Top B2B news stories from this week

...what...happened? The last thing I remember was... something about another Guinness? And there was singing. Very, very bad singing. "In Dublin's fair city, where the girls are so pretty..." And where did this branded hat come from? And why do I have streaks of green face paint across my cheeks?

​And where are my trousers?

I knew that a quick pint in Kentish Town to raise a toast to St. Patrick was a bad idea. I feel like I've missed out on all the most important B2B news stories of the week. If only there was a bite-size round-up I could read while I drink this large black coffee. ​

Top B2B news stories from this week

5. Market research sector grows by 62%

The UK professional research and evidence market has enjoyed a 62 per cent surge in growth since 2012, according to an independent review by PwC.

The industry now employs almost 73,000 people across the UK and is worth £4.8 billion, a £2 billion increase since the last sector review in 2012.

Export revenues total over £1.7 billion, with data analytics and technology-driven research proving the main drivers for revenue.

The 62 per cent increase is even more impressive when compared with the UK economy’s total growth of 8.7 per cent over the same period, with the research sector contributing just over 0.3 per cent of total UK GDP.

Top B2B news stories from this week

4. Instagram to introduce Facebook-style personalised feed

Instagram has announced it will start optimising users’ feeds by adopting the same personalised approach used by its owner Facebook.

In a recent blog post, the photo-sharing mobile app claimed 70 per cent of people’s feeds are never seen, meaning users often don’t see the posts they most care about.

Already a staple feature of Facebook's feed, this personalised approach will see photos and videos that users interact with most receive priority on their timelines.

Instagram assures its users that all the content they follow will still appear on their feeds, just in a different order.

Top B2B news stories from this week

3. Google feature allows users to post directly in search results

Google is trialling a new feature that enables users to post content directly to search results pages.

Simply called ‘posts’, the experimental tool is currently being tested for US presidential candidates, with Google hoping to extend its reach to verified individuals and organisations.

In a blog post, Google claimed the “experimental new podium” is “a new way for users to hear directly from select entities they’re searching for on Google.”

These ‘verified individuals’ will be able to share text, images and videos that will instantly appear in search results related to the publisher, with all content then available to share across popular social media networks.

Top B2B news stories from this week

2. British companies leading digital transformation in Europe

UK businesses are the best prepared in Europe when it comes to a digital future, according to research from Prophet.

The study surveyed young adults between the ages of 18 and 34, posing the question ‘How well prepared is your employer for a digital future?’

The UK scored highest, with 79 per cent of respondents believing their employer has already made significant steps to deal with digital challenges.

Switzerland (72 per cent) and Germany (71 per cent) ranked second and third, while France (61 per cent) was the most underprepared country included.

Interestingly, France ranked highest when respondents were asked if they felt better prepared for the digital future than their employers, while the UK ranked lowest.

Top B2B news stories from this week

1. IBM tops thought leadership rankings

IBM has claimed the number one ‘thought leadership’ spot on the White Space Thought Leadership rankings.

Companies were ranked on differentiation, appeal, resilience and prompting action, with IBM edging out Deloitte with the highest average total across the four categories.

The tech giant beat the second-placed professional services firm on resilience and prompting action, yet Deloitte scored better than IBM on both differentiation and appeal.

The bi-annual report, compiled by Source Global Research, ranked 24 global consulting firms, with IBM leapfrogging Deloitte to claim the title for the second half of 2015.