2011

The B2B Research Blog

B2B social media: Highlights from new benchmarking research

The B2B Research Blog

B2B social media; is it a case of the Emperor’s New Clothes? The latest B2B Marketing Benchmark Report – based on a survey of 274 client side B2B marketers conducted by us here at Circle Research – finally seems to provide a definitive answer.

Top ten B2B marketing challenges

The B2B Research Blog

Holger 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?”. I love this question for two reasons. One, it forces a focussed answer.

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Trending Sources

SME marketing channel preferences revealed

The B2B Research Blog

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? This was puzzling me so I asked 450 buyers of B2B services within SMEs to imagine a prospective supplier wanted to engage with them.

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Top B2B marketing challenges – an update

The B2B Research Blog

I 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.

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The Marketing Landscape: Where Data and Content Merge

Understand the importance of good data and good content and how they work together to help your marketing efforts.

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.

47% of B2B marketers endorse using sex to sell

The B2B Research Blog

Ever since I was invited to join The Network of Aspiring Women (Birmingham Group), I’ve felt more in touch with my feminine side ( see post here ). Perhaps that’s why my interest was piqued by a recent discussion on the B-to-B Marketing LinkedIn Group. Kate Bishop, Marketing Co-ordinator at Custom Fluidpower, has a dilemma. To use, or not to use, promotional girls at a trade show stand? Her boss is insistent but she has concerns. I share them.

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?

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B2B SEO Benchmarking Report – highlights

The B2B Research Blog

We recently partnered with B2B Marketing Magazine to create the first report in their Benchmarking series. The topic was search marketing in B2B. One of the most striking findings from the research is how digital has altered the marketing landscape. The two most commonly used techniques in the modern B2B marketer’s armoury are now email (82% use) and search marketing (67%). It would be a mistake though to assume that ‘traditional’ techniques are dead.

Make No Mistake: How Worst-Practices Derail Successful ABM Efforts

This Quick Study Slide Show from Node identifies the common mistakes of ABM executions and offers practical advice to help teams avoid them.

Better B2B segmentation: Four steps and a case study

The B2B Research Blog

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.

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Blink: A side door to the unconscious

The B2B Research Blog

Sometimes things just feel right. We can’t say why, they just do. The house bought not because it ticked all the boxes, but because you could imagine living there. The supplier chosen not after an exhaustive procurement assessment, but because they just seemed to fit. In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell explores experiences like these.

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.

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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.

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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. This month David interviews Stephen Cheliotis, Chairman of the Superbrands Expert Councils and Chief Executive of The Centre for Brand Analysis (TCBA). Stephen offers some fascinating insights into the world of B2B brands.

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Developing a Conversational Approach

Speaker: Carlos Hidalgo, CEO & Founder of VisumCx

B2B buyers are self-guiding their purchase journey, consuming more content along their purchase path and involving more stakeholders in the final decision. Therefore, it is necessary for B2B marketing teams to align to this purchase path and to the buying committees. This is not accomplished by creating more content or sending more communication, the key to success is establishing a conversation with your buyers that engages them in a meaningful dialogue and ultimately converts them to a customer.

How to create a Customer Happiness Index

The B2B Research Blog

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. .

B2B SEO Benchmarking Report – highlights

The B2B Research Blog

We recently partnered with B2B Marketing Magazine to create the first report in their Benchmarking series. The topic was search marketing in B2B. One of the most striking findings from the research is how digital has altered the marketing landscape. The two most commonly used techniques in the modern B2B marketer’s armoury are now email (82% use) and search marketing (67%). It would be a mistake though to assume that ‘traditional’ techniques are dead.

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The B2B Research Blog

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How many B2B marketers are in a Glacier Mint?

The B2B Research Blog

I’m of the opinion that every car glove box should contain, as standard, boiled sweets. Some opt for the classic travel tin but I prefer a bag of Fox’s Glacier Mints. I like the taste, but I like the idea more. That in my little glove box sits an icon; a brand that’s part of our cultural fabric. Here’s some Glacier Mint trivia. The polar bear mascot is called Peppy, they contain only the purest sugar (impurities turn the clear cubes pink) and they’re full of B2B marketers. Hold on.

7 Common Marketing Mistakes and strategies to avoid them

This white paper addresses the 7 most common challenges marketers hit when marketing products, solutions, or services and offers proven advice on how to avoid these missteps and improve the success of your marketing efforts.

B2B SEO: Content is king

The B2B Research Blog

Life’s hectic. Sometimes though it’s sensible to take a step back. To contemplate whether the things we’re doing are the right things; that we’re working not just hard, but smart. With this philosophy in mind we’ve partnered with B2B Marketing Magazine to compile a series of benchmarking reports. Reports which explore different marketing activities and give an insight into questions that we’d all love to know. How are my peers allocating their budgets?

Big list of B2B blogs

The B2B Research Blog

The chaps at Proteus B2B Marketing have compiled a list of B2B sales and marketing blogs. 354 of of them to be exact and well worth a browse to cherry pick the best. The list can be found here – [link]. Stuff we like B2B blogs

Air Cargo News: Interview with Circle’s Andy Booth

The B2B Research Blog

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. Who needs marketing in the air cargo sector?

The Ministry of Happiness

The B2B Research Blog

“[GNP] measures everything…except that which makes life worthwhile” said Robert Kennedy. Forty years on David Cameron has picked up Kennedy’s idea and instructed government statisticians to begin measuring quality of life in psychological terms. . In a nutshell the idea is this. Government has many roles but its core goal is to ensure the happiness of citizens. Helping create wealth is an important part of this. After all, money buys a better standard of living.

Seven Things Marketers Need to Know About Lead Generation

Speaker: Douglas Burdett, Host of The Marketing Book Podcast, Founder/Principal of ARTILLERY

If you are a marketer who needs to generate more high-quality leads that will turn into sales opportunities and revenue, register now for this special event that will show you how to get started and moving in a profitable direction.

The Trouble with Klout

Paul Gillin

Estimating influence is a delicate balance of art and science. People are drawn to quantitative methods because scores are easy to understand. The downside of reducing influence to a number, though, is oversimplification.

The Nifty 50 Top Women of Twitter for 2011

Webbiquity

Few phenomena have ever spread as far and grown as rapidly as social media; obviously, this has tapped into something essential to our nature. What is it? The answer may come from the email marketing field.

Connect Your Blog to Facebook Automatically

Writing on the Web

Are your blog posts fed automatically into Facebook? The other day I was horrified to learn that a dear client was manually posting his blog articles to Facebook. Yikes! No wonder blogging seems tiresome and time-consuming.

6 Reasons Social Media Sucks, But You Need to Use It Anyway

Webbiquity

Amid all of the hype, conferences, and rapid adoption of social media marketing by organizations from sole proprietors to the Fortune 100, there remains an undercurrent of skepticism.

30 Ways to Get Inside the Mind of Your Target Buyer

Trust, support, and transparency: that's what your target buyer really wants. These 30 findings show the path from respect, to relationship, to business win.

Social Media is Lowering Our Content Standards

Digital B2B Marketing

Sharing has ceased to be an endorsement of the quality of content. Social media has created the expectation that we share content, and in the drive to meet the content demands social media places on us, our content standards are falling.

Monitoring vs Analytics [Infographic]

Buzz Marketing for Technology

What a Hotel Manager Taught Me About the Future of Business

Paul Gillin

Scott Wright is the general manager of the Wyndham Wingate Hotel in Erlanger, KY, and in a 15-minute ride to the airport yesterday morning he taught me something about the future of business.

50 (of the) Best Social Media Guides, Tips and Insights of 2011 (So Far)

Webbiquity

Social media marketing has gone well beyond the hype stage and is now mainstream business practice. Still, questions remain: how do I use social media most effectively across the enterprise? Which social media monitoring tools should I use? What should I monitor for?

9 Experts Rethinking Demand Generation

How to strategically target your content and lead generation campaigns to disrupt the status quo and facilitate the sale.

The New Social Buyer Ecosystem

Tony Zambito

Image via Wikipedia. From a B2B market view, the new social buyer ecosystem continues to undergo a rapid evolution.    The pace in 2011 has noticeably quickened. 

Make Your CFO a Social Media Fan

Buzz Marketing for Technology

Social media definitely pays off, but you’ve got to focus on the approach not the tools. Social Media has hit the mainstream these days but the big concern on every product marketer’s mind has been how to justify the ROI? Never is that more true than at budget time.

#NewNewTwitter: A New Opportunity for Marketers

Digital B2B Marketing

Twitter announced a new interface, rolling out over the next few weeks, this morning. You can preview the interface and the new features at fly.twitter.com. Compared to this change, the previous change to New Twitter (the current interface) was minor.

3 of My Favorite Strategic Marketing Models

B2B Marketing Traction

Tweet. Blog entry excerpted from the Marketing chapter written by Jennifer Beever in The Book on Business from A to Z. I have several favorite tools and models for analyzing a client’s marketing strategy.

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Increase Marketing ROI 10X and Prove It

See how a marketing team demonstrated 10X ROI and increased sales by 35% with marketing automation.