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News & Views

  1. Create a B2B customer journey map in six steps

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    Relationships are critical in B2B markets.  That’s why every B2B organisation should have a customer journey map.

    A customer journey map visually depicts every step a buyer in your target market follows across the buying cycle.  Such a customer journey map:

    • Details the full journey – the trigger to purchase, the buying decision, the experience as a customer and the defection/lapsing process
    • Within each step of the journey, details every interaction a customer has with your organisation and other parties (e.g. competitors)
    • Indicates the importance of each interaction in shaping customer perceptions, influencing the buying decision and creating customer satisfaction/loyalty
    • Establishes customers’ goals with each interaction and how they define an excellent and terrible experience
    • Measures your organisation’s performance at every step of the journey

    A customer journey map like this is a valuable tool in many respects and will help a broad spectrum of stakeholders within your organisation to enhance their performance. For example, key benefits of a customer journey map include the following:

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  2. Business to business market research just 4% of spend

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    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
    • The 100 companies on the AIM100 index
    • 50 companies from the Grant Thornton Fast Track Index
    • 100 companies randomly picked from Companies House

    This reveals that 45% of UK companies operate in business to business markets (and many more have some business to business component to what they do).  Yet despite this, business to business market research accounts for less than a twentieth of total market research spend.

    So why do business to business companies under-invest in market research?

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  3. How to conduct a business to business survey

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    There are six steps if you’re looking to conduct your own business to business survey.  One, clearly define your objectives. Two, design a questionnaire which meets these and avoids common pitfalls (overly long with leading, double-barrelled, jargon filled, ambiguous questions). Three, pilot the survey. Four, decide whether telephone, online or face-to-face will  get the best response rate.  Five, incentivise it appropriately. And six, don’t act on the findings unless they’re reliable and representative.

    Let me expand.

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  4. Accelerating your career as a B2B marketer

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    We recently partnered with B2B Marketing Magazine to produce a ‘career acceleration guide’ for B2B marketers. 

    In the survey that underpins this report we captured the experiences of over 70 B2B marketers who’ve made it to the heady heights of head of marketing, VP marketing or CMO. What’s the secret of their success?

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  5. Tapping into emotions in the B2B buying process

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    Shock!  B2B buyers are people.  Seems obvious, right?  Yet marketers often treat B2B buyers as automatons making careful, logical and completely rational decisions during the buying process.  That’s simply not the case as B2B buyers are influenced by their emotions too.

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  6. Lessons from the 2017 Business Superbrands

    By David Willan -

    Interesting results from TCBA/Superbrands in their latest ranking of the UK’s top 20 Business Superbrands. Congrats to British Airways for winning top spot for the third year running!

    The rankings illustrate a few important lessons about B2B branding in the modern day.

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  7. What is the B2B buying process?

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    The B2B buying process  is complex and typically involves five broad steps – ‘recall’, ‘identify’, ‘learn’, ‘evaluate’ and ‘buy’.

    Mapping out the exact buying process is critical for anyone looking to market or sell in business-to-business (B2B) environments.  Armed with this understanding you’ll be able to target the right people, at the right time, in the right way.  Different scenarios will of course see a different buying process, but a recent survey of 118 B2B buyers by Circle Research reveals that there are similarities in the buying process across many B2B markets.

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  8. Secrets of the fastest growing B2B marketing agencies

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    B2B marketing agencies are in rude health.  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’.  Their financial numbers reflect this confidence.  85% of agencies have grown revenues year-on-year, with an average increase in Gross Income of 9% and an average rise of 31% in Net Profit.  To fuel this, the number of people employed by agencies has jumped by 19% year-on-year.

    But some agencies out-perform even these healthy benchmarks.  What’s their secret?

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  9. B2B marketing agencies optimistic about BREXIT

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    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.

    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.  62% describe it as ‘good’ and a further 26% report that it was ‘strong’.  Their financial numbers reflect this confidence.  85% of agencies have grown revenues year-on-year, with an average increase in Gross Income of 9% and an average rise of 31% in Net Profit.  To fuel this, the number of people employed by agencies has jumped by 19% year-on-year.

    Things might be rosy just now, but is BREXIT about to disrupt the agency world?

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

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    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
    • With the linear raising or lowering of prices, respondents can easily guess what the researcher is doing and may be tempted to ‘game’ the result
    • Prompting respondents with an initial price point will frame their subsequent responses and thus under- or over-estimate the true price they’d be willing to pay
    • Only allowing a binary ‘would buy/wouldn’t buy’ response doesn’t capture important shades in between where people start to become more or less comfortable with a particular price point

    This week, I’ll look at two pricing research techniques which can overcome these issues – the Van Westendorp Price Sensitivity Meter and Conjoint Analysis.

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