The Inbound and Content Marketing blog

6 steps for taking your qualitative B2B research online

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  19, July, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Last week we put forward the argument for using online qualitative methods in B2B research. But how do you go about doing it? 

Broadly speaking, basic qualitative research principles remain the same. Taking it online just makes it faster, easier to reach a widespread customer base, and more convenient for respondents. Your research still needs to be guided by your business case, you'll still need to define your objectives, and you'll need to develop a discussion guide of sorts.

In this post, we walk you through six steps for undertaking a qualitative B2B research project online.

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8 reasons to use an online qualitative approach for your B2B research

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  14, July, 2017  |  1 Comment  Subscribe

The use of online qualitative methods in market research has exploded in recent years, as technology has become more sophisticated, and people have become more open with sharing information - and themselves - online.

In the world of consumer research; online groups, diaries and mobile ethnography are now key parts of the researcher's toolkit. 'In the moment' feedback is being captured all the time - through written self-completion tasks, and self-shot videos of consumers using a product, or talking about a brand. All this data is being used to find insights that help businesses inform their strategy, or product development.

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How to leverage LinkedIn for Professional Services Marketing

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  13, July, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The professional services industry has traditionally relied on referrals to fuel business growth. Trust and good relationships are created and built upon through hours of networking and recommendations from current clients. However, while word-of-mouth is still an effective tool, it is no longer enough on its own.

With 64% of the UK’s population of over 65 million active on social media spending an average of 108 minutes a day on one or more social networks, you can’t ignore social as an essential way to connect with people and businesses (Keith Herrington).

But, get social wrong, and it can cause more damage than good to your reputation and your business. Your strategy for social needs to cascade down from smart goals set out in your professional services marketing strategy. Here are some tips to maximise the potential of LinkedIn for your professional services firm:

FREE Checklist: Your common sense guide to getting posts right on social

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What changes are visible in the latest State of Inbound?

Written by Keith Errington  |  7, July, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Looking through this year’s State of Inbound 2017 report from HubSpot, what struck me is the massive contrast between the aspects of inbound marketing that have stayed the same, and the areas that are rapidly changing. So here are a few observations along those lines – three things that have not changed, and three things that are changing now.

3 things that have stayed the same

Establishing the ROI of marketing efforts is a continuing issue

Back in 2013, 25% of marketers stated their top challenge was proving the Return on Investment (ROI) of their inbound marketing efforts. In 2017, whilst 63% said that the top marketing challenge for companies is generating traffic and leads, 40% still said that proving the ROI of marketing activities was their top marketing challenge.

So why do companies find it difficult to measure inbound marketing ROI? Many companies struggle with defining metrics to track ROI, and others with the analysis of marketing data. Marketing success is often measured by how many prospects it produces, so to measure ROI you would compare the cost of your marketing to the value of those prospects to the company. However, establishing just how much a prospect is worth is far from easy, with a range of different approaches available, with different calculations and assumptions. 

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4 reasons to clearly define your B2B research objectives

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  3, July, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you are embarking on a B2B research project, you’re likely to have a good idea of what it is you want to explore, or learn. Perhaps you want to better understand your target audience, or identify industry trends. You may have a more specific question in mind, like ‘What are the biggest challenges faced by businesses seeking to become more digital?’

So, you know what the goal of your research is, but have you laid down the foundations that will help you to achieve this goal?

In this blog, we maintain that setting clear research objectives is a central part of the process, and highlight four reasons why they are critical to success.

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How to establish authority and trust when blogging for B2B

Written by Keith Errington  |  29, June, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

For many companies, their reputation and standing within their industry and amongst their customers is the key to winning and retaining business. Establish a good reputation and the prospects will come to you.

In the past, you could establish a reputation by networking and through word of mouth, but in today’s ultra-competitive, online world it’s much harder. You need to cast a wider net and attract prospects you have never met – so you need those prospects to find you and to listen to you, allowing you to gain their trust and win their business. It makes sense then, that modern content marketing focusses in the initial stages, on brand awareness and establishing authority. The first helps you to be found and considered by prospects, and the second adds credence to your content and makes them take you seriously.

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Marketing Manufacturing: 4 things you need to know about social

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  29, June, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Social media is seen as a necessary evil by many marketers; with billions of users “live” on these networks worldwide, you need to participate to maintain and expand your audience. If you don’t, you are likely to get leapfrogged by your competition. Content Marketing Institute shows that 85% of manufacturers were using social media content as a marketing manufacturing tactic.

However, it is not enough to have a presence, in fact a neglected or poorly managed social channel can be more damaging than no social at all. Social media takes time and every business knows that time is money. But it also requires thought. If you do jump in without thinking through the consequences, not only will you waste precious time, but you
 may end up doing damage to your organisation’s reputation and bottom line.

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B2B research: the importance of finding the story in the data

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  26, June, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Whether you have chosen to take a quantitative or qualitative approach, a fundamental part of B2B research is collecting data. But what do you do once you have this data? How do you interpret it to create something meaningful for your audience?

In this post we discuss how to make sense of your data and the power of finding the story within it.

Data analysis

So, you’ve run your online survey and have your data export. You have finished all your interviews and collated all your notes, transcripts, and outputs from any tasks. The next step is to analyse all this data.

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Professional Services marketing: How to increase your audience with inbound

Written by Keith Errington  |  21, June, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Most professional services companies know that the best way to get more business is to get their best people in front of prospects – face to face. In such a situation, their expertise, knowledge and consultancy skills will go a long way towards making the sale. This is why networking events work so well for professional services – prospects can talk to your best people, and the benefits of a mutual relationship become obvious.

Unfortunately, you only have so many best people, and their time is in demand; the number of profitable networking events is usually small, and events require a physical presence that takes time out of the office.

Furthermore, time pressures on executives, managers and buyers have massively increased to the point where they are often unable or unwilling to spare the time for networking events, on travel, day-long conferences and so on.

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How to create an effective discussion guide for B2B research

Written by Katie Hutchinson  |  19, June, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

A discussion guide is a list of topics, questions and tasks used in qualitative research. When conducting interviews or focus groups for your B2B research, whether capturing feedback on a product or carrying out buyer persona interviews, a discussion guide is a vital tool for ensuring you make the best use of your time and gain a greater level of insight.

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What you need to know about B2B Influencer Marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  19, June, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In the B2C world, influencer marketing is a big deal, but B2B companies have not embraced it to the same extent. A study from Altimeter earlier this year tells us that while 55% of B2C companies are running ongoing influencers programs, only 15% of B2B companies are doing the same. Does that mean influencer marketing is not relevant to the B2B market, or just that B2B marketers are missing out?

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