The B2B Research Blog

Trending Sources

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?”. These techniques work by allowing people to express their thoughts about one thing by transferring them onto something else which they find easier to relate to and/or find sums up many thoughts at once. That’s not straightforward. What do the different guests look like? 

The benefits of a strong brand in B2B markets

The B2B Research Blog

The functional and emotional benefits (yes, even in B2B) to be derived from working with your organisation or products. Less well known brands require the buyer to work harder to understand the benefits they bring. 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?  . What makes you different from others in your space. You can however choose to manage your brand.

Driving action from a customer satisfaction programme

The B2B Research Blog

These critical stakeholders should then be invited to form a working group which shapes and owns the programme. Then re-convene the working group of key stakeholders, share the story and run a workshop which explores how to drive improvements.  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.  Here are nine golden rules. Rule 3: Prioritise.

What system 1 and 2 thinking mean for B2B marketers

The B2B Research Blog

System 1 works at a sub-conscious level without us knowing it.  Using intuition and beliefs about how the world works, it makes a rapid assessment of the situation then quickly settles on a course of action.  In contrast, system 2 works at a conscious level.   A clever chap called Daniel Kahneman has a theory. When making decisions there are two systems in our mind which influence the outcome.   Using deliberative reasoning and logic, it carefully evaluates the situation before reaching a conclusion. Now, what does all this mean for B2B marketers?

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

Ambal Balakrishnan, Head of Marketing and Strategy, Click Documents [link] B2B Marketing Trends for 2016 9 Take Content Marketing to the Next Level Get Over Our Fear of Video 75% of executives watch work-related videos at least once a week, and. get granular with marketing tactics and messages, and plan tactics based on what is likely to work in the. B2B Marketing. know which half."

Tips for B2B customer satisfaction research

The B2B Research Blog

The real work starts after the survey. Customers are your lifeblood. But it’s tough to actively manage these relationships unless you understand how they feel about you. That’s why every B2B business needs a programme of regular customer satisfaction research. Take care though.  Get it wrong and you can actually make things a whole lot worse… Relationships matter.  Don’t try and bypass those who ‘own’ the customer relationship within your organisation. Gain their support for the research first, or they and customers may react negatively.  Reflect your business.  React in real-time. 

How B2B brands approach Twitter

The B2B Research Blog

Each has its own fans and critics, but they all work on a similar principle. Social media has become a bit of an obsession for me. Not so much as a participant, but as an observer. I’m the technology equivalent of a bird watcher. I’ve been observing B2B marketers in their natural habitat. Noting their behaviours. Sketching and documenting the different species I see. call them ‘Twitologies’ and I’d like to share an outline of them here. It all began with a study Circle Research conducted for B2B Marketing late in 2011 to establish the ‘state of the nation’ in B2B social media.

The benefits of marketing automation aren’t automatic

The B2B Research Blog

And they’ll tell you that if you really want to make automation work in the long term, you’ll need to focus on three things: Have a plan in place to integrate diverse technologies and data sources (51% describe data integration as a challenge and a further 36% struggle with technology integration). Work out how you’re going to bring other departments on the journey (29% describe departmental alignment as a challenge). And finally, if this is all sounding like a lot of hard work, I suspect that automation pioneers will also tell you that it’s worth the effort.  B2B marcomm

How Big Data will shape the researcher of 2020

The B2B Research Blog

Marketers, often working with researchers, have historically been the bridge to the customer.  But if IT and Data departments are taking control of Big Data and the customer insight it brings, this changes the dynamic.  It may well be that in 2020 researchers work as closely with IT professionals as they do Marketers. Here’s the good news for the market research community. The report reveals that marketers feel three skills are critical if they want to become CEOs of the future: Knowledge of customer insight and its applications (71% name as critical skill).

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

Ambal Balakrishnan, Head of Marketing and Strategy, Click Documents [link] B2B Marketing Trends for 2016 9 Take Content Marketing to the Next Level Get Over Our Fear of Video 75% of executives watch work-related videos at least once a week, and. get granular with marketing tactics and messages, and plan tactics based on what is likely to work in the. B2B Marketing. know which half."

It’s all about the lead

The B2B Research Blog

First, think about what content formats work well in your market.  Marketing still plays second fiddle to sales in B2B organisations. . Past readings of the B2B Barometer survey reveal that up to 60% of B2B marketers agree with this statement and the latest survey published in June 2012 confirms it. . 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.  Fair enough.  After all, few brands have buyers queuing at their door so ‘hunting’ revenue has to be a key focus. The solution?

Lead 84

Social media in B2B – the latest stats

The B2B Research Blog

While the majority of organisations are using social media as a side-act to funnel clients into bigger pieces of content on their websites (85 per cent), this isn’t always working too well – fewer than one in three (31 per cent) describe this as very effective. The allure of social media in B2B is growing rapidly. However, this bounty is not being distributed equally.

Stats 38

Getting to the top of the marketing tree

The B2B Research Blog

They are able to navigate within their organisation, work collaboratively across functions and join up siloes. 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.

SME marketing channel preferences revealed

The B2B Research Blog

These channels may work for your particular target audience or a segment of it.  On the other hand they may not.  There are 1.3 million of them, they generate half of the UK’s GDP and employ 60 per cent of the private sector workforce.  Moreover, they’re big buyers of B2B products and services.  Just ask Sage who’s built a £1.4 billion business on the back of them. SMEs are a potentially significant opportunity for many B2B marketers then, but how best to open a conversation? How effective, the question continued, would different communication channels be in grabbing their attention? .

SME 64

The seven R’s of thought leadership

The B2B Research Blog

Conducting an exclusive survey is a great tool in this respect, but remember that B2B audiences are likely to be research savvy so settle for nothing less than a reliable, representative and solidly executed piece of work.  Thought leadership.  Everyone’s claiming it but, by very definition, only a handful ever delivers.  So how do you ensure that your content marketing strategy positions you as one of the few? . Follow the seven R’s – Resonant, Rare, Road Mapped, Robust, Rounded, Rooted and Re-used. Five reasons to develop a thought leadership strategy. It’s a showcase.  Resonant.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

Ambal Balakrishnan, Head of Marketing and Strategy, Click Documents [link] B2B Marketing Trends for 2016 9 Take Content Marketing to the Next Level Get Over Our Fear of Video 75% of executives watch work-related videos at least once a week, and. get granular with marketing tactics and messages, and plan tactics based on what is likely to work in the. B2B Marketing. know which half."

Net Promoter Score (NPS) in B2B – the evidence

The B2B Research Blog

In other words, it seems that NPS doesn’t always work in B2B environments and should be used with caution, if at all. If it works as the theory predicts, that’s great and you’ll reap all of the benefits that NPS can bring. 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. It’s intuitive.

Financial benchmarks for B2B marketing agencies

The B2B Research Blog

The average annual turnover from B2B work is £2,863,803.  . 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.  The 2011 B2B Marketing Agency League Table , compiled by B2B Marketing Magazine and Circle Research , fills in the gaps.  . MRM London (£10.5m). Gravity (£9.2m).

Generation Y: Implications for the workplace

The B2B Research Blog

As Generation Y grew up with the same macro-environment, they have drawn similar conclusions about how the world works. And of course, Wikileaks continues to reveal the hidden workings of the world. Six ways Generation Y differs at work. There are many implications, but six are most significant: They want work to be stimulating.  To progress their personal development. They want flexibility.  To balance work and life, and to focus on the result not process. They expect the latest technology.  To have the same tools at work as at home.

Who owns your brand? B2B brand perceptions research

The B2B Research Blog

Being human they often prefer to work with organisations they feel an affinity with.  Your organisation doesn’t own its brand.   It can shape it, manage it, but never own it. That’s because a brand is not what an organisation says it is.  It’s what the market believes it to be.  It’s a perception developed through the sum of an individual’s experience. Through every encounter they’ve had with your organisation, your employees or products.  Through what they hear from you and about you. Most may know what they want their brand to be, but not what it actually is. So what should we measure?

B2B content marketing research

The B2B Research Blog

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.

The B2B marketer’s world is changing

The B2B Research Blog

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. You can access the full  report here – omobono.com/insights/what-works-where. It’s tougher being a marketer nowadays than it ever has been.  Well, some perennial challenges remain the same.  It always has been (and probably always will be) tough to get buy-in from colleagues, effectively achieve cut-through and measure ROI. But in the last three years marketers have watched the world around them change, and they’ve had to adapt.

The Cobbler’s Shoes

The B2B Research Blog

If you work for an agency, take a look at your own metaphorical shoe rack. In his latest blog for the Market Research Society’s news and insight hub Research Live , Circle Research’s Andrew Dalglish explores why research agencies should carry out research for their own benefit as well as clients’ …. Ever heard the saying that ‘the cobbler’s children have no shoes’? The The cobbler is so focused on everyone else’s shoes that he doesn’t think to use his expertise for the benefit of his own family. Research agencies are a bit like that. If

Three reasons B2B marketers should care about sustainability

The B2B Research Blog

We employ 380,000 people worldwide, of whom 43,000 work in the UK and Ireland. They’ve also done a lot of work in their supply chains.  If you think about the likes of the Ethical Trading Initiative or SEDEX, which we’re also members of, a lot of the work has been driven by large retailers.  Through a UK and Ireland Diversity and Inclusion Council that was founded in 2008, we’ve been really supporting the agenda through some pretty large pieces of work.  . Sodexo is ultimately a better place to work and a better organisation to have working for you.  .

B2B content marketing research

The B2B Research Blog

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.  Or perhaps you’re developing a content strategy and want some pointers.  Either way, the survey results provide valuable guidance. Focus on quality not quantity. Make time. Don’t forget the leads.

The content king is a tyrant

The B2B Research Blog

But the content king is turning into a bit of a tyrant.  He’s working his loyal subjects to the bone and that’s beginning to take its toll. Click to see full infographic. The latest Content Marketing Benchmark Report produced by Circle Research and B2B Marketing Magazine reveals that B2B marketers have become slaves to content. . We all know that content is king.  There’s good sense in that. 

An interview with Jaakko Alanko: MD, Alanko Consulting

The B2B Research Blog

You refer a lot to enterprise marketing in your work.  But the brand holds it together in a remarkable way.  I know people who work there and who talk about how well the brand is managed throughout the organisation.  It’s so well aligned from beginning to end. 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. In a career spanning over 40 years you’ve obviously seen lots of changes in B2B communications.  What are the biggest? And the same on selling.   .

Three customer insights for your marketing plan

The B2B Research Blog

We all know that successful marketing propositions perfectly align with customer needs and wants.   But here assumption and guess-work abound.  What marketing channels work? . Understanding a ‘day-in-the-life’ of a customer is invaluable in fuelling innovation and enabling better engagement.  A much deeper approach to marketing can be taken if you know what the customer’s working environment is like, what tasks consume their day, what makes them successful (as an organisation and an individual) and where your products/services fit in. But insights into what exactly?

Plan 15

Making ‘human-to-human’ marketing a reality

The B2B Research Blog

Identify the small number of segments in the target market (usually there are 4 – 6), work out the optimum marketing strategy for each, place the individual being engaged into the right segment and then apply the relevant strategy.  January is the month for predictions.  Flicking through the various forecasts of what 2015 holds for B2B, common themes emerge.  Some trends are at the start of the adoption curve, e.g. programmatic advertising.  Some are about taking a pretty well-established practice and doing it better, e.g. content.  However, in reality this is often impractical. 

Better B2B segmentation: Four steps and a case study

The B2B Research Blog

That’s the theory, but how does it work in practice?  Last week I was invited to join The Network of Aspiring Woman, Birmingham Group.  I was tempted.  After all, “ it’s where networking feels like a party ”.  However, I declined for two reasons.  I live in London.  I’m a man. Clearly the Network’s execution fell short, but their strategy seems smart.  Rather than trying to be all things to all people, they’ve segmented the market and targeted a niche group.  Contrast this with another experience. The call was from a data centre “ specialising in the SME segment ”.  Enjoying this post?

SME 15

Three customer insights for your marketing plan

The B2B Research Blog

We all know that successful marketing propositions perfectly align with customer needs and wants.   But here assumption and guess-work abound.  What marketing channels work? . Understanding a ‘day-in-the-life’ of a customer is invaluable in fuelling innovation and enabling better engagement.  A much deeper approach to marketing can be taken if you know what the customer’s working environment is like, what tasks consume their day, what makes them successful (as an organisation and an individual) and where your products/services fit in. But insights into what exactly?

The three secrets of employee motivation

The B2B Research Blog

Ensuring people feel valued (34% of managers place in top three) and their work life balance (30%) are also felt to play an important role. One fifth will name remuneration (18%) or their work life balance (17%) as the single most important sources of employment happiness. Base salary and work life balance actually have only a moderate correlation with job satisfaction.  They matter along with a handful of other factors related to working conditions, but are the basics. People matter. marketer’s our raison d’etre is to understand people and influence their behaviour. 

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?”. These techniques work by allowing people to express their thoughts about one thing by transferring them onto something else which they find easier to relate to and/or find sums up many thoughts at once. That’s not straightforward. What do the different guests look like? 

The benefits of a strong brand in B2B markets

The B2B Research Blog

The functional and emotional benefits (yes, even in B2B) to be derived from working with your organisation or products. Less well known brands require the buyer to work harder to understand the benefits they bring. 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? What makes you different from others in your space. You can however choose to manage your brand. brand has real tangible value.

Driving action from a customer satisfaction programme

The B2B Research Blog

These critical stakeholders should then be invited to form a working group which shapes and owns the programme. Then re-convene the working group of key stakeholders, share the story and run a workshop which explores how to drive improvements.  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.  Here are nine golden rules. Rule 3: Prioritise.

How to measure customer satisfaction in B2B markets

The B2B Research Blog

At the core of this survey should be what we call the ‘satisfaction ladder’.  It works like this: First, ask customers how satisfied they are with you overall. So rather than asking customers directly, an alternative approach is to deduce what matters using a statistical technique called Regression Analysis.  In a nutshell, Regression Analysis works by observing what happens to your overall satisfaction score when satisfaction scores in one area of the experience move up or down (but scores in other areas remain static).  How do you measure customer satisfaction in B2B markets? 

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

The B2B Research Blog

It’s pretty clear to me through my work on Business Superbrands that branding is becoming more important in many b2b categories. That said there is still a battle for marketeers working in business-to-business to convince some of their peers that it’s important, but I think for most there is a feeling that they’re starting to win that battle. Work out what you’re trying to do, look at the market and ask four questions: ‘Who has done this the best?’  ‘What can we learn from them?’  ‘Who has done this the worst?’  ‘What are the lessons from them?’. It’s an ingredient brand. 

B2C 6

How to create a Customer Happiness Index

The B2B Research Blog

After all, no one wants to work for the bad guy. . In my last post I put forward the idea that every business should measure its performance against a stakeholder ‘Happiness Index’ with a particular focus on customers.  As the customer’s voice within the organisation, responsibility for this index lies at the marketer’s door. Before we go any further I’d like to challenge the received wisdom that it’s commercially sensible for every business to invest in enhancing customer happiness.  This isn’t always true and there are two notable exceptions. . Finally, maximise the impact. 

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

The B2B Research Blog

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. 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?

Not how you fly, but how you serve

The B2B Research Blog

Many years ago now, whilst I was working at, newly privatised, British Airways, our research team was challenged to understand what it meant to be “branded British” in each of its key markets.  What does the power of national identification bring to the airline in each market it serves, and how could that knowledge be leveraged to help position the airline and its service to best effect?