work with more colleagues on a wider variety of clients and project. There will also be the chance to learn new skills.

Any other mergers or acquisitions in the pipeline?

As I mentioned before, we’re always looking for other agencies that could make us a better company. So, I certainly wouldn’t rule out another deal in the future. But we’re very picky. Extremely picky! It took us about five years (during which time we said “no” a lot!) to find PBC, and another five to find Armitage, so don’t hold your breath waiting for news of another deal!


If you have any other questions, please do ask me. We’re excited about how getting together can benefit all our clients, and I’m looking forward to lots of interesting conversations over the next few months.

B2B Technology Agencies Napier and Armitage Communications Merge

Napier Partnership Limited announces that it has completed a merger with Armitage Communications Limited, creating a group of three specialised B2B technology agencies comprising Napier, Peter Bush Communications and Armitage Communications.

The three brands bring together an extensive portfolio of clients across a wide range of B2B technologies and industries including semiconductors, industrial automation, software development and communications.

Managing director, Mike Maynard leads the Napier group of companies. Suzy Kenyon takes on the role of director of the electronics practice, while Dave Ingle is director of the industrial automation and IT practice. Armitage Communications’ founder, David Armitage continues to work within the business. He will be driving the strategy for Armitage Communications’ clients.

“Armitage Communications brings a successful and talented team with outstanding content generation expertise and expands our client base and capabilities in the industrial automation and communications sectors,” commented Mike Maynard. “By joining forces, the new organisation becomes one of Europe’s leading B2B technology agencies.”

“Joining Napier is the next step in Armitage Communications’ journey,” said David Armitage. “Napier’s focus on increasing the speed that clients can convert awareness to opportunity, and its extensive marketing automation expertise complements the skills of the Armitage Communications team.”

“All three companies in the group deliver high quality technical campaigns based on deep insight,” added Mike Maynard. “Together they offer a comprehensive range of services including media relations, content generation, media buying, marketing automation, design, animation, video and translation.”

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Seven B2B Technology Marketing Predictions for 2019

At Napier we used to write predictions for the coming year, but have got out of the habit. This is mainly because everyone writes predictions, but also partly because B2B marketing doesn’t always adopt new trends first: as an industry, we like to use tactics that work rather than simply chase the latest, shiniest idea.

Writing the predictions, and then seeing how wrong we were, was fun. So, we’re re-starting our predictions for 2019. In an industry that avoid the hype, it’s perhaps easier to see the future, but hopefully these predictions will still give you some interesting insight. Here’s what we think will happen in 2019…

ABM Adoption Grows Rapidly

What will happen: Account-based marketing is dramatically more effective than less-targeted marketing tactics and the tools available today make it easy to implement ABM. More and more B2B tech companies will add campaigns that target key accounts or major prospects in 2019.

Why we believe this: Let’s be honest, a lot of mumbo-jumbo is talked about ABM. It really doesn’t have to be that complicated, and often the simpler tactics are the most effective. We think this year companies will realise they don’t need complex campaigns or expensive tools to target specific accounts, and this realisation will drive a massive increase in the use of ABM tactics.

Persona-based Marketing also Grows Quickly

What will happen: Companies that don’t currently use persona-based marketing will adopt it as a way of better targeting their campaigns and tactics. Although many companies already use personas, a surprising number of B2B tech companies are not fully committed to personas, but this will change in 2019.

Why we believe this: Firstly we don’t think ABM is going to kill persona-based marketing (unlike Marketing Land). B2B companies will want their marketing to reach beyond their list of target accounts and persona-based marketing is the most effective way to achieve this.

Personalisation Continues to Increase Rapidly

What will happen: It will be less and less common to interact with a B2B brand and have the same experience as everyone else. Hyper-targeted advertising (including ABM), dynamic content on websites and highly personalised email will be the norm as brands communicate with you on a much more personalised level.

Why we believe this: Frankly it’s not that hard to personalise. Modern tools enable high levels of customisation without much work, making the benefits of a more targeted and personalised approach impossible to ignore.

Picking the “Best” Martech Tool is Less Important

What will happen: Marketing technology (martech) tools will all offer adequate functionality for most users. This means there will be significantly less advantage in picking the best tool, with results more dependent upon the creativity behind the campaign than the tool itself.

Why we believe this: Frankly most marketing tools are pretty fabulous. Generally, you can get 90% of your functionality from any of a number of tools, whether you are looking for social media monitoring or marketing automation. Spending less time worrying about the tools you use and more time on the campaign will be the right approach. Of course, there will be a few exceptions with horrible tools that are painful to use and don’t deliver basic functionality – why not ask us for our list of the tools we wouldn’t touch?

Magazines Don’t Disappear for Most B2B Industries

What will happen: If there isn’t any dramatic macro-economic change – i.e. no major recession – we don’t see print magazines disappearing anywhere in Europe. Revenue will continue to drift online, but publishers will preserve their print offerings.

Why we believe this: It’s pretty clear that magazines are not collapsing. Putting ink on dead trees and then getting people to distribute the information physically seems like something that should have died out, but we can’t see any evidence of it happening. There’s certainly no evidence that people want to read magazines on tablets. So, we just don’t see any decline in print readership or advertising this year, although we do question the long-term future of print in B2B.

Social Media Still Doesn’t Deliver as a Primary Channel

Please be clear – we’re not saying that social isn’t relevant to B2B – it’s an important channel and you ignore it at your peril. In B2C, however, social has overtaken traditional media for many brands: we just don’t see it making that much of an impact in B2B.

What will happen: Well, not very much. Although social is an effective channel for B2B, it doesn’t have the same impact as it does in consumer markets. Although there are a few industries, particularly software development, where social media is important, in most cases engineers don’t share much about their work publicly, meaning that social is rarely one of the top 2-3 marketing channels for any B2B tech company. This isn’t going to change in 2019 (although LinkedIn will see an increase in advertising due to the uptake of ABM).

Why we believe this: With the inevitable desire for secrecy during product development, the difficulty of sharing information about complex systems in bite-sized social media format and the difficult of applying social to B2B technology (would you want to publicly “like” a new M5 fastener?), social is going to struggle to dramatically grow its influence in B2B.

Clicks are No Longer the Most Important Metric

What will happen: There are still a huge number of B2B companies that measure “clicks”, with no reference to quality. This will end in 2019 as companies increase their focus on the impact their marketing has on business results, rather than vanity metrics.

This trend is already well under way, pioneered by companies that offer online sales and so can measure their business impact easily. In 2019 companies that don’t sell primarily through direct ecommerce will adopt goals and metrics that are much more meaningful that traffic generated. The impact will be huge: companies will need to balance quality and quantity of content as well as the sometimes conflicting demands of the SEO consultant and needs of the end user. Thinking more holistically about campaigns will require a much more strategic approach but will generate far greater returns.

Why we believe this: The focus on maximisation of traffic isn’t working. Marketing teams know this and understand that moving conversion rates from 2% to 3% will have a much bigger impact on their business than the last 10% of search engine optimisation. This is going to demand marketing strategies that look across the whole customer journey and optimise for maximum return. Ecommerce and SAAS companies are already there. this year B2B marketers who can’t directly track the impact of their activities on revenue will introduce much smarter metrics to get a better handle on the return their campaigns generate.


We’d love to know what you think 2019 has in store for B2B technology marketers. Have we got it right? Do you think there are other trends we should be watching? Alternatively, perhaps you don’t believe some of our assertions. Whatever you think, why not contact me, tell me what you think and ask me to explain more about how you could benefit from these changes in 2019.


Why Did Napier Invent another Planning Process for Marketing and PR?

We’re very excited about the four-step process we use to develop campaigns for clients. Seriously, even though many other planning processes have been created in the past, we have found that our approach makes a real difference to the quality of the work we deliver.

Our approach uses four steps: DETERMINE, FOCUS, DELIVER and ENHANCE. This blog post explains why we felt the need to create something new, and how we built our process on proven approaches that have been created in the past.

Other Processes for PR and Marketing

There are a large number of different processes that have been created. We wanted something that took a strategic approach, and with its focus on strategy, PR proved to be the best place to look for other approaches.

There are a number of different four-step approaches that are all similar to the Napier process. Often they have cool acronyms, such as John Marston’s RACE (research, action planning, communication, evaluation) or Jerry Hendrix’s ROPE (research, objectives, programming, evaluation)

Perhaps the most well-known of approaches is that described by Ronald D. Smith in his [now sadly out of print] book Strategic Planning for Public Relations. In it, he suggests nine steps, broken into four phases:

  • Phase One: Formative Research
    • Step 1 – Analysing the Situation
    • Step 2 – Analysing the Organisation
    • Step 3 – Analysing the Publics
  • Phase Two: Strategy
    • Step 4 – Establishing Goals and Objectives
    • Step 5 – Formulating Action and Response Strategies
    • Step 6 – Developing the Message Strategy
  • Phase Three: Tactics
    • Step 7 – Selecting Communications Tactics
    • Step 8 – Implementing the Strategic Plan
  • Phase Four: Evaluative Research
    • Step 9 – Evaluating the Strategic Plan

This nine-step approach is more comprehensive than the four step approaches suggested by other people, but it still breaks down into four stages: work out where you are, create a strategy, do the work and then evaluate if you achieved the goals. This is a pretty conventional approach to planning and is also seen in many strategic planning models.

Why Develop a New Marketing Process?

We had a couple of reasons for needing a new process. Firstly we are an agency. We don’t get many clients coming to us saying “let us know in stage two what we are going to get for this budget”. This would be nice, but frankly most of they have pretty clear ideas of what they expect. So, waiting until stage two to set the goals simply isn’t appropriate.

This isn’t saying we will accept goals and metrics from our clients without question. To do that would be avoiding giving our clients honest advice. We believe in a candid relationship with our clients, so we’d rather say up-front whether we think a campaign’s objectives are achievable. Our four-step process lets us make this decision much earlier.

Not only are we different because we’re an agency, we also believe that marketing tools and approaches have changed. The old models are what engineers would call “waterfall planning”: a process where the entire project is planned at the start, then executed and only at the end do you see if you achieved the goals. This simply makes no sense now with modern tools and the proven benefits of agile marketing. To lock yourself into a plan in stage two means you will find it more difficult to optimise the campaign as it progresses.

Why is Napier’s Four-Step Process Different?

It is important to say that our process is very similar in many ways to the existing ideas. Many have been built upon academic research and have been proven over time, and we’re more than happy to give credit to those processes that have come before ours, particularly Smith’s 9-step model that forms the basis of our approach. To deal with the two major challenges, however, we needed to make some changes.

The first major difference is in the first phase or DETERMINE as we call it. Typically, we are starting a project with some defined goals from a client and we need to understand how it will be possible to achieve them. Our DETERMINE stage consists of analysing the situation and the client’s organisation, and then confirming the feasibility of the goals and objectives. At this stage we have some idea of what we need to change to deliver the required results and can quickly say whether the brief is realistic.

Our second step is FOCUS and it’s all about the audience (or publics in Smith’s process). We believe analysing and understanding the audience is vitally important, particularly as modern marketing tools give you the ability to micro-target, even down to an individual (if you don’t know how to do this, then please do ask!).

Another reason to elevate the audience to have their own step is the rise of account-based marketing. ABM target lists are frequently driven by the sales team and therefore we may need to do more work to ensure that our campaign will deliver the business results required in key accounts, as well as changing perceptions and preferences of a wider audience.

During our FOCUS step, we also develop the messaging strategy. Again, it’s the micro-targeting that makes this so important: you need a clear messaging strategy developed before you start creating any campaigns, as the ability to customise the message to personalise the campaign to many different micro-audiences can make a campaign almost impossible to manage unless you have a clear and structured messaging strategy.

Our last two stages are DELIVER and ENHANCE, which very closely resemble phase three and four of Smith’s model. There is, however, one big exception: we’re not running a campaign and then evaluating its success; we are continually evaluating and enhancing its performance. By concentrating on this in an agile-like approach, we optimise campaigns to deliver better results than we could have achieved through planning.

The Napier Four-Step Process


Can Clients Use Napier’s Four-Step Process?

Although we initially developed our process to meet our needs as an agency, it also works well for modern in-house marketing teams. Frequently client teams are also given the goals at the start of a campaign, and the iterative way we deploy DELIVER and ENHANCE allows an agile approach to ensure the campaign delivers the best possible results. Of course, the impact of technology is very much the same for in-house teams as it is for B2B agencies. Although we never intended or expected it to be the case, our four-step process meets the needs of many clients more effectively than previous approaches.

How do I Learn More About Napier’s Four-Step Process?

We would be delighted to talk to you about the way we deploy the Napier four-step marketing process. Contact us and we would be more than happy to have a chat.

If you would like to read more on how our services fit into the four step process, please read our blog

Electronics Weekly - Editor Moves and Other News

This is a summary of all the blog posts we've made about Electronics Weekly up to December 2018.


Elektra site fails

24th June 2006

Yesterday – the deadline for submitting entries for the Reed European Electronics awards (Elektra) – the entry form on the site failed. Perhaps it was due to the large number of people that believe the maxim “if it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would get done” (although the extension of the deadline for these awards has become a tradition. For those leaving thing late, entries could be submitted by email, and the form is still live at the time of writing.

Win a Copy of ASML'S Architects

Last month we shared a book review on the fabulous book by Rene Raaijmakers. Based on more than 300 hours of interviews, ASML’s Architects is an incredibly entertaining and interesting read that describes the history of ASML and the semiconductor industry as a whole.

From today, the book is now officially released, and we were lucky enough to receive one of the first copies from Rene. This is why we are offering you a chance to win your very own copy of ASML’s Architects through our prize draw!

For a chance to win your own copy of the ASML’s Architects book, fill in our form! A winner will be drawn on the 6th December and we’ll contact you via email if you win.

Good luck!

ASML’s Architects Book Review

At the end of November, a fabulous book by Rene Raaijmakers will be released, that describes the history of ASML, the company that now dominates the semiconductor production equipment market. The book provides a fascinating and engaging introduction to the history of ASML, and the semiconductor industry as a whole.

We have been kindly given some early proofs of the book to take a look at, and were hugely impressed by the honest storytelling, readable style and comprehensive research. Journalists tend to be a rather cynical bunch, yet it was clear that Rene was surprised by the rise and rise of ASML. A Dutch company, launched at the time when Philips was seen as the jewel in the Netherland’s technology crown, decided to take on companies like Canon and Nikon that dominated the industry and could bring incredible resources to compete with startups like ASML.

Rene promises a second book that describes what businesses of all kinds can learn from ASML. But this book is about technology, and isn’t your typical dry textbook: for example, she describes how Fritz Klostermann, at the time a young engineer at Philips, was frustrated in his desire to develop step-and-repeat cameras: a key element of semiconductor manufacturing equipment:

“…he’s responsible for an entire service department, with all the accompanying bureaucracy and administrative headaches. His world has narrowed to eliminating dust and vibrations. There’s no room for building new gadgets.”

Rene has said that ASML has been driven by three characters with the charisma and insight of Steve Jobs: Gjalt Smit, Peter Grassmann and Martin van den Brink, the current president and CTO of ASML. These characters are not your normal dull engineers: take Gjalt Smit, who is introduced as an “airplane builder, cosmopolitan, lover of espresso and Italian cuisine”. Like many early technology pioneers, he doesn’t lack self-confidence nor a healthy disrespect for rules. The stories about him include how he used the Philips logo in job adverts without authorisation to build credibility for ASML and bravely demanded $100M from the board in 1984, despite a recession in the Netherlands at the time. To put this into perspective, the average NFL salary was just $160,000 (and that was after increasing around 50% over the previous two years). Today the average NFL player is earning 15 times as much!

Rene says that the book has taken seven years to write and is based on more than 300 hours of interviews, givng an indication of the detail within the book. Despite being a long read, the book is incredibly entertaining, and we’d strongly recommend it as a Christmas present: not just to geeks, but anyone who is interested in technology and loves a good story.

You can pre-order ASML’s Architects today on the TechWatch website.

Guest Blog Post Ian Poole - How to Cut Your Banner Advertising Costs by a Factor of Ten

I was delighted to receive a third guest blog post from Ian Poole, editor of Electronics Notes. After a great response from his guest blog posts ‘Does Video Work’ and 'Secrets of Making a Good Video on a Budget' , Ian  now explores how to cut your banner advertising costs by a factor of ten.

How to Cut Your Banner Advertising Costs by a Factor of Ten

In the electronics industry it is normal to use directly placed banner advertisements to promote your company and message. However, banner advertising traditionally has a relatively high cost, due to the running of publications in a niche industry where the circulation is relatively small.

As a result many companies are turning to other features of advertising, in the form of content and lead generation techniques. But there are also ways of significantly reducing the cost of banner advertising, possibly by a factor of ten or more. This makes banner advertising a really attractive option, and one to investigate.

One option is to use Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords). It is possible to appear on the Google Search pages, and also on the Google Display Network (GDN) as websites that partner with Google allow Google Ads onto their pages.

Using Google Ads, the most common way to target suitable areas is to select keywords, and the ads will appear for searches, or on website pages that include these keywords. The drawback of targeting websites with these keywords is that the ads often appear on totally inappropriate sites, and click-through rates are often of little value.

To solve this problem, there is another option that few people seem to know about. Rather than selecting keywords, it is possible to target a placement - this can be a website or a specific part of a website.

By using this option it is very easy to set up a campaign and manage it yourself. If needed, the ads can be very easily geo-targeted, they can be set to run at given days and times, and they can be changed at will. The results can be seen at any time, making it easy to adjust the campaign for the best results. This is much better than directly placed ads where the publisher has to be contacted and changes made, taking time and effort. This often makes directly placed ads much less attractive.

Finally there is the cost. It is possible to use a cost per click (CTR), or cost per thousand impressions (CPM). Google uses a complex bidding algorithm to determine the cost, but it is possible to set budgets and only spend what you need.

In terms of actual cost when compared to directly placed ads on valued electronic sites, the cost of Google ads is probably around a tenth or less of the cost of directly placed ads. This makes this option well worth considering - in fact it makes it a compelling case.

Recognizing the trend for new advertising avenues to ensure good value for money, at Electronics Notes we have opted to run Google Ads. It is possible to target the site as a placement and we have undertaken work to make the active view view ability figure above that of the industry standard, ensuring that the best value for money is provided. With traffic now around 500 000 page views a month and rising, we have one of the largest figures within the industry. To find out more check out our website.

What is Active View Viewability for Banner Ads?

Ian Poole, editor of Electronics Notes, has contributed some great insight with his guest blog posts, most recently Secrets of Making Good Video on a Budget. Here's his latest piece, which discusses the importance of the viewability of online banner advertising.

What is Active View Viewability for Banner Ads?

One of the figures which has gained considerable prominence in the banner advertising world recently is a figure called Active View Viewability.

In the early years of web advertising, the click through rate, or CTR reigned supreme as a key metric, and in many ways it still does.

However many advertisers did not like paying for ads that were never seen, either because they were below the fold, too close to the top of the screen, or they just did not load before people moved on. Even though ads were delivered, they were not seen.

Google lead the way in introducing a new metric called Active View Viewability. In fact it is possible for advertisers who buy impressions in the Google Display Network to pay by bidding on the number of impressions based on whether they have been viewed by a user, vCPM rather than simply requested or clicked on.

A high active view viewable figure is very useful because ads that are seen are very useful in terms of carrying branding - click through rate is not the whole story.

In terms of a definition the advertising industry body, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, (IAB) defines the metric as being an ad that is deemed to be viewable if half of an ad’s pixels are visible on screen for one continuous second or more.

With Google leading the way in this metric, others are following, so it is wise to know what this is and how it will affect the way ads are bought and the way websites display ads, and hence how the websites are designed.

In recent years, the level of viewability has risen. It is also hard to set any hard and fast rules for what is acceptable, but in general many sites are now achieving figures between 50 and 60% viewable ads. 60% is well above average.

active view viewability
Active View Terminology

At Electronics Notes we have been working hard to improve our figures and we are now averaging just over 63% for our Google AdWords ads, and we have plans to improve this figure further.

The Active View Viewability figure is really useful in many ways, although it does not tell the whole story. Some ads at the bottom of a page can perform well. People get to the end of the content and then they need to move on. If an ad is suitably engaging and well placed, then it can gain a large number of clicks. However it may not be as viewable as others and therefore it may not carry as much value in terms of branding.

Active view viewable figures are here to stay, and even though, like any other figure, they cannot tell the whole story, they give a very good indication of the likely performance. After all, if you cannot see it then it is of no value. By pushing up the viewable figures, then advertisers get much better performance and better value for money.


Why isn’t Everyone Using Account Based Marketing (ABM)?

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) seems like a no-brainer: focus your marketing spend on the people who are likely to have the biggest impact – your key accounts and targets – and inevitably you will achieve better ROI. Despite the superficial attraction of such a strategy, many companies are only spending a small proportion of their budgets on ABM, and some are doing nothing. Why is this?

This article considers the good and bad reasons marketing teams give for not committing to Account-Based Marketing, and analyses how they might overcome the perceived barriers.

We Don’t Have Major Accounts

Some companies argue that they don’t have a product where a small number of accounts are responsible for a significant proportion of sales. In B2B, these products are often general purpose, and sometimes they can be replaced by alternative solutions in high volume. Marketing managers for these products will frequently point to a customer base of tens of thousands of companies.

Despite this, very few products don’t have the potential to attract large customers. For example, casual games attract large spenders called “whales”. These customers can spend hundreds of pounds a month on in-game purchases, and are disproportionately responsible for word-of-mouth about the games. So even when there are millions of customers (or players in this case), major accounts still exist.

By defining key accounts, often companies with these “broad appeal” products will be able to uncover opportunities that they weren’t aware of, building base of larger customers.

We Can’t Reach the Accounts

It’s true that sometimes it can be hard to reach specific accounts, but digital technologies and creativity will usually provide ideas. LinkedIn is one of the best ways to target specific job roles in particular accounts, although CRM retargeting is increasingly popular.

Not knowing the email addresses for contacts in the key accounts is no excuse. It’s easy to find out email addresses for companies: Google and a hundred specialised tools exist to help you get emails, which are almost certainly or <firstletteroffirstname> or if the contact is senior or the company is small, simply So, there’s no reason not to be able to identify email addresses for direct email or CRM retargeting.

ABM offers an opportunity to be very creative as many things can be used to segment the target audience. We’ve seen companies buy up billboards or sponsor roundabouts outside key target customers: even if you aren’t thinking creatively you can be sure your competitors are!

We Keep Reaching the Wrong People

Frequently ABM campaigns frustrate marketers because you can see your budget being spent on individuals (or less frequently companies) that you don’t want to target. You might want to reach electronics engineers designing ASICs and find that an electrician wiring up equipment to the mains sees your adverts.

Don’t worry!

Your untargeted or broadly targeted advertising will reach a lot more of the wrong people. Giving up on ABM and going back to untargeted advertising with publications is crazy: you’ll just be swapping a few mistargeted adverts that you can identify to a much larger percentage of wrongly targeted adverts. You may not be able to identify the wastage as easily, but in almost all cases ABM campaigns waste much less of their budget through reaching the wrong people than conventional marketing.


OK, GDPR is a real pain. And if you have decided that you will only send email with explicit consent, then it will be hard to run an email campaign. The legitimate interest of direct marketing that allows for data processing without explicit consent is there to allow campaigns such as ABM.

If you’re determined not to use consent, then there are a lot of other ways you can reach the audience at your key accounts: from IP-targeted advertising to developing landing pages that show up in searches your key accounts are likely to conduct, there are a wide range of different ways to reach your target accounts without cold-emailing specific individuals.


Yes, it’s going to cost you more. Yes, your cost-per-impression will go up. Although well-targeted adverts should increase the CTR, even the cost-per-click might increase. But only a badly-designed ABM campaign will produce lower ROI: that’s the whole point of ABM – focussing on the accounts likely to result in the highest revenue is probably going to generate the best RoI. Don’t forget that marketing is about growing your business, not simply achieving CPM metrics!

We don’t Have the Right Content

It’s true that ABM can put content generation under pressure: you’re not the only one who has heard a salesperson say, “I don’t want my accounts seeing that!”. Be honest with yourself: if the content isn’t good enough for a major account, why is it good enough for smaller accounts?

Ultimately you may have to allocate more to content generation than you have done previously (or work with an agency like Napier that generates outstanding content). The higher RoI of ABM will more than justify the additional spending, and you might just find that all your marketing activities benefit from the production of exceptional content.

We Just Need New Customers

Sure, I get that more customers are better. But the reality is that more customers spending larger sums of money are even better: it’s all about how you can grow the business rather than hitting artificial targets for the number of new customers.

Don’t forget that ABM should just be an element of your marketing strategy: we’re certainly not suggesting that you allocate all your budget to ABM, so there will be money left over to target what might be called the A…Z accounts.

We Don’t Know Who to Target

Very few marketing managers actually say they don’t know who to target, but many of them create an excuse that is basically saying the same thing. We often hear things like “our sales process is complex” or “from one customer to the next, there will be different people involved”.

In this case, get a grip! Stop overthinking things and remember that ABM is about moving the odds in your favour. A simpler sales process and not overthinking who might be involved in the decision will result in a better campaign that reaches the prospects that are likely to spend the most money.

Get Your ABM Campaign Started Today!

Hopefully you can now see that nothing should hold you back from deploying a proportion of your budget to ABM campaigns. What’s holding you back? Lack of time? You can solve that easily by calling Napier on +44 1243 531123!

Guest Blog Post - Dick Selwood - Goodbye to Electronics

After 40 years in the Electronics industry, we were sad to hear that Dick Selwood would be retiring. This is why I was delighted to receive a guest blog post from Dick looking back as the things he will and won't miss about the industry. We wish Dick the best of luck for the future, and hope he enjoys his well deserved time off!

 Goodbye Electronics 

Dick at CDNLive in Munich

Standing on the edge of retirement, I am wondering what I will and won’t miss about the electronics biz that I joined almost 40 years ago, firstly inside as a PR person and then, for the last 15 years, primarily as a journalist.

Things like trade shows leave mixed feelings. I loved the buzz of getting an event together and later, the interesting conversations when I was a vising hack. I won’t miss the tramp from one end of the Munich Messe. I won’t miss the poor, newly appointed, PR executives from large PR companies who ring to set up meetings at shows, without knowing what their client is talking about, or even what their stand number is. I won’t miss the press conferences that are only set up because “We always have a press conference at embedded world / electronica/ fill in here”. I won’t miss the marketing robots who start their PowerPoint with the background to the company – in one case a company I had worked for -  and cannot deviate. I will miss those stand meetings where the spokesperson understood what they were talking about and was happy to expand the conversation into a wider context, as they knew that I wasn’t covering news as such but using the event to do a snap-shot of the industry. There are some people where I deliberately set up meetings to get their views on the bigger issues, rather than their current news – Release 4.1 might be great for the people who built it and their existing customers. I have often felt sorry for the PR escort who saw the conversation between me and his spokesman disappearing off into areas that were not on the agenda. I will, however, miss the PR people who are on top of their client and its technology, but know when to step back and let the specialist speak to me, and made sure the client followed up on promises for more material. I particularly admire those individuals who have said, “We have X and Y at the show, but if you are busy, go for X and we will sort something out when Y has something more interesting to say.”  They are doing a better job for Y than the company might appreciate.

I will miss learning about new technology and how it is making an impact on people’s lives. I won’t miss the announcements that make navel-gazing look almost visionary, nor the press releases where you can see where entrenched interests in the company have forced in their opinions (I used to write them -remember). I sympathise with the stress over composing  the opening statements”  -  X, the world leader in pink boxes shipped when there is an R in the month” and in re-writing on a regular basis the corresponding footnote setting out why X is so marvellous. I long ago realised that companies with a stock market quotation have Investor Relations people pushing for a stream of announcements to keep the analysts and the investors happy – it is no longer paper cuts and an over-flowing re-cycling bin, but only a sore finger from pressing delete.

And a familiar cry – I won’t miss the releases from companies who have bought or subscribed to a list of technology journalists, and then blasted out releases of very marginal interest to an electronics specialist (blue tooth barbecue thermometers anyone?). Even worse – since I have been working for a title based in Portland, Oregon, I used to receive regular releases from the US Navy about the achievements of Portland natives in the service and from the organisers of cowboy poetry competitions. These are more than balanced by those professionals who ring/email and say, “I know you ae inserted in safety and security. Would you like to talk to X in advance of their announcement?”

I won’t miss some of the self-opinionated people who would have told God where his designs were wrong.  But I will miss the many interesting people in the industry, who have wider interests, and don’t see the IoT as the most important thing in the world, and these come from all parts of the business

Goodbye electronics – and good luck.


Guest Blog Post - Ian Poole -Secrets of Making a Good Video on a Budget

Following on from the well-received 'Does Video Work'  guest blog post written by Electronics Notes editor Ian Poole; I was more than happy to receive a second blog post from Ian, which explores the secrets of making good video on a budget.

Secrets of Making Good Video on a Budget

In our post a couple of months back I looked at whether videos were worth doing. Videos can be a great way of getting a message over, but sometimes they can look bad if they are not well made or at the other end of the scale they can be hugely expensive. So are there ways of getting a good video on a budget?

There are lots of things you can say about making a video, but one of the pieces of advice that was given to me and has stayed with me is that there are two important aspects to any video: lighting and sound. If you can get these right, then the video is going to be much better - get them wrong and the video won’t be a success and people will quickly move on.

So what equipment is needed.  Yes you can have a huge video camera on a large tripod with a couple of large lights and a huge fluffy microphone and two or three people to operate it and carry it around. But all of this is not really needed for most of the videos that are to be posted on the Internet. There are some very high quality videos that have been posted on YouTube and they have been made with quite modest equipment.

There are many YouTube video bloggers or vloggers that make technically very acceptable videos so it helps to take a look at what they use.

In terms of the camera some use a camcorder, and there are some very good camcorders, but a lot use DSLRs and many others just use a mobile phone. So let’s take a look at them in turn.

Today most DSLRs come with HD video capability and some can even capture 4k, although unless you ding a lot of post processing, this is not normally much use. Virtually all current DSLRs have the ability to take external microphones and also for headphones to monitor the audio. Even comparatively modest DSLRs are going to be able to provide video that is more than good enough for YouTube.

Mobile phones can also provide a good option. In recent years phone manufacturers have invested a huge amount of development into the phone camera technology. The latest phones give clear crisp video and the image stabilisation is second to none. I once heard that a BBC engineer looking at some footage shot on a modern phone was definitely broadcast quality.

The mounting used for the camera can also help. The wobble-cam video of years ago is definitely out of vogue now. The natural solution for most video shots would require a tripod. Fortunately as the cameras tend not to be too heavy, unless you go for a really top end DSLR, and they can be mounted on a very light tripod. If you don’t want to pan or have any other fancy capabilities, some of the really cheap tripods are light and easy to carry as they are plastic. They can be more than adequate.

For mobile phones you can get tripod attachments, but you may also want to consider a gimbal. These are handheld devices and hold the phone in place. They link to the sensors on the phone and keep it steady, straight and level as well as enabling smooth panning and other capabilities.

Audio is the next challenge. Forget the on-board microphones as they don’t have the quality required for video and they pick up too much surrounding sound as they are too far away from the subject. Even if you are in a quiet room, they pick up too much echo. There are several options. A good handheld microphone can work well. Go for a reasonably priced one from a well known brand and you cannot go wrong. For interviews an omnidirectional microphone is normally best. Most microphones for singing, etc, have a cardioid response and this may not work so well if the person talking is slightly off the main response.

Another idea is to use a shotgun style microphone. These can be mounted on a DSLR and are directed in the direction of the camera. Again, go for a known brand and you should be fine.

Lavalier or lapel microphones also work well. They have the advantage that they will be close to the speaker and won’t have so much background noise and this can be particularly useful when interviewing at exhibitions and conferences.

More information about microphones for video can be found here.

Lighting is the last issue. This is not quite so critical as it used to be as the camera technology helps out a lot. May be the first requirement is to position the interview in a place where there is plenty of light - not too much backlighting otherwise the speaker will be in shadow and the background will be blown. Also, these days it is possible to buy relatively cheap LED video lights that fit onto the camera on the hot-shoe. These can be used to provide fill in light or occasionally provide the main lighting. LED lights provide a really convenient solution, but make sure you have some spare batteries with you as they can quickly and suddenly run out of juice.

Just a few ideas for better videos. Check out some of our videos on our Electronics Notes YouTube channel.



The GDPR Questions You Should Ask Your Agency

At Napier, we’re not offering a service to magically guarantee GDPR compliance. It’s just too complex a topic to be able to offer any kind of standard solution that will work for more than one client. The regulation is also so wide-ranging that as a marketing agency, we can’t tell you what to do, or even whether you are compliant or not. We are, however, keen to help our clients ensure compliance with this important new regulation, and have had some great conversations where we’ve been able to give both advice and support that simplified the work imposed by this new regulation.

In a nutshell, the new regulations will come into force on 25 May 2018. Between now and then it is therefore crucial for companies – and their marketing teams – to change the way ‘personal data’ is obtained, stored and secured, to ensure compliance. GDPR, of course, extends well beyond marketing, but we will focus on the impact on marketing activities as this is where your agency should be able to give advice.

As every company has a slightly different situation, we thought it would be worth listing the questions you should be asking your agency – they should be able to give you answers that are informed and helpful, but if they can’t help you can take a look at our comments below.

Is there an easy way to ensure GDPR compliance?

Some very small organisations probably will be able to achieve compliance without much effort, but large organisations will need to spend a considerable amount of time. A recent survey by Trustarc found that 1 in four companies with over 5000 employees expect the cost of GDPR to exceed $1M. Even companies in the 1000-5000 range are budgeting eyewatering amounts, with 1 in 5 of them expecting to spend more than $1M.

Does GDPR affect me?

GDPR is a very wide-ranging regulation. It affects any organisation processing (or gathering) data about EU citizens, whether or not the organisation has servers, offices or employees in the EU. This “extraterritoriality” of the law may prove difficult to enforce for organisations that have absolutely no presence in the EU, but it means that almost every large organisation is going to be impacted by GDPR.

What are you doing about GDPR?

Your agency should have a good GDPR compliance plan, otherwise how can you trust them to advise you? The work the agency has done might also save you a little time too!

Another factor is that data processors have specific legal obligations. If your agency isn’t going to meet those obligations while processing data for your campaigns, it could open you up to prosecution, as the “data controller” (i.e. the client in this case) has a responsibility to ensure processors comply with GDPR.

What are the GDPR rules for how long I can keep data? Does GDPR require opt-in marketing communications?

GDPR doesn’t work by defining timescales, and this is why it’s impossible to provide a straightforward list of requirements that you need to meet. GDPR requires organisations to look at the personal data they hold and determine the right way to handle it. Although there are best practices emerging, organisations need to make decisions for themselves.

GDPR doesn’t even require opt-in for marketing communications, despite what you might have heard. You can claim that direct marketing is a “legitimate interest” for your organisation, allowing you to use an opt-out policy, but you must make sure that the justification is documented clearly.

Are my marketing activities compliant? If not, how do they need to change?

Your agency should have a good idea of whether your current campaigns would need to change to be compliant. They should, at least be giving you advice on where they can see potential issues.

Do I need to delete contacts from my database?

This really depends on how you have used your database. For example, if you’ve not conducted direct marketing to a contact for some considerable period, it’s going to be hard to claim that there is any relationship to justify direct marketing in the future. Although there was some talk about grandfathering existing databases (i.e. you can keep anyone who was in your database before GDPR came into force), the final regulations did NOT include this provision. So, you must consider whether your current databases are compliant.

Does GDPR mean I have to stop email marketing, unless a contact explicitly opts-in?

There is a common misconception that email marketing is going to be decimated by GDPR. In fact, you can claim that direct marketing is a “legitimate interest” of the business, justifying sending emails to a contact without explicit consent. Yes, the regulations really do say, “The processing of personal data for direct marketing purposes may be regarded as carried out for a legitimate interest.”

However, it’s not quite that simple. Firstly, data subjects have the absolute right to object to processing (to opt out), and if you are using direct marketing as a legitimate interest, you’d better make sure that this is very easy to do. Furthermore, you must balance the right to privacy of the data subject with your legitimate interest of direct marketing to decide whether claiming the legitimate interest is reasonable. And this is where things can get very tricky!

How do I know if I can claim direct marketing as a legitimate interest?

The simple answer is to refer to the GDPR text, which says:

At any rate the existence of a legitimate interest would need careful assessment including whether a data subject can reasonably expect at the time and in the context of the collection of the personal data that processing for that purpose may take place. The interests and fundamental rights of the data subject could in particular override the interest of the data controller where personal data are processed in circumstances where data subjects do not reasonably expect further processing.

There is no hard and fast rule! It does mean that organisations will decide to interpret this part of GDPR differently, depending upon their perspective and the level of legal risk they are prepared to take. Whatever happens, if you want to claim a legitimate interest, then you need to have clearly documented rational for doing so.

What’s all the talk about transparency?

One of the key elements of GDPR is the need for transparency. If you collect data, you need to be absolutely clear about how you will use that data, and you can’t use the data for any other purposes. This means that your privacy policy better be up to date, and you cannot get away with catch-all uses of personal data such as “any other business purposes”: we’ve seen this sort of clause on privacy policies, and it clearly fails the requirement for transparency. So, although it’s not the most exciting page on your website, you should be reviewing your privacy policy now!

You also need to make sure that it’s very clear how the data will be used when you collect it. We anticipate most companies will choose the use of an opt-in check box when collecting data to enable documentation of consent by the data subject, but stronger approaches such as double-opt in are also likely to be popular.

What rights do the contacts on my database have?

These contacts (data subjects in the language of GDPR) have eight specific rights:

  1. The right to be informed
  2. The right of access
  3. The right to rectification
  4. The right to erasure
  5. The right to restrict processing
  6. The right to data portability
  7. The right to object
  8. Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling

So, this means that any contact on your database can ask for the information you hold on them, demand errors are corrected, tell you to delete their data (have you thought about what you do with backups?), stop you processing their data or even ask for their data in a format that allows them to transfer the data to another system!

This has huge implications for marketing and CRM databases: not only must you be able meet the technical challenge of ensuring personal data is erased completely, but you also need to remember that anything on your database might have to be shown to that individual. If you don’t think this is a problem, are you sure that no sales person has documented their challenges in dealing with a difficult person at one of your major accounts in your CRM?

What about data security?

This is something that has been widely discussed: GDPR puts a lot of requirements on organisations to keep personal data private. If you’re hacked, or carelessly leave a USB drive on the train, you must report the data breech. You also must think about controlling access to your data through individual accounts and passwords.

How do I show I’m compliant?

The regulations are pretty clear about this. To show compliance, you must:

  • Implement appropriate technical and organisational measures that ensure and demonstrate that you comply. This may include internal data protection policies such as staff training, internal audits of processing activities, and reviews of internal HR policies.
  • Maintain relevant documentation on processing activities.
  • Where appropriate, appoint a data protection officer.
  • Implement measures that meet the principles of data protection by design and data protection by default.

Why can’t you just sort out compliance for me?

We’d love to be able to ensure our clients are compliant, but there are several reasons why this isn’t usually possible. So perhaps this isn’t really a question you should ask, although we understand many clients will want to ask it!

As a marketing agency, however, we simply don’t have enough visibility into our clients’ activities. Of course, we can review the marketing automation system to see whether there is clear documentation about the source and consent of a contact, but what about the excel sheets that the sales team have been emailing? A marketing agency is unlikely to be able to track this, let alone determine if it’s possible to remove someone from the email backup system (honestly, would you want your marketing agency messing with your IT systems?).

What about the lead sheets and business cards from the show last year that are sitting with the sales team? GDPR includes paper records, and an agency is unlikely to know what sheets of paper have been distributed.

So, it’s hard for a marketing agency to know everything that needs to be done, or for a client to give access to all the systems that contain personal data – which includes any folder containing files with contact details!

Some aspects of GDPR involve weighing the data subjects’ rights against a legitimate interest: we’re confident there will be many companies claiming direct marketing as a legitimate interest. Although we can give our opinions on how to balance these rights, so our clients are fully informed, in the end it’s a decision we believe they must make based on advice from their legal counsel, and one that should never be outsourced to a marketing agency.

What can you do to help me?

If you’ve read down to this question, you might be feeling a little depressed: there’s so much to do in just a few months, and we’ve said that you’re going to have to do the work yourself!

But don’t worry, your agency should be able to help you and take most of the hard work away. They should:

  • Give advice and information, although we’d always recommend using your company’s legal counsel as the highest authority on this (and any other legal matter).
  • Support analysis of the current situation. A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is one process for helping organisations to identify the most effective way to comply with their data protection obligations and meet individuals’ expectations of privacy, and involving your agency in this process could save you a significant amount of work.
  • Provide a perspective on what policies you should adopt. The agency should be able to talk through things such as what your policy on retention of existing contacts will be, whether you will seek explicit consent from existing contacts, how you will ensure the number of databases is manageable and what your privacy policy should include.
  • Review the data collection processes and data that is visible to them. Although there will be some data that the agency can’t be aware of, they probably see a significant proportion of your marketing systems, and can review whether they are likely to be compliant.
  • Crunch the data. Your agency should be able to process data based on policies you’ve decided, or to ensure things like opt-out data is synchronised between systems (although really this should be happening already). We’ve crunched databases of 1M+ contacts for our clients: it’s really not that hard when you know how!
  • Help you to design-in privacy to your marketing campaigns. One of the principles of GDPR is that privacy should be designed-in, and there are a lot of ways to ensure this can be achieved.

In Summary

The bad news: GDPR is coming, and if you’re reading this blog post, it almost certainly affects your organisation. There is a lot of work for you to do before the legislation comes into force, and it’s highly unlikely that you can just call in a company to make you compliant.

The good news: although GDPR does place some onerous demands on marketing & information technology, as well as limiting what can be done with personal data, it is possible to comply and continue proactive and effective database marketing/marketing automation activities that drive revenue for your company. Although your marketing agency can’t do it for you there are many different points in the process at which they can help. There’s still time to meet the deadline if you’re able to call in knowledgeable help and support.


Request our Guide 'The New GDPR Regulations - A Study by Napier' 

Request our guide to find out how you and your marketing teams should be changing the way your personal data is obtained, stored and secured. Click here to request your copy.

Mouser's Graham Maggs - Marketing Expert Interview

Graham Supporting the Portsmouth FC Football Team

Graham Maggs, Vice President of Marketing EMEA at Mouser Electronics, is the latest marketer to take part in our marketing expert series. From Graham's view on the most-over hyped marketing tactic, to his favourite football team, we asked Graham a variety of questions to learn everything we could about our latest marketing expert. 


  • What are your biggest marketing challenges?

The biggest challenge for Mouser is ensuring the right information is provided to the right people. Mouser spends a considerable amount of time and money on building our customer databases, as it is imperative to ensure that we are not perceived as sending ‘spam’.

Of course, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules that are due to be enforced in May 2018 mean extra challenges, but we see this as an opportunity to build better databases and forge closer relationships with our customers.

  • Describe the future of trade media – will it thrive or are there problems ahead?

I think it is a challenging time for media companies right now, as traditional advertising spend reduces and all companies look for more statistics. However, I believe there will always be an appetite for information, especially for media who become more interactive with their readers.

  • If there is one thing you could change about the electronics press, what would it be?

I wish the electronics press in general would include more live links within their copy. They should be less afraid of losing traffic from their site. Mouser is actively looking to increase its partnership (media spend) with media houses that include the active links that we supply with our PRs and other material.

  • What do you think is the most effective and least effective marketing activity you, or your company undertakes (in terms of ROI)?

The most effective is SEM leading to SEO through organic Google searches. However, you have to consider the activities that lead people to search.

The least effective might be considered print advertising – but then again, this is difficult to quantify because it is not really measurable. Again, we know that in some countries, print publications are very influential.

  • What is the most over-hyped marketing tactic?

Probably exhibitions. However, you do need a mix of marketing activities to achieve different goals at different times with different groups of individuals.

  • What was the best campaign you’ve run?

We did an excellent campaign with the Intel Galileo board through Elektor. We ran a competition and everyone who signed up got a Galileo poster. We had to print an extra 3500 more posters than we had planned.

  • Tell us about a campaign you ran that didn’t work, and what you learnt from it.

There was a UK show which we tried which had hardly any visitors – we learned not to exhibit again!

  • How does marketing for a distributor differ from the marketing done by manufacturers in the electronic components industry?

That is an interesting question. Traditional distributors will focus on image building, whereas manufacturers will probably look at introducing new technology and new parts. In that respect, with our focus on design engineers, Mouser is more similar to manufacturers as we also want to introduce customers to new parts and new technologies. So, we put a lot of emphasis on becoming a knowledge centre – offering white papers, design ideas, the design ecosystem – as well as letting customers know that we have huge, freely-available parts of course.

  • If there was one thing you could change about how agencies work with you, what would it be?

Sometimes it can seem that agencies concentrate more on winning new business than servicing what they already have!

  • Can you explain how you define and measure success for your campaigns?

At a basic level we look at the click through ratio, however, we have to understand that some promotion is not done for immediate leads/enquiries, but to build brand and image, which leads to long term growth. In that respect, Mouser has performed extremely well, with significant double digit growth, well above industry average and other ‘high service’ distributors month on month, quarter on quarter and year on year since we began in Europe.

Print, of course is even harder to measure, but we believe that there will always be a place for print.

When is enough ‘enough’? Again, that’s hard to answer, but we do believe in never repeating banner advertising – we always have new parts to promote, so we always keep our promotional subjects fresh.

  • What do you like to do in your spare time/hobbies?

It’s well-known that I do like holidays. Other than that, I am an avid Portmouth FC supporter, I play a little golf, love spending time with my grandchildren and I also read a lot.

  • What football (or any other sport) team do you support?

There is only one team – surely everyone knows this? POMPEY!!!! Portsmouth FC. Play UP Pompey; Pompey Play Up!

  • What other career would you have chosen if you weren’t in marketing?

Probably either the Navy, or teaching

  • How did you get into the electronics industry?

My mother was very keen on me not going into the Navy (see above!) so she pushed me to apply for apprenticeships. I was offered two, but chose an electronics post with Marconi, as that seemed very interesting with lots of potential. At Marconi I had the opportunity to try many functions, including purchasing, and this led to a position with distributor Swift Sasco. From there I moved to Philips and the Bourns, first in a sales role, then in distribution, eventually ending up as European distribution manager. Then, when Mouser was looking to build its European team, I was honoured to be invited to apply. It’s been a very rewarding time, building the team and helping to shape our future and I look forward to it continuing for many years!




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Guest Blog Post - Ian Poole - Does Video Work?

With video quickly becoming a huge part of the B2B industry, I was delighted to receive a blog from Ian Poole, editor of Electronics Notes who explores whether video really does work for website owners in the electronics sector:

Does Video Work?

This is one of the questions that website owners in the electronics sector ask themselves. Possibly the way to answer this question is to look at the BBC and see the ever increasing number of videos on their site, and it would seem that the answer is that Yes, video does work on the Internet.

However, possibly the right question to ask is whether video works for me. The BBC has the advantage that they broadcast video on their TV channels and it is relatively easy to rearrange the format for the Internet, and also they have a huge audience. Websites run in the electronics sector typically have much smaller audiences and so careful consideration is required.

A well made video is expensive to produce. A typical figure for producing a video is about a man day a minute for a reasonably well produced video. This represents a large investment in time for even a short video.

Whilst it is possible to upload videos that might consist of a simple interview, and this can be done in a few minutes, these interviews typically only get a few views, often measured in hundreds at best, or that is my experience.

It is necessary to look at the aim of running videos. At Electronics Notes we have been wrestling with this problem, and as a site providing reference material we need to try to ensure some return on the investment in time. Monetising the videos on YouTube brings in a small revenue, RPM rates of between £1 and about £5 are the best that can be expected so it needs a lot of views to make a channel viable, especially when it may take a few days to make a video. Some people like Dave Jones at EEVBlog have honed their offering very well and his channel has a huge level of traffic of over 80k views a day!

A well-made video explaining a topic people are searching on can have a significant number of views. One of ours on phase locked loops  has served over 75k views since November 2016, and a couple of others have served around 30k views in a similar period, but not all have:

Screenshot from the phase locked loops video                                                                                                                                                                      
Electronics Notes YouTube Channel


















So what is the point of running videos? The major gain is that it increases engagement with the main website. There are some SEO advantages - with YouTube being the second largest search engine after Google itself, it is another opportunity to promote the website and the brand.

Also it increases engagement with the main website. A video embedded into the page enables visitors to understand the topic in the page without having to read through a lot of text. Having a topic explained on video is much easier than reading.

It is also worth considering how much to invest in developing a YouTube channel. YouTube channels providing a new video every week at the same time, as well as encouraging new subscribers to the channel and other SEO techniques for video will do much better. But the question to ask is whether this is achievable.

So really video should not be looked upon merely as a money generation opportunity, but another part of an overall offering. One that enhances the experience of the visitors and improves the content on the page. Whilst cost and monetisation may be two points to put into the equation,  it is necessary to look at the wider picture, and then it is not always possible to exactly calculate the return the video is giving, but with more organisations using video, it is good to use it where possible.

Napier's Email Competition - Winner Announced!

Recently, Napier's very own Fiona Challen, Emily Serna and Hannah Kelly took part in an email design competition for St Wilfred's Hospice.

And after a close vote we are pleased to announce the winner is... Emily Serna! 

  See Emily's winning email design below: 


Why I took a cheesy American sales course

I’ve just finished a sales course run by HubSpot. Sales? I’ve done this before in my career, so why should I spend time on another course? And anyway, wasn’t the American exuberance of previous courses enough to last me a lifetime?

Apparently not! And it’s for a good reason: marketing and sales are changing fast, and if I want to ensure that Napier continues to grow then I must keep learning. So, I decided to take the HubSpot “Sales Lion” course.

You’ll have guessed from the title that the course didn’t lack exuberance. HubSpot has all the enthusiasm and energy of a young start-up (despite being a major global corporation) and there was certainly no lack of this energy from our trainer Dan. Yes, it was sometimes hard to deal with all the super-mega-awesomeness, but the truth is that the course was good. Very good.

The premise of the course is that you should sell by helping. You don’t sell by selling, you sell by helping someone. It’s very much like the consultative sales courses that were all the rage in the last 1980s and 1990s, but the approach has been updated to reflect the change in the environment. Today marketing is responsible for much more of the customer journey than it was 20 years ago, with the internet enabling customers, particularly B2B customers, to manage much of their journey without having to talk to a sales person.

The course wasn’t always about fluffy things like “helping”. There was also a strong focus on metrics: something that we’re great at encouraging with clients, but like most agencies we can be less thorough when it comes to our sales and marketing.

The course was useful, and shows the importance of continuing to learn. I find it interesting that marketing moved from pushing products to helping with the introduction of content marketing, and now there is a similar focus for sales. I still haven’t worked out quite how HubSpot seems to help so many people: it could be because I’m just super-mega-stoked by the course, or it could be that the product is outstanding. I suspect it’s a combination of the two.

I’m going to be putting the training into practice. If you’re reading the blog and are not a customer, then maybe we’ll be talking soon. If you do get a call from me, please do let me know how well I’m doing. Hopefully you’ll find the conversation useful and will want to work with us. We’d love to work with you!


We are developing chatbots. Have we gone mad?

At Napier we have a project to evaluate and develop chatbots. Yes chatbots for B2B! I have to admit that initially I was really skeptical, but now I'm involved in the development work. So bear with me on this.

Firstly here are the basics on chatbots, a short overview written by our talented intern, Amie:


What are chatbots?

A platform used as a way of communicating using a messaging service such as Facebook, the program mimics a conversation using artificial intelligence and the new way of interaction and reaching out to clients. The program responds to questions asked by a user and responds in the most conversational way possible. It’s another way of offering online assistance without the interruption of a phone call. An example is a weather bot, you would rec the weather whenever you ask, instead of having to search for it yourself.

Why use chatbots?

It’s the first time messenger apps such as Facebook are being used for more than just social networking, these apps are now being used MORE than social networks. This is a big turning point, the advice is if you want to build a successful business you want to build one where people are! Which is where chatbots come in.

How do chatbots work?

There are currently two kinds of chatbots, one that is based on rules – this type of bot can only answer very specific questions and can’t answer if the command isn’t written in a certain way. Chatbots that use machine learning are more flexible this bot has an artificial brain/intelligence. The questions don’t have to be so specific it understands broader language and doesn’t have to be a command. This style of bot grows its intelligence the more conversations it has with people.


So why chatbots for B2B? Developing a bespoke chatbot is expensive, so we're building on the Facebook Messenger Platform.  Facebook? Many clients have told us that Facebook messenger just doesn't seem the right place for a conversation with a prospect, and they also unsure that a chatbot will have sufficient intelligence. Things, however, are changing fast:

Embedding chatbots on your website

With Messenger Platform 2.2, Facebook is allowing businesses to easily embed a Facebook chatbot on their websites. Currently it's being trialed with a number of major beta customers, but we expect this feature to be available to everyone in the near future. This overcomes a significant obstacle for B2B companies by integrating chat into the website that provides the primary means of interaction with customers and prospects.

Can chatbots meet the challenge of B2B?

The final question is can a chatbot really deliver value in a B2B context? With the rapidly improving features available in tools to develop chatbots, we think they can. And we'd love to know your opinion: please try our chatbot by clicking here and let us know what you think. Email me at to let me know if you found it useful or just annoying.

We're a Top 10 PR Agency!

Many thanks to the team at BestForWeb, which has named Napier as the number one PR agency in the South East, and a top 10 PR agency nationally. Check out our shiny badges below!


More information about BestForWeb

BestForWeb UK was founded in 2012. The company was acquired in 2016 by Deanna and Jarrod Hunt of Gilbert, Arizona.

At BestForWeb UK, we use an extensive research process to vet UK providers in Digital Marketing, PPC, PR, SEO, Social Media, and Web Development. To qualify agencies, we conduct agency interviews, assess social media activity, verify online reputation, analyse client reviews, and review their blogs for thought leadership content.

INBOUND 2017 Taught Me: The Importance of Look-Alike Campaigns

Most marketers are familiar with look-alike campaigns: rather than simply retargeting visitors to your website, you can build campaigns to reach people who match a similar profile. This lets you reach people who fit the profile of your engaged prospects and customers, hopefully making your advertising spend much more targeted and efficient.

Although the value of look-alike campaigns is obvious, INBOUND 2017 made it clear to me that many B2B marketers have failed to pay sufficient attention to look-alike campaigns. Perhaps this is because straightforward retargeting presents a large audience for most companies. Maybe it’s because of the excitement around CRM retargeting, which is one of the technologies taking account-based marketing (ABM) to a new level. Whatever the reason, INBOUND made me commit to giving look-alike campaigns the attention they deserve.

The first announcement was the integration of support for Facebook look-alike campaigns within HubSpot. Although it grabbed attention, we’ve seen some disappointing results on Facebook. One of the themes of the conference, however, was the move from relying on third party data, such as renting email lists, to the use of first-party data. More importantly, several presenters made it really clear that we’re undervaluing our own data.

By combining our own data with the vast stores of information at Google, for example, you can start doing some very clever things. “Customer Match” lets you use Google Analytics to create an audience profile, and then target similar people with display, search, Gmail or YouTube campaigns.

The real kicker is that this ability to target look-alike audiences transforms the economics of your advertising. For example, there are probably some highly competitive keywords that you have decided simply aren’t worth the money you’d have to bid on AdWords. When you’re focussing on a look-alike group that are much more likely to convert, the economics change and the cost of the keyword suddenly looks much better value.

Look-alike campaigns are just one way that people are reversing the traditional funnel and are using their own data to segment potential customers from a broad audience. This ability to better target advertising to generate awareness offers the prospect of a step-change in the ROI of your marketing budget. We’re certainly spending more and more time on using our own data to better target our advertising, and would love to help you do the same.


Why not take a look at other posts in our INBOUND 2017 Taught me Series?

hubspot logo

How HubSpot Cookies Work and Custom Opt-Out Systems

With the impending GDPR regulations, marketers need to review their cookie policies and ensure that they are compliant. There are many articles on the impact of GDPR on cookies (for example this article about The GDPR, Cookie Consent and Customer Centric Privacy), which give advice on what should be done, but implementation is not always as easy as it seems.

We recently worked with a large ecommerce company who was deploying HubSpot (we're a HubSpot partner, although we do work with a range of marketing automation systems). Most systems, including HubSpot, offer an automatically generated banner that allows users to opt out of their cookies, but with over 20 different systems generating cookies on the site, having to accept or decline this many notifications simply isn't a practical option. They've developed code to manage cookies, and allow a single button to opt-out of tracking, and so they wanted to incorporate HubSpot cookies into this system. Should be pretty straightforward, right?

Well the problem is that it's not entirely clear how HubSpot cookies work. We asked and got some conflicting information, so ended up running some experiments to analyse the behaviour of HubSpot to give the client the best possible solution.

This isn't a typical Napier blog post, as it's very technical, but we're pretty sure it's going to be useful to a lot of HubSpot customers.

What HubSpot Tells You About Cookies

HubSpot does have some good information about cookies. They have a page describing the cookies HubSpot uses for tracking, and an article describing how to enable the HubSpot cookie opt-out notifications. You have four options, described in the article as:

  • Do not notify visitors that your site uses cookies - Choose this option if your company does not have a presence in Europe. This option will let you collect visit history on your website visitors without asking the user for explicit permission. Please note that if the visitor is using a web browser that has cookies disabled, or if they are using a do not track feature on their browser, HubSpot will not be able to collect visit history for them.
  • Notify visitors that your site uses cookies - Choose this option if your company has a presence in Europe and you need to abide by the EU cookie laws. This option will display a banner on your website the first time someone visits your site.
  • Notify visitors that your site uses cookies and allow opt-out - Choose this option if your company has a presence in Europe and you need to abide by the EU cookie laws. This option will display a banner on your website the first time someone visits your site. It will prompt the visitor to consent to the placement of cookies on their computer. Once they consent, you will be able to gather visit history on that visitor.
  • Do not use cookies at all - Choose this option if you do not want to collect any visit information from your visitors and also abide by the EU cookie laws. Choosing this option will make the analytics and lead tracking portions of HubSpot unusable and is not recommended in most cases.

So the first and the last options are pretty straightforward: always track or never track, but what about the middle two? I want to be compliant with EU cookie law, so which one do I choose, and how do I implement an opt-out without using their notification?

Accepting and Declining HubSpot Cookies

The first thing we found was that the behaviour of the two "EU-compliant" modes is actually quite different. If you select Notify visitors that your site uses cookies, then as soon as the user visits the site, HubSpot drops tracking cookies. But the system doesn't track you individually until you click the accept button. So HubSpot is presumably generating anonymous data using the cookies, but not tracking what individual users do. The one exception we found was that when a user fills in a form, that page view is recorded. As this is necessary for processing forms, it's pretty sensible. As there is no opportunity to decline cookies with this notice, you can either ignore it, which will only allow anonymous tracking or accept, which then switches on individual tracking of page views. So this setting not only notifies the user about cookies, but provides an opt-in for tracking of page views (you're opted out of this tracking by default).

Selecting Notify visitors that your site uses cookies and allow opt-out as the notification option is very different. As the user lands on the site, no cookies are dropped. So you have to click accept to opt-in, and then the cookies are placed and the notification disappears. Opting out will place the __hs_opt_out cookie with a value of yes, and not place any other tracking cookies.

The __hs_opt_out Cookie

The __hs_opt_out cookie is interesting. It's placed on a users computer when they click the accept or decline buttons on any of the notifications. By placing the cookie, any further notification banners are suppressed, so once you've made your choice, you don't get pestered again. Pedants will note that it has an expiry of two years, so if we are being completely accurate, you will get asked again every two years.

The __hs_opt_out cookie seems to do a little more than this. Not only does it suppress the notifications, but when the value is "yes" it also suppresses individual page view tracking, whatever "mode" of operation is chosen for cookies. This means that if someone declines tracking, and then you switch from allowing opt-out to simply placing cookies automatically or just notifying, then the user won't be tracked until the cookie expires.

Creating Your Own Opt-Out Code

Creating your own opt-out code is simple. All you need to do is to set the __hs_opt_out cookie value to "yes" and remove the other cookies. Some PHP code to do this is shown below, using our domain as an example:

$cookie_name = "__hs_opt_out";
$cookie_value = "yes";
setcookie($cookie_name, $cookie_value, time() + (86400 * 365 *2), "/", "");
$cookie_name = "__hstc";
setcookie($cookie_name, "", time() - 3600, "/", "");
$cookie_name = "hubspotutk";
setcookie($cookie_name, "", time() - 3600, "/", "");
$cookie_name = "__hssc";
setcookie($cookie_name, "", time() - 3600, "/", "");
$cookie_name = "__hssrc";
setcookie($cookie_name, "", time() - 3600, "/", "");

With 86400 seconds in a day, the code sets a two-year cookie for opt out, mirroring the behaviour of HubSpot. The other cookies are removed by simply setting them to expire in the past. We've also removed the session cookies - although this might not be necessary, we've done this as clearing them seemed to create a more robust approach.

For more information about the cookies used by HubSpot, read What cookies does HubSpot set in a visitor's browser?.

Allowing Opt-In to HubSpot Cookies

Opting back into cookies is not as simple as it might seem - you can't just set __hs_opt_out to be "no". The easiest way we found to do this is to remove that cookie, which then triggers the appropriate notification based on the option you selected for your site. This ensures that all the cookies are created correctly, although it does need the accept button to be clicked if one of the two notification options are chosen. Clearing the cookie is achieved by setting the expiry time in the past:

$cookie_name = "__hs_opt_out";
$cookie_value = "no";
setcookie($cookie_name, $cookie_value, time() - 3600, "/", "");

Dealing with the HubSpot Banners

If you are creating an option to allow opt-in, or to decline cookies, it's likely you will be using one of the two HubSpot notification banners. You'll therefore want either the accept or decline button to be clicked to enable tracking or disable placement of cookies. You could leave it to the user to do, but this is not great UX, and often not practical. We talked to HubSpot and they suggested that rather than try to replicate the code on the buttons, we simply replicate a button click using JavaScript. The following code is a JavaScript function that clicks the accept button, and you can change it to decline cookies (if the opt-out notice is present) by changing hs-eu-confirmation-button to hs-eu-decline-button.

<script type="text/javascript" >
function acceptHScookie() {
if (document.getElementById('hs-eu-confirmation-button') !== null) {

Hiding the Notification Banners

Of course if you are automatically clicking the buttons for users, and providing your own cookie notice, you don't want to show the HubSpot cookie notifications. This is actually super-easy to do, as you just need one line in your CSS:


Forget about __hs_do_not_track

One of the cookies that HubSpot can place is the __hs_do_not_track. In our testing it wasn't placed at all - it seems to be an opt-out of all tracking, and can safely be ignored when writing code. If it is present, however, there will be no tracking of that user.


So it's perfectly possible to manage HubSpot cookies for users using your own code to improve their experience on your website. If you are happy for cookies to be placed when the user opts out of tracking, you can select either the do not notify visitors, or notify visitors options, although if you go with the second, then the user won't be tracked until the accept button is clicked (either by your code, or by the user).

If you want the user to opt-out of cookies being placed by HubSpot (other than the __hs_opt_out cookie, obviously), you need to select the notification option that allows users to opt out. You will also probably want to set up code to click the appropriate accept or decline button and hide the banner.

A Final Warnings

This information, however, is not official HubSpot documentation. Although the approach I've described is designed to be as future-proof as possible, you do have to bear in mind that HubSpot could decide to change the way their cookies work and break this code. And they are perfectly entitled to do this (although I do think it's unlikely).

The other warning is that this approach is not supported by HubSpot. Trust me, although HubSpot support is normally great they have no idea of how to manage the cookies. They are pretty clear that it's not something they support, but during the project we got incorrect information from support. Although it was just people trying to be helpful, it set us back a long way, so until HubSpot decides to support management of cookies, I wouldn't recommend discussing this with them.

I hope this is going to be useful to people out there. Please let me know if it is helpful or if you have any problems. I will update the post if I get any more information.