Archive for the ‘Business’ Category
Across B2B International’s three key markets – Europe, Americas and Asia Pacific – marketing budgets appear to be on the rise. This is according to the latest Global Marketing Index from Warc.
Launched in late 2011, this monthly measurement draws on data from a panel of brand owners, media companies, ad agencies, and other communications industry specialists.
Incorporating readings for marketing spending, trading conditions and staffing levels, headline figures in April climbed to 58.1 points, up from 57.4 in March. Any score above 50 points indicates positive sentiment.
Marketing expenditure alone rose from 51.5 points to 53.7 points month on month, with the Americas reaching an impressive 57.4 points, and Europe marking a reading of more than 50 for the first time since the survey began six months ago. This might not be earth-shattering news, but at long last gives us something positive to talk about – especially for Europe – in these tumultuous times.
To read the report in more detail, please click here.
Aimed at senior managers in middle market and SME companies, The Growing Business Handbook focuses on key issues such as funding, innovation, customer service, business technology and international expansion and includes case studies from top companies.
“Combines expert comment….with stories of the experience of people who have been through the process of managing a growing company”
B2B International has contributed to the most recent edition (13th edition) that is now available to buy at Kogan Page or Amazon.
The Growing Business Handbook is a superb reference tool for all businesses with growth potential, filled with invaluable insights and guidance from specialists in finance, HR, marketing, research, innovation, people and IT, as well as help on enterprise risk and useful legal advice.
“Filled with articles from experts in the private sector providing advice to small and medium sized companies on techniques to expand their business”
The Growing Business Handbook is the reference source of choice to help you ensure and manage business growth, particularly in challenging economic conditions. This book looks at all the areas ripe for exploitation by your growing business and discusses ways you can manage the associated risks.
“Takes a practical approach to all the issues encountered by today’s fast-growing businesses. For those who already have achieved an established market position and want to build on their success”
“Good advice on how to make a successful small business into a larger one”
Contributors include: B2B International, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply; Mazars; Beck Greener; UKAS; and Strathclyde Business School.
For more information please click here
In this week’s Thursday Night Insight, Paul Hague considers the importance of “voice” and how it can be your most important asset…
“Good morning from the flight deck. This is your captain speaking.” I can’t help looking up from my John Grisham novel and admiring the dulcet tones of Capt. Bill Jones. I am on a Continental flight from Newark to Manchester although it could be from anywhere to anywhere. All captains sound different but they all sound the same. They seem to exude the same confidence and assurance that we passengers are looking for on a flight and yet the only thing they manage to tell us is what time we will arrive and that it will be raining in Manchester when we get there.
It got me thinking. Is it genuine confidence that is being communicated by Bill Jones’ voice or am I being influenced by his seniority and his position? He sounds more authoritative than the chief steward but maybe that’s because I know that he is the captain and have conferred status and authority to him.
Now the point of my introduction is not to be obsequious to airline captains but to get us thinking about something that is crucially important in shaping our view of people. In fact, a search on the Internet suggests that the voice, its intonation and its delivery accounts for 40% of the impression that we make on someone we meet for the first time. If this is true, it is massively important. Forget worrying about your height, the size of your nose, your sticking-out ears and your hairdo. What matters is what you say and how you say it.
When you think about it, there must be some truth in this. Obama has a wonderful speaking voice. So had Churchill and, God forbid, so did Mister Hitler. And what does a wonderful voice mean? It means (I think) that it communicates your strength of personality, your enthusiasm and your authority. It gives a clue as to your upbringing through your accent, to your confidence as a person, and to your intelligence. Forget being six feet tall with dark wavy hair and a dimple in your chin (and that’s only the females) – you could be let down immediately you open your mouth if you sound like Kenneth Williams.
All very interesting you might think but what has this got to do with a business blog? I was reading in the Financial Times today about one of Italy’s richest entrepreneurs – Enrico Preziosi. My interest was aroused when I read the story of his transformation from a street hawker of toys bought from China to a €1 billion turnover, fully integrated business, which is now the fifth largest toy company in the world. Apparently his success is all down to his voice.
To be more precise it is down to his company’s voice. A few years ago, when he ran a fledgling company, he learned that Mattel and Hasbro, the two leading toy companies, spent all their advertising money in October and November, just prior to the Christmas buying season. Preziosi used his relatively small advertising budget to run a television campaign in every month outside this period. In other words, he bought “share of voice” and achieved it by choosing months when he would be heard and not swamped by those who could shout louder.
Of course, voice is not just about being loud and being heard; it is also about communicating the right message. Preziosi knows a thing or two about this. “About every five years toys change completely,” he says. “If you want to stay stable in the market you have to be trendy. In 1978, girls still played with dolls when they were aged 14. Now if I gave my daughter, aged 11, a doll, she would throw it out of the window.” You have to be right on message to resonate with your fickle and ever demanding audience.
Working out the importance of voice to a customer or potential customer is not easy. I said earlier that 40% of the impression we make on people when we first meet them is due to our voice rather than our appearance. Let us assume that this figure is roughly right for business introductions. What if the impression we make for our companies is achieved in a similar way, as with Preziosi’s company, by our voice – as measured by the impression left by our sales people, our signage, our logos, our adverts, websites and the like. I leave you with a very important question – are you getting your share?
Figures from the B2B Barometer1 show that the economic situation for B2B marketers looks optimistic for the future:
Business optimism gradually returning amongst B2B marketers
On the client side:
Agencies are more optimistic, with four fifths (79%) anticipating that they will grow over the next 12 months. For many agencies this represents a significant turnaround in their fortunes; 45% report that revenues have declined in the last 12 months. For others it represents a continuation of an existing trend; 34% report growth in the last 12 months.
Newer media continue to increase share of wallet
Client-side marketers continue to allocate a significant proportion of their budgets to three channels; trade shows (16%), direct mail (13%) and email marketing (16%). ‘Newer’ media channels continue their rise and now account for 41% of total marketing spend (up from 39% last wave).
Increased focus on measuring ROMI
There is a noticeable trend towards measuring the Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI)
Social media relevant …but B2B marketers lack understanding
Two trends have received extensive coverage in the B2B press in recent months:
The B2B Barometer sought to explore each area in some depth and has brought fact to an
For more information visit http://www.abba.co.uk/
Research by market research specialists B2B International on the value of HR certification around the world reveals an average ROI of gaining the credentials of over 250%
The message seems to be ‘get certified’! An online survey for the HR Certification Institute, of more than 1,500 HR professionals in 37 countries worldwide, has shown that human resources employees and employers value HR certification at more than two-and-a-half times the initial certification outlay.
From an employer’s perspective, having employees gain professional HR certification brings numerous advantages to the organisation, including an increase in employee engagement, satisfaction and productivity, as well as a reduction in staff turnover, all leading to an increase in customer satisfaction. Employers also comment that certification increases employees’ HR knowledge and ensures that they keep up-to-date; it demonstrates employees’ commitment to HR and to learning, as well as increasing confidence in their ability to do their job; and having employees with certification is good for the organisation’s reputation and demonstrates that it takes HR seriously.
For individuals, the biggest incentives toward pursuing HR certification stem from the belief that the credentials will increase their HR knowledge and thus strengthen their CV. 94% of HR employee respondents and 97% of HR employers believe that certification is important for those working in human resources, more than 60% of whom stated it is ‘very important’. An even greater number of employers expect certification to be of importance in five years’ time.
Ninety-six percent feel that an HR certified candidate applying for a job would have an advantage over a non-HR certified candidate, with more than 50% believing this to be a ‘very significant’ advantage. This is borne out by employers: more than two-thirds state that an HR certified person being considered as an independent consultant for an HR department would have a ‘very significant’ advantage over a non-certified individual. HR certification was highlighted as particularly advantageous for HR professionals going for a promotion or facing redundancy.
HR Certification Institute’s global business development director Alexandre Bouché, who commissioned B2B International to conduct the study, remarked on how highly valued the survey showed certification to be. “Of the four types of credential that an HR professional might hold, that is to say an undergraduate degree, a graduate degree, a certificate or a certification, the certification was felt to be by far the most beneficial. Its advantages include it offering the most value for money and return on investment; being highly flexible and customisable; being the most practically and professionally oriented of the choices; being the most experience based; and that choosing to work toward a certification provides the best networking opportunities.”
B2B International’s Matthew Harrison, in charge of the study, noted differences between continents. He said: “Finding the time to study for certification was not a key issue for Europeans or Asians and yet was a key unmet need for Americans. Indeed, the survey conveyed a general sense that US employers were less actively involved in professional certification than their foreign counterparts, with only 8% deciding which certification their staff obtained, against 22% in other countries.”