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Circle Research is the B2B market research company.

Circle was founded in 2006 as an alternative to traditional research agencies who are consumer focussed and deliver bland, uninspiring, academic outcomes. Our mission is to uncover hidden truths about your target market and help translate these into marketing and commercial success.

Based in London, we work globally with ambitious B2B firms, including half of the Top 10 B2B Superbrands. In 2016, we won the Market Research Society’s Best Agency Award and we're a finalist again in 2017.

Accountancy, Agriculture, Automotive, Catering/Hospitality, Chemicals, Computers – hardware, Computers – software, Education/Training, Electrical Goods, Energy, Engineering, Environmental, Events/Conferences, Finance/Investment – Business, Food, Government/Local Authority, Healthcare, Industrial, Information Technology, Insurance, Internet/New Media, Legal, Media (Broadcast), Media (Mobile), Media (Print), Office Equipment, Online, Property/Construction/Housing, Public Services/Utilities, Telecommunications, Transportation, Travel/Tourism, Wellness/Fitness
Advanced Statistical Techniques, Benchmark Studies, CATI, Co-creation, Consultancy, Continuous, Copy Testing, Creative development research, Depth Interviews, Desk Research, Diary Studies, Ethnography, Executive/Industrial Interviews, Eye Tracking, Face-to-Face, Foreign Languages, Group Discussions/Focus Groups, Internet Research/CAWI, Mobile Web Surveys, Multivariate Stats and Modelling, Online Communities, Online Surveys, Qualitative, Quantitative, Telephone Interviewing, Tracking
Advertising, Brand/Branding, Business-to-Business, Communications/PR, Competitive Intelligence, Concept Testing, Customer Communities, Customer Loyalty, Customer Satisfaction, Employee Research, International, New Product Development, Pricing, Product Testing, Reputation Management, Usage & Attitude
Africa, Australasia, Canada, Central America, Central Asia, Central Europe, China, Eastern Europe, India/Pakistan, Japan, Northern/Western Europe, Pacific Rim, Republic of Ireland, Scandinavia, South America, UK, USA, Worldwide
Senior Contacts

Andrew Dalglish (Joint Managing Director)
Beth Pearson (Joint Managing Director)

Breakdown of Personnel

Executive/Research staff: 20
Non-research: 2
Total Number of Employees: 21 to 50

Address

71 Hopton Street
London
SE1 9LR
Tel: +44 (0)20 7960 3802
Fax: +44 (0)20 7928 6052
Email: andrew.dalglish@circle-research.com
Establishment date: 2006

B2B Market Segmentation - A White Paper
This is the executive summary of the full article. To read the full version please click here.
 
The target market for any B2B product or service is not one homogeneous mass. Rather, it can usually be divided into several distinct groups based on who they are, how they behave, what they want or what they think.
 
The most common approach to segmentation in B2B markets is feature based. Here the target market is divided into groups based on ‘firmographics’ such as company size, location or activity. This approach may also segment the market according to the nature of relationship or product usage characteristics. 
 
To segment based on features follow six steps: 
  • Understand what features of a customer are relevant, i.e. will impact your proposition for or approach to the segment
  • Get a database of all your customers and record the relevant features next to each
  • Analyse your profiled customer base to identify the major groups which exist
  • Research competitors and speak to those receiving new business enquiries to additionally identify segments not currently in your customer base 
  • Prioritise segments by mapping on sales and profit data from existing customers and accessing third party statistics on the structure of the business population
  • Identify which segments are likely to need a unique approach and detail how your proposition and messaging will reflect this
A feature based approach is useful, but it’s far more powerful to segment according to customer behaviours, needs and attitudes. This deeper level of understanding lets you precisely tailor your offer and messaging so that you’re a perfect fit and the natural choice.
 
Use a four stage process to adopt this approach:
  • Begin by holding workshops with key customer facing staff to get their perspective on how customers differ
  • Then arrange a series of focus groups or in-depth interviews which represent a diverse mix of customers. These sessions will provide a vehicle to explore behaviours, needs and attitudes in detail
  • Next explore these areas in a more structured manner through a large scale quantitative survey. This refines the model by including a wider range of customers, allows each segment to be sized and most importantly it enables segments to be statistically derived
  • Then apply a Cluster Analysis. This statistic sifts through the data to identify groups of people answering questions in a similar way to each other but distinctly different to other groups. In doing so it accurately reveals and profiles the segments 
This approach is a very different way of viewing customers for many and can be hard to grasp as it’s ‘softer’ than feature based models. So there’s a tendency for colleagues to intellectually accept the new segmentation, but eventually revert to their old ways. The trick to overcoming this tendency is to develop two plans – an internal communications plan and an activation plan.

"I would totally recommend Circle to anyone else who is looking to carry out a B2B research project. The team are brilliant and offer very clever insights, as well as being really easy to work with".  Marketing Director, JLT

"Circle are a great agency - they're B2B specialists, always deliver lots of juicy detail and deliver findings in a way that ensures I can use them immediately".  Global Insights Manager, Vodafone

"Circle came highly recommended to us in the B2B industry and I'd recommend them in turn. Their warmth, intelligence, humour and focus meant they quickly understood the essence of our business. I was delighted with the highly meaningful, tangible feedback they provided that could instantly be turned into action”.  Marketing Director, Teneo

"Circle would always be my number one choice for carrying out market research in the B2B space. They add value at every stage".  CEO, Ogilvy DNX

"Circle gave us a completely fresh perspective which led to a significant repositioning of our business. I'd urge you to use them".  CEO, Randstad Staffing

"Many agencies claim to add value, but Circle is one of a small number who actually deliver. I would certainly recommend them".  Managing Director, McCann Enterprise

"An outstanding job. Circle demonstrated real clarity in strategic thinking, providing focussed and extremely useful insights".  Investment Director, FTSE

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