The B2B Research Blog

Trending Sources

Brand mapping – Correspondence Analysis explained

The B2B Research Blog

Read more about our approach to  business-to-business (B2B) branding research. 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? 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. 

Business volunteering – people or profits?

The B2B Research Blog

Our goal with this project was to help charities attract more volunteers from the business community, and to help businesses implement a more successful volunteering strategy. To do so we surveyed 200 decision makers in London businesses to understand their attitudes, motivations, practices and challenges when it came to volunteering. The The results were fascinating. 

Understanding brand personality through projective techniques

The B2B Research Blog

Read more about our approach to  business-to-business (B2B) branding research. 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. How do they each behave? 

A wake up call for market research agencies

The B2B Research Blog

In 2009 the GRIT report concluded that: “Buyers…increasingly seek out suppliers who understand the intricacies of their particular business, and who deliver strategic insight rather than boring 100-page decks full of data”.  And it’s about the outcome of these actions – positive business change.  Or as the 2014 GRIT report says “we need to steal a few plays from the consultancy industry”.

Agency 109

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

better job of linking their efforts to measurable business results. Demonstrate business results: the challenge to tie marketing efforts to measurable business results (e.g., Encourage employee advocacy: a business's employees are (or at least should be) natural brand advocates. What are the business and. my business deliver upon them? B2B Marketing.

Branding terminology and jargon explained

The B2B Research Blog

Read more about our approach to  business-to-business (B2B) branding research. 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.

B2B market research – 10 unique features

The B2B Research Blog

As you go about your daily business it’s unlikely that you’ll come into contact with many people who think that a pair of jeans and a nuclear power plant have a lot in common. Business decision makers conduct a lot of their transactions by phone. Is B2B market research really that different from B2C?  And with good reason. The tele-depth methodology is more common in qualitative B2B.

The cost of losing a customer

The B2B Research Blog

The cost of losing a customer differs wildly between businesses so you need to calculate your own ‘customer loss index’.  Perhaps demand for their products has decreased, maybe innovations in their business mean that they now need less of what you sell, or it could be that they’ve started buying elsewhere.  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. Here’s how.

Cost 40

How to measure customer satisfaction in B2B markets

The B2B Research Blog

For example, within the area of account management you might ask them to rate their satisfaction with the Account Manager’s understanding of their business, their level of expertise, their attitude, their availability and so on. Most importantly, make sense of the findings, cascade them throughout your business and drive positive action on the back of them. How do you measure customer satisfaction in B2B markets?  What questions should you ask in a customer satisfaction survey? The cost, effort or risk of moving supplier is just too high. There’s, of course, a lot more to it. 

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

better job of linking their efforts to measurable business results. Demonstrate business results: the challenge to tie marketing efforts to measurable business results (e.g., Encourage employee advocacy: a business's employees are (or at least should be) natural brand advocates. What are the business and. my business deliver upon them? B2B Marketing.

Email marketing: Overcoming message overload

The B2B Research Blog

This popularity means that message overload is a real problem.  A business buyer often receives several hundred marketing emails a month.  I’ve always felt my groaning inbox bore testament to the popularity of email marketing.  Now my suspicions are confirmed. . Remarkably, amongst those doing so almost one half (44%) broadcast emails once a week or more often. First, create quality content. 

Email 109

B2B brands are dead. Long live B2B2C brands!

The B2B Research Blog

Experiences from their personal life will inevitably bleed into their business life. I’ve been having a quick look at the list of top 20 B2B brands compiled by Superbrands UK and published earlier in the week (see the full list of B2B superbrands  here ).  Three things strike me as being really interesting: Being a brand that is exclusively B2B isn’t enough. Tech brands still dominate.

Brand 79

The secrets of successful B2B marketing

The B2B Research Blog

And it’s a tool to build support for marketing from across the business by articulating the function’s benefit. This plan can’t simply be the product of the marketing team’s internal musings, but rather needs to be: Aligned to the business’ wider business strategy and goals. 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?’.  Be formed around a clear value proposition.

Tips for B2B customer satisfaction research

The B2B Research Blog

That’s why every B2B business needs a programme of regular customer satisfaction research. Reflect your business.  The weight each individual has in influencing the overall survey results needs to reflect their importance, or the importance of their ‘type’, to your business. Customers are your lifeblood. But it’s tough to actively manage these relationships unless you understand how they feel about you. Take care though.  Get it wrong and you can actually make things a whole lot worse… Relationships matter.  Spend more time with major accounts.  React in real-time. 

How B2B brands approach Twitter

The B2B Research Blog

Every year The Centre for Brand Analysis publishes a list of what are, in the opinion of its Expert Council and the 2,000 business professionals surveyed, the UK’s most admired B2B brands. Local business units and specialist practices have their own separate voice (e.g. @EY_UKI, @EYIntlTax). Philosophers: Those taken to sharing 140 character observations on the world, their business niche or life in general. Social media has become a bit of an obsession for me. Noting their behaviours. Sketching and documenting the different species I see. Quality over quantity.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

better job of linking their efforts to measurable business results. Demonstrate business results: the challenge to tie marketing efforts to measurable business results (e.g., Encourage employee advocacy: a business's employees are (or at least should be) natural brand advocates. What are the business and. my business deliver upon them? B2B Marketing.

The secrets of employee motivation

The B2B Research Blog

Research is a people business. In her latest blog for Quirk’s Marketing Research Review , Circle Research’s HR lead Beth Pearson explores how an agency can best nurture and retain talent…. Our raw materials are the opinions of respondents. Our product is the insight extracted from these raw materials by clever folk. And an agency or client-side researcher can only make a difference if they’re skilled at building relationships with key stakeholders. This all means that attracting, developing and motivating top talent is critical to our industry’s future. What’s the secret?

Top ten B2B marketing challenges

The B2B Research Blog

Business Ideas Observations on B2B marketing Stuff we like B2B trends LinkedInHolger Schulze, Marketing Director at SafeNet, recently posted a great question to the 9,040 members of LinkedIn’s B2B Marketing group. Can you use ONE WORD to describe the biggest challenge facing B2B Marketing today?”. love this question for two reasons.  One, it forces a focussed answer.  Differentiation. Focus.

B2B 79

A blueprint for customer service excellence

The B2B Research Blog

But for many B2B businesses it’s simply not commercially viable to individually account manage each customer.  Relationships matter in B2B.  This means that when issues arise, customers need to be directed to ‘mass service’ channels – usually a contact centre. I’ve recently spent a lot of time with Vodafone exploring what great customer service looks like.  The results of the study have been published in full as part of their Perspective thought leadership series, but in a nutshell here’s a blueprint for excellent customer service. It minimises the effort the customer needs to put in.

SME marketing channel preferences revealed

The B2B Research Blog

billion business on the back of them. The most notable difference is apparent when medium sized businesses are compared with their smaller cousins.  As we progress up the size chain behaviour changes. . We explored differences in opinion between five sectors – Financial Services, Marketing & Media, Business & Legal Services, Retail and ICT.  B2B marcomms Business Ideas marcoms marketing channels small business SME marketingThere are 1.3 million of them, they generate half of the UK’s GDP and employ 60 per cent of the private sector workforce. 

SME 64

Getting to the top of the marketing tree

The B2B Research Blog

Have business acumen and a commercial focus. To turn strategy into action, a marketing leader also needs to be a ‘statesman’ : Their mind is tuned into the wider business and they have an acute awareness of non-marketing colleagues’ agendas. To provide fuel for debate at B2B Marketing’s Leaders Forum, Circle Research recently surveyed 100 senior B2B marketers.  Between them they control budgets worth £188 million. There was consensus that a strong marketing leader displays four attributes. They have a particular mindset and thinking style. 

B2B 47

The 19 B2B brands in the Klout 50 ranking

The B2B Research Blog

Nineteen of the 50 brands listed have a significant or exclusive B2B focus to their business. There used to be a debate about whether social media was relevant in B2B. Just four years ago, less than one quarter (23%) of B2B marketers described it as ‘highly relevant’ to their brand (source: B2B Barometer ). Now, those holding out against the social tidal wave are few and far between. Indeed, many B2B brands are social media pioneers. Lithium Technologies ’ recently published Klout 50 study is testament to this. The study ranks the 50 most influential brands on social media. Google (4th).

Net Promoter Score (NPS) in B2B – the evidence

The B2B Research Blog

In the original Harvard Business Review paper where NPS was revealed to the world, its ‘inventor’, Frederick Reichheld, made some bold claims. This link has become received wisdom in the business world with many believing that a focus on improving NPS is a sure fire path to commercial success. Net Promoter Score (NPS). It’s a focal point. It’s intuitive. The result? But hold on.

Top B2B marketing challenges – an update

The B2B Research Blog

Business Ideas B2B trends LinkedInI recently posted an analysis of a question to the B2B Marketing LinkedIn group. Can you use ONE WORD to describe the biggest challenge facing B2B marketing today?”. At the time 162 people had replied.  Just two weeks on that’s risen to 246.  Content. Relevance. Differentiation. Enjoyed this post? Subscribe and receive new posts by RSS.

Financial benchmarks for B2B marketing agencies

The B2B Research Blog

As a business I mean. . The full Benchmarking Report will be published in November, but in the meantime here are some­ key numbers to build into your business planning. . Similarly, the majority of clients come from just four sectors – Technology & Telecoms, Business & Professional Services, Engineering & Manufacturing and Financial Services. Are you normal? . If you’re running a B2B marketing agency do you really know how your firm performs relative to competitors? It’s tough to answer this question with confidence.  Despair not though.  Gravity (£9.2m).

B2B marketing sector bounces back: 57% report rising budgets

The B2B Research Blog

B2B market research B2B Marketing Magazine column Business Ideas B2B Barometer B2B budgetsTo say it’s been an eventful few years economically is an understatement.  First we had the credit crunch and a deep recession.  Now deficit reduction measures are biting and bond markets shaking. These turbulent times make the latest instalment of the bi-annual B2B Barometer interesting reading.  The survey – conducted in August 2011 and based on the opinions of 137 B2B agencies and marketers – shows that despite strong headwinds, the last 12 months have been rather rosy for most.

B2B social media – a two horse race?

The B2B Research Blog

Back then 85% of B2B marketers using social media to promote their business, used Twitter to do so.  Social media is time consuming.  The average B2B marketing department spends 17% of their time on it. And if you believe in the wisdom of crowds (or self-fulfilling prophecies) then the latest B2B Social Media Benchmark report reveals where you’re likely to get the best return on this effort.

Eight ways B2B market research differs from B2C

The B2B Research Blog

It can actively hurt business performance by drawing misleading conclusions.  Research can also passively hurt business performance by not driving action.  Indeed, it’s no exaggeration to say that good research can transform a business. Warning.  Market research can be bad for your health. Conclusions which fail to consider the full picture, which focus on the obvious rather than delving deep or which are simply based on faulty information.  The result is bad decisions. The conclusions are sound, but sit on a shelf gathering dust.  Now, don’t get me wrong. 

B2C 40

Why is B2B market research the poor cousin?

The B2B Research Blog

In his latest blog for the Market Research Society’s news and insight hub Research Live , Circle Research’s Andrew Dalglish explores why business-to-business companies need research just as much as consumer-facing ones…. The research industry is full of dichotomies: qualitative and quantitative; domestic and international; B2C and B2B. There’s no value judgement within these pairings. Each Each side of the coin meets a different need and requires a different skill set. However, However, while there might not be a conceptual value judgement, there is a commercial one. 

B2C 25

Report: The Ambitious SME

The B2B Research Blog

SME businesses are a passion of mine.  I founded one (Circle!) Sure, some SMEs are lifestyle businesses set up to enable a particular way of living. Our global survey of over 800 senior strategic decision-makers in SMEs reveals that 9 in 10 describe their business as ambitious. If we isolate these particularly ambitious businesses we see that they have a lot in common: They have a common mind-set. They are strategic, energised and pioneering; very ambitious businesses don’t wait to see what happens, they reach out and grab the future.

SME 27

The B2B marketer’s world is changing

The B2B Research Blog

And more audiences need to be reached through these channels.  65% of marketers have been tasked with reaching ‘new’ audiences, largely because businesses are in a fight for talent.  Different cultures use different social media platforms, have different attitudes to the use of social media in business and find different topics engaging. It’s tougher being a marketer nowadays than it ever has been.  That’s what 73% of the 200 B2B marketers in the US and UK told us in the latest ‘What Works Where’ survey Circle Research conducted on behalf of Omobono.

Green shoots? Highlights from the B2B Barometer survey

The B2B Research Blog

So, it seems most of us are set for a busy year.  Double dip recession.  Greek bond defaults.  Spanish bailout.  We’re clearly not quite out of the ‘Great Recession’ yet. But we B2B marketers have always been an optimistic bunch.  . The latest B2B Barometer survey explored the opinions of 128 B2B marketing professionals collectively controlling budgets of £29.1 million. . It reveals that despite the economic turmoil, the majority of client-side B2B marketers see happier times ahead. Confidence is high. This starkly contrasts with the low point of 48% reached two years ago in June 2010. .

Eight ways B2B market research differs from B2C

The B2B Research Blog

It can actively hurt business performance by drawing misleading conclusions.  Research can also passively hurt business performance by not driving action.  Indeed, it’s no exaggeration to say that good research can transform a business. Warning.  Market research can be bad for your health. Conclusions which fail to consider the full picture, which focus on the obvious rather than delving deep or which are simply based on faulty information.  The result is bad decisions. The conclusions are sound, but sit on a shelf gathering dust.  Now, don’t get me wrong. 

B2C 27

Three reasons B2B marketers should care about sustainability

The B2B Research Blog

In the latest in my series of interviews with today’s leading business thinkers I spoke with Thomas Jelley, Corporate Citizenship Manager at support services giant Sodexo. Of course, in the contemporary vernacular, the concept gets more traction when seen as shorthand for responsible business, business that combines economic, social and environmental factors in decision making. Can you tell me a little more about how it’s evolved in the business? The challenges are the bread and butter of our business. Well, no.  Let’s hear what the expert has to say.

Financial benchmarks for B2B Marketing agencies

The B2B Research Blog

B2B Marketing Magazine column Business IdeasEvery year B2B Marketing Magazine, in partnership with Circle Research , ranks the UK’s top 50 B2B marketing communications agencies based on their revenues. The League and lots of other juicy information is published in a Benchmarking Report.  We’re giving away copies to the first 50 new subscribers to this blog.  Get your copy here  - subscribe. Highlights. Look at the headline numbers and you’d be forgiven for thinking everything is rosy. Average gross income is up 15%.  More than one half (56%) said ‘pressure on client budgets’. 

An interview with Jaakko Alanko: MD, Alanko Consulting

The B2B Research Blog

It means understanding the business motivators, decision drivers and purchasing criteria.  It’s whatever enhances your understanding of these and helps you get into true insight, which then drives the operation creatively and strategically and tactically. That’s Secondly, it’s a business that should be based on customer insight-based marketing, not customer observation-based marketing.  It’s a critical distinction that you’ll know very well yourself. Every month David Willan interviews leading experts from the world of marketing and B2B.  What are the biggest?

B2B 20

From insight to action

The B2B Research Blog

Have a cast of memorable characters – include video vox pops from customers and case studies which emphasise this is not abstract or theoretical but reality.Have a beginning, middle and end – share the most important research findings but only to support the clear business recommendations made in the ‘final scene’. Sometimes the biggest challenge with customer insight is not doing the research, but doing something with it. You start with determination to put the customer at the centre of decisions.  You carefully design a robust survey.  Then…. Well, nothing. Here are five tips.

RSS 15

Making ‘human-to-human’ marketing a reality

The B2B Research Blog

One widely touted trend in this latter category has a new label (‘human-to-human’ or ‘personalisation’), but is really just a marketing fundamental – recognising that each member of the target market is a person (representing a business) with their own unique behaviours, preferences and emotions.  By intimately understanding this individual they can be engaged with the right messages, at the right time, through the right channel. January is the month for predictions.  Flicking through the various forecasts of what 2015 holds for B2B, common themes emerge. 

Better B2B segmentation: Four steps and a case study

The B2B Research Blog

The data centre should have used “SME&#  only as a starting point to narrow the focus from all businesses.  Some businesses require simple book-keeping whereas others require a full blown accounting and forecasting package.  Some businesses have a preference to manage financial reporting in-house, some to partially outsource and others to outsource entirely.  Different businesses need to explore their financial health in different ways.  Sage has tailored solutions designed to meet the needs of particular business types. Let me introduce Sage.

SME 15

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.  Learn more about Circle’s approach to business-to-business (B2B) pricing strategy research here. The post Business-to-business (B2B) pricing strategy research – part 1 appeared first on Circle Research - B2B market research company. This week I take a look at the Gabor-Granger and Brand Price Trade Off (BPTO) techniques.