The B2B Research Blog

The big trends in B2B marketing

The B2B Research Blog

And as Marketing Automation requires a joined up approach, they’re working out how to integrate channels and work more closely with colleagues across departments, especially those in sales. 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.

3 tips when deploying a B2B Marketing Automation platform

The B2B Research Blog

Invest considerable time and effort into sales and marketing alignment. 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. Put the right human and physical infrastructure in place. Central to that latter point is the adoption of marketing technology, especially automation.

Trending Sources

Branding is b t

The B2B Research Blog

The relationship is with me – the sales guy – not the corporate brand. “Branding is marketing b t. Only FMCG firms who need to build aspirations and desire worry about stuff like that. B2B is different. 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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B2B competitor research – 8 free sources of information

The B2B Research Blog

That can be a goldmine for competitor research, sometimes detailing turnover, profit, number of employees, sources of sales and more. Often the Annual Report will include details of how the market is structured, sources of sales, company strategy, risks faced and more. Competitor sales and marketing material. Generally speaking, I think that the best approach to competition is to ignore it.

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

Insights from the B2B Barometer

The B2B Research Blog

Second, direct sales and telemarketing are ‘all-or-nothing’ channels. Only one third (34%) use direct sales, but if they do it receives 21% of budget. The B2B Barometer explores economic confidence and spending patterns amongst B2B marketers.

The secrets of successful B2B marketing

The B2B Research Blog

And finally, aligning marketing and sales is essential. Without a collaborative, mutually supportive relationship with sales, the fruits of marketing’s labour will rot on the vine. 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?’.

The cost of losing a customer

The B2B Research Blog

A lot’ is the simple answer, especially in B2B markets where the pool of prospective customers is limited and each sale tends to be high value. First, interrogate your sales data to identify customers who have broken their usual spending pattern, either by stopping spending altogether or by significantly reducing spend. Only the latter category – those who have defected to a competitor – are of interest as they represent lost sales. What’s the cost of losing a customer? ‘A

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It’s all about the lead

The B2B Research Blog

Marketing still plays second fiddle to sales in B2B organisations. . 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. Only one third of these leads (33%) then convert to a sale. . 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. .

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.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) in B2B – the evidence

The B2B Research Blog

Existing sales are maintained and new sales drive growth. 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.

How do we align sales and marketing?

The B2B Research Blog

Maybe not, but you’ve probably glanced across your own office and felt similar feelings towards sales. Two thirds (62%) of these senior marketers feel the sales function dominates in their organisation and holds a status akin to that of marketers in FMCG environments. Madness when we consider that sales and marketing share exactly the same goal – generating profitable revenue. . Marketing leaders are setting shared goals with their opposite number in sales (67%).

The seven R’s of thought leadership

The B2B Research Blog

Why should they spend valuable time listening to your sales pitch? Likewise, be careful not to turn the outputs into an explicit sales pitch that a smart audience will see straight through. Publish reports, create video, produce infographics, develop sales tool-kits, run seminars…quite simply, milk the content dry . Thought leadership. Everyone’s claiming it but, by very definition, only a handful ever delivers.

SME marketing channel preferences revealed

The B2B Research Blog

This channel may not grab attention, but is of value further down the sales funnel in supporting brand positioning and demonstrating expertise. There are 1.3 million of them, they generate half of the UK’s GDP and employ 60 per cent of the private sector workforce. Moreover, they’re big buyers of B2B products and services. Just ask Sage who’s built a £1.4 billion business on the back of them.

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How do we align sales and marketing?

The B2B Research Blog

Maybe not, but you’ve probably glanced across your own office and felt similar feelings towards sales. Two thirds (62%) of these senior marketers feel the sales function dominates in their organisation and holds a status akin to that of marketers in FMCG environments. Madness when we consider that sales and marketing share exactly the same goal – generating profitable revenue. Marketing leaders are setting shared goals with their opposite number in sales (67%).

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Increase Marketing ROI 10X and Prove It

See how a marketing team demonstrated 10X ROI and increased sales by 35% with marketing automation

B2B marketing sector bounces back: 57% report rising budgets

The B2B Research Blog

Four out of every five client side marketers (79%) believes that their activities need to be better aligned with those of sales. 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.

Who owns your brand? B2B brand perceptions research

The B2B Research Blog

Customers and prospects top the list because their perceptions impact sales. Your organisation doesn’t own its brand. It can shape it, manage it, but never own it. That’s because a brand is not what an organisation says it is. It’s what the market believes it to be. It’s a perception developed through the sum of an individual’s experience. Through every encounter they’ve had with your organisation, your employees or products. Through what they hear from you and about you.

B2B content marketing research

The B2B Research Blog

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). Content marketing works.

Three reasons B2B marketers should care about sustainability

The B2B Research Blog

If you’re not convinced so far, here’s the clincher: sales. 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.

9 Experts Rethinking Demand Generation

How to strategically target your content and lead generation campaigns to disrupt the status quo and facilitate the sale

47% of B2B marketers endorse using sex to sell

The B2B Research Blog

Valuable and finite sales time will be wasted in fruitless conversations. Ever since I was invited to join The Network of Aspiring Women (Birmingham Group), I’ve felt more in touch with my feminine side ( see post here ). Perhaps that’s why my interest was piqued by a recent discussion on the B-to-B Marketing LinkedIn Group. Kate Bishop, Marketing Co-ordinator at Custom Fluidpower, has a dilemma. To use, or not to use, promotional girls at a trade show stand?

The content king is a tyrant

The B2B Research Blog

Only a minority of B2B marketers regularly re-purpose their content (43% do so) or couple it with sales enablement activity (46%). Click to see full infographic.

B2B content marketing research

The B2B Research Blog

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). Content marketing works.

An interview with Jaakko Alanko: MD, Alanko Consulting

The B2B Research Blog

That’s why I always say, start by going on the road with the sales guys. But I also want to help companies service and look after their customers better with appropriate offerings, better sales people and the right behaviours. Always keep the human being at the centre of your thinking – whether its buyers, sales people, decision-makers, influencers, top managers, middle managers – no matter what.

Empathy: Your Lead Generation Superpower

Speaker: Brian Carroll, CEO & Founder of markempa

Today’s sales and marketing environment is a paradox. Attend this webinar with Brian Carroll, author of Lead Generation for the Complex Sale , and learn the following: How to understand customer motivation and increase conversion.

From insight to action

The B2B Research Blog

Couple research findings with other internal or external information needed to make a fully informed decision, e.g. sales trend data, macro-economic data, industry analyst opinion. 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….

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Better B2B segmentation: Four steps and a case study

The B2B Research Blog

It’s far too broad, essentially meaningless and does little to make the proposition more relevant or sales efforts more precisely targeted. Finally, segments need to be brought to life so those on the front line, especially sales teams, can easily grasp and apply them. 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.

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The Times They Are a-Changin’

The B2B Research Blog

A mindset defined by an entrepreneurial approach – agility, opportunism and a closer, more integrated relationship with sales. They need to interact with prospective buyers earlier in the sales cycle when preferences are unconsciously being formed.

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%). To do so, map sales in the last 12 months against sales growth compared to the previous 12 months. The true test of success of course is sales so be sure to include hard financial metrics in your campaign evaluation too.

How to create a Customer Happiness Index

The B2B Research Blog

Replacing those who defect is expensive, future sales are further damaged through negative word-of-mouth and a transient customer base makes the business a less attractive investment proposition. 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.

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B2B competitor research – 8 free sources of information

The B2B Research Blog

That can be a goldmine for competitor research, sometimes detailing turnover, profit, number of employees, sources of sales and more. Often the Annual Report will include details of how the market is structured, sources of sales, company strategy, risks faced and more. Competitor sales and marketing material. Generally speaking, I think that the best approach to competition is to ignore it.

Create a B2B customer journey map in six steps

The B2B Research Blog

The sales team can target buyers before their need even emerges and effectively influence their choices at every stage of the buying decision. For example, your CRM may detail outbound and inbound communications with customers, customer service logs may detail queries/issues experienced or sales management systems may detail the buying behaviour of customers. Relationships are critical in B2B markets. That’s why every B2B organisation should have a customer journey map.

Create a B2B customer journey map in six steps

The B2B Research Blog

The sales team can target buyers before their need even emerges and effectively influence their choices at every stage of the buying decision. For example, your CRM may detail outbound and inbound communications with customers, customer service logs may detail queries/issues experienced or sales management systems may detail the buying behaviour of customers. Relationships are critical in B2B markets. That’s why every B2B organisation should have a customer journey map.

Business to business market research just 4% of spend

The B2B Research Blog

In business to business markets customer numbers are limited and relationships with sales teams close. 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.

Map of the B2B buying process

The B2B Research Blog

That means that in around 8 out of 10 cases, the winner has already been preordained and the sale is theirs to lose. Establishing high levels of brand awareness is critical to this and when we asked B2B buyers to reveal how suppliers come to their attention during the buying process, they suggest using three complementary activities to build brand awareness: 68% advise reaching out through face-to-face channels – sales visits, trade shows and other events.

Branding terminology and jargon explained

The B2B Research Blog

All of the above, if well executed, creates ‘brand equity’ – the commercial benefits of having a strong brand such as increased sales, loyalty and the ability to charge a premium. 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.

The cost of losing a customer

The B2B Research Blog

A lot’ is the simple answer, especially in B2B markets where the pool of prospective customers is limited and each sale tends to be high value. First, interrogate your sales data to identify customers who have broken their usual spending pattern, either by stopping spending altogether or by significantly reducing spend. Only the latter category – those who have defected to a competitor – are of interest as they represent lost sales. What’s the cost of losing a customer? ‘A

From insight to action

The B2B Research Blog

Couple research findings with other internal or external information needed to make a fully informed decision, e.g. sales trend data, macro-economic data, industry analyst opinion. Sometimes the biggest challenge with customer insight is not doing the research, but doing something with it.

Big list of B2B blogs

The B2B Research Blog

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