Armitage Communications Welcomes Nesbert Musuwo as Account Manager

Nesbert Musuwo is the latest addition to Armitage Communications, joining the team as Account Manager, with 6 years of marketing experience and a First-Class Honors Degree in Business Management with Marketing.

Previously a Marketing Manager dealing with high-net worth clients in a supercar business selling Bugatti’s, Lamborghini’s and Ferrari’s; Nesbert has been responsible for growing social media platforms to an incredible level with phenomenal following and engagement, e-mail marketing campaigns, events management, website content writing and more.

Originally hailing from Zimbabwe, Nesbert speaks two fluent languages (English & Shona), and brings passion and positivity to the role, with a keen eye for detail.

“I love digital marketing and content creation. For me, digital marketing is vital to success for any organization and I truly believe all digital marketing channels should be maximized”, commented Nesbert.

“I enjoyed helping my previous company build their digital marketing presence, which included developing their social media following to over 660,000 across all platforms; and I’ll be applying everything I’ve learnt from other organizations to my role here at Armitage. I am excited to join the Armitage team and work alongside phenomenal clients like ABB”.

“I am delighted to welcome Nesbert to the Armitage team” commented Mike Maynard, Managing Director of the Napier Group. “With a strong background in digital marketing, Nesbert further strengthens the expertise at Armitage that's available to our clients”.

European Rubber Journal Announces Elastomers for Sustainability Competition

European Rubber Journal (ERJ) has announced that it's July/August Issue will include a special feature, the Elastomers for Sustainability Initiative (E4S), which will identify 10 of the most significant advances in the field of elastomer/rubber technology.

The publication has launched the E4S competition, which has invited both readers and companies to submit entries. The competition aims to help ERJ identify its Top 10 new materials technologies, based on their contribution to enhancing the environmental profile of the industry.

The E4S competition comprises of five categories, with individuals and companies able to provide suggestions, along with supporting details which can include published information, ranging from press releases to technical papers. E4S entries should ideally involve a product application, which has been commercialized within the last 18 months and materials technologies at an advanced stage of commercialization will also be considered.  Categories include:

  • Automotive components
  • Construction, incl. recreational areas
  • Consumer, medical and other GRGs
  • Industrial products
  • Tires

The top 10 technologies will be selected by an independent panel, comprising experts from leading industry associations and academic groups.

With companies able to submit entries till the 28th May, there is still time to enter and be in with the chance of being featured in ERJ's Top 10. Here at Armitage, we look forward to seeing the results from what is an interesting competition, and the impressive technologies we are sure will emerge.

To find out more information on how you can enter, please click here. 



Try Out Our SMART Objective Generator Tool

SMART objectives are used by both individuals and businesses to set and achieve goals. By setting goals we can focus on achieving them with the ability to closely monitor and measure progress.

Here at Armitage [note that Armitage is now integrated into Napier], we understand how SMART goals can help businesses grow, which is why our team has designed a free SMART objective generator tool to help you effectively reach and monitor your objectives.

SMART objectives are something which we all can forget to do, or a process which some may think is rather straightforward; but in reality, it’s easy to create our own objectives, but have we considered if they’re specific, measurable or time-bound? Without considering each element of ‘SMART’ our goals are unlikely to be reached.

So what does the ‘SMART’ acronym stand for?

  • Specific - Be specific about what you would like to accomplish- consider the 6 ‘w’s.
  • Measurable - What metrics do you need to use? How will you measure progress?
  • Achievable - Do you have the tools needed for your goal? What can you do to make it attainable?
  • Relevant - Is your goal in line with your overall business objectives?
  • Time-bound - Providing a target date for deliverables is key to reaching your target on time.

Featured on our parent company’s website Napier, our quick and easy tool can help you create your own SMART objectives. Using the tool, simply describe what you want to achieve, how your goals will be measured and what you need to accomplish and it will generate your tailored SMART objective.

Click here to create your SMART objectives and start reaching your goals today!


From Apprentice to Marketing Specialist – National Apprenticeship Week 2020

It has been three years since I completed an apprenticeship with the Napier Group, and I have recently hit 4 years of working with the agency. As each year passes and the National Apprenticeship Week dawns, I often reflect on how my apprenticeship allowed me to blossom into the Marketer I am today. In this blog I thought I would share my perspective on how an apprenticeship helped kickstart my career.

When I completed my A-Levels back in 2015, I wasn’t certain about what I wanted to do, or where I wanted to go after Sixth Form. I then applied for an apprenticeship at Cambridge Regional College and since then, I haven’t looked back. My progression throughout the programme really gave me the boost I needed to develop critical skills needed in a professional environment.

I chose the apprenticeship path over University, and I strongly believe that it was the right decision for me. Armitage gave me the opportunity to develop my marketing skills and gain valuable career experiences in a real working environment; something I didn’t think was possible at such an early stage. Still today I am grateful for the time and training the company dedicated to my development during my apprenticeship.

During my time as an apprentice, I was able to build my reporting and Microsoft office skills as well as build relationships with clients and work on various exciting B2B marketing campaigns.

In 2017 I became a Marketing Specialist at the Saffron Walden office, and continued my education with the CIM Certificate in Professional Marketing at Cambridge Marketing College. I still continue to learn new things here at Armitage, but my apprenticeship will always remain as one of my highlights.

An apprenticeship worked for me, and I would definitely recommend the programme to anyone looking to make the first step up into a worthwhile career.

Change for the IML Group as Alan Franck retires

The IML Group has recently experienced some changes to the HazardEx editorial team, with the much-respected Editor Alan Franck retiring at the end of 2019.

Alan spent 8 years as Editor of HazardEx, expanding the focus of the magazine, website and events to share a wide variety of information on hazardous area operations and process safety.

Following his departure, HazardEx is now in the capable hands of Alistair Hookway, former Editor of Panel Building & Systems Integration (PBSI). Alistair has revealed that he is excited to get going, starting with the HazardEx Conference & Exhibition on February 26 & 27 in Harrogate.

Paige West is now looking after Design, Products & Applications, as well as Connectivity 4IR and PBSI.

We wish Alan, Alistair and Paige all the best for the future.

Endeavor Business Media Acquires Informa’s Industry & Infrastructure Intelligence and Auto Aftermarket Media Brands

Endeavor Business Media has announced a new agreement with Informa, as it acquires the Informa Industry & Infrastructure Intelligence and Auto Aftermarket media brands.

In its latest step to support the brand’s rapid growth and mission to deliver quality content to B2B markets, the Tennessee based company plan to grow the events division and global exhibitions including:

  • Manufacturing & Technology Conference
  • Safety Leadership Conference
  • UAI Week
  • UAI Leadership
  • UAI Day of Analytics
  • EC&M Code Conferences

An Endeavor spokesperson told Exhibition World: "The acquisition of these events increases the Event Portfolio within Endeavor significantly. We are keen to grow this sector of our business, and this seemed like an ideal opportunity to do so in markets that were closely related to our own. We are anxious to get started on working with the strong Event Teams and Event Brands coming over and are keen to see what opportunities a growing Events Division will have for the company.”

The acquisition which is set to double the amount of its staff, comes after a previous acquisition of Clarion completed earlier this year.

The business portfolio will now include 60 events in 16 B2B sectors as well as its ongoing existing range of technical B2B journals including; Oil & Gas Journal, Water Technology, Laser Focus World and Evaluation Engineering.

Our A/B Tester Tool Reveals the Truth About Your Campaign

True marketeers will know that in order to get consistently high engagement rates, evaluation of each campaign deliverable is necessary. Often looking at click-throughs, the number of attendees or sign ups, helps to indicate the success of a digital banner ad, print ad or e-shot. However, to get the best idea of which deliverable performs the best, using a Split Test A/B Calculator can help.

A Split Test A/B calculator takes into consideration the statistical significance. Way back in the 1700s, statistical significance was invented by mathematicians John Arbuthnot and Pierre-Simon Laplace who computed the p-value for the human sex ratio at birth (interesting fact). It has since been used in a number of ways, one of which being A/B testing in marketing.

To use Napier’s Split Test A/B calculator, simply follow the below steps.

  1. Input the number of visitors each landing page has received. If it’s an email marketing campaign, input the number of opens for each email.
  2. On the second row, input the number of leads generated from the landing page or from the email.
  3. Click ‘Calculate results’
  4. The Conversion rates and Confidence level will appear as a percentage
  5. If the difference is significant enough to indicate a statistical significance, the result will come out as ‘You have a winner! Statistically significant difference’
  6. If the difference isn’t significant, the result will come out as ‘Sorry, no winner. You can’t say the difference is significant’

This tool is especially handy if you are running an email marketing or advertising campaign and need to decide which design to take forward into the next round. If there’s no winner, perhaps it would be best to design a completely new email or advert until there’s a clear victor.

Let the battle of the Split Test commence! 

A Day in the Life of an Account Manager

At Armitage Communications, we’re keen to share with you the different roles we have within the team. From Account Directors through to Marketing Specialists, we have a range of people performing a variety of tasks on a daily basis.

In this blog, we’ll share with you Rose’s typical day. Rose started in PR over five years ago as a Junior Account Executive and is now a Junior Account Manager. 


When I arrive in the morning, the first thing I do is check my emails for any urgent items which need to be addressed immediately. I then look online for any news relevant to our accounts, especially around robotics and automation technology, logistics and telecommunications.

It’s difficult not to get sidetracked into reading too much of the news - but also really important to get an overview of what is happening in the industries to provide context for our campaigns and articles.

Next I check in with the members of our Robotics, Telecommunications and Logistics teams to make sure we are all aligned on the high priority items of the day. If there are any difficulties across any projects then I have to think carefully about what the next best action is to take. More often than not it takes a small change to resolve a challenge, which in the moment can feel enormous, but usually it’s a small part of the overall picture and once addressed, it’s on to the next project. If I’m really stuck on what to do, then I can ask an Account Director.

Often the next project will involve writing of some kind. It could be a blog, feature article, opinion piece, case study or script. Depending on the content specifications, it could take up to eight hours to research, plan and draft the piece, or as little as half an hour.


In the afternoon, I could be pitching features to editors, setting up press release distributions or spending some time on a Skype call with a client to run through briefs for content, events or campaign strategy. 

As an Account Manager, it’s my responsibility to ensure that my clients are well represented in the press and that all content aligns with their key messaging. Usually I will scan the media packs for relevant features to pitch for. Common features I’d go for include ‘Digitalisation in food manufacturing’, or ‘How to address the skills shortage,’ through to “Warehouse automation’ and ‘Robotics’ across a range of magazines including Controls, Drives and Automation, Logistics Manager and Food & Drink Network UK. There are lots of nationals which occasionally feature relevant news which we can re-actively pitch against  - recently we got a client a piece of coverage in the Times!

Either myself or the Account Executive will draft a synopsis for the article and email it over to the editor. We usually wait a few days before calling to follow up (unless it's a reactive pitch of course, in which case we have to be super quick before the news is no longer relevant). If the editor is interested in the content, then we’ll find out the deadline, word count and any images they’ll need and make sure we note this to remind ourselves to deliver on time.

The brief for the article will be outlined to one of our writers unless we have time to write it ourselves. Then once drafted, the article is sent to the client for approval before submitting to the editor along with any images they need such as headshots or real-world examples of the product in action. 

During the day I can often have a Skype call diarised, and I make sure to prepare in good time. I read through any attachments or notes in the invite, and write out any questions beforehand that I anticipate I will need to ask to glean the relevant information from the client to execute the project effectively. These 30 minutes to an hour of preparation time are what can make the difference between quality Account Management and last minute, rushed Account Management which can lead to lots of revisions and a frustrated client. 

The fewer the revisions, the better the value.

Towards the end of the day I review the items I have completed and mark them as done on the work in progress (WIP) sheet. I also consider what projects will need to be completed the next morning. Having deadlines set against each project in the WIP helps to inform my priorities and leads to a much higher client satisfaction rate as this kind of attention to detail and organisation means the work is delivered in good time. 

If I had to sum up what the role of Account Manager requires in a few words, I’d say flexibility, problem-solving abilities, creativity and a passion for nurturing positive client relationships. It helps when you enjoy the accounts which you work on, and have an interest in the subject matter, which I definitely do.

Did I mention I love robots?

If this sounds like a role you’d enjoy and you’re interested in potentially joining us, send your C.V. to

Datateam merges two titles, forming ‘Factory & Handling Solutions’

This October, Datateam Business Media is celebrating the 70th anniversary of Factory Equipment magazine. With over 700 issues under its belt, the team at Datateam have decided to merge the publication with sister magazine Materials Handling & Logistics.

The new monthly magazine will be titled Factory & Handling Solutions and will bring readers similar content to its former titles including case studies, opinion pieces from leading experts and latest product innovations. Editor, Rachel Tucker aims to refresh the magazine with a new look alongside its editorial calendar and regular e-newsletter.

In the upcoming bumper issue, Factory & Handling Solutions is set to explore features including health and safety, boilers, pumps and valves, supply chain management, warehousing, handling and storage and compressed air.

The issue is set for launch on the 24th October 2019.

We’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for the exciting new issue!

Launch of new manufacturing publication ‘MADE in Ireland’

Earlier this year, it was announced by MA Business that a new publication ‘MADE in Ireland’ will be created to reflect and promote the success story that is Ireland’s engineering sector. On 24th September, the first issue of the magazine was launched, reporting and exploiting the manufacturing and design of Ireland, and in turn offering companies a factual resource that positively reflects their market so they can continue to grow as a manufacturing nation.

With more than 6,000 manufacturing organisations, and 200,000 professionals in Ireland, it was recognised that the Irish needed a resource about the country’s growing manufacturing sector- and that’s exactly what the team at MA Business has achieved.

Commenting on the new launch, Publishing Director Luke Webster said, “This is an exciting step for our growing manufacturing and engineering portfolio. There’s clearly and appetite for high quality, technically led content in Ireland, with a drive to innovate and increase manufacturing exports. MADE in Ireland will promote the great manufacturing and R&D work taking place in Ireland. The content will focus on providing manufacturers with the expertise and support that will enable them to design, develop and manufacture better products.”

The new website is now live. Readers can subscribe to access content via a monthly e-newsletter and bi-monthly print and digital edition.


Five trends in industrial robotics that are helping to transform manufacturing

Today a Meltwater search of ‘robotics’ headlines tallies 24 results across 12 titles including BBC News, Financial Times and HR magazine. We’re dedicated to following the robot trends across all industries - whether it’s AI being used in finance or robot skeletons being used to help paralysed patients walk again. However, as an agency we are particularly focused on the manufacturing industry where many of our clients are helping UK companies to achieve faster and more flexible production.

There are a number of areas where robotic technology is developing at a rapid rate due to a demand for greater flexibility and speed.  It was difficult to come up with only five because there are many different industries within UK manufacturing that have all got the potential to use robots. Nevertheless, we managed to narrow it down. Here are the five that we think are the most exciting to track right now:

Collaborative robots
Initially collaborative robots conjure up visions of smaller robots working alongside people. There are a number of models which have been developed to bring the collaboration to many new areas of production such as electronics, pharmaceutical and automotive as well as small to medium sized manufacturers or workshops. Some of these are able to react to potential collisions and others are ergonomically designed so that if a collision occurs they won’t impact the co-worker. 

Lesser known collaborative robots are the large-scale industrial sized robots which are fitted with sensor technology so that they can stop before a human gets within a certain radius. There are even researchers who are exploring code which make robots interact closely with humans - see Madeline Gannon’s work here.

If larger robots are able to collaborate with us, then we could be lifting cars with a wave of our hands in no time.

Machine tending
Robots are able to be adapted into different configurations according to the needs of a customer. In the machine tending industry, there are many different end tools required and robot manufacturers are creating cells which are especially adaptable for this purpose. 

There is also a growing skills gap. In this industry many companies are introducing robots to perform the manual loading and unloading so that the skilled employees are able to use their expertise to perform other work steps.

Digital maintenance
With the advent of smartphones and 4G, the possibilities for maintenance engineers, factory managers and CEOs to communicate with elements around the factory floor has expanded. When 5G lands, expect more possibilities. But for now, we are able to share with you that remotely monitoring robot performance is a thing. This is achieved using data analysis and as robots are basically told what to do via a form of data (code), it is possible to analyse this data and provide insightful statistics such as how fast the robots are performing and how many parts have been processed.

A lot of us are getting used to analysing data in the form of social media analytics, for example - if there can be this much insight into engagements on smartphones to drive changes in the way we interact with each other, then analysis of robotics performance could mean great changes for the way that manufacturing is performed - and all at the tap of a screen.

Warehouse logistics
As many of us are ordering goods online whether it’s new clothes or a new sofa, warehouses are having to quickly adapt to manage all of the incoming orders. Warehouse automation has become the differentiator for many online brands. Leading names Ocado and Amazon, for example, have invested heavily in robotic technology. Ocado even has its own innovation department within which they are developing their own robots. 

As more of us come to rely on shopping being delivered to our door, greater numbers of warehouses are going to need robots to maintain their position in the market.

Here’s a video of Ocado’s robots in action:

Food and beverage
As food trends proliferate from veganism and vegetarianism through to the paleo diet and sugar-free, the demand on food and beverage brands to continue to churn out relevant products means flexibility is key.

Robots are adept at providing flexibility. They can pick, pack and place products using vision technology which recognises various shapes and sizes. It all comes down to the programming - which is taking less and less time thanks to innovative programming software. Robots also bring the speed - so if a confectionery brand needs to release a timely limited edition chocolate bar, they can do so without too much hassle.

To understand more about what robots have to offer the food and beverage industry, watch this video from Wired

Hootsuite Summer Social Series Webinar 2: Using search and social advertising together

Following our attendance at the first webinar of the Hootsuite Summer Social Series, we joined the next live webinar to explore the ‘Best practices for using search and social advertising together’. This is the second webinar we’ve attended in the series presented by Hootsuite to learn new strategies on search and social advertising. If you missed our blog on the first Hootsuite webinar click here. The second webinar of the series covered how to use Google and Facebook simultaneously to get best results. So, what did we learn?

Advertising on Facebook is proven to increase your Google results

If you’re an active user on Facebook, you may have noticed some ad’s which are of interest to you. This is because you’ve been targeted by a company using the Facebook audiences feature. This allows companies to reach out to new people who may or may not have realised they needed your product or service based on information Facebook holds about you; whether that be your age, location or interests. Naturally, if you saw a Facebook advertisement you were interested in, you may out of curiosity switch to Google for further research. From Hootsuite’s findings, it is suggested that by advertising on Facebook, your search results on Google will increase on average by 34%.

Keeping consistent across search and social channels

There’s a lot of noise out there in relation to marketing across both search and social. Therefore, to ensure your brand can stand out and for maximum chance of conversion, your messaging must be consistent. As you may know, it takes multiple touchpoints for a prospect to consider purchasing from your brand so you must stick to one consistent message or offer.

It’s not just brand names people are searching for- they’re also looking for offerings and results. Additionally, catchy headlines, phrases, or propositions are those that are more memorable than a just a brand name, so think about what resonates with your audience and what will stick in their minds. Ensure you are consistently optimised for those keywords across search and social so you can easily be found.

Using Facebook to retarget uses from search ads
Retargeting is an ever-growing subject in the world of marketing at the moment. What people are unaware of, is that there is more to retargeting than just purely displaying ads to website visitors. In order to maximise your efforts in retargeting, you can cross over with search and social. Often when clicking on a Google ad, visitors will come away from the page, perhaps do some additional research and explore other alternative options or solutions. However, by retargeting with Facebook, ads appear when the user visits the social media platform at a later date, reminding them about your offer and keeping your company at the top of their minds.

In summary, you shouldn’t be thinking about whether search or social is better for your brand- you should instead think how it is best to use search AND social together. Stay tuned for the final blog on the third webinar of the Hootsuite summer series.

A day in the life of a Marketing Specialist

My name is Taylor, and I’m one of the Marketing Specialists at Armitage Communications, based in one of our locations in Saffron Walden, Essex.

The purpose of this blog is to share some of the details about how I got into the marketing industry, my typical working day, and help you decide if a similar role could be for you.  

I originally joined the company four years ago as an Apprentice when Napier acquired Peter Bush Communications, following my interest in Marketing at A-Level. In 2017 after completing my NVQ, I was offered to take on the role as a Marketing Specialist, and my roles and responsibilities have developed since that very moment and into the merge with Armitage Communications. You can read more about vocational benefits and why you should consider an apprenticeship in one of our latest blogs.


From day to day, I have regular calls with colleagues from both Armitage and Napier to discuss ongoing projects and our top priorities for the week. I also join calls with clients and Account Managers to go through our WIP (work in progress) document to highlight outstanding tasks, or new upcoming campaigns. Projects I work on for clients can vary; I could be working on tasks ranging from social media planning and creation, content and blog writing, through to event management.  

One of the key aspects of the role that surprised me when I joined the company was the amount of trust I had from my colleagues, especially coming from an apprenticeship. I have been given opportunities to work freely on development tasks such as SEO, and email marketing via HubSpot, which helped build my confidence. I was also offered, and I accepted various training and career development opportunities such as the CIM Certificate in Professional Marketing at the Cambridge Marketing College.

I would consider my position at Armitage rather fast-paced and flexible. As well as supporting administration and marketing duties, I am never stuck to one project or duty, which why the role is rather enjoyable and comes as great experience for me in the early stages of my marketing career.

If you’re considering a similar marketing role, or are interested in working for us, get in touch today!  

AI bias and a new agriculture: ‘AI: More than human at the Barbican’ review part two

Over the last few days we’ve scanned many headlines which herald the future of artificial intelligence such as CMR Surgical’s £1bn Series C funding, a company based in Cambridge that is set to launch a surgical robot and Softbank’s plans to open a cafe run by humanoid robots in Tokyo. These headlines are unsurprising - fast developments in AI technology mean that what was sci-fi literature fifty years ago is now becoming a reality.

Nowhere is this easier to comprehend than an exhibition dedicated to the technology. In August we made the most of the longer evenings and made our way to the Barbican for ‘AI: More than human.’ Situated within the Barbican Estate of the City of London, the Barbican Centre has a large space fit for hosting thought-provoking events showcasing cinema, theatre, dance and art.

So when we arrived at the venue, our brains were already switched on to learn more about AI and how it’s transforming the world around us. 

Here’s the second part of Account Manager Rose’s review of the exhibition.

Through replicating the human brain, scientists were able to develop the first ‘neural network’ in the form of computer programmes in the early 21st century. Here we were, three quarters of the way through the exhibition, and arriving at the stage where AI began to proliferate into hundreds of applications. What enabled AI to be realised? Partly it was the power of modern computing but it was also work conducted by Alex Krizhevsky, who developed AlexNet (software which successfully labelled 15+ million high-resolution images) that got the ball moving.

The link between this development and other outcomes of AI’s influence were demonstrated by an art piece called ‘Myriad (Tulips).’ By Anna Ridler, the art piece on display was just a fraction of the 10,000 pictures of tulips which she photographed and categorised to highlight the human aspect that sits behind machine learning.

If humans influence AI so much, then can we trust those humans to form a fair representation of the world we live in? Can we rely on humans to use the technology for the betterment of the world? Echoing back to part one, many of us are frightened because at its core AI can be seen to represent a side of humanity that we haven’t quite grasped yet.

The data universe

The human influence on AI was explored in great detail in the third part of the exhibition ‘Data Worlds.’ Bringing to the surface AI’s underbelly, this section opened with a cartoon depicting AI in China, where AI not only monitors cities but also keeps track of its population. Later a human intelligent smart home experiment conducted by Lauren McCarthy was explored, where the relationship between smart devices and the private lives of those who use them was shown. Gender Shades by Joy Buolamwini, examined the misrepresentation of race and gender in datasets. All of this conspired to leave me thinking ‘Is AI a bad move for us?’.

It’s reassuring to know that there are some really inspiring people out there conducting research projects that raise these questions. If no questions are asked, and we go full steam ahead, we may end up with a world that we don’t really want. In the concluding paragraph of an article published in The Economist last week, a clause which rung true for me was ‘If problems can be foreseen they can be more easily prevented.’

But as well as being understandably cautious, we should look at the positives that are coming from AI. The final section of the exhibition ‘Endless evolution’ examined AI’s potential to improve our bodies, eliminate disease and even address famine.

The doctor will see you now

Mental health charity Mind has thrown some perspective on the UK’s worry that more and more of us are struggling with our mental health. Apparently the number of people struggling hasn’t changed but it’s the way that we’re coping with it that has gone in a more serious direction.

In order to properly treat mental health we either need a lot more counsellors, psychiatrists and medication or an alternative provided by technology. One section of ‘AI: More than human’ touched on the human need for connection in a progressively digital world with chat bots programmed to be as human as possible communicating with attendees. Experts are already suggesting that AI could help counsel patients and online counseling services such as the Big White Wall and Ieso are already in place in some UK regions.

Furthermore, AI can help doctors to determine diseases early on to prevent life-threatening outcomes. Just this week, Director of Google Health, Michael Macdonnel talked about an early stage AI-powered system which interprets Optical Coherence Tomography retinal images and identifies the signs of sight-threatening disease.

Other companies are experimenting with 3D printing body parts such as Axial3D’s work towards building 3D models of the anatomy using 2D images. The company has already started work on an algorithm which could potentially mean 3D organs become the norm in a hospital near you.

3D printing organs on-demand could potentially save thousands of people.

What’s eating AI?

‘AI: More than human’ also showed a small plant farm nurtured by AI. Small and innocent enough, it echoed plans that are already underway in UK universities for larger farms to begin using smart sensors. These can collect data to provide a greater understanding of crops from a distance so that providing the right fertiliser or amounts of water can be achieved remotely. More judicious use of pesticides can also prevent harm to the soil.

The world’s population is expected to grow from 7.7 billion to nearly 10 billion by 2050. Pitch this against a finite amount of arable land and we need to start thinking about ways to use technology to sustainably produce food, and fast.

Terramera’s Founder Karn Manhas summed it up in an article in Greenbiz earlier this year. He said, ‘Technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and big data might not be commonly associated with ‘natural’ or ‘health’ movements but actually, these advanced technologies are allowing us to eat cleaner, more locally and more sustainably than ever before.’

Robots picking fruit are helping to close the skills gap as well as reduce food waste. Drone pollinators and self-driving tractors are being developed to help drive efficiency and AI is used to make sense of farm data so that farmers can increase the health of crops, boost yields and ultimately provide better quality, affordable food.

If AI can help us feed the planet, then it’s definitely worth the research.

AI overwhelm

All of this AI in one go was a lot to absorb. It took an AI installation of screens showing butterflies and paintbox colours called ‘What a Loving and Beautiful World’ to round the exhibition off nicely. We could choose to interact directly with the panels, clicking the Chinese calligraphy to influence the space or sit and contemplate the surroundings, in awe of all of the elements combining to create the artwork.

We left asking ourselves the question, “Should we play a passive role in the developments of technology around us or make it our responsibility?”

If AI is to be shaped by human consciousness, then this question should not be asked by attendees of AI: More than human alone, it should be asked across the world.

Five good reasons to consider apprenticeships

With the tendency of many schools to focus on academic qualifications as a route to a good career, the value of vocational education is often overlooked. This is a shame, because vocational qualifications and training in the form of apprenticeships can often provide a valuable foothold into the real world of work, equipping young people with skills and experience learned literally ‘on the job’.

In this article, we look at five great reasons to consider apprenticeships and explain why vocational qualifications can offer an equally valid alternative to their academic counterparts even up to degree level.

Reason 1 – You learn by doing

While classroom-based teaching suits some people, it can often be a turn-off for those with a more hands-on approach to learning. Vocational qualifications and work-based learning provide the opportunity to discover not just why things work in theory, but also how they how they work in practice. Especially when training is conducted in the workplace, there is the opportunity to learn from the very best teachers – the people who do the task as part of their actual daily job – and to gain honest and informed feedback on your performance.

In many cases, this will entail working alongside people from different backgrounds, age groups and education, introducing an added dimension of interpersonal skills training that can prove invaluable in later life. The ability to communicate with mixed groups of people, for example, is a key skill needed in management, which is why you will often find many senior managers in many different walks of life who started their careers as apprentices.

Reason 2 - Find out what you want to do – and what you don’t

Getting hands-on into a role is a great way of realising that the lifelong ambition you’d been aiming may not be your true calling in life. Steve Wilding, now Field Sales Manager for ABB Measurement & Analytics in the UK and Ireland, sees his apprenticeship as the starting point for his career in engineering sales, after originally having wanted to be a draftsman.

Says Steve: “I was lucky enough to get an apprentice technician role with Vickers, which at the time manufactured electric motors for aerospace and defence applications. At the start, I saw this as a great way of fulfilling my ambition of becoming a draftsman.”

“However, after having worked in several positions around the company, including positions on the factory floor, I realised by the time I got to the design department that I was much more interested in other areas of the company’s activities. Luckily, my apprenticeship gave me scope to choose something else - had I come in straight from school or university, I may well have ended up being stuck in a role I didn’t like.”

It was also Steve’s experience as an apprentice that gave him his next role, which led to the start of a life on the road from which he has never looked back.

“After working in internal sales with Vickers, I took a position with Bourdon, a French manufacturer of instrumentation equipment, becoming sales office manager within a year and then going on the road as a sales engineer. It is this role that really laid the foundations for my career with ABB and a job that I really love doing.”

Reason 3 – Get ahead

After undertaking an apprenticeship with ABB’s robotics business, Louis Novakovic now specialises in programming ABB’s dual-arm YuMi collaborative robots. You can read about his experiences here:
After undertaking an apprenticeship with ABB’s robotics business, Louis Novakovic now specialises in programming ABB’s dual-arm YuMi collaborative robots. You can read about his experiences here:

While university degrees are often touted as the passport for high salaries and quick advancement, there is no real substitute for experience. 

Some of the UK’s most prolific business leaders started as apprentices. Consider, for example, JCB Chairman, Lord Bamford who as Anthony Bamford, started his career as an apprentice for agricultural machinery manufacturer Massey Ferguson. Or Andrew Reynolds Smith, previously CEO of GKN Automotive and now CEO of engineering company Smiths Group, who began his working life as an apprentice for Texas Instruments.

Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, apprenticeships aren’t just limited to the engineering and manufacturing sector. A wide range of professions, from entertainment through to fashion and cooking, offer their own versions of apprenticeships giving candidates the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience.

Famously, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, Karen Millen, Stella McCartney and even Sir Ian McKellen all started as apprentices in their respective fields, rising through the ranks to become leading names. Some, such as Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay, have even started their own apprenticeship programmes to encourage future generations.

It is also often the case that many people who undertake vocational qualifications and apprenticeships are ahead in their careers by the time their academic counterparts emerge from university. This can provide not just a financial advantage, but also the advantage of accessing opportunities to work in roles in other companies that would not be available to a newly-qualified graduate.

“Not long after finishing his apprenticeship, one of my friends was headhunted by Boeing in the US to work as an interior designer for its aircraft,” says Steve Wilding. It was his four years of experience as an apprentice that gave him this opportunity – a big step for someone still in their early twenties.”   

Pawal Bajwa and Samuel Barrett who are currently working as apprentices with ABB Measurement & Analytics in St Neots. Their training will see them gaining experience across the business, covering all areas from product assembly through to sales and service.
Pawal Bajwa and Samuel Barrett who are currently working as apprentices with ABB Measurement & Analytics in St Neots. Their training will see them gaining experience across the business, covering all areas from product assembly through to sales and service.

Reason 4 – Earn and learn

The prospect of leaving university laden with tens of thousands of pounds of debt to repay tuition fees is leading many school and college students to rethink their life choices. As a way of both learning and earning, apprenticeships can offer an attractive and worthwhile alternative career path.

One of the biggest benefits of an apprenticeship is the opportunity to earn while you learn. Wage rates vary according to age, with the average wage for an apprentice starting at £3.70 an hour for those aged 16 to 18, £5.90 for those aged 18 to 20 and £7.83 for over 25s. In many cases, there is the prospect of pay increases as time goes on, with rates tending to increase once the first year of training is complete.

In terms of qualifications, apprenticeships offer a great way to combine work with study, with the chance to earn valuable qualifications. Depending on the length of the apprenticeship, candidates can progress from Intermediate level (Level 2), equivalent to GCSE, through to Higher or Degree level (Level 4,5,6 and 7), equivalent to a Foundation, Bachelor or Master’s degree. In addition to providing direct work experience, apprenticeship programmes also incorporate a study element, typically involving day release at an associated college.

Most importantly, unlike university education, there is no repayment expected at the end of the experience. All fees are covered by the employer and the Government. Once the apprenticeship is complete, subject to positions being available, a qualified apprentice can either remain with the organisation they trained with or move on to find other opportunities.

Reason 5 - Make lifelong friendships

In the same way that many people who go to university create lifelong friendships, the same is also true for apprenticeships.

Says Steve Wilding of ABB: “The best thing about doing an apprenticeship is that you’re all in it together. For example, I had friends doing apprenticeships with other companies – to get an idea of what each other did, we would spend time visiting each other’s companies, which gave us a great insight into different ways of working and doing things. 

Even though it’s now 28 years since I did my apprenticeship, I’m still in touch with many of my fellow apprentices, many of whom I still meet up with on a regular basis.”


If reading this article has helped spark your interest in becoming an apprentice, there are plenty of advice sites available with more information about how to take the next step. The following are examples of some sources of information that may help:

UCAS Apprenticeships page – Everything you need to know about apprenticeships in the UK, with a breakdown of opportunities and schemes by region

GOV.UK page on becoming an apprentice – The UK Government’s page on becoming an apprentice is a good starting point for finding out more about what’s involved and how to prepare yourself for an apprenticeship

The Apprenticeship Guide – A complete step-by-step guide to apprenticeships, containing the full what, how and why of becoming an apprentice and a full list of opportunities by region and industry sector

Get my first job – enter your location and specify which industries you’re interested in to find a choice of suitable apprenticeship opportunities

From Golem to governing society: 'AI: More than human’ review part one

September welcomes the start of another academic year and the media has been busy as usual covering the latest in Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) news. As the skills gap continues to widen, Politics Home reports that primary school teachers are struggling to engage students with STEM subjects. Increasingly, young people have to become responsible for their own development in these areas, dedicating their own time to learn about the latest technologies.

Over the summer we shared with you the list of IET open days taking place across the UK. We hope you and your families got the chance to attend (if you did, please do share with us your experience on Twitter, we’d love to hear from you). To follow our own advice, we also decided to delve a bit deeper into tech over the six weeks holiday and attended the critically acclaimed ‘AI: More than human’ exhibition at The Barbican.

Here’s our Junior Account Manager Rose’s account of the show. Broken into two parts, this is part one:

Sometimes you can see it, other times you can’t, Artificial Intelligence has a habit of sneaking up on us when we least expect it. Whether it’s the use of facial recognition in London’s Kings Cross or the Cambridge Analytica scandal, there are many who are wary of the fast-developing technology, and understandably so.

However, are our fears more to do with how the technology is used, rather than the technology itself? If it’s the former, we need to ask some difficult questions about ethics. Do we trust homo sapiens to implement technology for the greater good of mankind, the planet and other species that live here? ‘AI: More than human at the Barbican’ prompted many such questions. It explored how civilisations across the centuries have worked, albeit sometimes unknowingly, towards today’s rapidly-developing world of advanced technologies. But just as any good exhibition should, it also provided some very interesting answers to how and why the AI revolution has happened and what the future may look like if we continue in the same vein.

For how long have we wanted to create robots?

The exhibition opened with ‘The dream of AI’ and showed how humans have always been curious about the artificial creation of living entities, whether through magic, science, religion or illusion. From the belief in sacred spirits living within inanimate objects in Shintoism through to the Gothic literature of the nineteenth century, the early roots of AI manifest themselves in different ways across various cultures as far back as 400 BCE.


Take, for example, the religious traditions of the Golem in Judaism. A mythical figure, the Talbud Jewish holy book says that the golem originated as dust or clay ‘kneaded into a shapeless husk’ and brought to life through complex, ritualistic chants described in Hebrew texts. The above image taken from the artist Lynne Avadenka’s book ‘Breathing Mud’ explores the relationship between sacred letters and the life which is given to the Golem, and by extension to the world. This reminds me of early mathematical diagrams and the coding which is so often used today to program otherwise inanimate objects such as robots.   

Apparently Jewish mystics in Southern Germany made attempts to create a Golem in the Middle Ages and believed this process would bring them closer to God. Is humankind’s fascination with creating artificial life a spiritual exercise after all?

The Uncanny Valley

Later in this section of the exhibition the Gothic tradition of the nineteenth century was cited as significant. Gothic literature such as Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ (1823) and Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ (1897) blur the line between the living and the dead and evoke an emotional response of terror - yet people continue to enjoy these novels and the many films and television series that have stemmed from them.

Is it the element of the uncanny within these stories which appeals to us? Sigmund Freud’s essay ‘The Uncanny’ (1919) defines ‘uncanny’ as ‘belonging to all that is terrible - to all that arouses dread and creeping horror’ but it also explains that the ‘uncanny’ is formed when ‘something unfamiliar gets added to which is familiar’ according to English Professor Jen Boyle's interpretation of the text.

Perhaps this is why we get so perturbed by Count Dracula, essentially a human-being with a deathlike twist. Or Frankenstein the great inventor, who made a monster during a scientific experiment  using electricity and human body parts?

These creatures remind us of us - they’re part human, part monster. However, instead of supporting the positive self-image we like to preserve, they actually highlight the darker side of our psyches. They expose the capacity for human beings to become twisted and give in to their innermost desires.

‘AI: More than human’ goes even further in it’s exploration of the uncanny and its relationship to AI. The Uncanny Valley, a hypothesized relationship between the degree of an object’s resemblance to a human being and the emotional response, was demonstrated in a graph (see below). It shows that as the appearance of a robot is made more human, some people respond more empathetically until it reaches a point where it looks too human, for example social humanoid robots, and then people’s responses quickly become strong disgust.  

The Uncanny Valley Graph

Equally, if AI takes on too many human qualities such as empathy, creativity and leadership, many of us become perturbed, which is continually reflected in the news headlines today. 

Mind machines

The exhibition continued with a close look at the technological developments of the 19th and 20th centuries when the belief that rational thought could be systematised and turned into formulaic rules became more prevalent. Ada Lovelace, often considered the world’s first computer programmer, wrote a letter concerning a ‘calculus of the nervous system’ as early as 1844. As a young girl she was a particularly keen mathematician and was taken by her mother to see a demonstration model of the Difference Engine, the first computing machine designed by Charles Babbage. Ten years later she worked with Babbage on the Analytical Engine, a general purpose computer which had a store of 1,000 numbers of 40 decimal digits. The programming language was very similar to that used later by Alan Turing during the specification of the Bombe in 1941.

During WWII, the Bombe was used by Turning to decode messages sent by the Germans. It played a pivotal role in enabling the Allies to defeat the Nazis. It also led to the development of many other computers such as the ENIAC (1946) and the UNIVAC (1951). 

One of the most significant developments in the history of AI happened in 1956 at the Dartmouth Conference, a two-month event organised by computer scientist John McCarthy. Everybody who was anybody in the world of computers attended to work on the problem of how machines make language, process concepts and improve over time. It may not have met everybody’s expectations but it was there that the term ‘artificial intelligence’ was coined. The UK followed with ‘The Mechanism of Thought’ conference in 1958. 

It would only be a matter of 30 years or so before the Golden Era of computer technology began (think Windows 95!) and the first robots constructed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) would be built. Attila was also the first robot that I saw at ‘AI: More than Human’ which for me marked the great leap made by humans from stationery thinking machines to animate digital creatures.  

This was when the exhibition took a turn into the world of AI as we’ve come to know it today. In part two, I’ll explain how ‘AI: More than Human’ showed the many possible benefits of AI such as its potential to eradicate illnesses and produce whole new food groups. It also examined its darker side - the inherent prejudices it can hold and its capacity to ultimately govern society.

Until next time. 🤖 

Hootsuite Summer Social Series Webinar 1: What we learnt about social media personalisation

There’s a lot of discussion and articles lately about the importance of personalised content within marketing. We decided to take an alternative route by registering for Hootsuite’s ‘Summer Social’ series of webinars to see what more we could learn and share directly from the ultimate experts in social. The first webinar we attended was ‘Know your customer: Delivering a personalized experience on social’; and in this blog we’ll share what we discovered from the first webinar of the series.

For those who may not have much experience with the platform, Hootsuite enables businesses to make scheduling, managing and reporting on social media content easier. At Armitage, we use Hootsuite regularly for these very reasons.

Personalised marketing has become a massive talking point for marketers across the world, with goals to tailor content based on customer behaviours and specific needs. Hootsuite believe that in order to maintain and build relationships through an automated social platform, the process must remain as human as possible throughout, and this is where personalisation comes in.

Here's some key points on what we learnt about personalisation from Hootsuite’s webinar:

  • 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands when they offer a personalised experience. That’s for sure one way of increasing conversion rates.
  • Brands are now becoming less focus on reach, but more on creating quality content personalised to customers.
  • The one size fits all approach to social media is outdated. After all, you wouldn’t ask someone to retweet your post on Facebook…
  • Whilst some content might work for one business, it doesn’t mean it will work for yours. Understand your target market through customer personas. If you need some help, we’ve created a B2B persona creator tool for you to try.
  • Create a varied content library including; high-quality videos for Facebook, shortened videos and imagery for Instagram, behind the scenes video clips for Instagram stories, and recruitment posts for LinkedIn- the possibilities are endless.

If you want a deeper understanding of using personalisation across your social channels, you can watch the full Hootsuite webinar here.

Six tips for successful Account Based Marketing

Marketers are often tempted to cast their net wide when seeking to snare new leads – after all, it seems efficient to produce one piece of marketing collateral and send it out everywhere. Something is bound to bite, surely?

Some do, but perhaps not nearly as many as we’d like. What if there was a more powerful way to find quality leads that are much more likely to be receptive to your message?

That method is Account Based Marketing, or ABM. This concentrates marketing efforts on a small number of targeted accounts, delivering highly personalized messages that appeal to particular people or groups of people in the organization.

But how do you make effective use of this powerful tool?

Read our top six tips to successful Account Based Marketing.

Targets in sight

Despite what you may have heard, successful ABM is not about targeting individuals – instead it is about aiming at the right organizations.

So, you need to find the right organizations, the ones that bring in the highest monthly recurring revenue. Look at what they have in common – industry, location, company size, revenue. You’ll need data from both marketing and sales, but don’t forget intuition and your gut feeling about what looks like a good prospect.

Who’s the Daddy?

Once you have a good list of prospect organizations, it’s time to dig deeper and find the people that will really matter to your campaign – basically, who makes the decisions? And how are those decisions made?

Find out how the organization runs, who reports to whom and how you influence the key stakeholders. Make use of your Customer Relationship Management system, people in your sales department who see these people regularly and tools such as LinkedIn and Facebook.

Get personal

With a list of real people, it’s time to put together compelling content that will grab the attention of those individuals. Understand their pain points and how your content can offer them the solutions.

Your design and sales team are your main colleagues here – work with them to make your content jump out from the crowd but also contain the right messages for these key people. Remember that the content should be personalized to the organization’s needs – it needs to speak to them, not to everyone.

Right place, right time…

So you have great content – but how is it going to reach your target audience? You need to make sure you are promoting it in the right places.

Get to know where your chosen stakeholders spend time online and ensure they can access that content from that website or platform. Again, Facebook and LinkedIn are your friends because you can use them to run specific campaigns that reach your target organizations.

For example, write a blog on a forum that you know one of your prospects looks at regularly and quote one of their articles or presentations that is connected with your product or service. It’s all about making that connection that says something to them personally.

 …but don’t overdo it

It’s time to launch, but don’t go overboard with your content. By bombarding your prospects with the same messages from different sources, you run the risk of turning them off.

Also, make sure you haven’t set up your channels to speak to only one or two people – you are aiming to reach an organization and the important, influential people within it, not a single person.

Did it measure up?

Run the campaign for between one and two months to give it the chance to make an impact, then see how it went.

Questions to ask include: Did the content engage with people and if it did, how did it do it? Are the accounts engaging with your brand? Did the leads get closer to doing what you want them to do? Did the campaign have any effect on revenue? What could you do better in the future?

The campaign may not have met all your hopes, but the important thing is getting measurable results, good or bad. You can then tweak your approach and techniques to get those numbers moving in the right direction. Done well, ABM can be powerful – follow these tips and you could be well on your way to making it a standard part of your marketing toolbox.

Empower yourself with our marketing ROI calculator

As part of the Napier Group, we realise the importance of proving a return on an investment to your team, both when putting forward a proposal for marketing campaigns, as well as providing feedback to directors when a campaign has been executed. 

Quantifying leads generated from a range of marketing tools such as website enquiries, social media leads and events can be achieved using marketing automation tools like Hubspot. Feeding data from these softwares into our calculator enables you to funnel all of your website visitors into one place, then increase or decrease your current conversions to calculate how many MQLs, SQLs and customers you generate yearly.


First off input all of your website visitors, contacts generated, MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads), SQLs (Sales Qualified Leads) and customers. Then the percentage of visitors to contacts, contacts to MQLs, MQLs to SQLs and SQLs to customers. Next fill in your target performance numbers, the estimated revenue per customer and the marketing budget invested in your campaign.

Et voila! Press calculate and our calculator will generate the potential increase in profit and the return on investment.


See how the calculator works for you and feel empowered by the numbers at your next marketing review.  Equally, why not get in touch to find out how our suite of PR and marketing activities could amplify future project success?

We’d love to hear from you.

5 Top Digital Marketing Tactics for Future Success

It’s no secret that the digital age has changed the way B2B companies interact with their customers. With technology constantly evolving, tactics that once used to be revolutionary, like personalisation, are now expected from consumers, and companies are having to regularly rethink their digital strategy to ensure they are communicating with consumers effectively.

At Armitage, we understand how technology has evolved marketing, and what B2B companies need to do in order to interact with customers successfully. This is why we’ve pulled together 5 top tactics your digital marketing strategy should include, to ensure success for the future:

Original Video Content

Video marketing, especially within the B2B sector, has become a great tool for companies to introduce their solutions to consumers.

If you’re not already, targeting your customers with an interesting two- or three-minute video is a great way to provide them with valuable, bite size content. Your video needs to be engaging and you can do this through a variety of ways including:

  • Walk your viewer through how you helped a specific customer get from point A to B, show them how your company started, or how you developed a specific feature of your product. Hook your audience with an easy to understand video first, before going into specifics.
  • Useful and Educational Content: Include useful and educational content. Whether you choose to share tutorials of how to use your product/solution, product demos, or ‘how-to’ style videos, this is a great way to provide your audience with information in a quick and simple way.



Influencer Marketing

The word ‘influencer’ is commonly associated with the B2C world, with beauty bloggers more commonly coming to mind. This could explain why influencer marketing has been slow to gain momentum within the B2B tech sector; but the last year has seen a rise, with technology companies increasingly partnering with influencers to improve their credibility and social media reach.

As tech buyers become more desensitized to the marketing they see daily, influencer marketing provides companies with a fantastic opportunity to leverage influencers, who have built a loyal following and credibility within the industry, to market to decision makers.

In the first half of 2019, we’ve seen a clear increase in awareness about influencers, with both clients and potential clients requesting more information about influencer marketing and the benefits it can provide for them. If your looking to invest into influencer marketing, and want to know how Armitage can help you, get in touch!

Re-Targeting Current Clients

Often one of the biggest digital marketing tactics B2B companies overlook is retargeting current clients.

Usually, clients are only using/buying 20% of what your company offers. By including a re-nurturing plan in your marketing strategy that actively re-target’s current customers, you will be able to build a process that ensures your company is facilitating consistent retention, upsell and cross-sell of additional products, features and services.

Re-targeting can be implemented across a range of different digital platforms, with the most popular including Google Ads, AdRoll and LinkedIn.

SEO and Content

We all know content is king when it comes to SEO success. SEO sits at the heart of any digital marketing strategy and aligning your SEO to your content is vital in maintaining a strong presence online and driving leads to your website.

But how do you ensure that you’re not only writing content, which is highly ranked, but also quality content that is user-focused?

SEO can be complicated but the following three tips will ensure you are well on your way to achieving success:

  • Keyword Research: Perhaps one of the most significant factors of SEO, is completing good keyword research. Find relevant keywords that relate to your expertise, products/services and your audiences search intent.
  • Topic Research: Analyse your keyword research and identify topics on what your audience wants to learn, so you can produce content that will help them solve their problems.
  • Focus on Readability: Ensure your piece of content is readable. Is your content easy to follow? Clear on what it is describing? To be readable, your content needs to present all types of information in an understandable way

Marketing Automation Tools

There’s no longer a way to escape marketing automation, as across the marketing world, companies are either looking to invest, beginning to implement or already have access to marketing automation tools.

A marketing automation tool such as HubSpot, provides a simple way for marketers to stay on top of contacting and nurturing leads. With sale cycles lasting weeks, months and even years within the B2B tech industry, marketing automation helps you stay top of mind, and market to your contacts on a regular and intelligent basis; and more importantly it isn't time-consuming for either the marketing or sales team.

At the speed technology is changing, it’s clear to see that marketing automation is one tool marketers will not be able to ignore for much longer; as marketing automation platforms like HubSpot or Marketo will provide companies with the opportunity to interact with their customers more simply and successfully.

We hope these tactics help you when moving forward with your digital marketing strategy, and please get in touch today, if you have any questions, or require further assistance.

Opening young minds to careers in engineering

For a few years now we’ve been advocating STEM subjects for both study time and play. With engineering a critical part of the UK economy, luckily we’re not the only organisation pushing the message home that more inspiration is needed to convince young people to open up their minds to engineering careers.

Earlier this month, the Institute of Engineering & Technology (IET) announced a series of open days taking place across the country. On Friday 26th July 2019, sites spanning Scotland, Manchester, Doncaster, Peterborough, London and Kent to name just a few, will be opening their doors to adults and children to demonstrate what the world of engineering has to offer in the form of workshops, tours, challenges and question and answer sessions.

Alison Carr, Director of Governance and Policy at the IET explains, “It’s a chance for parents and children to look behind the scenes at places that you may not expect there’s any engineering - places like the National Theatre, Victoria & Albert museum, and some places where you might expect to see some engineering but you actually get to see some of the detail. Parents and children get to see why engineering is so important in these venues.”

Engineering a brighter future

The day has been designed to encourage parents to support their children in choosing careers in engineering and technology but could this be too little too late? In 2018 61% of businesses surveyed in the CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey expressed a lack of confidence that there will be enough people available in the future with the necessary skills to fill their high-skilled job vacancies. Furthermore, the UK’s economy depends on these jobs being filled. With 25% of the UK’s total GDP generated by the engineering sector in 2015 (£420.5 billion) according to Engineering UK, a dwindling rate of engineering graduates doesn’t spell great tidings.

To remedy this outcome, we’re committed to supporting any organisation that’s pushing engineering careers as the way forward for the next generation. Although we believe it will take more than just a few companies - more likely the combined efforts of government, education, businesses and engineering enthusiasts alike - we want to highlight the amazing opportunities that are presenting themselves at the end of this month at a site near you in the hope that these will motivate some young minds to pursue a job in engineering.

We’ve listed some of the most fun below so hurry and get your families signed up - the spaces will fill fast:


Brighton Toy Museum

Brighton Toy Museum
Location: Brighton
Times: 10am-5pm
Booking: 01273 749 494

Description: One of the world’s greatest toy museums, it spans a set of Victorian cellars covering four thousand square feet. The day will include creating hovercraft using household items, an activity suitable for children aged between 7 and 11.





The National Museum of Computing


The National Museum of Computing
Location: Milton Keynes
Times: 1030am-5pm

Description: The National Museum of Computing is home to the world’s largest collection of historic computers including the Turing-Welchman Bombe and Colossus of the 1940s through to the large systems and mainframes of the 1950s, 60s and 70s. The rise of personal computing and mobile computing exhibitions are also on display with the recent unveiling of an Engima cipher machine used in the Second World War making this a must-see day trip this summer.

Brunel Museum

Brunel Museum
Location: London
Times: 11am-1pm
Booking: Included with museum admission

Description: Telling the story of one of the world’s great engineering dynasties, the Brunel Museum includes a grand entrance hall where a young Brunel threw the world’s first underground concert party in 1827. What a raver! In the lower gallery there’s an exhibition about Brunel’s greatest ship, the SS Great Britain, which set the design standards for today’s modern shipping. Activities on the day will include bridge building using a range of materials including straws, wooden blocks, string, newspaper and card. The challenge will involve making a bridge that will span a gap of at least one metre between two low tables while leaving room for ships to pass underneath.

BBC Birmingham Tours

BBC Birmingham Tours
Location: Birmingham
Times: 11.00am-12pm or 2pm-3pm

Description: You or your child fancy yourself as the next newsreader on BBC News? Visitors will take part in a tour of the BBC Blue Room, BBC Broadcast Support Centre and Midlands Today News Studio and TV Production Gallery. Visitors will also get to chat to staff about engineering and technology careers at the BBC.

Southend Tech Festival

Southend Tech Festival
Location: Southend-on-Sea
Times: 10.30am-3pm

Description: Southend Tech Festival collaborates across various sectors and includes Raspberry Jams, hackathons, coding, makerspace and Smart City events. Attendees will learn about coding and digital making with the Raspberry Pi and Microbit, how to create music, digital animations and games, train an AI using machine learning and interface with sensors and electronics.


Armagh Observatory and Planetarium

Armagh Observatory and Planetarium
Location: Northern Ireland
Times: 10am-4.30pm
Booking: First come, first served basis, no need to pre-book
Description: Research at Armagh ranges from the study of objects within the Solar System through to distant galaxies. Astronomers use ground based telescopes and satellites and high performance computing to simulate observations and compute models. The day will include a Rocket Workshop during which families will learn how to make a stable, aerodynamic rocket and then take it outside for launch. 




To see the full list of opportunities during the nationwide Engineering Open House Day, click here. And don’t forget to tweet us with your pictures from the events using #IETOpenDay.

Armitage Communications Welcomes New Account Director

Armitage Communications has welcomed Ian Jarrett to the team as Account Director. Ian joins the agency with a strong engineering background, and more than 25 years of experience in both the electronics and industrial automation sectors.

Ian will assist in helping develop and grow the agency; and brings a wealth of knowledge to the role, specializing in global marketing communications, content generation, media relations and strategic marketing.  

“I am really excited to be joining Armitage Communications” stated Ian. “Armitage has an unrivalled reputation for content generation for the B2B technology and engineering industries and as part of Napier it has a great future ahead. What’s more the whole organisation has a very transparent set of company values that benefits both its employees and its customers. For me it was important to join a business where hard work and integrity is appreciated and rewarded.” 

“I am delighted Ian has joined Armitage, bringing his extensive experience and marketing expertise to our team,” commented Mike Maynard, managing director of the Napier Group. “We have already seen strong growth in the business since acquiring Armitage and Ian will help us continue to expand by bringing knowledge, creativity and enthusiasm that client’s value.”

Ian will be working closely with several of Armitage’s key clients, including Airbus, Nokia and ADB Safegate.

Inbound Marketing: 5 Tips for Success

Marketing strategies tend to come and go, but Inbound marketing has proved that it is here to stay.

Even after a decade in the marketing world, inbound marketing is perceived as a ‘revolutionary’ concept; viewed as a strategy that works, it delivers excellent results for companies who have taken the plunge and adopted inbound marketing into their marketing strategy.

However, like most strategies, inbound marketing is not exempt from being reviewed; and marketers should evaluate their tactics regularly to ensure they are producing the results you need.

At Napier, we understand what is required to ensure you implement a successful inbound marketing strategy; so, we thought it was only right to share the following 5 tips to ensure your inbound marketing is a success:

Keep Your Content Fresh

Content is the most important aspect of your inbound marketing strategy, but with time limits, and everyday pressures, it can be challenging to keep up with a content schedule. Often this means marketers fall into the habit of repeating posts, resulting in readers seeing the same content again and again.

It’s important to have variety in your content, and although writing new tip sheets, or whitepapers are good, not all content creation needs to be time consuming. A key way to keep your content fresh without spending lots of time, is repurposing content you already have.

Take an interesting and popular blog post. What’s stopping you from turning it into a SlideShare? Or repurposing it as a video? You’ll be surprised by the amount of great content you already have, which is ready and waiting to be re-purposed. 

Position Yourself as the Industry Expert

It can be easy to forget that the people searching/reading your content are trying to solve a problem.

For inbound marketing to be a success, you need to create content that captures the attention of your leads, by pre-empting their questions and providing them with the answer to their problems.

You should always write content with your clients/potential clients in mind. What do they struggle with? What are the key problems they have faced in the past? By identifying these issues, and more importantly addressing them in your content, you are instantly positioning your company as the expert in the industry providing the answers the reader is looking for.

Make it Easy for Customers to Contact You

This may seem like an obvious tip, but it is often overlooked in making sure your website makes it easy for people to understand what it is you do and how to contact you.

For example, if your website is your primary source of inbound opportunities, getting in touch with a real person should always be one click away on any page of your website.

If a potential customer is on your website and struggles to find a way to contact you; whether this be via email, phone, or social engagement, you create the risk of losing a qualified lead within seconds.

To avoid this, make sure you have clear CTAs on all key pages of your website directing the visitor to your contact information. Or even better, make sure a clear email address and phone number is featured on every page of your website, by including this information on the footer of your pages.

Increase Inbound Visitors to your Site with SEO Strategies

Put yourself in your prospect shoes, they are requiring a solution to a problem and the first thing they will do is turn to Google.

It is vital that you are properly optimizing your website and content, to increase organic search traffic. By effectively leveraging search engine optimization, targeting high traffic keywords, and analysing data trends, you’re positioning your website and brand higher in the search engine results, increasing your online visibility to inbound visitors.

Don’t Forget to Nurture Your Leads

Often marketers are so focussed on using inbound tactics to attract people, they can forget one crucial element – nurturing your leads.

It is important to remember that once a lead fills in a form or downloads a piece of your content, you need to follow up through email or calling to qualify and nurture the lead.

With Marketo revealing that a massive 96% of visitors viewing your website aren’t ready to buy; lead nurturing is vital in helping your leads through each stage of the funnel, (whether this be through email marketing, lead scoring or list segmentation) until they are in a position to buy.

It can be a tough job to ensure your inbound marketing strategy is running smoothly and successfully; but by utilizing these top five tips, your company will be on the right path to inbound marketing success!

Industrial Automation – Topics for 2019

In recent years we have all rode the IIoT wave, discussed topics with science fiction sounding names such as ‘augmented reality’ and ‘artificial intelligence’ and generally seen interest in technological advances in manufacturing undergo an unprecedented evolutionary period in the general public’s awareness and shows no sign of slowing.

So, what are the hot topics in 2019? There are so many it was difficult to shortlist, so I’ve decided to focus on three topics that I am being most regularly asked to provide content for, by the editors.


IT/OT cybersecurity – A Manufacturer’s Greatest Challenge

You may be surprised to learn how many industrial automation and processing companies are only just becoming aware with this potentially catastrophic threat.  The organisations already in the know, are on record as saying cybersecurity is their single greatest threat.

Cyber attackers are exploiting security flaws that result from gaps between the IT/OT infrastructure as companies introduce Industrial IoT (IIoT) devices and Edge computing equipment. Integrating information from sensors both in and out of control systems creates confusion between a corporations IT/OT responsibility. Adding external suppliers further complicates enforcement of security requirements for new assets.

To help combat this, companies need to converge their IT and OT cybersecurity to clearly define responsibilities and remove any potential security gaps.  This approach will help ensure more consistent security levels across entire organizations reducing the organization’s overall cyber risk.


Cloud and Edge Solutions 

With the convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) and the industry’s continued transformation, manufacturers are rethinking the way they operate their businesses. The use of Cloud and Edge solutions is enabling companies to have better control and insight over their industrial processes. 

Edge technology reduce the volumes of data that needs to be moved and the distance the data must travel.  The analysed and processed data from different plants is stored in the Cloud, enabling critical business information to be accessed and controlled solely by IT.

This approach means the deployment of Edge devices with embedded analytics, Edge servers, gateways and Cloud infrastructure enables manufacturers to support business decisions in real time, monitor assets, provides analytics and machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI) to understand and take appropriate action.

This can help manufacturers reduce production inefficiencies, compare product quality against manufacturing conditions, and pinpoint potential safety, production or environmental issues.

IIoT Continues to Evolve

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is without doubt a technology that will become even more widespread in 2019.

The IIoT continues to be de developed for comprehensive systems monitoring and maintaining complex large-scale production lines. It uses machine-to-machine communication to improve safety, production time and operating efficiencies. 

IIoT, connectivity enables faster communications and response to change. Advancements in AI and machine learning will allow IIoT systems to more effective including monitoring, predicting and reacting to factory and product line issues, keeping production going and ultimately improving safety and a company’s financial performance.

The fundamentals of the IIoT is not just an industrial technology; we can see parallels with the IoT as we bring this technology into our homes.  Heating thermostats, burglar alarms and I can even speak from experience. The lighting in my house is controlled by a smart ap on my connected to the cloud, so they come on when my alarm goes off, and come when the sun sets in a shade of colour just right for my mood and I can switch them off from my phone when I remember I left the bathroom light on when I went to work. Perhaps a topic for another day.


Six engineering superwomen to celebrate International Women in Engineering Day 2019

With less than 15% of the engineering workforce in the UK comprised of women, International Women in Engineering Day 2019 has sparked a conversation in our offices this week. We’ve been debating ways to mark the day and encourage young girls to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects to align with the Women In Engineering Society (WES) campaign ‘Transform the Future’.

On Sunday 23rd June 2019 WES will launch its Centenary Interactive Trail Map. The map will mark women who have achieved ground-breaking work in engineering, where they are from and their inventions that have completely reshaped the world we live in today.

Here at Armitage we have a team of six women working across engineering and industrial technology accounts including robotics, oil and gas, automation and instrumentation. Over the years our day to day work has inspired us to think about the women, both today and from the past, who have made great leaps in engineering. We believe similar women could be the next celebrity role models for girls to look up to. Instead of the usual selection of pop stars, reality TV personalities and models, we’d much prefer to see coverage in daily magazines and newspapers on the lives of engineers, inventors and scientists. For those who are around today, we’ve included a link to their social media pages so that girls who love to Tweet, Insta or Facebook can follow their activities throughout their careers.

So without any further ado, here’s our six favourite women in engineering who have transformed the future:


there's a spark in you

Martha Coston designed a night signal and code system for the U.S. army


Helen, Database Manager: Martha Coston (December 1826 - 1904), who went on to design a signal system for ships in the civil war, using notes her husband left before he died and tweaking them to make it work.

I think it’s admirable that she honoured her husband’s legacy by studying his work. In the nineteenth century, ships used lanterns and flags for signals which presented obvious challenges such as communicating with boats over a long distance. For ten years Martha worked on the flare signalling system, hiring chemists and fireworks experts to help with little luck.

Her breakthrough discovery came as a result of her attending a fireworks display in New York City. She realised that the system needed a bright blue flare, along with the red and white she had already developed. As a result of establishing the Coston Manufacturing Company to make the flares, she received a patent for her pyrotechnic night signal and code system. This was then tested by the U.S. Navy and went on to be used in the discovery and capture of Confederate blockade runners during the Union blockade of southern ports. They were also used by the United States Life-Saving service to warn ships of dangerous coastal conditions.

Model behaviour


Karlie Kloss partnered with FlatIron School in 2015

Nicola, Administrator: My favourite engineering lady is Karlie Kloss (1992-present). Karlie’s modelling career spans over a decade with work including advertisements for Oscar de la Renta, Jean Paul Gautier, Calvin Klein and Ellie Saab to name just a few. Karlie is not just a pretty face - she’s an avid coder and in 2015 partnered with FlatIron School and to offer a scholarship called ‘Kode with Klossy’. The two week summer programme for 13-18 year olds teaches girls how to code real life apps. Any girls passionate about learning this sought after skill can apply here.

Twitter: @karliekloss

Facebook: @karliekloss

Instagram: @karliekloss

Anne Marie Imafidon loved computers from a young age

Sophie, Senior Account Executive: I’m a great admirer of Anne Marie Imafidon (1990-present). When she was four she got super interested in computers when her Dad let her play on his computer which had Windows version 3.0! She went on to study science and IT at school as one of the very few girls in the school studying these subjects at A Level. It was only when she attended a tech conference in the U.S specifically for women that she realised she was a ‘woman in tech’ and got started on developing the Stemettes, an organisation which encourages girls of all ages to get into STEM. The organisation runs panel events, hackathons, exhibitions and mentoring schemes and has a variety of events slated for the summer across the UK. Click here for the full list.

Instagram: @notyouraverageami

engineering stars


Hedy Lemarr invented a radio signalling device to keep enemies from decoding messages during WWII

Rose, Junior Account Manager: I’ve always loved Hollywood movies especially the old classics such as Gone with the Wind and Some Like It Hot. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that 1940s Hollywood actress Hedy Lemarr (1914-2000)  invented a remote-controlled communications system for the U.S. army. She was a beautiful actress who starred in classic Hollywood films such as Comrade X alongside Clark Gable and Ziegfred Girl with Judy Garland. Not only extremely attractive Hedy Lemarr completely undermines the preconceived idea that glamourous women don’t have brains.

Hedy worked with her friend, the composer George Antheil, on an idea for a radio signalling device which was a means of changing radio frequencies to keep enemies from decoding messages during WWII. The implications of this invention were not fully realised until relatively recently. The invention was a significant step towards maintaining the security of both military communications and mobile phones in use today. Due to her brainy discoveries Lamaarr became the first woman to receive the Oscars of Inventing, the BULBIE™ Gnass Spirit of Achievement Award in 1997.



in wind or rain


Susan, Account Director: Mine is Mary Anderson (1869-1953)  who invented the windshield wiper in 1903. Car manufacturers from the 1920s onwards (when her patent expired) adapted her basic design and integrated it into their automobiles. The windshield wiper might not be a huge feat of engineering but her invention impacts people’s lives every time they drive their car in the rain, sleet or snow. Growing up in Vancouver, Canada −a city which is famous for the amount of rain it receives per year − windshield wipers were particularly handy! The wipers also get a good workout in my new hometown of London, England.

Emma, Senior Account Manager: The female engineer I am most inspired by is Edith Clarke (1883-1959). Clarke was the first woman to earn an M.S. in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institution of Technology (MIT). Despite this achievement, and later creating the Clarke calculator, a graphical device that could solve line equations involving hyperbolic functions ten times faster than previous methods (for which a patent was granted in 1925), it took her several years to achieve her dream of becoming an engineer. Clarke continued to achieve firsts throughout her career, and in 1943 she published what was to become an influential textbook in the field of power engineering, Circuit Analysis of A-C Power Systems.