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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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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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?

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 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.

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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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 to Prepare Contact & Account for an Account-Based Marketing Strategy

Among B2B communities, 2017 brought upon several new concepts, trends and technologies… But perhaps none captured more attention than the re-emergence of account-based marketing as a viable growth strategy.

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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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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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.

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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Five tips to win a marketing scholarship

The B2B Research Blog

Here are two facts. One, the average UK student will graduate with £32,000 of debt. Two, any services firm is only as good as their people. So, students need money and the research industry needs to attract the best talent. That got us thinking here at Circle. Why not create a symbiotic relationship where agencies give a bit of cash to contribute to talent development at the ‘grass roots’ level, and then reap the benefits when the next generation enters the workplace?

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GDPR & Demand Generation: What Your Team Needs To Know

Speaker: David Crane, Head of Content & Thought Leadership, Integrate

The coming month will test the boundaries of change management for marketing organizations (and their colleagues in sales, finance, IT and legal) as they ready their teams for the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will go into effect May 2018. Much of what we’ve seen in B2B marketing publications, martech vendor blogs and from word-of-mouth borders on fear-mongering. Not to say this isn’t understandable – a lot of rather quick changes must be made to ensure GDPR compliance, and they can feel overwhelming. However, some of the wisest B2B marketing experts continue to reiterate one very important point: GDPR, while causing significant stress now, will lead to more efficient and effective marketing and sales down the road.

Five tips to win a marketing scholarship

The B2B Research Blog

Here are two facts. One, the average UK student will graduate with £32,000 of debt. Two, any services firm is only as good as their people. So, students need money and the research industry needs to attract the best talent. That got us thinking here at Circle. Why not create a symbiotic relationship where agencies give a bit of cash to contribute to talent development at the ‘grass roots’ level, and then reap the benefits when the next generation enters the workplace?

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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).

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.

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.

Top 20 B2B Marketing Charts of 2017

Discover critical data and insights with MarketingCharts' most popular B2B marketing charts of 2017. This deck covers both the buyer’s and seller’s perspective across topics such as lead generation, vendor relationships, and content marketing.

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?

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.

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.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) in B2B – the evidence

The B2B Research Blog

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. In the original Harvard Business Review paper where NPS was revealed to the world, its ‘inventor’, Frederick Reichheld, made some bold claims.

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.

Circle teams up with the Next 15 Group

The B2B Research Blog

Over the last couple of years we’ve been exploring three big questions here at Circle. How do we keep our research tools at the cutting edge? How can we provide our international clients with the ‘on-the-ground’ presence which can sometimes be helpful? And most importantly, how can we achieve this whilst retaining the Circle magic which clients love?

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Circle teams up with the Next 15 Group

The B2B Research Blog

Over the last couple of years we’ve been exploring three big questions here at Circle. How do we keep our research tools at the cutting edge? How can we provide our international clients with the ‘on-the-ground’ presence which can sometimes be helpful? And most importantly, how can we achieve this whilst retaining the Circle magic which clients love?

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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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Create a B2B customer journey map in six steps

The B2B Research Blog

Relationships are critical in B2B markets. That’s why every B2B organisation should have a customer journey map. A customer journey map visually depicts every step a buyer in your target market follows across the buying cycle. Such a customer journey map: Details the full journey – the trigger to purchase, the buying decision, the experience as a customer and the defection/lapsing process.

Empathy: Your Lead Generation Superpower

Speaker: Brian Carroll, CEO & Founder of markempa

Today’s sales and marketing environment is a paradox. There has never been more marketing channels to reach potential customers. But, connecting and building trust with buyers has never been harder. That's why we need to go beyond rational-logic based marketing to understand how our customers feel. Empathy is not just a “soft” skill, it's an incredibly powerful tool to understand customer motivation and increase lead conversion.

Create a B2B customer journey map in six steps

The B2B Research Blog

Relationships are critical in B2B markets. That’s why every B2B organisation should have a customer journey map. A customer journey map visually depicts every step a buyer in your target market follows across the buying cycle. Such a customer journey map: Details the full journey – the trigger to purchase, the buying decision, the experience as a customer and the defection/lapsing process.

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.

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.

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.

Accelerating your career as a B2B marketer

The B2B Research Blog

We recently partnered with B2B Marketing Magazine to produce a ‘career acceleration guide’ for B2B marketers. . In the survey that underpins this report we captured the experiences of over 70 B2B marketers who’ve made it to the heady heights of head of marketing, VP marketing or CMO. What’s the secret of their success? Well, it wasn’t an accident, with 71% actively planning their career. And this plan seems to revolve around four pillars. . Firstly, they invest in knowledge.

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Accelerating your career as a B2B marketer

The B2B Research Blog

We recently partnered with B2B Marketing Magazine to produce a ‘career acceleration guide’ for B2B marketers. . In the survey that underpins this report we captured the experiences of over 70 B2B marketers who’ve made it to the heady heights of head of marketing, VP marketing or CMO. What’s the secret of their success? Well, it wasn’t an accident, with 71% actively planning their career. And this plan seems to revolve around four pillars. . Firstly, they invest in knowledge.

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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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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.

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.