2016

The B2B Research Blog

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Brand mapping – Correspondence Analysis explained

The B2B Research Blog

Which attributes most closely define your brand?  Which other brands are challenging you for this space?  How differentiated is your brand and where might there be white space? In this survey we asked buyers whether they associated our client’s brand and thirteen competitors with ten attributes which previous qualitative research had identified as important in this market.  Here’s what we found. 

Is customer satisfaction really important in B2B?

The B2B Research Blog

Customer loyalty is critical to any business.  Obvious but true, especially for B2B companies who, unlike their consumer focussed counterparts, have a relatively limited pool of buyers to target. This truism sees many B2B companies striving to satisfy and even delight customers.  However, this logic is flawed and can lead to wasted investment on things that don’t really matter. Let me explain.

Using Regression Analysis in market research

The B2B Research Blog

When measuring the health of customer relationships, three metrics are at the core of most studies: customer satisfaction , customer loyalty (likelihood of choosing supplier at next purchase) and customer advocacy (likelihood of recommending supplier to others). However, these metrics alone are not enough.  Two approaches can take our understanding to that next level. Regression Analysis explained.

Understanding brand personality through projective techniques

The B2B Research Blog

Most brands have a set of human traits associated with them – a brand personality.   In B2B markets brand personality is an especially important concept as ‘corporate fit’ is often an important consideration for B2B buyers – “are these people on my wavelength and can I see myself working with them?”. You can shape your corporate brand personality through marketing communications and, most importantly, by developing an appropriate corporate culture. That’s not straightforward. The interviewer then has the respondent immerse themselves in the scene and describe the experience. 

The Rise of the Customer Marketer

Explore the changes taking place in customer marketing from the perspective of customer marketers themselves.

How to measure customer satisfaction in B2B markets

The B2B Research Blog

How do you measure customer satisfaction in B2B markets?  What questions should you ask in a customer satisfaction survey? Fair questions, but first ask yourself this: should you measure customer satisfaction?  It’s counter-intuitive, but in B2B markets sometimes customer satisfaction doesn’t actually matter.  For example, even disgruntled customers may remain loyal because: A supplier offers a significant product or price advantage. The cost, effort or risk of moving supplier is just too high. They’re inert and don’t really care that much. There’s, of course, a lot more to it. 

The secrets of successful B2B marketing

The B2B Research Blog

What’s the secret to successful marketing?  A recent survey by B2B Marketing and Circle Research asked 104 client-side B2B marketers that very question – ‘what would you say are the key elements to successful B2B marketing?’.  They were given free rein to answer however they wanted and an analysis of these responses reveals five themes. First, marketing needs to have a strategic vision.  It needs to be based on a clear understanding of its purpose and what it ultimately wants to achieve – its raison d’etre.  Based on deep insights into customers – their motivations, needs and behaviours.

The cost of losing a customer

The B2B Research Blog

What’s the cost of losing a customer?  ‘A lot’ is the simple answer, especially in B2B markets where the pool of prospective customers is limited and each sale tends to be high value. We can be a bit more specific about the cost of losing a customer though. Various numbers are bandied around in this respect – acquiring a new customer costs five, seven, ten, even thirty times more than retaining an existing one.  However, ignore any stats like these because they’re a red-herring.  Here’s how. There could be many reasons.  Cost per lost customer.

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Net Promoter Score (NPS) in B2B – the evidence

The B2B Research Blog

Net Promoter Score (NPS). It’s the one number that almost every organisation seems to include in their management metrics and it’s easy to see why. In the original Harvard Business Review paper where NPS was revealed to the world, its ‘inventor’, Frederick Reichheld, made some bold claims. Three further features of NPS have secured its position as the must-have KPI: It’s easy to collect.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

25 B2B marketing thought leaders answer the question "What do you expect to B2B marketers to be doing more of or differently in 2016?" The results are amazing insights around content marketing, achieving business results, alignment, employee advocacy, new technologies, customer experience and more.

Business-to-business (B2B) pricing strategy research – part 1

The B2B Research Blog

When developing the optimum pricing strategy in business-to-business (B2B) markets, it’s essential to have insights into how the market is likely to react when a product or service is sold at different price points.  That’s where market research comes in.  It informs pricing strategy by revealing likely levels of demand, revenue and profitability under different pricing scenarios. There are four main techniques used in pricing research and I’ll explore them all in this and my next blog post (all in plain English, with real-life examples you’ll be pleased to hear).  Gabor-Granger.

Brand mapping – Correspondence Analysis explained

The B2B Research Blog

Which attributes most closely define your brand?  Which other brands are challenging you for this space?  How differentiated is your brand and where might there be white space? These are all critical questions for a marketer or indeed anyone managing a brand, but answering them isn’t always straightforward, as the following example illustrates.  It’s from a real-life study of how buyers of corporate IT systems perceive different vendor brands. For each attribute, their answer could either be that they did associate the brand with it, or they didn’t. Here’s what we found.  brands C, D, E and F).

Understanding brand personality through projective techniques

The B2B Research Blog

Most brands have a set of human traits associated with them – a brand personality.   In B2B markets brand personality is an especially important concept as ‘corporate fit’ is often an important consideration for B2B buyers – “are these people on my wavelength and can I see myself working with them?”. You can shape your corporate brand personality through marketing communications and, most importantly, by developing an appropriate corporate culture. That’s not straightforward. The interviewer then has the respondent immerse themselves in the scene and describe the experience. 

Branding terminology and jargon explained

The B2B Research Blog

Jargon abounds in the discipline of branding, and the plethora of terms in use coupled with the sometimes nuanced differences between them can have undesirable side effects.  Sometimes the jargon undermines the user, making them seem pretentious or detached from the hard-nosed world of commerce.  And other times conversations will become increasingly confused as terms are used interchangeably or different meanings attached to the same words by different people. So in the interests of clarity, let’s take a look at some of key branding terminology and what it really means.

The benefits of a strong brand in B2B markets

The B2B Research Blog

Some don’t think that branding matters in B2B markets.  They say that B2B decision makers are logical beings immune to any such irrational influences.  And anyway, it’s all just fluffy marketing crap and a brand is really just a logo isn’t it? B2B marketers disagree.  In fact, our surveys have found that 77% of B2B marketing leaders believe that branding is critical to growth. Well first off, they realise that rather than simply being a logo, a brand is a perception held about a company.  It’s a series of associations about: What you stand for. You can however choose to manage your brand.

Six Key Steps to Successful Marketing Automation Adoption

Selecting a Marketing Automation platform can be a daunting task. With so many options out there, your success with Marketing Automation depends on selecting the platform that best fits your needs.

The cost of losing a customer

The B2B Research Blog

What’s the cost of losing a customer?  ‘A lot’ is the simple answer, especially in B2B markets where the pool of prospective customers is limited and each sale tends to be high value. We can be a bit more specific about the cost of losing a customer though. Various numbers are bandied around in this respect – acquiring a new customer costs five, seven, ten, even thirty times more than retaining an existing one.  However, ignore any stats like these because they’re a red-herring.  Here’s how. There could be many reasons.  Cost per lost customer.

Using Regression Analysis in market research

The B2B Research Blog

When measuring the health of customer relationships, three metrics are at the core of most studies: customer satisfaction, customer loyalty (likelihood of choosing supplier at next purchase) and customer advocacy (likelihood of recommending supplier to others). However, these metrics alone are not enough.  They provide a snapshot of customer health but don’t in and of themselves reveal how to improve the position.  Two approaches can take our understanding to that next level. One option is to ask customers directly why they are or aren’t satisfied, loyal or advocates.  and 0.7 Co-efficient.

Driving action from a customer satisfaction programme

The B2B Research Blog

Most companies have a customer satisfaction research programme in place, but not all are made equal.  Some are active agents of change – they spur the organisation to act, building stronger customer relationships, boosting customer loyalty and ultimately improving commercial performance.  Others are passive observers – they simply report on the situation but do little to change it.  So, how do you ensure that your customer satisfaction programme makes a positive difference? Here are nine golden rules. Rule 1: Create stakeholder ownership. Rule 2: Measure the right things. Rule 3: Prioritise.

How to measure customer satisfaction in B2B markets

The B2B Research Blog

How do you measure customer satisfaction in B2B markets?  What questions should you ask in a customer satisfaction survey? Fair questions, but first ask yourself this: should you measure customer satisfaction?  It’s counter-intuitive, but in B2B markets sometimes customer satisfaction doesn’t actually matter.  For example, even disgruntled customers may remain loyal because: A supplier offers a significant product or price advantage. The cost, effort or risk of moving supplier is just too high8. They’re inert and don’t really care that much. There’s of course a lot more to it. 

8 Ways to Create More Effective Lead Generation Programs

Explore key areas you should focus on with your content syndication strategy in order to help you get the attention of your target audience and build trust.

Calculating Net Promoter Score (NPS) in B2B markets

The B2B Research Blog

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is perhaps the most widely used metric in customer satisfaction and loyalty research.  Here at Circle, our view is that NPS isn’t always the best metric in B2B environments (we explain why here ), but it does have a role to play.  So, assuming it is the right metric for your business, how do you calculate Net Promoter Score (NPS)? Well, first ask a reliable and representative sample of your customer base how likely they are to recommend you.  Sometimes a 1 to 10 scale is used instead and, whilst there are arguments for and against this, that’s fine too.

Incentives in B2B market research

The B2B Research Blog

One of the toughest aspects of conducting a B2B research study is securing the support of a hard-to-reach target audience.  B2B decision makers are time poor, under pressure and protected by Gatekeepers (e.g. their PA).  These are all features which make them less likely to take part in surveys and interviews, but with the right approach B2B respondents can be persuaded to take part in research. So, what’s the trick? Read the article in full here. The post Incentives in B2B market research appeared first on Circle Research - B2B market research company.

How to boost your pay packet: The B2B Marketing Salary Survey 2016

The B2B Research Blog

There’s so much more to job satisfaction than money.   The happiest marketers find their role stimulating, respect their leader and buy into their employer’s vision (see my post on the 2015 B2B Leaders report for an in depth exploration of this). But money does matter.  Of course it does.  We all have bills to pay, lifestyles to support and futures to plan for.  So if you want to maximise your pay packet what can you do? Well, contrary to popular belief, whether you work agency- or client-side seems to make little difference.  No, it’s more about what you do with that opportunity.

The data asteroid is coming

The B2B Research Blog

They say that an asteroid impact wiped dinosaurs off the face of the earth. Could data be the B2B marketer’s asteroid? At a basic level, data can reveal the effectiveness of and ROI from marketing investments. What was the click-through rate? How many leads were generated? Which executions generated the most engagement? But this ‘what happened?’ data is just scratching the surface. Data can be used not just to observe what happens, but to shape what happens. So whilst the fundamentals of good marketing may remain timeless, the data age is transforming how these principles are applied.

A Blueprint for Content Marketing Success

84% of marketers plan to increase their content marketing spend over the next 5 years but less than half have any real confidence such content investments are paying off, based on a recent CEB survey.

5 Simple Steps To Turn Readers Into Buyers – Content Marketing That Sells

Webbiquity

Guest post by Tom Hunt. So you have set up a blog and social media profiles…. You are pumping out multiple articles per week and sharing them furiously…. And yes you see some small traffic spikes (though they quickly drop off when you stop posting right?). Trust me, I know, I have been there… multiple times. Understand Your Customer’s Desired Outcome. What does your customer truly want?

Three Things Smart B2B Marketers Will be Doing in 2016

Webbiquity

What will successful B2B marketers to be doing more of, or differently, in 2016? That question was recently posed to the expert contributors at the B2B Marketing Zone , and two dozen responded with a range of insights about content marketing, measuring results, employee advocacy, customer experience and other topics. Here are three key takeaways plus some additional musings.

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20 Tremendous Digital Marketing Stats and Facts

Webbiquity

Digital marketing budgets continue to rise, often at the expense of offline advertising spend. But digital marketers must continue to evolve practices as they strive to make their content an asset, rather than an annoyance, to prospective buyers. Image credit: MarketingProfs. combined. Spending on digital marketing is projected to increase by 12% to 15% on average. Measurement remains problematic.

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The 9 Circles of B2B Marketing Hell

bizible

B2B marketing and sales is a drawn out process that takes months, or longer, to convert leads to customers. That extended timeframe means tons of touchpoints, multiple leads from single accounts, lots of nurturing, and too many opportunities to fall into marketing hell. But, if you know what to avoid, it’s much easier to navigate the marketing landscape and steer clear of traps. Think about it.

Why B2B Content Strategies Are Paramount for Generating Quality Leads

Generating demand and ensuring the consistent flow of high-quality, actionable leads is what makes B2B marketers successful.

Is B2B Content Engagement Heading In The Wrong Direction?

Tony Zambito

by Juan Pablo Bravo. Sometimes more is truly less.  When it comes to the state of B2B content marketing and engagement, this proverb is on the mark.   According to a recent study by Track Maven , one among a few on this topic, shows both B2B and B2C marketers have increased their publishing of content in 2015 by as much as 35 to 40%. From my perspective, I think you can.  One is causing the other.

Rating the Crowd-Sourced Marketing Software Review Sites

Customer Experience Matrix

What began as a whimsical “ landscape of landscapes ” led me to realize crowd-sourced review sites are the most common type of vendor directory, accounting for 15 of the 23 sources listed in my original graphic. The first question was which sites draw a big enough crowd to be useful. used Alexa traffic rankings, which are far from perfect but good enough for this sort of project.

10 Digital Trends to Inspire Your 2017 B2B Content Marketing Strategy

KoMarketing Associates

With the holiday season right around the corner, we all have family, friends, and good food on our minds. However, the forward thinking should not stop there. With 2017 less than two months away, it’s time to start thinking about your 2017 B2B content marketing strategy and how to get the most out of your efforts. Video Is Leading to ROI. Video Is Being Thoroughly Consumed. Final Thoughts.

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10 Digital Marketing Trends That Should Influence Your 2016 Content Strategy

KoMarketing Associates

I wrote a post six months ago highlighting ten marketing trends that should influence your content strategy. While it feels like that was published yesterday, we all know today’s digital marketing trends change with the blink of an eye, whether it’s due to a new channel, updates to search algorithms, or any other factors. Data Management. Source ). Digital is Where the Money Is. Source ). Source ).

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The B2B Marketer's Field Guide To Customer Engagement

Leverage customer engagement and advocacy to drive brand, demand and profitable growth.

How Empathy Will Grow Your Sales and Marketing Pipeline

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Writers note – This as a primer for my session at Dreamforce 2016 next week. We have more marketing channels and more content than ever before, but it’s become harder to actually connect with customers. Today’s crazy-busy customers are weary of pitches, cold emails, hype, and manipulative messages, and as a result, they tune them out. Our customers aren’t saying, “We need solutions.”

33 Thought-Provoking B2B Social Media and Marketing Stats

Webbiquity

As noted in the 2016 B2B Marketing Trends report , B2B marketing strategies and practices are in the midst of significant change, driven by new technologies and evolving buyer expectations for more “consumer-like” experiences. These changes are affecting tactics, budgets, messaging, and metrics as illustrated in the compilation of B2B marketing facts and statistics below. MediaPost ).

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What Microsoft's Acquisition Of LinkedIn Could Mean For B2B Marketers

bizible

Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn holds enormous potential for helping B2B marketers reach their audiences and improve revenue generation. Announcing the reinvention of productivity and business processes, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, explains : As these experiences get more intelligent and delightful, the LinkedIn and Office 365 engagement will grow. But what about Outlook? B2B Marketing

IoT 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands

Onalytica B2B

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the term used to describe the networking of physical objects, such as consumer electronic devices, vehicles, buildings, air conditioners, heating systems and other items. These objects or “things” are embedded with software, sensors, electronics, and network connectivity, enabling them to complete tasks and communicate with each other, with no user input.

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B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

25 B2B marketing thought leaders answer the question "What do you expect to B2B marketers to be doing more of or differently in 2016?" The results are amazing insights around content marketing, achieving business results, alignment, employee advocacy, new technologies, customer experience and more.