The B2B Research Blog

Is customer satisfaction really important in B2B?

The B2B Research Blog

However, if the ‘locked-in’ and the ‘dis-engaged’ are more prevalent, then you may decide that investing in actions designed to improve customer satisfaction is not the best use of your time, resources and funds. Customer loyalty is critical to any business.

Using Regression Analysis in market research

The B2B Research Blog

Regression Analysis comes in a variety of ‘flavours’ each best suited for a particular situation, e.g. Linear Regression, Stepwise Regression, Ridge Regression.

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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.

It’s official – in B2B, content is king

The B2B Research Blog

And case studies (along with reports) are best at turning leads into sales. 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.

Best Practices for a Marketing Database Cleanse

A framework comprising of best practices to consider and red flags to avoid

The benefits of a strong brand in B2B markets

The B2B Research Blog

For example, Interbrand regularly values the world’s brands in its Best Global Brands series and in 2015 several pure B2B brands (and many more B2B/B2C brands) featured in the top 20 – IBM is ranked fifth with a value of $65,095 million, GE ranks 8 th ($42,267 million), Cisco ranks 15th ($29,854 million) and Oracle ranks 16th ($27,283 million). Some don’t think that branding matters in B2B markets.

Tips for B2B customer satisfaction research

The B2B Research Blog

Don’t be so pessimistic; ask questions which explore what you’re doing really well as this will let you spread best practice. 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.

The secrets of successful B2B marketing

The B2B Research Blog

The best laid plans are worthless unless they’re executed effectively and this requires a talented and motivated team, with the bandwidth and freedom needed to deliver. 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?’.

It’s all about the lead

The B2B Research Blog

So how best to generate them? 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.

Secrets to Successful B2B Webinars

This best practice guide covers a variety of elements surrounding successful webinar strategy and execution

The secrets of employee motivation

The B2B Research Blog

In her latest blog for Quirk’s Marketing Research Review , Circle Research’s HR lead Beth Pearson explores how an agency can best nurture and retain talent…. Research is a people business. Our raw materials are the opinions of respondents. Our product is the insight extracted from these raw materials by clever folk. And an agency or client-side researcher can only make a difference if they’re skilled at building relationships with key stakeholders.

A blueprint for customer service excellence

The B2B Research Blog

However, the best experience reaches this resolution in a particular way: It is highly responsive. Relationships matter in B2B. But for many B2B businesses it’s simply not commercially viable to individually account manage each customer. This means that when issues arise, customers need to be directed to ‘mass service’ channels – usually a contact centre. I’ve recently spent a lot of time with Vodafone exploring what great customer service looks like.

The seven R’s of thought leadership

The B2B Research Blog

The best thought leadership goes the extra mile in delivery. Ask yourself if the reader would value best practice guides. 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.

SME marketing channel preferences revealed

The B2B Research Blog

SMEs are a potentially significant opportunity for many B2B marketers then, but how best to open a conversation? Their answers provide clear guidance on where best to target marketing resources. And there are six specific learnings – outlined below – which will help ensure marcoms have the best chances of breaking through. Two thirds of SMEs (68 and 64 per cent respectively) say these are the best routes for a prospective supplier to reach them. There are 1.3

SME 65

B2B social media – a two horse race?

The B2B Research Blog

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. Social media is time consuming. The average B2B marketing department spends 17% of their time on it.

5 Pillars of Marketing Automation Success

Ensure Your B2B Marketing Clients Get the Best Results

B2B content marketing research

The B2B Research Blog

When asked which objectives content marketing best supports, B2B marketers say ‘brand positioning’ (84%) and ‘demand generation’ (70%). You may also want to check out a few ‘Best Content Marketing’ case studies from the 2012 B2B Marketing Awards. Content marketing works.

Three reasons B2B marketers should care about sustainability

The B2B Research Blog

It’s our belief that how we support our people to give their best to client and customer service is in part down to creating an inclusive workplace, a culture in which people feel that their diversity is valued and appreciated. . 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.

Brand 33

B2B content marketing research

The B2B Research Blog

When asked which objectives content marketing best supports, B2B marketers say ‘brand positioning’ (84%) and ‘demand generation’ (70%). You may also want to check out a few ‘Best Content Marketing’ case studies from the 2012 B2B Marketing Awards. Content marketing works.

Better B2B segmentation: Four steps and a case study

The B2B Research Blog

The best segmentation though is useless if not applied. Although its solutions are diverse, Sage is possibly best known for one thing – accounting software for SMEs. 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.

SME 16

Not how you fly, but how you serve

The B2B Research Blog

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?

Brand 11

The three secrets of employee motivation

The B2B Research Blog

So if you’re building a marketing team or running an agency, motivating and retaining the best people is critical. People matter. A marketer’s our raison d’etre is to understand people and influence their behaviour. And for the majority of agencies supporting marketers, people are essentially what they’re selling – their time, their expertise and the experience they create for clients.

The three secrets of employee motivation

The B2B Research Blog

So if you’re building a marketing team or running an agency, motivating and retaining the best people is critical. People matter. A marketer’s our raison d’etre is to understand people and influence their behaviour. And for the majority of agencies supporting marketers, people are essentially what they’re selling – their time, their expertise and the experience they create for clients. .

Three foundation insights for any ABM strategy

The B2B Research Blog

Second, you need to decide how best to target these customers. 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.

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

The B2B Research Blog

Other factors such as globalisation and increased competition make people think, ‘I’ve really got to have one of the best reputations to win.’. Now, the best graduates, the best employees will be attracted to companies with a well-known, high profile, well regarded brand. If you want the best talent to deliver your products and service, you’ve got to have a strong brand. That might be best practice with a particular tool, such as who has developed the best website.

B2C 7

How to create a Customer Happiness Index

The B2B Research Blog

The best indices then go one step further. 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.

10 myths about ‘corporate purpose’

The B2B Research Blog

Businesses buy from other businesses because they offer the best combination of product and price. B2B is rational, right? 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?

Five tips to win a marketing scholarship

The B2B Research Blog

So, students need money and the research industry needs to attract the best talent. 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. 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?

Five tips to win a marketing scholarship

The B2B Research Blog

So, students need money and the research industry needs to attract the best talent. 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. 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?

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.

Circle teams up with the Next 15 Group

The B2B Research Blog

After careful consideration, we’ve decided that joining forces with a partner who allows Circle to operate autonomously, but gives us access to additional resources, is the best way to achieve these goals. So today I’m delighted to announce that Circle has joined Next 15 PLC where we’ll operate alongside other best-in-class specialist research agencies including Morar HPI, Cardinal and VIGA. Over the last couple of years we’ve been exploring three big questions here at Circle.

Circle teams up with the Next 15 Group

The B2B Research Blog

After careful consideration, we’ve decided that joining forces with a partner who allows Circle to operate autonomously, but gives us access to additional resources, is the best way to achieve these goals. So today I’m delighted to announce that Circle has joined Next 15 PLC where we’ll operate alongside other best-in-class specialist research agencies including Morar HPI, Cardinal and VIGA. Over the last couple of years we’ve been exploring three big questions here at Circle.

How to conduct a business to business survey

The B2B Research Blog

Four, decide whether telephone, online or face-to-face will get the best response rate. So ask yourself whether a telephone survey, online survey or even face-to-face survey is likely to work best in your market (oh, and don’t even think about buying in an email list and spamming them – nobody will respond). There are six steps if you’re looking to conduct your own business to business survey. One, clearly define your objectives.

Map of the B2B buying process

The B2B Research Blog

Despite your best efforts though, it may not be possible to make every potential buyer aware of your brand. During that period, you need to make your case and buyers suggest that four tactics work best when doing so: Optimise your website as 27% of buyers will visit it. And of course, you need to persuade prospective customers that you’re the best choice.

Business-to-business (B2B) pricing strategy research – part 2

The B2B Research Blog

How to tier products (good, better, best) and price them relative to each other. Last week I discussed two research techniques which can be used when determining the optimum pricing strategy – Gabor-Granger and Brand Price Trade Off (BPTO). These techniques are beautifully simple, but this simplicity has a flip side. The choice may be over-simplified and no longer reflect real-life decision scenarios which can be complex and based on a series of conscious and unconscious trade-offs.

The benefits of a strong brand in B2B markets

The B2B Research Blog

For example, Interbrand regularly values the world’s brands in its Best Global Brands series and in 2015 several pure B2B brands (and many more B2B/B2C brands) featured in the top 20 – IBM is ranked fifth with a value of $65,095 million, GE ranks 8 th ($42,267 million), Cisco ranks 15th ($29,854 million) and Oracle ranks 16th ($27,283 million). Some don’t think that branding matters in B2B markets.

Using Regression Analysis in market research

The B2B Research Blog

Regression Analysis comes in a variety of ‘flavours’ each best suited for a particular situation, e.g. Linear Regression, Stepwise Regression, Ridge Regression. 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). However, these metrics alone are not enough.

Calculating Net Promoter Score (NPS) in B2B markets

The B2B Research Blog

Here at Circle, our view is that NPS isn’t always the best metric in B2B environments (we explain why here ), but it does have a role to play. Net Promoter Score (NPS) is perhaps the most widely used metric in customer satisfaction and loyalty research. So, assuming it is the right metric for your business, how do you calculate Net Promoter Score (NPS)? Well, first ask a reliable and representative sample of your customer base how likely they are to recommend you.

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

The B2B Research Blog

First off, strive to be the best you possibly can be. 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?

Big list of B2B blogs

The B2B Research Blog

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