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News & Views

  1. Calculating Net Promoter Score (NPS) in B2B markets

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    Net Promoter Score (NPS) is perhaps the most widely used metric in customer satisfaction and loyalty research.  Here at Circle, our view is that NPS isn’t always the best metric in B2B environments (we explain why here), but it does have a role to play.  So, assuming it is the right metric for your business, how do you calculate Net Promoter Score (NPS)?

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  2. The secrets of successful B2B marketing

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    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?’.  They were given free rein to answer however they wanted and an analysis of these responses reveals five themes.

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  3. Incentives in B2B market research

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    One of the toughest aspects of conducting a B2B research study is securing the support of a hard-to-reach target audience.  B2B decision makers are time poor, under pressure and protected by Gatekeepers (e.g. their PA).  These are all features which make them less likely to take part in surveys and interviews, but with the right approach B2B respondents can be persuaded to take part in research.

    So, what’s the trick?

    Well, it’s all about careful incentivisation – you need to give respondents a compelling reason to support the research.  In a recent article for Research Live, Circle Research’s Andrew Dalglish explored this topic revealing how you can use ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ incentives to access the opinions of B2B audiences.

    Read the article in full here.

    Find out how we can help with your B2B market segmentation here.

  4. The data asteroid is coming

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    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? How many leads were generated? 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. With the right approach to data capture and analysis, insights with the potential to turbo-charge marketing activity can be brought to the surface. Data mining can reveal hidden opportunities, predictive analytics can put you one step ahead, micro-segmentation can personalise your marketing, and so on.

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  5. Is programmatic advertising relevant in B2B?

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    One number in tB2B Barometer 2015he recently published B2B Barometer study caught my eye.  Two thirds (64%) of B2B marketers describe programmatic advertising as irrelevant.  That’s striking because an estimated 59% of digital ad spend in the UK, that’s £1.8 billion, is programmatic and next year it’s forecast to reach 70%.  Yet, most B2B marketers still don’t see it as relevant.  Odd.

    It’s strange because if we break it down, programmatic is unarguably attractive.
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  6. What makes a good marketing leader?

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    There are two universal truths about all marketing plans. One, no matter how smart the plan might be, it’s worthless unless well executed. And two, no plan has ever executed itself – people make it happen.

    Here’s another observation. Two marketing teams with identical skills and resources, both looking to achieve the same goals, can achieve very different results. That’s down to leadership – the ability to get the best out of people and make 1 + 1 = 3.

    The latest B2B Marketing Leaders Report, produced in conjunction with Circle Research, explores how to lead well. 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.

    They gave clear guidance.

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  7. Social media in B2B – the latest stats

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    B2B Social Infographic 2015_long


    A new report from Circle Research and B2B Marketing Magazine reveals that the allure of social media in B2B is growing rapidly. Over four in five marketing teams (83 per cent) now post on social media – an activity that consumes one fifth of their time (20 per cent) – and three quarters (77 per cent) expect to spend more time doing this over the next 12 months. In addition, just like an investor keenly eyeing their growing wealth portfolio, as the ‘value’ of social media in B2B rises, so too does the attention paid to tracking its performance. Over one third (35 per cent) of organisations now subscribe to a paid social media monitoring platform.

    However, this bounty is not being distributed equally. Instead, the power of social media is merging around two behemoths: Twitter and LinkedIn. These networks are used by over nine in 10 organisations, regularly updated by more than seven in 10, and are expected to have the strongest growth in usage of any social media channels over the next 12 months.

    At the other end of the spectrum, still struggling to scrape together a B2B living, is Google+. Used and updated by significantly fewer organisations, Google+ is considered to be less effective at achieving marketing goals. In fact, despite its obvious SEO benefits, fewer than one per cent of organisations think it is the most effective social media platform.

    As Twitter and LinkedIn continue their charge for dominance, it’s easy to assume they will continue to overshadow competitor networks. But wait – who’s that poking their head over the parapet? There’s another contender on the block: the ambitious maverick, YouTube. Despite currently having lower usage than Twitter or LinkedIn, this channel is nevertheless striving for high growth (a net 76 per cent growth in usage anticipated over the next 12 months).  In a world where the biggest challenge facing marketers on social media is cutting through the noise (38 per cent), YouTube is offering the promise of differentiation through rich media. 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. Instead, social media needs to become the star performer in its own right. The most compelling social media posts are infographics (67 per cent believe they are very effective) and videos (66 per cent). It is on this differentiated footing that YouTube is preparing its ascent up the B2B social media ladder.

    So the next time you’re embarking on a content plan, take time to consider how you can repurpose material in new and interesting formats on social media, whether that be Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube. Pull out those killer stats in an infographic, or have a chat with your CEO on film. Let social media become the star.

    The full B2B Social Media report can be found here.

    Find out more about Circle Research’s B2B marcoms and advertising research here.


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  8. The content king is a tyrant

    By Andrew Dalglish -
    Content marketing infographic

    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. 

    We all know that content is king.  Three quarters (71%) of B2B marketers say it’s a very important component of their marketing activity, and a similar number (66%) are being cheered on by their senior management team to produce more.

    There’s good sense in that.  Content is essential digital ‘fuel’ for social platforms, it’s invaluable in communicating brand expertise and it keeps buyers engaged throughout lengthy purchase cycles.

    But the content king is turning into a bit of a tyrant.  He’s working his loyal subjects to the bone and that’s beginning to take its toll.

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  9. The Cobbler’s Shoes

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    Research Live logo




    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’? The cobbler is so focused on everyone else’s shoes that he doesn’t think to use his expertise for the benefit of his own family.

    Research agencies are a bit like that. If you work for an agency, take a look at your own metaphorical shoe rack. How often do you conduct research for the benefit of your company rather than clients? And if you do any, do you do so with the frequency and rigour that you’d advocate to paying clients?

    So what’s on your shoe rack – a pair of Jimmy Choos, a tatty old pair of boots or nothing at all? If you’re unhappy with what you see, then there are three broad types of research which you might think about doing…

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