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News & Views

  1. Report: The Ambitious SME

    By Beth Pearson -

    SME businesses are a passion of mine.  I founded one (Circle!) and as a B2B specialist I regularly explore the opinions and behaviours of SMEs.

    But before I go on, let’s be careful with that label of ‘SME’. Even if we exclude sole traders, there are still more than one million SMEs in the UK alone. Inevitably with a group of that size, there’s a lot of diversity – different attitudes, behaviours, needs and opinions. So, to define your target market as ‘SMEs’ is a good start, but misses an awful lot of nuance (that deserves a blog post all of its own – see my colleague Andrew Dalglish’s exploration here).

    That said, there is something which in my experience is common to most SMEs – ambition.

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  2. Insights from the B2B Barometer

    By Beth Pearson -

    The B2B Barometer explores economic confidence and spending patterns amongst B2B marketers.  Launched 5 years ago in 2009 and now representing the view of B2B marketers with a collective spend of £95 million, it is the industry’s state-of-the-nation study.  I’d like to share a few of the study’s key findings here.

    The B2B Barometer is published by Circle Research, the BMC and the IDM.  The full report can be downloaded free-of-charge here.

    B2B marketing budgets at an all-time high

    The latest wave of the B2B Barometer suggests that the money trees are blossoming in the land of B2B marketing:

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  3. Finding the brand positioning sweet spot

    By Beth Pearson -

    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
    • Delivery:  Although the brand positioning may be clear, those on the front-line with day-to-day customer contact don’t always live the brand values
    • Positioning:  Many struggle even to articulate what their brand stands for as they find it tough to identify a positioning which appeals to all segments, is flexible enough to evolve and gets internal agreement

    In this post I’d like to focus on the last challenge – finding the right brand positioning.

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  4. Time to get with the programmatic

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    Here’s my attempt at a bit of Derren Brown-esque trickery.

    If you’re a B2B marketer, annual planning is on your mind.  Events, email and content feature heavily.  Two fifths of your budget is allocated to digital channels.  How did I do?

    If I got close to the truth, it’s not clairvoyance but just educated guesswork.  In particular the B2B Barometer suggests that, on average, B2B marketers spend 39% of their budget on digital.

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  5. It’s official – in B2B, content is king

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    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.

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  6. B2B social media – a two horse race?

    By Andrew Dalglish -

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

    It seems that social media, in B2B at least, is a two horse race.

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  7. How Big Data will shape the researcher of 2020

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    A new report from Circle Research and dnx confirms the view that Big Data is the next revolutionary force in marketing.  43% of marketers are already mining petabytes of customer data to uncover hidden insights into behaviour; a further 40% plan to embrace Big Data’s benefits in the next three years.

    Here’s the good news for the market research community.

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  8. Big data is big news

    By Andrew Dalglish -
    Circle-report-img

    Click to read report

    We’ve all heard the hype.  Big Data is the next revolutionary force in marketing.  By mining the petabytes of information which sit on our corporate servers and elsewhere, we can uncover hidden insights into customer behaviour.

    And a new report from dnx based on a survey by Circle Research of some of the UK’s top B2B marketers suggests the hype is fast becoming reality.  Eight in ten marketers already use Big Data (43%) or plan to (40%) in the next three years.

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