The B2B Research Blog

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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 result is the People or Profits Report.

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. 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. Regression Analysis explained.

Is customer satisfaction really important in B2B?

The B2B Research Blog

After all, the logic goes, if customers are happy then they won’t feel a need to change supplier – satisfaction leads inexorably to loyalty. However, this logic is flawed and can lead to wasted investment on things that don’t really matter. Customer loyalty is critical to any business. This truism sees many B2B companies striving to satisfy and even delight customers. Let me explain.

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?

Lead Generation Checklist

You spend a lot of time, energy, and money doing lead generation to capture leads but it's how you manage them that makes the difference between success and failure

Which B2B brands do you most respect?

The B2B Research Blog

Lead from the top. Which B2B brands do you most respect? We recently posed this question to 100 marketing leaders in B2B companies. Two brands emerged head and shoulders above the rest: IBM and Salesforce. My interest piqued, I asked Xabier Ormazabal (Salesforce’s head of UK marketing) and Paul Smith (VP EMEA Salesforce Marketing Cloud) what the secret of Salesforce’s success was. They gave ten tips: It’s not your brand. A brand is simply a perception others have of you. Marketers can influence these perceptions but not control them. It’s not the marketing department’s brand.

Brand 75

The benefits of marketing automation aren’t automatic

The B2B Research Blog

Most adopted an automation system to achieve three goals: to better manage leads, to deliver more relevant content/messaging and to increase revenue. Predictions that 2015 is the year of marketing automation seem to be spot on. The latest Benchmarking Report from B2B Marketing reveals that the vast majority of B2B marketers have either adopted an automation solution (43%) or plan to in the next 12 months (45%). If you’re about to take the plunge there are some valuable lessons to be taken from those who have gone before. Most of these benefits will emerge, but might take time.

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?

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 one particular question which had me on the edge of my seat: What attributes does a successful B2B marketer have? I was excited because those answering the question were marketing leaders in some of the UK’s largest B2B companies. There was consensus that a strong marketing leader displays four attributes.

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.

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).

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. 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). Social media is time consuming. It’s Google+. Who’s your money on?

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 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.

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.

B2C 40

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

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.

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%).

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.

RSS 36

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

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.

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. 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). So maybe you already have a content strategy, but want to know what your peers are doing. Focus on quality not quantity.

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.

Plan 22

How to Leverage Content Marketing to Power Your B2B Marketing Automation Funnel

Generate more leads. Better leads. Engage customers, increase upsells, boost revenue and save precious time -- these are the benefits of marketing automation. And content fuels it all

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? But here assumption and guess-work abound. The remedy is a two-step process. Take social media.

Plan 16

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. .

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.

RSS 15

The Times They Are a-Changin’

The B2B Research Blog

No, not a diversification into tea and cakes, but a virtual hub where they’ve collected together the thoughts of leading B2B technology marketers. . Our friends at Marketing Options International (MOI) have just launched the Mind Share Café. Marketers from players like Dell, Microsoft and Cisco. Have a look – the Mind Share Café. You won’t find any pontificating. No self-serving agendas.

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.

Secrets of the fastest growing B2B marketing agencies

The B2B Research Blog

The B2B Agencies Benchmarking Report reveals that 62% of agency leaders (we spoke to 75 of them from the UK’s leading players) describe their commercial performance in 2016 as ‘good’ and a further 26% report that it was ‘strong’. B2B marketing agencies are in rude health. Their financial numbers reflect this confidence. 85% of agencies have grown revenues year-on-year, with an average increase in Gross Income of 9% and an average rise of 31% in Net Profit. To fuel this, the number of people employed by agencies has jumped by 19% year-on-year. What’s their secret?

B2B marketing agencies optimistic about BREXIT

The B2B Research Blog

Ask agency leaders (we spoke to 75 of them from the UK’s leading players) about their commercial performance in 2016 and the response is overwhelmingly positive. I’ve been rummaging around the data underpinning this year’s B2B Agencies Benchmarking Report and was pleased to see how healthy the agency community is. 62% describe it as ‘good’ and a further 26% report that it was ‘strong’. Their financial numbers reflect this confidence. 85% of agencies have grown revenues year-on-year, with an average increase in Gross Income of 9% and an average rise of 31% in Net Profit.

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. I don’t think one always leads the other. For a long time we’ve seen very strong, powerful, incumbent players that have established market leading positions – look at the dominance of major brands in IT or energy, for example. I like the fact that, unlike most great British engineering firms which have died a death or sold out to someone else, they still lead their category. Stephen offers some fascinating insights into the world of B2B brands. It’s very well deserved.

B2C 6

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.

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.

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. Be inclusive.

B2B 2

There’s horse meat in my survey

The B2B Research Blog

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. This deception – whether intentional or accidental – has far-reaching repercussions. 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

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. This deception – whether intentional or accidental – has far-reaching repercussions. 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.