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Business volunteering – people or profits?

The B2B Research Blog

Having analysed the situation on the front-line we then sought input from leading experts including: Carolyn Houseman, CEO, Heart of the City. Last year we started a volunteering programme here at Circle.  We’d always supported various charities through donations or fundraising, but felt that perhaps our time might be just as valuable. The results were fascinating. 

What makes a good marketing leader?

The B2B Research Blog

The latest B2B Marketing Leaders Report, produced in conjunction with Circle Research, explores how to lead well. There are two universal truths about all marketing plans. One, no matter how smart the plan might be, it’s worthless unless well executed. And two, no plan has ever executed itself – people make it happen. Here’s another observation. Two marketing teams with identical skills and resources, both looking to achieve the same goals, can achieve very different results. That’s down to leadership – the ability to get the best out of people and make 1 + 1 = 3. Sound like you?

It’s all about the lead

The B2B Research Blog

Two fifths (41%) of B2B marketers report that their single highest marketing priority for 2012 is to generate more of the salesperson’s raw material – leads.  It seems that lead generation is not cheap.  Around one quarter (28%) of B2B marketers are able to put a figure on how much it costs them to acquire a sales ready lead.  Only one third of these leads (33%) then convert to a sale. . Three fifths (60%) of those surveyed name lead generation as one of their top three priorities.  A further 26% say it’s their very highest priority. . Fair enough. 

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It’s official – in B2B, content is king

The B2B Research Blog

White papers excel when it comes to lead generation.  And case studies (along with reports) are best at turning leads into sales.  So it seems that marketers are adapting their approach to content as a prospect moves down the funnel.    That’s smart, but many are missing a trick.  Read our white paper on research-led content marketing  here , or a case study on how Santa Fe used survey based insights to generate 1,000+ leads here. It’s official.  Content is king. Last year less than half (43%) held this opinion. What’s the secret?  Is yours? .

150 Content Marketing Tips

Drive traffic—and leads—with these tips for SEO, social media, content optimization, email marketing, and more

The secrets of employee motivation

The B2B Research Blog

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…. Research is a people business. 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?

B2B social media – a two horse race?

The B2B Research Blog

In 2013 Twitter had the lead by a nose.  Importantly, it looks as if LinkedIn is set to hold this lead as the B2B marketer’s favourite.  But in 2014 the focus is on hard returns.  47% now name ‘lead generation’ as a primary goal for social media (up from 36% in 2013) – this is now the second most common goal behind only brand positioning (50% in 2014).  Who’s your money on?

Getting to the top of the marketing tree

The B2B Research Blog

Leads by example and isn’t scared to get their hands dirty when it’s called for. 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.  They: Are strategic, big picture thinkers with a clear vision. Have business acumen and a commercial focus. Couple strong analytical skills with a liberal dose of creativity.

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Financial benchmarks for B2B marketing agencies

The B2B Research Blog

Have the UK’s leading B2B marketing agencies – 43 of them with combined billings of around £150 million – anonymously share key performance data.   Are you normal? . As a business I mean. . 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.  After all, your competitors only share the legal minimum of information about performance.  Information which is also usually opaque and outdated. . Despair not though.  MRM London (£10.5m). Reading Room (£10.4m). Gravity (£9.2m).

Evangelizing a Content Marketing Program

B2C Marketers companies that excel at lead nurturing generate. 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost 15 1,200 Blog posts per month Avg new monthly leads ULTIMATE CONTENT STRATEGIST PLAYBOOK CONTENTLY11 Content marketing's impact also extends to social me- dia, where brands that don't have compelling content to. Do you want to drive more leads? leads.

Eight ways B2B market research differs from B2C

The B2B Research Blog

This just leads to superficial outcomes and potentially damages your brand in the process. Provided those that lead supplier decisions are represented, a relatively small number of interviews obtains a reliable view. Warning.  Market research can be bad for your health. It can actively hurt business performance by drawing misleading conclusions.  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. Now, don’t get me wrong.  Kingmakers’ are critical. 

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How do we align sales and marketing?

The B2B Research Blog

Most importantly, the bottom line suffers as leads aren’t fully nurtured (61%). Ever looked at our cousins in FMCG marketing with a little jealousy?  Eyed their big budgets with envy?  Coveted their influence in a world where marketing is central to organisational success? Maybe not, but you’ve probably glanced across your own office and felt similar feelings towards sales.  At least you will have done if you’re anything like the 100 B2B marketing leaders Circle recently surveyed as part of the B2B Marketing Leaders Forum. Of all the findings revealed in the survey, that struck me most. 

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B2B marketing sector bounces back: 57% report rising budgets

The B2B Research Blog

Failure to do so is wasting leads (60% report as consequence of mis-alignment), time (53%) and budgets (41%). To 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 full B2B Barometer report will be published in October 2011 (subscribe to our blog to receive a complimentary copy – simply click here ).  In the meantime, here’s a sneak preview.

How do we align sales and marketing?

The B2B Research Blog

Most importantly, the bottom line suffers as leads aren’t fully nurtured (61%). Ever looked at our cousins in FMCG marketing with a little jealousy?  Eyed their big budgets with envy?  Coveted their influence in a world where marketing is central to organisational success? Maybe not, but you’ve probably glanced across your own office and felt similar feelings towards sales.  At least you will have done if you’re anything like the 100 B2B marketing leaders Circle recently surveyed as part of the B2B Marketing Leaders Forum. Of all the findings revealed in the survey, that struck me most. 

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Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness

Lead conversion (32 percent) is the most. budget can lead to more time if you’re able to hire. percent, was lead conversions and sales. ON SITE 7% OTHER 6% 32% LEAD. SALES 20 Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness Across the Industry Results and Analysis It’s reassuring that leads and sales, two elements. Copyright © 2015 Contently.

B2B content marketing research

The B2B Research Blog

Don’t forget the leads. One half of B2B marketers have found a way to translate content consumption into leads (50% regularly capture leads), but one half haven’t. Content marketing works.  So maybe you already have a content strategy, but want to know what your peers are doing.  Or perhaps you’re developing a content strategy and want some pointers.  Make time.

Green shoots? Highlights from the B2B Barometer survey

The B2B Research Blog

Three of these concern demand generation – generating more leads (41% name as a priority), generating better quality leads (27%) and raising brand awareness (32%). . 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. . Confidence is high. This confidence is reflected in marketing budgets.  Direct mail (12%).

Eight ways B2B market research differs from B2C

The B2B Research Blog

This just leads to superficial outcomes and potentially damages your brand in the process. Provided those that lead supplier decisions are represented, a relatively small number of interviews obtains a reliable view. Warning.  Market research can be bad for your health. It can actively hurt business performance by drawing misleading conclusions.  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. Now, don’t get me wrong.  Kingmakers’ are critical. 

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Three customer insights for your marketing plan

The B2B Research Blog

Identifying segments on this basis leads to a much better ROI – marcomms resonate, propositions have greater appeal and new products see higher demand. Spring.  As birds migrate north to secure nesting ground, gaggles of marketers flock to secure budget for their marketing plans. The most fruitful of these plans are built on customer insights.  But insights into what exactly? Here are three things that would top my list. What really matters? We all know that successful marketing propositions perfectly align with customer needs and wants.   But here assumption and guess-work abound. 

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Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report

industry metrics such as sales and leads, or. generation Lead generation: Create. high-quality leads. Lead conversions • Avg. lead score • Sales-qualified leads (SQLs) • Opportunities • Search traffic • Return visitor rate Lead nurturing: Move leads. leader with industry-leading. Content. Methodology: A Best. All rights reserved. going.

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. But why, you may wonder, is a B2B marketing research agency like Circle talking about sustainability.  Isn’t that the preserve of a niche team within corporations and NGOs? . Well, no.  Increasingly sustainability is becoming embedded throughout corporates and amongst individual departments – including marketing – for three very compelling reasons. If you’re not convinced so far, here’s the clincher: sales. 

B2B content marketing research

The B2B Research Blog

Don’t forget the leads. One half of B2B marketers have found a way to translate content consumption into leads (50% regularly capture leads), but one half haven’t. Content marketing works.  Almost three fifths (56%) of the 175 B2B marketers Circle Research recently surveyed for B2B Marketing Magazine’s Content Marketing Report have seen content marketing boost sales (most of the remainder simply don’t know the impact as measuring ROI is tough). Either way, the survey results provide valuable guidance. Focus on quality not quantity. Make time.

From insight to action

The B2B Research Blog

So, how can we ensure that insight always leads to action? 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.  You intelligently analyse the findings to get to the heart of the issue.   Then…. Well, nothing. The research becomes an academic exercise rather than a catalyst spurring action. Here are five tips. Be inclusive. Importantly, by consulting them they’re more likely to put their weight behind the end result.

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An interview with Jaakko Alanko: MD, Alanko Consulting

The B2B Research Blog

Every month David Willan interviews leading experts from the world of marketing and B2B.  This month David spoke with Jaakko Alanko, one of the true doyens of B2B communications. Jaakko shares insights learned during 40 years in marketing, discusses the B2B brands he admires and shares his vision for the future of B2B marketing: the era of the enterprise brand. In a career spanning over 40 years you’ve obviously seen lots of changes in B2B communications.  What are the biggest? Many of the changes we’ve seen have been pretty wide-ranging. Technology enables us to do this. .

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Content Marketing Playbook: Strategy and Roadmap

returned to the company after a 28-month stint leading. And it would lead to GE’s. leads through inbound marketing. “I think it’s almost. ULTIMATE CONTENT STRATEGIST PLAYBOOK CONTENTLY1 The Ultimate Content Strategist. Playbook No. 2: Strategy and Roadmap Copyright © 2015 Contently. All rights reserved. Introduction 3 II. Adopting a Winning Perspective 7 III. Back at GE and in.

The Times They Are a-Changin’

The B2B Research Blog

 . Our friends at Marketing Options International (MOI) have just launched the Mind Share Café.  No, not a diversification into tea and cakes, but a virtual hub where they’ve collected together the thoughts of leading B2B technology marketers.  Marketers from players like Dell, Microsoft and Cisco. Have a look – the Mind Share Café.  They need to engage rather than broadcast.  The solution? 

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Using Regression Analysis in market research

The B2B Research Blog

Independent’ variables are things that we think might drive a change in the dependent variable, e.g. we could hypothesise that high quality customer service leads to high levels of overall satisfaction. 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. and 0.7 Co-efficient.

Three customer insights for your marketing plan

The B2B Research Blog

Identifying segments on this basis leads to a much better ROI – marcomms resonate, propositions have greater appeal and new products see higher demand (read more on B2B market segmentation research here ). Spring.  As birds migrate north to secure nesting ground, gaggles of marketers flock to secure budget for their marketing plans. The most fruitful of these plans are built on customer insights.  But insights into what exactly? Here are three things that would top my list. What really matters? The remedy is a two-step process. Of course, not all customers are the same. 

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From insight to action

The B2B Research Blog

So, how can we ensure that insight always leads to action? 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.  You intelligently analyse the findings to get to the heart of the issue.   Then…. Well, nothing.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

distribution and lead nurturing, to more effectively communicate with prospective buyers at each stage of funnel. To get a more granular view of how B2B marketing professionals are adapting to these trends and pressures, we asked 25 leading influencers. preference, lead generation) isn't new, just more intense. its role beyond lead gen. Tom has been published on leading.

The data asteroid is coming

The B2B Research Blog

How many leads were generated? 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? 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.

An interview with Stephen Cheliotis: CEO, Centre for Brand Analysis

The B2B Research Blog

Every month David Willan interviews leading experts in from the world of marketing and B2B.  Actually, the same also applies in reverse with respect to factors such as customer insight, knowledge and customer relationships.  I don’t think one is better than the other.  I don’t think one always leads the other.  I think what you do as a brand owner and a brand manager is you look at best practice across the board.  This month David interviews Stephen Cheliotis, Chairman of the Superbrands Expert Councils and Chief Executive of The Centre for Brand Analysis (TCBA).

There’s horse meat in my survey

The B2B Research Blog

This deception – whether intentional or accidental – has far-reaching repercussions.  In the case of faulty research it can lead to sub-optimal decisions and missed opportunities.  Was everyone posed non-leading questions to determine their role and level of authority? What you see isn’t always what you get. Horse meat in our Findus Crispy Pancakes.  Sub-prime mortgages hidden within bundles of triple-A rated loans.  Dodgy surveys parading as fact. And it’s an easy mistake to make.  But challenge we should. Who was surveyed? . However, this is only true if two criteria are met.

There’s horse meat in my survey

The B2B Research Blog

This deception – whether intentional or accidental – has far-reaching repercussions.  In the case of faulty research it can lead to sub-optimal decisions and missed opportunities.  Was everyone posed non-leading questions to determine their role and level of authority? What you see isn’t always what you get. Horse meat in our Findus Crispy Pancakes.  Sub-prime mortgages hidden within bundles of triple-A rated loans.  Dodgy surveys parading as fact. And it’s an easy mistake to make.  But challenge we should. Who was surveyed? . However, this is only true if two criteria are met.

Staffing and Launching Your Content Marketing Program

These examples may sound hyperbolic, but they get at values that lead. ULTIMATE CONTENT STRATEGIST PLAYBOOK CONTENTLY12 While the business goals of your content marketing efforts are import- ant—be it generating leads, sales, brand awareness, industry education, or, more likely, some combination of initiatives—we find it extremely. original photography as something Steve the Lead.

Air Cargo News: Interview with Circle’s Andy Booth

The B2B Research Blog

It has worked with leading airline cargo departments, express operators and forwarders on such very un-air cargo concepts as brand positioning, customer segmentation and product optimisation. I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by legendary aviation journalist Peter Conway for Air Cargo News.  Here are my edited musings… Market research, brand development, and customer segmentation may be unfamiliar ideas to many sections of the air cargo business, but the director of London-based Circle Research is on a mission to change all that.