What do people look at on a website?

How do people read sites like eetimes.co.uk and elektroniknet.de? Wouldn't it be really cool if we could track the movement of people's eyes as they read electronics websites to understand what advertising works best?

A company called Poynter Online actually does this, and has posted a report about their latest Eyetrack III study for everyone to see! This really is worth reading: it found that when viewing news sites such as cnn.com, on average 68% of readers looked at a banner ad in the left hand column, 55% looked at a top banner, 34% looked at an ad on the right hand site and only 14% saw banner ads at the bottom of the page! Doubleclick suggests that ad click-through rates are typically less than 0.5%, anything we can do improve the performance of online advertising must be good!

Optimism or pessimism in electronics? It's all a matter of opinion!

At Napier we keep a close eye on market forecasts for our clients. We've probably heard all the jokes about the reliability of analyst forecasts. But we had to smile when we saw the very different ways that the recent SIA report was interpreted. David Manners told readers of Electronics Weekly "Chip market on track for 28% growth" - surely great news for the industry. Electronic News, however, reported "SIA: Chip Sales Growth Slows". As both titles are published by Reed Electronics Group, does this mean that European are more optimistic than Americans? Incidently David Manners is a frequent contributor to Electronic News.

Meeting American CAN-SPAM legislation

European legislation has historically been more restrictive in protecting privacy than the laws in the USA. Occaisionally marketing managers think that anything they do in Europe is bound to exceed demands made by America law. This is not always the case, particularly in the case of the "CAN-SPAM" laws. Clickz has published a simple guide to meeting this legislation that should be required reading for anyone sending marketing emails to recipients in the USA.

New editor for The Engineer

Andrew Lee, previously the business editor has replaced George Coupe as editor of The Engineer.

SMT/HYBRID/PACKAGING 2005 call for tutorials

A call for tutorials has been issued by the organisers of the SMT/HYBRID/PACKAGING 2005 show (19-21st April 2005). The organisers are particularly keen to receive abstracts about lead-free assembly or automotive applications, but also list a wide range of other topics for submissions:

- Vertical system integration on PCBs

- Packaging of electronic components

- Electronic assembly design

- Assembly of electronic components

- Electronic assembly interconnection technologies

- Electronic assembly process technologies

- Electronic assembly diagnostics and quality assurance

- Technical reliability of electronic assembly

- Advanced materials

- Sustainability

The deadline for submissions is 8th October 2004.

PCIM 2005 call for papers

The organisers of PCIM Europe 2005 have issued a call for papers. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 30th October 2004.

Helen Nixon joins Napier

I'm sure all our clients will welcome Helen, who joined Napier yesterday. She will be taking over some of our IT accounts from Sam. Helen has a background of sales and marketing in the technology industry. Sam is planning a transatlantic sailing trip, and we all wish her good luck, and kind weather mid-atlantic!

The problems of international marketing

Anyone trying to manage marketing campaigns across several countries and cultures will love the article in Silicon.com about some of the problems Microsoft has encountered. At Napier, we understand the challenges of marketing in both Eastern and Western Europe, so talk to us before you kick off your next campaign.

Silicon.com also deserves a mention for their long-running campaign to try to get everyone writing 'internet', 'net' and 'web' all lower case. There really is no reason to capitalise the first letter of these words in English (of course languages such as German will need to capitalise them). Wired magazine has also stopped using initial capitals, so maybe this will catch on.

Napier design focus – BASETrack

We've recently designed a mailing pack to promote GARAGEBase - an accounting and management system for garages. The pack includes a custom envelope, brochure and CD with Flash presentation. Like all our jobs, total cost was a major consideration: BASETrack is a small company, but wants to send a pack to every independent garage in the UK.

Can you trust your friends' recommendations?

BzzAgent has been promoting products by WOM for over two years. The idea is simple: WOM recommendation is one of the most powerful forms of marketing. So why wait and hope for recommendations? BzzAgent tells their "BzzAgents" about the product, they recommend your product, the company tracks these recommendations, and finally they send you a bill for their efforts. Even better for the company, they don't pay their BzzAgents, although they do "occasionally offer gift certificates, and always offer cool, hard-to-get prizes."

Whatever you think about this approach, it's pretty obvious why it might be attractive for consumer goods (companies such as Kellogg's and Penguin books are clients). What interested us was that Broadcom is on their client list: are there really engineers telling everyone they know about how good the latest Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet transceivers are, just to get a prize? Silicon Valley dinner parties must be getting pretty dull!

Finally if you live outside of the USA and Canada, you can relax: the company only operates in North America.

One month to go for Embedded World abstracts

Abstracts must be in by 13th September if you want your paper to be considered for Embedded World 2005.

Debate about German spelling continues

This week the Axel-Springer and Spiegel-Verlag publishing houses have said that they will no longer support the spelling reforms that aim to make German simpler. People in Germany really are getting very emotional about spelling!

This just goes to show how difficult it can be to deal with pan-European PR: not only do we have the different languages, but but also we have to deal with different views on how that language is written. Napier spends a lot of time to get the right feel to translations, matching translator to clients to ensure that the style enhances, rather than clashes with the client's brand. Speak to us to find out more about the challenges of working in over 20 different European languages.

Micro Technology shrinks

Following a trend, Micro Technology Europe will be shrinking from the September issue. The industry hasn't fixed on a single size for tabloid publications, with the new size of MTE 335 x 245mm: the same height, but slimmer than Electronics Weekly, and a similar width, but not quite as tall as EPN.

CeBIT America cancelled

Hannover Fairs USA has announced that CeBIT America 2005 will not go ahead. CeBIT Germany is not affected, and continues to be very successful. Earlier this year CeBIT attracted half a million visitors and ten thousand journalists to Hannover.

Great influences on the electronics industry: Madonna?

Features Exec, the fabulous resource for PR professionals has revealed that the preson Siegfried Best, editor in Chief of Elektronik Industrie, would most like to interview is Madonna. Interesting choice which is bound to disappoint Madonna's friend Britney Spears. You might not know that Britney could have been an engineer: go to her guide to semiconductor physics to find out more!

Predicatable Software Design Conference

We must mention the Predictable Software Design Conference that will be held in Amsterdam on 22nd Sept 04. It's being sponsored by the IEE and Embedded System Engineering, but what interested us was that they had an interesting range of presentations. As well as the dry-sounding "CSP: from Theory to Practice", and "Metrics-based multi-site project management, predicting start-of-production within an automotive environment", Dr. Holenderski from Philips Research is asking "Can formal methods be introduced to the industry withouth help from Harry Potter?" Who said the Dutch have no sense of humour?

Emma is back

I'm sure all clients will be pleased to hear that Emma is back from her maternity leave! It's great to have her back, and I'm sure our clients, translators and partners will be pleased to hear from her again.

Online ad spending to grow rapidly

There are few markets that have not seen some advertising money move from print to online marketing, but just how much is spend online? Jupiter Research believes that online advertising will hit $8.4Bn this year, representing 27% growth. Paid-for search results will grow fastest, but display and classified advertsing will see 25% growth over two years. Last year, online advertising represented 3.5% of the typical marketing budget, but by 2009, this figure is expected to be 6.5%. In the electronics industry there is also a move towards online advertising, and there is an active debate about the reletive value of print and online marketing. Talk to us to learn about the benefits and problems of moving European campaigns online.

Napier launches new website

OK, so it's not industry changing news! But we have finally launched the new Napier website. This offers lots of new features, including the ability of editors to download our clients PR photos. Visit the site at www.napierb2b.com.

IML annouces awards finalists

The finalists for the Electronics Industry Design Award, which is run by IML (publishers of EPD) have been announced. Congratulations to VMETRO, who have been shortlisted in the Test Solution ot the Year category. Go to www.eidawardsonthenet.net to vote for your favourites.

One week left to enter the European Electronics Industry Awards

The deadline for the European Electronics Industry Awards is this Friday. Don't forget to get your entries in by the deadline!

Reed to run Automotive Electronics Congress

After much behind-the-scenes activity, Reed Electronics Group have finally confirmed that they will be running the International Automotive Electronics Congress alongside the Mondial de l'Automobile show. The event will be held in Paris from 27-29th Sept.

New txt2email service for publishers and broadcasters

A new service has been introduced by Vertis Marketing Technology, which allows readers or viewers to request information to be emailed to them by sending a text message. The first magazine to use the product is Marketing Direct (a UK title published by Haymarket). Although there could be benefits to the readers, we suspect that the fact that this gives publishers an opportunity to build a txt AND email database is probably the main attraction, especially as readers are encouraged to request articles to be send to friends' and colleagues' email accounts. Once the addresses are acquired, however, persuading these people to opt-in to receive marketing messages will be a huge challenge.

Reed launches ECN China

Reed Electronics Group has launched a Chinese version of ECN. There will be local content as well as translated material from the US version of ECN. Although some people might over-estimate how much of the equipment produced in China is actually designed there, China continues to focus on growin both manufacturing and design. For more information on how to address the Chinese market, contact us.

New Date for Chips and Tools UK

ICC Media have been forced to move the date of the Chips and Tools show to September 21st because Jürgen Hübner has been unwell. With a strong trend towards small, focussed shows in Europe - particularly outside of Germany - this show could become an important event for processor, microcontroller and software vendors.