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.


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.


The moment we’ve been waiting for – our zest for PR is celebrated at the Petroleum Economist Awards

Never in my three and a half years at Armitage Communications have I experienced such a build-up of emotions in such a short time. Over the last three weeks, there’s been an underlying tension building. Will we, won’t we? It’s been pushed back slightly from the forefront of our minds as our client’s projects maintained front and centre stage, but all along the suspense was rising in the background. We’d learned of our nomination for Energy Consultancy of the Year (PR).

At the beginning of the month an email was circulated telling us the good news – Armitage Communications had been nominated by the Petroleum Economist to be independently judged by a panel of industry experts. Completely anonymised, our approach to marketing digitalisation to the oil and gas sector would be evaluated by judges from the International Energy Agency (IEA), the organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES). The people that really know their stuff when it comes to energy, oil and gas.

We knew it would be a challenge to impress the experts but something told us we were in with a decent chance. Our strong engineering roots and capacity for thorough research means that all of our campaigns are based on accurate and useful information which will genuinely benefit the sector, such as how to meet new safety regulations and lower production costs. We decided it was worth shouting about the nomination, taking time to create an e-signature which encouraged our clients and suppliers to begin to root for us too.

We spread our news on our social media pages as well, using gifs to illustrate both our enthusiasm…

 

…and growing anxiety.

 

Before long the evening we’d all been waiting for had arrived. Suited and booted and glammed up to the nines, the Account Directors made the trip by taxi from our PR hub Mill House in Beddington, Croydon to One Great George Street in Westminster. Upon arrival the guests were treated to glasses of champagne before retiring to the Great Hall where a scrumptious feast of seared tuna with lime and ginger dressing, followed by braised lamb shank and a dessert of elderflower mousse, was served. Soft jazz music was performed on stage to quieten the nerves of the awaiting audience.

I waited restlessly at home for the news.

Around 9.45pm, Helen Robertson, Managing Editor for the Petroleum Economist took the stage to introduce the awards presenter of the night, Stephen Sackur. Presenter of HARDtalk on BBC World News, Stephen Sackur had just returned from Libya and cycled his way to the event in a black tie. “I am very committed to phasing out the combustion engine. Is that a terrible thing to say at a Petroleum Economist Awards Dinner?” he joked, breaking the ice.

As the awards began to be read out, the Account Directors were almost falling off the edge of their seats in anticipation. Ed couldn’t contain himself any longer and began eating all of the chocolate on the table to try and calm down.

My phone was silent for a few minutes as I stared at the blank screen.

Then the news broke…”Energy Consultancy of the Year (PR) goes to…Armitage Communications!” followed by loud applause and our exuberant team jumping up in excitement. David Armitage, Managing Director and Tim Haines, Account Director, took to the stage to receive the award – a proud moment for both men as they started the company together over thirty years ago.

 

I saw the tweet posted by @PetroleumEcon shortly before I received the many texts from my colleagues and an image of the award itself. Screaming with joy, I was just as thrilled as if I had been there sitting at the table with the team. A great moment for us – a fantastic night for a company that has worked together closely, using its understanding of automation, instrumentation, electrical, control and telecommunications technologies to communicate and raise awareness of the benefits that these technologies can bring to the world.

In other words, we are champs.

It’s not often that we sing our own praises but I think in all fairness, we deserve to make the most of this one.

And our story doesn’t end there. We have also been nominated for Comms Team of the Year at the Energy Live Personality Awards. Taking place on the 7th December, we’ll be sure to keep you updated. ;)

Got a new technology which could transform the industry? To find out how we can help you get your message across to the people who matter, email [email protected] or tweet us at @ArmitageComm.


Our fave five tools for marketing digitalisation to the O&G industry

A world without oil is a world without transport, buildings, laptops, cosmetics, clothing, medication and more. Vitally important in our day-to-day lives, oil has become the most important source of energy since the mid-1950s. Yet prices fell dramatically in June 2014.

This poses a problem for the Oil & Gas (O&G) industry as a whole – with prices remaining so low, how do these companies maintain their competitiveness?

The answer is with increasing difficulty unless they embrace the new technologies which support better insights, quicker decision-making and greater efficiency within day-to-day operations. Such advanced technologies allow operators to manage performance remotely and will transform the productivity of oil and gas plants around the globe.

But just how many O&G companies are prepared to change? How many are willing to embrace digitalisation?

Solution providers are embracing the challenge of turning O&G companies from technology-shy to committed participants with our help. 30 years of experience serving some of the world’s biggest blue-chip companies have given us an in-depth understanding of a range of technologies from automation and robotics through to telecommunications. Our experience has also taught us the best ways to reach the right customers, those who are likely to benefit from those technologies the most.

This experience has led to a number of successfully executed campaigns for a leading O&G supplier over the years and, most recently, to our nomination for Energy Consultancy of the Year (2017) in the Petroleum Economist Awards, alongside PR giants Edelman and Hill + Knowlton Strategies.

As an expression of gratitude for this award nomination, we have decided to share with you our favourite five tools for marketing new technologies to the O&G sector:

1) Whitepapers: A whitepaper engages the audience due to its rich, substantive content which educates the reader about the challenges and how the client’s products can overcome them. This leads the customer to grasp an understanding of their need for the product which proves far more effective than a direct sell. Combining innovative ideas with thought leadership on issues which are highly relevant and timely resonates with the reader.

Tip: Whitepapers must be thoroughly researched and planned. Without taking the time to do this, whitepapers simply won’t be effective.

Our O&G whitepaper has been referred to as the ‘Bible’ on digitalisation for the industry. It received substantial downloads via our client’s website and through advertising in industry leading titles. Why? Because we spent time extensively interviewing and researching the subject with clients, their customers and industry experts. Readers need only turn to page three to find pull quotes from an O&G player and a specialist in digital technologies.

2) Animations: Compelling content tells a story. This may seem simplistic at first and a more appropriate tip for a journalist, but the same rules apply when marketing to businesses. Animations provide the easiest visual way of accomplishing this. They enable us to get the message across within the right context and, when scripted correctly, provide a thorough understanding of a product’s features and benefits. It’s also worth noting that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text (Source: Hubspot). Many people prefer the quick and easy method of absorbing information through video rather than words.

Tip: Write the script first and then decide the images that you want to use to promote that message.

Our animation maps the upstream oil and gas plant and the digital technologies which, applied to each area, enable plant managers to maximise production and uncover hidden profits. Shared across our client’s website and social media platforms, the animation has received a total of 23,065 views and 119 likes on YouTube.

3) Positioning documents: A positioning document communicates exactly how a client’s product fills a consumer need in a way that its competitors don’t. For example, our client needs to convince the oil and gas industry that their products and services are going to support the transition from industry 3.0 to industry 4.0.

Tip: Use persuasive techniques such as emotive language and personal pronouns as well as graphs, flowcharts and imagery to engage the reader.

The opening pages of a key positioning document we developed keep it simple. ‘Turning chaos…into clarity’ provides a strong juxtaposition of the industry’s potential before and after digitalisation. From ‘dumb data’ to ‘analytic intelligence’ and ‘growing complexity’ into ‘simplified processes’ the highly contrasting language positions our client as the leader of the pack.

4) Infographics: Sometimes new technologies and their applications need to be communicated in a visual way to explore the benefits which are found at each stage of the process over the coming months and years. In this way, customers gain an insight into the long term advantages and improvements of installing our client’s products and services within each area of the plant.

Tip: Where possible, use real-life success stories explaining the products in action at existing customers’ businesses.

An infographic we created, available in static and interactive form, maps the journey from the upstream oil and gas pollution plants through to the downstream petrochemical plants. Mapping the benefits of digitalisation at each stage using case studies from ‘lowering costs by up to 30%’ at a FPSO to the control of ‘1850km of Europe’s gas demand’ at a natural gas pipeline gives the prospective customer a more in-depth understanding and belief in the success of our client’s solutions.

5) Microsites: As an agency we also endeavour to understand the most complex topics affecting today’s oil and gas operators. For example, Functional Safety, whereby analysers and instruments perform demands which prevent hazards occurring, has often confused industry participants.

Tip: Express your expertise loud and clear to position the client as a thought-leader.

In order to ensure that operators understand the role that our client’s products play in maintaining process safety, we created a dedicated online resource. This microsite includes information about our client’s safety management and training services as well as many PDF downloads for guides explaining the many aspects of Functional Safety from safety requirement specifications (SRS) through to industry good practice. Encouraging prospective customers to visit this website as a reliable source of educational information, not only promotes a growth of trust in the brand, but increases the likelihood that it will be our client’s products that the operator chooses to purchase when the time is right for them.

Our fave five tools for marketing to the O&G industry can, in theory, be applied to any other business market. Executing a marketing strategy which uses in-depth industry analysis as a foundation for content is a sure-fire way to get products and services in the limelight. The next challenge is to decide what mixture of collateral to use. We believe our multi-channel approach, such as the promotion of whitepapers, positioning documents, animations, infographics and microsites, linked with aligned traditional advertising methods, is the only way to ensure that your prospects are reached at all levels.

To find out more about how we successfully market new technologies, simply drop us an email at [email protected] or tweet @ArmitageComm.


Interview with an astronaut

Space. The final frontier. No, this isn’t a commentary on hit TV series ‘Star Trek’ or even a report on the lunar eclipse this morning. This is instead a blog about how a recent project at Armitage Communications was designed to encourage delegates to attend a secure networks conference.

 

Using the universe as a theme to promote an event may seem grandiose. However, when the challenges of reaching a particular target audience are considered it’s a little more understandable. Getting the right mix of communication tools could be compared to selecting the right crew for a mission into space, and the key note speaker at our client’s conference was lucky enough to be one of a select few who have made it there, to infinity and beyond.

Michel Tognini, born in France on the 30th September, 1949 made his first journey into space on 27th July 1992. He knows a thing or two about how important communications are, whether they’re between a client and their delegates or between a spaceship and mission control on Earth.

Thus, it was clear that Michel would be the ideal representative for our client to anchor their potential delegates. Of course, the next question was how to spread the message loud and clear. Drawing on Michel’s extraordinary experiences in the form of an interview seemed to be the answer. To be placed in the customer’s magazine, the aim was to secure substantial interest in the topic, and through this higher attendance at the conference.

Start the ignitions

Using our in-depth knowledge of the client’s products and services as well as the communications market enabled us to devise questions that would support the conference themes as well as uncover Michel’s own views of his experiences. For example, ‘What back up comms did you have during spaceflight?’ encouraged him to consider exactly how important communications were in securing his crew’s safety during their Columbia mission.

Researching Michel’s background and space travel experience was therefore fundamental to this campaign. Discovering the major problems that affected his Space Shuttle launch was both fascinating and humbling. To convey this to the audience was of significant value; garnering their curiosity was a sure-fire way of encouraging attendance.

Michel Tognini made his first journey into space in 1992

Furthermore, conducting the interview efficiently with such a busy person was important. In true twenty-first century style, email correspondence was all that was required to arrange a suitable time and date for our Account Director to call Michel. Thirty minutes were scheduled for the telephone interview, when in actual fact our Account Director managed to complete it in just less than twenty minutes.

Prepare to launch

The more challenging aspect of the project was deciding which information obtained in the interview was relevant for the piece. Creating an article which was accessible to a wide audience was important to us. Knowing the readers would be knowledgeable about communications technology but wouldn’t necessarily know much about the ins and outs of space travel, our Account Director left out some of the more detailed technical descriptions about the launch. Instead, he focused more on Michel’s comments which conveyed his excitement and wonder at being able to travel in space.

An interesting fact that Michel shared with our Account Director was that at one point during the mission, an electrical fault hit the Space Shuttle. All the lights in the cabin went out, which must have been very dramatic, and really quite scary. This information hasn’t been mentioned in any of the online documents covering the incident.

A crucial stage in the process is gaining the approval of the client and the interviewee. Once Michel had made some minor changes to clarify some technical points, the interview was ready to launch.

Mission complete

The interview was published in the customer magazine and featured on the front cover as a key anchor to tempt readers in. Once the audience became engaged with the interview, the likelihood that they would attend the conference became significantly higher. Their interest in the key themes of the event was stimulated through a fascinating tale of space, communications and mission control, encouraging their curiosity to find out more by attending the conference and hearing Michel Tognini, an ex-astronaut, speak in person.

Want to find out how Armitage Communications could help promote your B2B event? Through a range of content marketing deliverables such as social media, e-mailers, flyers and articles, we can ensure your conference is attended by the right people. Please contact us on 0208 667 2210 to find out more.

Integrated marketing communications: The best party starts with an invite

Click here to view a larger version 

If you want your reputation to spread like wildfire, as the greatest party planner of the 21st century, then your invitation needs to extend across multiple platforms.

Therefore, every marketer should be brilliant at throwing social events. Of course, that is if they practice integrated marketing both at home and in the workplace. Here at Armitage Communications, we’re all talented hosts and hostesses. But a recent request from a client set quite a challenge.

Do the locomotion

To organise a seminar encouraging manufacturers to buy industrial robots, and ensure the event was nothing short of a manufacturing party was quite a challenge. But we immediately began planning how we could optimise all the relevant platforms, with the right marketing techniques to maximise PR.

We began with the go-to of communications execs since 1906, the press release. Simple yet effective, a 500-word piece set the tone for the event and ensured that many targeted industry magazines would circulate the news in both print and digital formats. The next stage was to create a landing page, where those who wanted to attend could confirm their booking. A CMS in which this was possible allowed us to integrate the campaign with other websites, social media being the central focus.

The press release almost acts as the anchor for your planning. Once established, social media can be used to make your event go viral. A digital format allows the details to be instantly relayed between invitees, in an era where online communication reigns supreme. I don’t know the last time I saw a paper invite.

Respondez, s’il vous plait

The difference with personal social media invites is that your friends are already invested in you. With B2B marketing, the challenge is to convince the target market to invest their time in your client. For this reason, the landing page we designed included case studies to communicate the client’s ongoing success, just as your own Facebook event probably includes photos from previous rip-roaring parties you’ve hosted.

We also included a sign-up form so that visitors could register directly, but aware that some manufacturers might take longer than others to commit, we ensured the page included many links to our multiple social media platforms, where the message was reiterated through tweets, blogs and LinkedIn posts. As discussed in our earlier blog ‘A courtship with content’, drip-feeding personable, entertaining snippets of information is a great way to lead customers back to the source, and get them nibbling on those corporate vol-au-vents in no time.

We also wanted a landing page which was mobile compatible. As any marketer in the 21st century is aware, much internet browsing now takes place on mobile devices (in fact this year it’s reached almost 40 per cent). This again facilitates sharing over on to social apps, integrating the campaign further still. But we didn’t stop there. Encouraging physical interaction through a QR code on an advert placed in industry publications, we linked manufacturers straight onto the mobile landing page where again, a direct booking could be made.

What’s more, any experienced socialite knows that taking advantage of other successful events is a must. In the B2B marketing world, it’s the same.  Making use of industry functions throughout the year is vital. We ensured our campaign was given as much exposure to the target market as possible by having flyers (including the aforementioned QR code) distributed to delegates who attended a leading processing and packaging event just a few weeks before our seminar was scheduled. Exhibitions, conferences and industry shows should be considered as invite opportunities - have you ever had a group of friends together at dinner, and thought that was an ideal time to ask them if they could make your do? Of course you have. The right audience are present, an audience that likes to be entertained.

Pull them in like Hansel and Gretel

Finally, we took the slightly more traditional approach of emailing invitations in the form of an e-shot to a number of mailing lists, some of which were provided by our client. Others were supplied by target industry magazines and enabled us to reach those who would be most interested in our client’s event. Ultimately, the e-shot wound up in the same place that every other trail of marketing content breadcrumbs we left ended up, the campaign landing page.

Through assembling a collection of communications, we were highly successful in promoting our client’s robo-centric reception. By tying the various delivery tools together, we created an effective integrated marketing campaign that meant the puff pastry tray was stripped bare in no time.

We're hiring...

Are you a cocktail-shaking connoisseur of blending marketing tools? Then you'll be pleased to know we're looking for a talented new executive to join our team. To apply simply email [email protected] and attach your C.V along with 200 words about why you'd like to work in technical PR.