The B2B Research Blog

Understanding brand personality through projective techniques

The B2B Research Blog

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?”. These techniques work by allowing people to express their thoughts about one thing by transferring them onto something else which they find easier to relate to and/or find sums up many thoughts at once.

What system 1 and 2 thinking mean for B2B marketers

The B2B Research Blog

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. A clever chap called Daniel Kahneman has a theory. When making decisions there are two systems in our mind which influence the outcome.

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B2B market research – 10 unique features

The B2B Research Blog

B2B decision makers are busy – they’re at work and they’re inundated with requests for their time from colleagues, suppliers, clients and…market researchers. This means that the research team needs to have a good working knowledge of the product area and industry.

What makes a good marketing leader?

The B2B Research Blog

It’s based on a survey of dozens of B2B marketing teams (76 to be precise) which explored what motivates them at work and what they look for in a leader. People also want their job to be enjoyable (28% place in top three), to be well led (25%), to feel valued (37%) and to have a good work-life balance (33%). There are two universal truths about all marketing plans. One, no matter how smart the plan might be, it’s worthless unless well executed.

Driving action from a customer satisfaction programme

The B2B Research Blog

These critical stakeholders should then be invited to form a working group which shapes and owns the programme. Then re-convene the working group of key stakeholders, share the story and run a workshop which explores how to drive improvements. Most companies have a customer satisfaction research programme in place, but not all are made equal.

How to measure customer satisfaction in B2B markets

The B2B Research Blog

It works like this: First, ask customers how satisfied they are with you overall. In a nutshell, Regression Analysis works by observing what happens to your overall satisfaction score when satisfaction scores in one area of the experience move up or down (but scores in other areas remain static). How do you measure customer satisfaction in B2B markets? What questions should you ask in a customer satisfaction survey?

How Big Data will shape the researcher of 2020

The B2B Research Blog

Marketers, often working with researchers, have historically been the bridge to the customer. It may well be that in 2020 researchers work as closely with IT professionals as they do Marketers. A new report from Circle Research and dnx confirms the view that Big Data is the next revolutionary force in marketing.

It’s all about the lead

The B2B Research Blog

First, think about what content formats work well in your market. 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.

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The benefits of marketing automation aren’t automatic

The B2B Research Blog

And they’ll tell you that if you really want to make automation work in the long term, you’ll need to focus on three things: Have a plan in place to integrate diverse technologies and data sources (51% describe data integration as a challenge and a further 36% struggle with technology integration). Work out how you’re going to bring other departments on the journey (29% describe departmental alignment as a challenge).

Net Promoter Score (NPS) in B2B – the evidence

The B2B Research Blog

In other words, it seems that NPS doesn’t always work in B2B environments and should be used with caution, if at all. If it works as the theory predicts, that’s great and you’ll reap all of the benefits that NPS can bring. Net Promoter Score (NPS).

Social media in B2B – the latest stats

The B2B Research Blog

While the majority of organisations are using social media as a side-act to funnel clients into bigger pieces of content on their websites (85 per cent), this isn’t always working too well – fewer than one in three (31 per cent) describe this as very effective.

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Getting to the top of the marketing tree

The B2B Research Blog

They are able to navigate within their organisation, work collaboratively across functions and join up siloes. 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?

SME marketing channel preferences revealed

The B2B Research Blog

These channels may work for your particular target audience or a segment of it. 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. SMEs are a potentially significant opportunity for many B2B marketers then, but how best to open a conversation?

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The seven R’s of thought leadership

The B2B Research Blog

Conducting an exclusive survey is a great tool in this respect, but remember that B2B audiences are likely to be research savvy so settle for nothing less than a reliable, representative and solidly executed piece of work. 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? .

Financial benchmarks for B2B marketing agencies

The B2B Research Blog

The average annual turnover from B2B work is £2,863,803. . 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. Information which is also usually opaque and outdated. . Despair not though.

Generation Y: Implications for the workplace

The B2B Research Blog

As Generation Y grew up with the same macro-environment, they have drawn similar conclusions about how the world works. And of course, Wikileaks continues to reveal the hidden workings of the world. Six ways Generation Y differs at work. There are many implications, but six are most significant: They want work to be stimulating. To balance work and life, and to focus on the result not process. To have the same tools at work as at home.

Who owns your brand? B2B brand perceptions research

The B2B Research Blog

Being human they often prefer to work with organisations they feel an affinity with. 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

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).

The B2B marketer’s world is changing

The B2B Research Blog

That’s what 73% of the 200 B2B marketers in the US and UK told us in the latest ‘What Works Where’ survey Circle Research conducted on behalf of Omobono. You can access the full report here – omobono.com/insights/what-works-where. It’s tougher being a marketer nowadays than it ever has been. Well, some perennial challenges remain the same. It always has been (and probably always will be) tough to get buy-in from colleagues, effectively achieve cut-through and measure ROI.

Three reasons B2B marketers should care about sustainability

The B2B Research Blog

We employ 380,000 people worldwide, of whom 43,000 work in the UK and Ireland. They’ve also done a lot of work in their supply chains. If you think about the likes of the Ethical Trading Initiative or SEDEX, which we’re also members of, a lot of the work has been driven by large retailers. Through a UK and Ireland Diversity and Inclusion Council that was founded in 2008, we’ve been really supporting the agenda through some pretty large pieces of work. .

The Cobbler’s Shoes

The B2B Research Blog

If you work for an agency, take a look at your own metaphorical shoe rack. In his latest blog for the Market Research Society’s news and insight hub Research Live , Circle Research’s Andrew Dalglish explores why research agencies should carry out research for their own benefit as well as clients’ …. Ever heard the saying that ‘the cobbler’s children have no shoes’?

B2B content marketing research

The B2B Research Blog

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). So maybe you already have a content strategy, but want to know what your peers are doing. Or perhaps you’re developing a content strategy and want some pointers.

Three customer insights for your marketing plan

The B2B Research Blog

But here assumption and guess-work abound. What marketing channels work? . A much deeper approach to marketing can be taken if you know what the customer’s working environment is like, what tasks consume their day, what makes them successful (as an organisation and an individual) and where your products/services fit in. Spring. As birds migrate north to secure nesting ground, gaggles of marketers flock to secure budget for their marketing plans.

Plan 22

The content king is a tyrant

The B2B Research Blog

He’s working his loyal subjects to the bone and that’s beginning to take its toll. 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. .

Three customer insights for your marketing plan

The B2B Research Blog

But here assumption and guess-work abound. What marketing channels work? . A much deeper approach to marketing can be taken if you know what the customer’s working environment is like, what tasks consume their day, what makes them successful (as an organisation and an individual) and where your products/services fit in. Spring. As birds migrate north to secure nesting ground, gaggles of marketers flock to secure budget for their marketing plans.

Plan 16

An interview with Jaakko Alanko: MD, Alanko Consulting

The B2B Research Blog

You refer a lot to enterprise marketing in your work. I know people who work there and who talk about how well the brand is managed throughout the organisation. 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.

Making ‘human-to-human’ marketing a reality

The B2B Research Blog

Identify the small number of segments in the target market (usually there are 4 – 6), work out the optimum marketing strategy for each, place the individual being engaged into the right segment and then apply the relevant strategy. 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.

Better B2B segmentation: Four steps and a case study

The B2B Research Blog

That’s the theory, but how does it work in practice? 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. Rather than trying to be all things to all people, they’ve segmented the market and targeted a niche group.

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Not how you fly, but how you serve

The B2B Research Blog

Many years ago now, whilst I was working at, newly privatised, British Airways, our research team was challenged to understand what it meant to be “branded British” in each of its key markets.

The three secrets of employee motivation

The B2B Research Blog

Ensuring people feel valued (34% of managers place in top three) and their work life balance (30%) are also felt to play an important role. One fifth will name remuneration (18%) or their work life balance (17%) as the single most important sources of employment happiness. Base salary and work life balance actually have only a moderate correlation with job satisfaction. They matter along with a handful of other factors related to working conditions, but are the basics.

The three secrets of employee motivation

The B2B Research Blog

Ensuring people feel valued (34% of managers place in top three) and their work life balance (30%) are also felt to play an important role. One fifth will name remuneration (18%) or their work life balance (17%) as the single most important sources of employment happiness. . Base salary and work life balance actually have only a moderate correlation with job satisfaction. They matter along with a handful of other factors related to working conditions, but are the basics. .

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

The B2B Research Blog

It’s pretty clear to me through my work on Business Superbrands that branding is becoming more important in many b2b categories. That said there is still a battle for marketeers working in business-to-business to convince some of their peers that it’s important, but I think for most there is a feeling that they’re starting to win that battle. Every month David Willan interviews leading experts in from the world of marketing and B2B.

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Map of the B2B buying process

The B2B Research Blog

So, if that’s you, then most of the hard work is already done. There’s still work to be done though as the average B2B buying process lasts eight weeks from start to finish. 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. Mapping out the buying process is critical for anyone looking to market or sell in business-to-business (B2B) environments.

How to create a Customer Happiness Index

The B2B Research Blog

After all, no one wants to work for the bad guy. . 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.

Understanding brand personality through projective techniques

The B2B Research Blog

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?”. These techniques work by allowing people to express their thoughts about one thing by transferring them onto something else which they find easier to relate to and/or find sums up many thoughts at once.

The benefits of a strong brand in B2B markets

The B2B Research Blog

The functional and emotional benefits (yes, even in B2B) to be derived from working with your organisation or products. Less well known brands require the buyer to work harder to understand the benefits they bring. 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.

Driving action from a customer satisfaction programme

The B2B Research Blog

These critical stakeholders should then be invited to form a working group which shapes and owns the programme. Then re-convene the working group of key stakeholders, share the story and run a workshop which explores how to drive improvements. Most companies have a customer satisfaction research programme in place, but not all are made equal.

How to measure customer satisfaction in B2B markets

The B2B Research Blog

It works like this: First, ask customers how satisfied they are with you overall. In a nutshell, Regression Analysis works by observing what happens to your overall satisfaction score when satisfaction scores in one area of the experience move up or down (but scores in other areas remain static). How do you measure customer satisfaction in B2B markets? What questions should you ask in a customer satisfaction survey?

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

The B2B Research Blog

Well, contrary to popular belief, whether you work agency- or client-side seems to make little difference. 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.

How many B2B marketers are in a Glacier Mint?

The B2B Research Blog

Each one of these B2B marketers works for an organisation with its own suppliers. I’m of the opinion that every car glove box should contain, as standard, boiled sweets. Some opt for the classic travel tin but I prefer a bag of Fox’s Glacier Mints. I like the taste, but I like the idea more. That in my little glove box sits an icon; a brand that’s part of our cultural fabric. Here’s some Glacier Mint trivia.