The B2B Research Blog

Five B2B marketing predictions that will come true in 2018

The B2B Research Blog

Everyone’s a futurologist at this time of year and most of them spout complete bollocks. From their high horses they tell you where you need to be focusing your energy and budgets in 2018 lest you’re left behind. The source of their wisdom? Usually a combination of their own narrow experience, what they’ve been reading recently and a Google search on what others are predicting (safety in numbers you see). Here’s a thought.

The big trends in B2B marketing

The B2B Research Blog

I recently shared a view on the big trends in B2B marketing at the MRS B2B Conference. Well, I shared it, but in truth it wasn’t my view. Nope, it was a far more informed perspective – that of leaders from the UK’s 75 largest B2B marketing agencies who were recently surveyed as part of the B2B Agency Benchmarking Report.

A wake up call for market research agencies

The B2B Research Blog

Greenbo ok has just published the latest edition of the GRIT Report. The study, now in its 11 th year and based on the opinions of 1,400+ practitioners, monitors trends in the market research industry. The report is a real wake-up call for market research agencies.

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3 tips when deploying a B2B Marketing Automation platform

The B2B Research Blog

There are five key ingredients for B2B marketing success (see the full blog post here ): Have a clear strategic vision. Carefully craft a detailed plan of attack. Keep messaging clear and consistent, and support it with high-quality content. Invest considerable time and effort into sales and marketing alignment. Put the right human and physical infrastructure in place. Central to that latter point is the adoption of marketing technology, especially automation.

How a CMS Enables B2B Marketing Success

A CMS lies at the heart of a B2B marketing framework

Is customer satisfaction really important in B2B?

The B2B Research Blog

Customer loyalty is critical to any business. Obvious but true, especially for B2B companies who, unlike their consumer focussed counterparts, have a relatively limited pool of buyers to target. This truism sees many B2B companies striving to satisfy and even delight customers.

Finding the brand positioning sweet spot

The B2B Research Blog

Managing a B2B brand isn’t easy. In a recent survey of 100 senior B2B marketers conducted for the B2B Leaders Forum by Circle Research , they named three major challenges: Resources: Brand building is a lower priority than activity which directly builds revenue in the short-term.

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Using Regression Analysis in market research

The B2B Research Blog

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).

Branding is b t

The B2B Research Blog

“Branding is marketing b t. Only FMCG firms who need to build aspirations and desire worry about stuff like that. B2B is different. The relationship is with me – the sales guy – not the corporate brand. Even if it wasn’t, buyers are rational and put emotions to one side. And anyway our brand is just fine, the logo is great.”. Sound familiar? As a marketer you no doubt recognise the value of a strong brand.

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2018 B2B Marketing Mix Report

B2B marketers like you contributed their insights to Sagefrog’s annual B2B Marketing Mix Report, a valuable asset in planning your marketing strategy for the year ahead.

B2B market research – 10 unique features

The B2B Research Blog

Is B2B market research really that different from B2C? Well in a nutshell, yes. In this blog post Circle’s Andrew Dalglish explores the 10 key differences that make B2B research unique.

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?”. You can shape your corporate brand personality through marketing communications and, most importantly, by developing an appropriate corporate culture.

What system 1 and 2 thinking mean for B2B marketers

The B2B Research Blog

A clever chap called Daniel Kahneman has a theory. When making decisions there are two systems in our mind which influence the outcome. 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. Using deliberative reasoning and logic, it carefully evaluates the situation before reaching a conclusion.

Business to business market research just 4% of spend

The B2B Research Blog

In their latest report on the state of the market research industry , ESOMAR estimate that just 4% of research spend is on business to business market research. That’s shockingly low. I took a sample of 400 companies which represent the UK business landscape: The 100 companies on the FTSE 100 Index. 50 random companies picked from the FTSE All Share Index. The 100 companies on the AIM100 index. 50 companies from the Grant Thornton Fast Track Index.

How to conduct a business to business survey

The B2B Research Blog

There are six steps if you’re looking to conduct your own business to business survey. One, clearly define your objectives. Two, design a questionnaire which meets these and avoids common pitfalls (overly long with leading, double-barrelled, jargon filled, ambiguous questions). Three, pilot the survey. Four, decide whether telephone, online or face-to-face will get the best response rate. Five, incentivise it appropriately.

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.

B2B competitor research – 8 free sources of information

The B2B Research Blog

Generally speaking, I think that the best approach to competition is to ignore it. Instead of fretting about what others are doing, if you just focus on delighting your customers and exceeding their needs then you’ll thrive commercially. That said, having an eye the competition is a useful check to ensure that you’re keeping pace with the market and not missing a trick. And you know what, it’s amazingly easy to secure the inside track.

Driving action from a customer satisfaction programme

The B2B Research Blog

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. Others are passive observers – they simply report on the situation but do little to change it. So, how do you ensure that your customer satisfaction programme makes a positive difference?

It’s official – in B2B, content is king

The B2B Research Blog

It’s official. Content is king. The latest B2B Marketing Benchmark report produced in association with Circle Research reveals that 71% of B2B marketers consider content marketing to be a critical activity. Last year less than half (43%) held this opinion. Content marketing in some shape or form now consumes 40% of the average B2B marketing department’s time. Highest on the ‘to do’ list are three heavily used content formats: blog posts (61% use), case studies (45%) and white papers (44%).

What makes a good marketing leader?

The B2B Research Blog

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.

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.

Email marketing: Overcoming message overload

The B2B Research Blog

I’ve always felt my groaning inbox bore testament to the popularity of email marketing. Now my suspicions are confirmed. . The latest report in B2B Marketing’s Benchmark series reveals that a whopping nine in ten (88%) B2B marketers make use of the technique.

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B2B brands are dead. Long live B2B2C brands!

The B2B Research Blog

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.

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Does Big Data mean market research is dead?

The B2B Research Blog

When Big Data finally becomes a reality, does that mean market research will become surplus to requirements? Will surveys, focus groups and interviews become relics of a bygone age? Some would say so. They argue that we already have the answers to most questions at our fingertips. They’re sitting in our servers and on the web. All we need to do is mine the data to reveal the insight.

The month in #mrx

The B2B Research Blog

Every four weeks we here at @circle_research find the most popular Tweets about market research (#mrx in Twitter talk) and take a look at what’s hot. What do surveys and Bollywood have in common? This month saw an unusual collision of two worlds.

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.

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.

Time to get with the programmatic

The B2B Research Blog

Here’s my attempt at a bit of Derren Brown-esque trickery. If you’re a B2B marketer, annual planning is on your mind. Events, email and content feature heavily. Two fifths of your budget is allocated to digital channels. How did I do? If I got close to the truth, it’s not clairvoyance but just educated guesswork. In particular the B2B Barometer suggests that, on average, B2B marketers spend 39% of their budget on digital. Now, let me try again.

Which B2B brands do you most respect?

The B2B Research Blog

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.

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Financial benchmarks for B2B marketing agencies

The B2B Research Blog

You may have read my recent post about B2B Marketing’s 2014 Agency League Table (if not, take a peek here ). By now you may even have read the full report. In this post I’d like to share a few gems which you won’t find in either. I’ve been wading around in the raw data which underpins the League Table and in doing so have unearthed some benchmarks which agency leaders will find especially useful. Let’s look at the top line first. The average agency turnover is £4.08 million (up 13% from 2013).

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.

Tapping into emotions in the B2B buying process

The B2B Research Blog

Shock! B2B buyers are people. Seems obvious, right? Yet marketers often treat B2B buyers as automatons making careful, logical and completely rational decisions during the buying process. That’s simply not the case as B2B buyers are influenced by their emotions too. As a B2B marketer you can use this to your advantage by tapping into the emotional dimensions of decision making. The first step in this respect is to identify the relevant emotions at play in you market.

Tips for B2B customer satisfaction research

The B2B Research Blog

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.

The benefits of a strong brand in B2B markets

The B2B Research Blog

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? . B2B marketers disagree. In fact, our surveys have found that 77% of B2B marketing leaders believe that branding is critical to growth. Well first off, they realise that rather than simply being a logo, a brand is a perception held about a company.

How B2B brands approach Twitter

The B2B Research Blog

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. I call them ‘Twitologies’ and I’d like to share an outline of them here.

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.

Branding terminology and jargon explained

The B2B Research Blog

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.

Insights from the B2B Barometer

The B2B Research Blog

The B2B Barometer explores economic confidence and spending patterns amongst B2B marketers. Launched 5 years ago in 2009 and now representing the view of B2B marketers with a collective spend of £95 million, it is the industry’s state-of-the-nation study.

How Big Data will shape the researcher of 2020

The B2B Research Blog

A new report from Circle Research and dnx confirms the view that Big Data is the next revolutionary force in marketing. 43% of marketers are already mining petabytes of customer data to uncover hidden insights into behaviour; a further 40% plan to embrace Big Data’s benefits in the next three years. Here’s the good news for the market research community.

The secrets of successful B2B marketing

The B2B Research Blog

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?’. They were given free rein to answer however they wanted and an analysis of these responses reveals five themes. First, marketing needs to have a strategic vision.

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.