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Category: Insights into B2B marketing

  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. The secrets of employee motivation

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    Quirks marketing research reviewIn her latest blog for Quirk’s Marketing Research Review, Circle Research’s HR lead Beth Pearson explores how an agency can best nurture and retain talent…

    Research is a people business.

    Our raw materials are the opinions of respondents. Our product is the insight extracted from these raw materials by clever folk. And an agency or client-side researcher can only make a difference if they’re skilled at building relationships with key stakeholders.

    This all means that attracting, developing and motivating top talent is critical to our industry’s future. What’s the secret? We recently conducted a survey of more than 800 white collar employees from a variety of industries to find out.

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  6. What system 1 and 2 thinking mean for B2B marketers

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    A clever chap called Daniel Kahneman has a theory.

    When making decisions there are two systems in our mind which influence the outcome.  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.  Using deliberative reasoning and logic, it carefully evaluates the situation before reaching a conclusion.

    In everyday life we rely mostly on system 1 to effortlessly make decisions, but occasionally system 2 is called in.  This happens in complex scenarios, when the situation is new or when system 2 suspects that system 1 may have reached the wrong conclusion.

    Now, what does all this mean for B2B marketers?

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  7. Shape the B2B Barometer

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    The B2B Barometer has been a consistent feature of the B2B landscape since 2009.  Now it’s evolving and you can shape its future.

    The B2B Barometer was designed as a ‘state of the nation’ study.  At a macro-level this gives a measure of our industry’s health and reveals key trends.  At a micro-level it gives you a sense of how your approach to marketing compares to that of your peers.

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  8. Making ‘human-to-human’ marketing a reality

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    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.  Some are about taking a pretty well-established practice and doing it better, e.g. content.  And others are about going back to basics, e.g. influencer marketing.

    One widely touted trend in this latter category has a new label (‘human-to-human’ or ‘personalisation’), but is really just a marketing fundamental – recognising that each member of the target market is a person (representing a business) with their own unique behaviours, preferences and emotions.  By intimately understanding this individual they can be engaged with the right messages, at the right time, through the right channel.

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  9. The 19 B2B brands in the Klout 50 ranking

    By Andrew Dalglish -

    There used to be a debate about whether social media was relevant in B2B. Just four years ago, less than one quarter (23%) of B2B marketers described it as ‘highly relevant’ to their brand (source: B2B Barometer). Now, those holding out against the social tidal wave are few and far between. Indeed, many B2B brands are social media pioneers.

    Lithium Technologies recently published Klout 50 study is testament to this. The study ranks the 50 most influential brands on social media. As you’d expect the list includes big-hitters from the consumer world. Brands like Coca-Cola, McDonalds and Nike. But more surprising is how many B2B brands are featured. Nineteen of the 50 brands listed have a significant or exclusive B2B focus to their business*.

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