There’s a strong correlation between B2B market research and profitability. Firms that undertake systematically structured market research grow faster and are more profitable as opposed to firms that don’t. Regardless of whether you’re starting or expanding your business, it’s vital to understand your target client groups and increase sales. There are almost endless ways to use market research to your advantage. For instance, you can:
- Improve your branding
- Gain better customer insight
- Measure the effectiveness of your marketing
- Assess market opportunities
- Refine your products/services
B2B market research is an activity that you can never end once you’ve launched it. The frequency with which it’s conducted depends on the needs of your business. At any rate, it can make the difference between making wise decisions that drive your business forward and making terrible decisions that could ruin your business.
There are various B2B market research methods you can use to gather data on what potential customers are looking for, such as interviews, focus groups, and polls, to name a few. There are a few tactics that are routinely underrated. It’s important to consider these overlooked methods.
1. Review What People Are Saying About Competitors on Social Media
In the B2B sector, market leadership changes all the time. To stay on top of the competition, get to know your rivals. You can make your products, services, and marketing stand out if you know who your competitors are and, most importantly, what they’re offering. Take a look at your competitors’ capabilities, sales approaches, and go-to market strategies. What can you do better? Take advantage of your competition’s weak points and position yourself as a desired resource. In this respect, social listening can be beneficial. An impactful social media competitive analysis is within your reach.
To make the process easy, we’ve broken it down into a couple of steps:
- Choose competitors and start monitoring
- Analyse social media marketing statistics
- Dive into mentions
- Look over social media listening reports
- Feel positive about your work
Now, turn the listening insights into actionable business steps. Combine the findings with your intuition, conduct additional market research, and bring together people from all departments to brainstorm ideas for website copy, campaign strategies, and so forth. Keep in mind that social listening isn’t the same thing as social monitoring. It looks beyond the numbers. The goal of social listening is to uncover the attitude and feelings behind the data.
2. Read B2B Buyers’ Minds by Their Keywords
Keyword research provides invaluable insight into the queries your target market is searching on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and so on. When someone has just started the buyer’s journey, searches and questions are broader in nature. Nonetheless, the keywords and phrases become more specific as they get closer to the purchase. Keyword research is the key to understanding your target audience and how they search for products and services similar to yours. More often than not, you can determine a keyword’s search intent based on the keyword itself and its search results. For instance, an informational keyword shows you that the person is still learning.
Buyer intent is an effective metric that can be leveraged by your sales team. Without it, it can be hard to maximise the value of sales and marketing activity. There’s no point in spending your budget on someone who isn’t interested in your products or services or won’t be able to purchase for a long time. Knowing the most popular keywords helps you understand what content you should be producing. Buyers have a lot of information to digest, meaning that quality is more important than quantity. You get the idea: Be specific. According to Gartner, information drives purchase ease and high-quality sales.
3. Pay Close Attention to Ratings and Reviews
A staggering percentage of B2B buyers use web-based rating and review sites to support their decisions. These websites have information that serves them at all stages of the sales funnel. If you come to think about it, it makes sense. The buyer can’t see the merchandise for themselves, so they rely on online ratings and reviews to be their eyes and ears. If you want to find out what customers really think, pay a visit to one of these sites:
- G2 Crowd
Customer feedback is helpful in terms of determining product roadmap planning, making the right pricing decisions, and delivering consistently great customer service. Understand what people like and dislike, see what recommendations they give to others, and what problems you can solve with your products or services. Make your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts easily accessible so that prospective clients can reach out with questions and comments.
In response to B2B customer feedback, prioritise areas of improvement taking into consideration importance, performance, the volume of customers impacted (and their value), operational viability, and commercial feasibility. Feedback is only valuable if you use it. If you leave it sitting in an online repository, it won’t be of any help. If there’s something you can act on, you should better do it. Ask yourself: what are you going to do with this information?
These are just some of the ways in which you can conduct B2B market research. You can use a mixed methodology in your research to uncover important information. Once qualitative and quantitative data have been collected, you can examine the information and draw conclusions. Use the results to move your business forward. Everyone in the company, ranging from the leadership team to the customer support representatives, will benefit from the insights you’ve gathered. The best part is that the results can be used anytime in your business operations. They’ll be empowered with actionable insights.
B2B customers expect more than just a product exchange. Therefore, you have to be proactive and nurture the entire customer experience. It’s necessary to support the entire buyer journey via the strategic use of digital technology. It’s your responsibility to build trust with the buyer and win their business. Building trust takes time, yet it can be broken in an instant.
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