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.

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Social media in B2B – the latest stats

The B2B Research Blog

The allure of social media in B2B is growing rapidly. Over four in five marketing teams (83 per cent) now post on social media – an activity that consumes one fifth of their time (20 per cent) – and three quarters (77 per cent) expect to spend more time doing this over the next 12 months.

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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.

Business volunteering – people or profits?

The B2B Research Blog

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.

How B2B Marketing is Changing in 2018

Gain exclusive insights on priorities, tactics, and challenges from SMB Marketing Leaders.

Brand mapping – Correspondence Analysis explained

The B2B Research Blog

Which attributes most closely define your brand? Which other brands are challenging you for this space? How differentiated is your brand and where might there be white space?

Are B2B agencies adapting quickly enough?

The B2B Research Blog

Of the 70 agencies that feature in this year’s B2B Marketing Agency League, 10 show no or negative turnover growth. In past years this could be explained away by a recessionary environment. However, the UK economy is once again growing and this is feeding through to B2B marketing budgets.

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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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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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Survey design tips

The B2B Research Blog

The rise of low-cost online survey platforms such as Survey Monkey has led to commensurate rise in poorly designed surveys. That’s dangerous – it reflects poorly on the brand behind the survey and it can lead to decisions being made using dodgy data. So, here’s some tips if you’re planning to design your own survey. First, pause and reflect on why you’re conducting the survey – what’s your goal and what decisions are you going to make?

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Best Practices for Selling to Government Agencies

The US government spends over $235 billion on goods and services each year. Because of this, selling your product or service to a government agency can be a great way to increase profits. A government buyer also offers consistency, at least for the duration of your contract. However, there are key differences between selling to a customer or business and selling to the government. MarketJoy VP of Customer Success, Curtis Bendt, has used his vast experience in sales industry to craft a list of best practices for selling to government agencies to give you a more specific idea of what the process involves. MarketJoy also provides you with several tips on how to increase your chances of success.

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.

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The content king is a tyrant

The B2B Research Blog

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.

B2B social media – a two horse race?

The B2B Research Blog

Social media is time consuming. The average B2B marketing department spends 17% of their time on it. And if you believe in the wisdom of crowds (or self-fulfilling prophecies) then the latest B2B Social Media Benchmark report reveals where you’re likely to get the best return on this effort.

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.

Paradigm of Strategic Value-Based Discounting for the B2B Industry

Competition has increased to new levels of intensity and organizations have begun to look for new ways to acquire customers. Discounted pricing is a strategic tool, which when used correctly can drive a variety of business goals, from marketing through to sales strategy

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.

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.

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.

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The benefits of marketing automation aren’t automatic

The B2B Research Blog

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. They’ll tell you to carefully manage your own and others’ expectations.

The Account-Based Marketing Playbook

Account-Based Marketing is a strategy, not a solution.

Making ‘human-to-human’ marketing a reality

The B2B Research Blog

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. And others are about going back to basics, e.g. influencer marketing.

Is programmatic advertising relevant in B2B?

The B2B Research Blog

One number in t he recently published B2B Barometer study caught my eye. Two thirds (64%) of B2B marketers describe programmatic advertising as irrelevant. That’s striking because an estimated 59% of digital ad spend in the UK, that’s £1.8

The 19 B2B brands in the Klout 50 ranking

The B2B Research Blog

There used to be a debate about whether social media was relevant in B2B. Just four years ago, less than one quarter (23%) of B2B marketers described it as ‘highly relevant’ to their brand (source: B2B Barometer ). Now, those holding out against the social tidal wave are few and far between. Indeed, many B2B brands are social media pioneers. Lithium Technologies ’ recently published Klout 50 study is testament to this. The study ranks the 50 most influential brands on social media.

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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.

The Sales Enablement Handbook

In the sphere of sales, it helps to get your definitions down. You might have thought sales operations and sales enablement are the same thing - but there are important differences. Both have the objective of improving sales performance, and although there is some overlap, they do this in different ways.

Three foundation insights for any ABM strategy

The B2B Research Blog

Take a look at your customer base and, if you’re a B2B company, you’ll find that it probably follows the 80:20 rule where the majority of sales (often around 80%) come from a small proportion of customers (that’s the 20%). That being the case, it makes sense to focus your resources on these high value customers as that will give you more bang for your buck.

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.

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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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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.

7 Key Insights from the "How B2B Marketing is Changing" Report

Speaker: Tom Pick, Independent B2B Digital Marketing Consultant

What are the top priorities, challenges, and trends in B2B marketing as we head into the final stretch of 2018? We conducted in-depth interviews with senior B2B technology marketers to find out. The results included a few expected areas of consensus but also some surprising divergence of opinions. Content marketing, for example, is widely viewed as the most effective lead generation tactic and area for additional spending in the coming year. But doing it effectively to optimize results is also the top challenge marketers face. Meanwhile, marketers report conflicting views about and are seeking guidance on search engine marketing, live events, and inbound vs. outbound tactics. And there's one promising avenue many marketers may be under-investing in. This webinar not only summarizes the issues raised in the study but also offers guidance from multiple sources on how to address the challenges of today's B2B marketers.

10 myths about ‘corporate purpose’

The B2B Research Blog

B2B is rational, right? Businesses buy from other businesses because they offer the best combination of product and price. And employees choose to work at your company because of the salary. Simple. Except it’s not. It’s critical to remember that businesses are really just groups of people bound by shared objectives, and therefore intangibles – feelings and emotions – play a huge role in business decisions every day. As a buyer, do I like the business I’m looking to purchase from?

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Why is B2B market research the poor cousin?

The B2B Research Blog

In his latest blog for the Market Research Society’s news and insight hub Research Live , Circle Research’s Andrew Dalglish explores why business-to-business companies need research just as much as consumer-facing ones…. The research industry is full of dichotomies: qualitative and quantitative; domestic and international; B2C and B2B. There’s no value judgement within these pairings. Each side of the coin meets a different need and requires a different skill set.

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.

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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).

How to Successfully Coach Your Sales Team to Drive Efficiency

Speaker: Steve Benson, Founder and CEO, Badger Maps

A great sales team starts with a manager who’s a great coach. To stay competitive in today’s market, you need to implement a formal coaching approach that is aligned with your buyer’s journey and internal processes to drive results. Fortunately, Steve Benson is here to help you become that great coach.

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?

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.

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.

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.

Togetherness: Achieving Sales and Marketing Alignment

Speaker: Jeff Davis, Founder, jd2 Consulting Group

Jeff Davis is here to help you think differently about how Sales and Marketing should interact. With increased scrutiny for marketing to prove ROI on their activities and it becoming increasingly hard for B2B salespeople to even get in front of customers, the old way of doing business is no longer an option. This webinar will use evidence-based research and empirical knowledge to propose real-world strategies that work.