Market research plays a vital role in generating B2B leads as it helps businesses to understand the market, analyzing the changing needs of clients, nourishing the competitive advantages, making better decisions, uncovering new opportunities, and empowering the business to improve their offerings. Further, the research helps the businesses to identify clients, and explain the reasons why they purchase your products. It also helps you to figure out metrics such as the cost per client acquisition (CPA), and also gives clarity on what the market wants in a product or service. In this article, we would be digging deep into all about market research and it’s important for B2B lead generation.
What is marketing research?
Market research is defined as the process of assessing the practicality of a new product or service, through research conducted directly with prospective clients. It can be conducted directly by companies themselves or can be outsourced to agencies that have expertise in this process. The market research helps in designing marketing campaigns that can directly target the interest of your prospective clients and contribute to increasing sales. The market research also assists businesses to gain crucial information like economic shifts, competitors, and customer insights, businesses to identify new development opportunities and threats in outstanding time.
B2B marketing research unveils the insights into your marketplace by surveying an illustrative sample of its participants. Here, participants may include existing clients, past clients, prospective clients, lost clients, and/or influencers.
How to conduct market research for B2B?
“B2B” or Business-to-Business refers to all the business operations that take place between one company and another. B2B sales are thus made between a supplying company and a buying company, the B2B market is dominated by the rules that govern compound decision-making processes, and generally involves suppliers from larger territories. The competitive facet will, therefore, be strongly affected. It is, therefore, not a question of being comprehensive, but rather to consider the most efficient and least costly methods to implement. You need to verify the feasibility and relevance of their project from factual data and realistic market analysis.
There are 3 essential stages for B2B market research. Let’s understand in-depth about these 3 stages:
- Competitor Analysis
B2B, commercial strategies can be better structured because larger companies prepare them, therefore there will be more resources available. Study in-depth about your 3 main competitors. The question arises, how to identify your main competitors? You need statistics on the national market where you will operate. Trade federations and other sectoral bodies are a valuable source of data. You can contact local trade federations of your target location and ask them for the information Some factors to evaluate your competitor are financial records, locations, customer reviews, and commercial records. Try brainstorming with someone who knows the market well. It will also be an opportunity to establish a relationship & trust.
It is very important to understand what people want and expect. Begin by reaching out to the people in the market and interviewing them. It will bring more quality to your research. To do this efficiently, you must try to proceed as follows:
- Interview Experts
Experts excel in knowledge and understanding of the market in which you are interested. They may be specialized consultants, members of professional organizations, or even diplomatic staff. Their specialization represents a significant added value for people who wish to carry out market research. It will primarily be a question of identifying them and understanding which expert profiles are most likely to uplift added value. Reach out to these experts for help to establish the criteria for analyzing the competition and identifying the “pain points” of your customers.
- Interview prospects
Interviewing prospects plays a pivotal role. It helps you to understand what prospects are expecting you to say and what your products are saying. The marketing strategy should be personalized according to the prospective qualitative interview. Thus, focus on unveiling different aspects highlighted according to their interviews. Be sure to interview a representative panel of the decision-making chain within the structures that will be your clients in the future.
- Interview Experts
- External Factors
These facets are called external, because you, as a company, cannot influence them. These might include elements related to a country’s policy, the economic situation, tax policy, national or transnational legal aspects. As a company from a foreign land, your competitors may not have expected them from you, leaving you with the possibility of a better value proposition to which customers would be sensitive. This is what happened with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), which allowed new companies to take market share, as companies had to adapt to this new piece of legislation. The difficulty is, of course, to continue the resulting activity because very often the utilization of such a business opportunity is more of a short-term strategy.
To systematically study the external factors that influence a market, use the PESTEL method.
Difficulties and attention points in B2B market research
B2B market research is normally more complexed to organize because of the two aspects:
- The availability of respondents.
- The decision making power does not lie in the hands of a single person.
The hierarchy of people who generally make the decisions in a B2B organization is complicated, so you should keep in mind that interviewing several people of the same company may be mandatory to understand the reality of the purchasing process. To reach and interview the right people, use your networks, talk about your projects, and research about those around you. Maybe someone could help you reach the right person that can be interviewed.
Importance of market research in B2B marketing
Market research not only needs to be carried out during the starting phase of your business rather it needs to be carried out throughout your business. You may find it expensive and time-consuming but efficient research can gain you vital information about your competitors, economic changes, demographics, current market trends, and the spending traits of your customers. Industry changes every day in terms of trends and other aspects. To meet constantly changing industry conditions your marketers must have sufficient market knowledge to make the right changes in strategies to get the best results for the company. For marketers who deal with so many immaterial elements of human behavior, research is a crucial element for good decision-making.
Main areas successful marketers focus on
Here are some of the main areas successful marketers focus on for a successful marketing strategy:
- Segmentation and Targeting
Demographics such as location, psychology, and behavioral information about your target market can assist you in offering values that fit into their business requirements.
- Product Testing
It helps you to understand and know how your product fits the needs of your clients and what more changes you may need to make the product more desirable. Popular approaches to this focus on utilizing User Testing and User Experience Testing.
- Marketing Communication and Media Selection
Undertaking “advertising effectiveness research” consistently, can decide the benefits of advertising and marketing communications. This allows marketers to develop impactful strategies and understand when your target market is no longer paying attention. Ensure the right media is being utilized to reach your targeted businesses.
- Market and Competitive Analysis
Market trends change every day. You have to be on pace with regular changes. Market and Competitive Analysis will help you gain your competitor’s insights. This will help your business to offer something your competitors don’t and create your own space in the market.
- Pricing and Forecasting
Pricing is an essential element in buying decisions, so a study about pricing can be used to determine the direction of future trends. You can analyze prices relative to other products and their features. Further, forecasting future sales can also help in budgeting, production, and staffing decisions.
Reasons why market research is important for B2B lead generation
- Easily Spot Business Opportunities
Once you are done with your market research, you will know your target audience, marketing channels where you can find them, and what they are interested in. This will help you to easily find business opportunities. For instance,
- Create profitable order upgrades: Knowing the other products and services that your clients tend to buy can help you come up with add-ons and upsells that increase the average value of each order.
- Find new locations to sell: Knowing the geographical areas where most of your target customers live will help you to create targeted campaigns that suit the needs and culture of that area.
- Lower Business Risks
Around half of businesses with employees don’t survive past the fifth year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The best way for the survival of your business for long is to make sure that you’ve got a constant stream of sales and customers. To do that, you need market research. Consistent market research will be an amazing way to check in with your current customers and potential customers to ensure that you’re still meeting their needs. For instance, a few ways to apply this are
- Test new designs and products before launching.
- Find out why customers don’t come back.
- Get insights on problem areas.
- Create Relevant Promotional Materials
Market research helps you to understand what text or images to put on your fliers, website, or social media platforms. With the research, you already know about the wants, needs, and frustrations of your target customers, you’ll know exactly what and how to address it when you start creating your marketing materials.
- Know Where to Advertise
Limited budget is one of the biggest problems faced by most businesses, especially after COVID-19. Because of which, your marketing budget should be optimized to give you the best returns possible. Your market research can help ensure that you’re reaching your targeted audience in the channels where they’re most likely to notice you. These are some of the budgetary tasks that your market research can help you with:
- Buying ads on social media: If your market research shows that your target audience spends most of their time on Facebook and rarely uses Instagram, you’ll know to put in most of your social media ad budget to Facebook and forget about Instagram.
- Placing fliers and posters: Knowing the physical spaces where your target customer spends most of their time will let you know where you can best place your advertising.
- Targeting ads: Online ads such as social media ads and pay-per-click ads can often be targeted with accuracy. If you truly know your customers, you’ll be able to maximize the potential for targeting.
- Outsell Competitors
The business that knows its target audience will always have an upper hand. If you can defeat your competitors at finding out your customers’ needs and you pursue to fulfill those needs, you’ve got a better chance of standing out from the competition. Here are some ways you can use market research to outsell competitors:
- Target dissatisfied customers.
- Find an underserved customer segment
- Identify unaddressed customer needs
- Helps Set Better Goals for Your Business
When business owners set goals for their business, it’s normally related to growth in sales or customers. But with a lack of proper market research, you won’t be able to know whether your goal is achievable and the path towards achieving that goal. For instance, you might aim to have double sales by the end of the next quarter. How would you know if this goal is feasible if you don’t know whether the size of your target market is more than twice the size of your current customer base? Without knowing the current size of your potential market, you’ll just be setting unachievable goals. Market research will help you direct the particular directions you want for growing your customer base
- Decision-Making Becomes Simple
The importance of marketing research mostly arises when making tough business decisions. Instead of having unpredictable criteria for the decisions you can always go back to your market research report. Based on that report, the decisions will be more informed, accurate, and successful. Market research provides you with solid facts. While not all decisions should be solved by market research, many of them can be, like where to spend your advertising or marketing budget.
An initial investment in marketing research can save you losses in the long run. Data backed marketing strategies not only are efficient but are also cost-effective and can also position your brand as that brand that cares for their customer’s needs and wants. FunnL will do thorough market research before starting your campaign to keep it efficient and squeeze out the most.