Keep in touch with the pulse of business life.

Some insights about the Belgian business market

Belgium counts 272,000 business establishments, employing at least 1 person. The majority of these businesses are…

  • Small businesses
  • Active in the services sector and
  • Located in Flanders.

The Brussels region counts relatively more large companies: 21% of the 200 + companies are located in the Brussels region. On top of these businesses, Belgium also counts 765,000 self-employed workers.

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The PR Barometer ©

Marketing today places strong emphasis on the customer experience and on the value of customer loyalty. This is certainly the right way to go, but as marketers, we tend to forget the importance of one particular stakeholder group which has a significant influence on consumers and professionals alike: the journalists. Building strong relationships with journalists, and enabling them to write engaging content about your company or products, is as important as ever. But how many companies can say that they actively measure the quality of their relationship with journalists? For this reason Market Probe has established the PR Barometer which we now run on an annual basis. The PR Barometer evaluates your relationship with the press in detail and helps you to optimize your contact with the media and hence the value you can derive from excellent media relations.

Here are two insights from our PR Barometer:

From a journalists’ point of view, the ideal press officer should be accessible, act quickly & proactively and provide clear and relevant answers.

(a) Providing interesting stories is a must
Journalists receive about 30 press releases a day, but only 10% is considered as “real news” and interesting for their readers, … The big challenge for companies is to create and to present interesting and relevant stories. This is true for both journalists and press officers. It seems common sense, however it appears only a minority of companies actually succeeds in providing interesting stories.

(b) Mixed feelings about the relevance of social media
In these times of Social Media and internet connectivity, don’t underestimate the importance and impact of a personal relationship with journalists. 7 out of 10 journalists already used social media as a source of information, mainly Twitter (9/10). Nevertheless about half of the journalists prefer social media to be only used as an additional information channel, besides the direct contacts with the press department.

Companies evaluated in our PR Barometer

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10 Reasons why market research in B2B is different from B2C

A Marketing Consultant recently stated : “The distinction between B2B and B2C has become irrelevant because these days, all service delivery can be classified as H2H: Human to Human”. We agree partially. The positive thing about this statement is that it stresses the fact that in B2B, we are also dealing with “humans” and emotions and relationships are key drivers of the service experience. Certainly true so far! However, B2B is inherently different from B2C. Here are 10 reasons why this is the case. If you wish to read the full article, including some implications for the researcher, please send a short email to e.luijts@marketprobe.com. Market Probe is specialized in creating the best research design to have solid conversations with professional target groups.

1The target populations are smaller than in consumer markets
2The average client of a B2B provider often represents a (much) higher value than in B2C
3The 80/20 rule has much more impact than in B2C
4Time is money ! B2B is more time-critical than B2C
5Privacy is not as much a barrier for your customer strategy as it is in B2C
6B2B customers are much more heterogeneous than in B2C
7Decisions are often taken in a DMU, rather than by one person
8Personal relations are much more important in B2B
9A true conversation is the best way to get to real insights that drive your business
10Reaching business customers for an interview is totally different from reaching private consumers
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The Business Barometer

In the 2nd half of 2015, Market Probe will be organizing a number of  focus groups with Managing Directors of Medium Sized companies in Belgium – i.e. the “engine of our economy” – to discuss the following topics:

  • Challenges for SMEs in the next 5 years
  • How have they become relevant in their sector?
  • What did they do to become strong & to differentiate from the competition?
  • How do they achieve growth & what are the hurdles they have had to overcome?
  • How do they increase customer loyalty and prevent churn?
  • How important is ‘word of mouth’ in their business and how do they activate this?
  • Innovation: How do they ensure that their product or service offering continues to evolve in line with changing market needs & expectations?

We will post useful & relevant insights of this research on this website. You may be inspired!