Top B2B news stories from this week

We’ve all savoured a well-deserved week off. Not literally, of course – unless you’re in the catchment age for compulsory education and enjoying half term. I meant insomuch that this week we tactfully managed to dodge any Gregorian calendar observances, commercial festivals, or religious holidays.

Yes, it’s been a week of stock taking; that quiet, reflective period just before the onslaught of preparation for St David’s day. 

So, before we set about finding the allusive household box of pins and tacking synthetic daffodils onto our finest lapels ready for Tuesday’s church services, parades and choral recitals, here’s a quick roundup of this week’s top stories.

Infographic: B2B facts February 2016

5. Tumblr struggling to grow user base

Tumblr will continue to fall behind its social network competitors in the coming years, according to a recent forecast from eMarketer.

Tumbler’s reach among social network users in the US is currently at 12.5 per cent, and is only set to grow to 14.5 per cent by 2020.

This is less than half as much as Pinterest (29.4 per cent reach in 2016 to 32.8 per cent in 2020) and less than third as much as Instagram (48 per cent reach in 2016 to 56 per cent reach in 2020).

A middle ground between Twitter and a company blog, Tumblr is by no means a channel purely limited to B2C, with B2B marketers seeing the potential in its creative focus and intuitive user-experience.

Infographic: B2B facts February 2016

4. UK digital professionals offer ‘best value’ in Europe

Low employee costs are maintaining the UK’s competitive advantage for digital professionals, according to new research conducted by professional services company, Willis Towers Watson.

The General Industry Compensation Survey Report - which includes actual and target amounts paid for all employee salaries, allowances and bonuses - shows UK digital professionals’ employee costs are lower than all but Ireland, Spain and Turkey.

For digital professionals working in IT, the average employer’s annual base salary cost per employee is £52,000 in the UK, considerably less than Switzerland (£87,000), France (£67,000) and Germany (£59,000). Similarly, among digital marketing professionals the average annual base salary cost to the employer in the UK is £47,000, compared to Switzerland (£82,000), France (£56,000) and Germany (£50,000).

Infographic: B2B facts February 2016

3. HSBC to launch fingerprint ID and voice recognition services

HSBC will soon offer voice recognition and touch security banking services to its customers in the UK.

A huge step towards the introduction of biometric banking, the features mean clients will no longer use passwords, PINS or security questions to access their accounts.

Barclays currently offers voice recognition services to select clients, while RBS and Natwest launched fingerprint ID software to their customers last year.

HSBC’s own biometric banking services will be available on all Apple mobile devices via the bank’s app.

Infographic: B2B facts February 2016

2. Facebook launches automated captioning tool for video ads

Facebook has announced a range of new features for its video advertising, chiefly a new automated captioning tool.

The social network has also introduced new metrics for brands using video ads, as well as the global availability of 100 per cent in-view ad buying and verified analytics from Moat.

The automated captioning tool aims to improve Facebook’s user experience for those who view video and video ads with the sound off by generating captions for videos which can then be reviewed, edited and saved by advertisers on the site using the network’s ads create tool.

Infographic: B2B facts February 2016

1. Marketers prioritise expanding customer base over retaining existing buyers

B2B marketers are more keen to expand their current customer base than retain existing customers, according to research from Forbes.

The study revealed 42 per cent of respondents cited attracting new customers as their top strategic priority, while 32 per cent prioritise retaining their existing customer base.

Other strategic prerogatives included improving customer engagement (31 per cent), maximising customer lifetime value (29 per cent), controlling costs (22 per cent) and ensuring regulatory compliance (13 per cent).

Despite customer base expansion ranking highest, 72 per cent of those surveyed said senior management still recognised customer engagement as one of its top priorities.