The B2B Research Blog

Business volunteering – people or profits?

The B2B Research Blog

Having analysed the situation on the front-line we then sought input from leading experts including: Carolyn Houseman, CEO, Heart of the City. Last year we started a volunteering programme here at Circle.

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Is customer satisfaction really important in B2B?

The B2B Research Blog

After all, the logic goes, if customers are happy then they won’t feel a need to change supplier – satisfaction leads inexorably to loyalty. However, this logic is flawed and can lead to wasted investment on things that don’t really matter. Customer loyalty is critical to any business.

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Trending Sources

Using Regression Analysis in market research

The B2B Research Blog

Independent’ variables are things that we think might drive a change in the dependent variable, e.g. we could hypothesise that high quality customer service leads to high levels of overall satisfaction.

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It’s all about the lead

The B2B Research Blog

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. With this in mind, B2B Marketing Magazine’s latest Benchmark report on lead generation couldn’t have come at a better time. It seems that lead generation is not cheap. Around one quarter (28%) of B2B marketers are able to put a figure on how much it costs them to acquire a sales ready lead.

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Lead Generation Checklist

You spend a lot of time, energy, and money doing lead generation to capture leads but it's how you manage them that makes the difference between success and failure

The benefits of marketing automation aren’t automatic

The B2B Research Blog

Most adopted an automation system to achieve three goals: to better manage leads, to deliver more relevant content/messaging and to increase revenue. 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%).

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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.

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Getting to the top of the marketing tree

The B2B Research Blog

Leads by example and isn’t scared to get their hands dirty when it’s called for. To provide fuel for debate at B2B Marketing’s Leaders Forum, Circle Research recently surveyed 100 senior B2B marketers. Between them they control budgets worth £188 million. There was one particular question which had me on the edge of my seat: What attributes does a successful B2B marketer have?

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Financial benchmarks for B2B marketing agencies

The B2B Research Blog

Have the UK’s leading B2B marketing agencies – 43 of them with combined billings of around £150 million – anonymously share key performance data. Are you normal? . As a business I mean. . If you’re running a B2B marketing agency do you really know how your firm performs relative to competitors? It’s tough to answer this question with confidence. After all, your competitors only share the legal minimum of information about performance.

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Effective B2B Marketing Content That Will Lead to Sales Growth

Effective marketing content leads to increased sales productivity, more revenue, greater marketing effectiveness and stronger alignment between marketing and sales

B2B social media – a two horse race?

The B2B Research Blog

In 2013 Twitter had the lead by a nose. Importantly, it looks as if LinkedIn is set to hold this lead as the B2B marketer’s favourite. Social media is time consuming. The average B2B marketing department spends 17% of their time on it.

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B2B marketing sector bounces back: 57% report rising budgets

The B2B Research Blog

Failure to do so is wasting leads (60% report as consequence of mis-alignment), time (53%) and budgets (41%). To say it’s been an eventful few years economically is an understatement. First we had the credit crunch and a deep recession. Now deficit reduction measures are biting and bond markets shaking. These turbulent times make the latest instalment of the bi-annual B2B Barometer interesting reading.

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Eight ways B2B market research differs from B2C

The B2B Research Blog

This just leads to superficial outcomes and potentially damages your brand in the process. Provided those that lead supplier decisions are represented, a relatively small number of interviews obtains a reliable view. Warning. Market research can be bad for your health. It can actively hurt business performance by drawing misleading conclusions.

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How do we align sales and marketing?

The B2B Research Blog

Most importantly, the bottom line suffers as leads aren’t fully nurtured (61%). Ever looked at our cousins in FMCG marketing with a little jealousy? Eyed their big budgets with envy? Coveted their influence in a world where marketing is central to organisational success? Maybe not, but you’ve probably glanced across your own office and felt similar feelings towards sales.

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B2B content marketing research

The B2B Research Blog

Don’t forget the leads. One half of B2B marketers have found a way to translate content consumption into leads (50% regularly capture leads), but one half haven’t. Content marketing works.

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Why B2B Content Strategies Are Paramount for Generating Quality Leads

Generating demand and ensuring the consistent flow of high-quality, actionable leads is what makes B2B marketers successful

Green shoots? Highlights from the B2B Barometer survey

The B2B Research Blog

Three of these concern demand generation – generating more leads (41% name as a priority), generating better quality leads (27%) and raising brand awareness (32%). . Double dip recession. Greek bond defaults. Spanish bailout. We’re clearly not quite out of the ‘Great Recession’ yet. But we B2B marketers have always been an optimistic bunch. . The latest B2B Barometer survey explored the opinions of 128 B2B marketing professionals collectively controlling budgets of £29.1

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How do we align sales and marketing?

The B2B Research Blog

Most importantly, the bottom line suffers as leads aren’t fully nurtured (61%). Ever looked at our cousins in FMCG marketing with a little jealousy? Eyed their big budgets with envy? Coveted their influence in a world where marketing is central to organisational success? Maybe not, but you’ve probably glanced across your own office and felt similar feelings towards sales.

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Eight ways B2B market research differs from B2C

The B2B Research Blog

This just leads to superficial outcomes and potentially damages your brand in the process. Provided those that lead supplier decisions are represented, a relatively small number of interviews obtains a reliable view. Warning. Market research can be bad for your health. It can actively hurt business performance by drawing misleading conclusions.

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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.

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8 Ways to Create More Effective Lead Generation Programs

Explore key areas you should focus on with your content syndication strategy in order to help you get the attention of your target audience and build trust

B2B content marketing research

The B2B Research Blog

Don’t forget the leads. One half of B2B marketers have found a way to translate content consumption into leads (50% regularly capture leads), but one half haven’t. Content marketing works. Almost three fifths (56%) of the 175 B2B marketers Circle Research recently surveyed for B2B Marketing Magazine’s Content Marketing Report have seen content marketing boost sales (most of the remainder simply don’t know the impact as measuring ROI is tough).

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Three customer insights for your marketing plan

The B2B Research Blog

Identifying segments on this basis leads to a much better ROI – marcomms resonate, propositions have greater appeal and new products see higher demand. Spring. As birds migrate north to secure nesting ground, gaggles of marketers flock to secure budget for their marketing plans. The most fruitful of these plans are built on customer insights. But insights into what exactly? Here are three things that would top my list. What really matters?

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Three customer insights for your marketing plan

The B2B Research Blog

Identifying segments on this basis leads to a much better ROI – marcomms resonate, propositions have greater appeal and new products see higher demand (read more on B2B market segmentation research here ). Spring. As birds migrate north to secure nesting ground, gaggles of marketers flock to secure budget for their marketing plans. The most fruitful of these plans are built on customer insights. But insights into what exactly? Here are three things that would top my list.

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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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From insight to action

The B2B Research Blog

So, how can we ensure that insight always leads to action? Sometimes the biggest challenge with customer insight is not doing the research, but doing something with it. You start with determination to put the customer at the centre of decisions. You carefully design a robust survey. You intelligently analyse the findings to get to the heart of the issue. Then…. Well, nothing. The research becomes an academic exercise rather than a catalyst spurring action.

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The Times They Are a-Changin’

The B2B Research Blog

No, not a diversification into tea and cakes, but a virtual hub where they’ve collected together the thoughts of leading B2B technology marketers. . Our friends at Marketing Options International (MOI) have just launched the Mind Share Café.

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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. I don’t think one always leads the other. For a long time we’ve seen very strong, powerful, incumbent players that have established market leading positions – look at the dominance of major brands in IT or energy, for example. I like the fact that, unlike most great British engineering firms which have died a death or sold out to someone else, they still lead their category.

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Secrets of the fastest growing B2B marketing agencies

The B2B Research Blog

The B2B Agencies Benchmarking Report reveals that 62% of agency leaders (we spoke to 75 of them from the UK’s leading players) describe their commercial performance in 2016 as ‘good’ and a further 26% report that it was ‘strong’. B2B marketing agencies are in rude health.

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B2B marketing agencies optimistic about BREXIT

The B2B Research Blog

Ask agency leaders (we spoke to 75 of them from the UK’s leading players) about their commercial performance in 2016 and the response is overwhelmingly positive. I’ve been rummaging around the data underpinning this year’s B2B Agencies Benchmarking Report and was pleased to see how healthy the agency community is. 62% describe it as ‘good’ and a further 26% report that it was ‘strong’. Their financial numbers reflect this confidence.

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Using Regression Analysis in market research

The B2B Research Blog

Independent’ variables are things that we think might drive a change in the dependent variable, e.g. we could hypothesise that high quality customer service leads to high levels of overall satisfaction. 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).

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The data asteroid is coming

The B2B Research Blog

How many leads were generated? They say that an asteroid impact wiped dinosaurs off the face of the earth. Could data be the B2B marketer’s asteroid? At a basic level, data can reveal the effectiveness of and ROI from marketing investments. What was the click-through rate? Which executions generated the most engagement? But this ‘what happened?’ data is just scratching the surface. Data can be used not just to observe what happens, but to shape what happens.

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From insight to action

The B2B Research Blog

So, how can we ensure that insight always leads to action? Sometimes the biggest challenge with customer insight is not doing the research, but doing something with it. You start with determination to put the customer at the centre of decisions. You carefully design a robust survey.

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There’s horse meat in my survey

The B2B Research Blog

In the case of faulty research it can lead to sub-optimal decisions and missed opportunities. Was everyone posed non-leading questions to determine their role and level of authority? What you see isn’t always what you get. Horse meat in our Findus Crispy Pancakes. Sub-prime mortgages hidden within bundles of triple-A rated loans. Dodgy surveys parading as fact. This deception – whether intentional or accidental – has far-reaching repercussions.

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There’s horse meat in my survey

The B2B Research Blog

In the case of faulty research it can lead to sub-optimal decisions and missed opportunities. Was everyone posed non-leading questions to determine their role and level of authority? What you see isn’t always what you get. Horse meat in our Findus Crispy Pancakes. Sub-prime mortgages hidden within bundles of triple-A rated loans. Dodgy surveys parading as fact. This deception – whether intentional or accidental – has far-reaching repercussions.

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Air Cargo News: Interview with Circle’s Andy Booth

The B2B Research Blog

It has worked with leading airline cargo departments, express operators and forwarders on such very un-air cargo concepts as brand positioning, customer segmentation and product optimisation. I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by legendary aviation journalist Peter Conway for Air Cargo News.

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In Industrial Lead Generation, a Lead is a Lead, Right?

Industrial Marketing Today

Every discussion I’ve had with manufacturers and industrial companies starts with “we need more leads” or ends with “we need results.” I understand and accept the fact that the main goal of industrial marketing is to generate leads.

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Beware the Siren Call of Pre-Qualified Leads

The Point

There is a growing trend in the content syndication space, and among Cost Per Lead (CPL) programs in general, for media vendors to offer B2B clients the option of pre-qualified leads. Naturally, you pay a big premium (in the form of a higher CPL) for pre-qualified leads.

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5 Reasons Your Sales Reps Aren’t Getting Enough Qualified Leads

The Point

Though the marketing team was doing a great job generating raw inquiries at the top of the funnel, the sales reps weren’t receiving the number of “sales ready” leads they needed to hit their pipeline targets. The lead funnel is obsolete.

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Which Comes First: Lead Nurturing or Inside Sales?

The Point

For a long time, “ lead nurturing ” was thought of as something you did with the leads that sales didn’t want. The theory was: leads come in, the sales team gets the hot ones, and the rest go to lead nurturing. The post Which Comes First: Lead Nurturing or Inside Sales?

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