B2B Market Research is the basic requirement for any business to increase their market share. Market Research is not new to businesses but with the advent of technology, the field of Market Research is also getting advanced day by day. B2B market research is often about obtaining feedback about goods and services so that they can be improved.
B2B market research, sometimes known as business-to-business market research, helps businesses understand what customers need so that they can provide them with better products or services. Some companies find that the best way to do B2B market research is to hire a specialized B2B research firm.
Set Up a Customer Referral System
One of today’s most underrated B2B marketing strategies is establishing a referral system. Referrals have always been a huge source of new business for companies, but the spotlight has mostly been on digital marketing over the past decade.
Try to build customer referrals into your B2B marketing process from the very start. You can employ paid or natural methods to get referrals.
Establish default periods of time where you gauge customer happiness, and solicit referrals from happy customers. For example, if are a commercial lawn care company, consider sending out an email every six months that a customer has been with you to ask for feedback about your services. If the customer leaves you positive feedback, let them know that you’d appreciate it if they could spread the word with their network.
The paid approach would follow the same process, except you’d offer an incentive. For example, you could offer 10% of the next month’s retainer for every new customer referred. This would come at a very small cost to you and would generate a significant amount of revenue.
Use Influencer Marketing
Partnering with influencers can be a very effective marketing strategy for B2B businesses. It makes the most sense to leverage this if there are well-known public figures for the industry you’re targeting.
Going back to our commercial construction example, if your construction firm is trying to get contracts for restaurant build-outs you could partner with a public figure that most restaurant owners follow. Sponsoring a promotional article about your restaurant designs on Gordon Ramsay or Guy Fieri’s blog could be a great way to generate leads.
There’s a good chance you know about local influencers in your target industries. If you’re operating a local business, these local influencers are probably a relevant and cost-effective way to improve your business to business marketing effectiveness.
Leverage Marketing Automation
The use of marketing automation is becoming more and more popular as a business to business marketing tactic. You can use automation to engage with and nurture business leads, as well as integrate all of your marketing channels.
For example, if someone fills out a form to download a case study on your website, marketing automation can be used to follow-up with related, personalized emails. This is a great way to maximize the usefulness of every single contact that your B2B marketing techniques generate.
Be careful not to overwhelm your business contacts with marketing automation. If your emails become too frequent or your messaging becomes too personalized, you could cause a contact to unsubscribe from your marketing list.
Research Customer Pain Points
Successful B2B marketing starts by researching what your customers need. Just because you’re offering a product or service doesn’t mean customers will come running. Find out what drives the demand for your product/service, and how you can stand apart from the competition.
One way to better identify your customer needs is to form customer user groups. Similar to focus groups for a new product, customer user groups leverage the people that are already benefiting from your offerings. For example, after interviewing your customer user group, you may find that marketing for IT companies is more effective when you focus on the pain point of cloud security. Identifying these pain points can go a long way when tailoring your marketing message.
User groups can be conducted in person, or you can build surveys that uncover the unique pain points that customers experience before searching for your solution.
Other research methods include doing keyword research to discover organic search demand or leveraging existing data about your industry.
Prioritize Reviews, Testimonials, and Case Studies
One of the most effective B2B marketing strategies is leveraging reviews, testimonials, and case studies from existing customers. This builds credibility in the eyes of potential customers who need to know your products or services can deliver.
Reviews and testimonials are important to your B2B digital marketing strategy as well. Reviews can be leveraged online to help your brand outrank competitors and improve your organic and Google Ads click-through rates. Learn more about how to get Google reviews for your business today!
Case studies are helpful the closer you get to a purchase decision. For example, when customers have a list of potential product/service providers together, they’ll want to see how you’ve performed in the past. Having a case study of a similar customer might be the proof your prospects need to see before making a big purchase decision.
Use B2B SEO
Search engine optimization is a valuable asset to your B2B online marketing. Prospects need to make informed decisions, so they conduct preliminary online research. If you’re not a top result for the product or service you’re selling, you might not even be considered as a potential vendor.
One way to improve your SEO is by leveraging content marketing for your business website. Content marketing helps position your brand as an authority to both search engines and users. In fact, content strategy has proven to have a major role in B2B manufacturing marketing and manufacturing web design. Both of these work together to improve SEO for manufacturers and drive organic search traffic. By regularly publishing highly educational content, you show your subject matter expertise and help users make more informed decisions.
Use Social Media for Business
Social media has evolved from a determining dimension to a qualifying dimension. Simply having a social media presence will no longer set your business apart from the competition. You are expected to be present and active on the major social channels, and your absence could rule you out for potential customers.
Business purchasing managers use social media reviews and cultural cues to decide if your organization is a good fit. This is especially true for creative industries, such as businesses looking for top marketing companies or professional services. There are plenty of reasons why your business needs social media marketing, but just being active on your channels may no longer cut it.
Organic reach for social media has been declining over the past few years due to user saturation. For the most exposure to potential customers, you need to have a paid social media budget.
Your B2B internet marketing should include paid spend on search and social media. These paid B2B marketing services can generate great ROI if done correctly.
Learning how to successfully advertise on social media can help you meet your prospects where they already spend their time. The decision-makers and purchasing managers that you’re targeting represent businesses, but they are just people at the end of the day. They spend time on social media channels, and you can use the advanced targeting features of today’s popular social channels to reach them.
Paid search is also a great way to target relevant prospects. The difference between organic vs. paid search is that you can jump the line and appear at the top of the search results without having to pour time into SEO.
Paid search targets your prospects for their exact interest at the exact moment they’re interested. Traditional marketing often relies on user demographics for targeting. This is why many business to business marketing strategies prioritize digital over traditional.
Track Your Campaigns and Use Reports
How will you know if your B2B marketing strategies are effective? Before you implement any strategy, develop a system for tracking its effectiveness.
If you’re engaging in B2B SEO, what will you use to measure rankings, organic traffic, and conversions? If you’re advertising on social media, do you have to correct pixels installed so that you can trace ROI back to its source?
If you’re using forms of traditional marketing for B2B, they might be more difficult to track. However, just because something’s difficult to track doesn’t mean you should avoid measuring it. If you want to improve your marketing effectiveness over time, you’ll need to track and regularly review reports about the marketing KPIs that matter most to your business.
Other methods Includes:
- Brand research — Learn how you are perceived in the marketplace and where your opportunities lie. Use this information to differentiate your business and strengthen your brand.
- Client research — Discover what your clients and prospects want and how you can deliver it. Use this information to adjust your marketing messages, services and operations to meet the changing needs of the marketplace.
- Market research — Find out who your true competitors are, what services you should be offering and what opportunities you can take advantage of.
- Client satisfaction research — Answer the question, “how happy are your clients with your work and service?”
- Client journey research — Map out the path people take to find, learn to trust and buy your products or services. Use this information to reduce friction in the buying process, improve you closing rate and raising your service standards.
- Client persona research — Who are the people that buy your services or influence those who make the final decision? What messages do they need to hear? Persona research will identify and profile them so your marketing and sales can be more persuasive.
Example B2B Companies
Research Now: Online Market Research Company. As the established global expert in online market research data, Research Now optimizes your market research and decision making to drive business results.
Market research and user experience research experts | GfK Global. GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s data science experience.
B2B Market Research Company | B2B International. We are the leading B2B market research company. Our international research reach and deep industry experience helps top b2b brands realise their potential.
Time is not always on your side as a marketer, and it’s often even more oppressive to your peers in sales. After all, the more time your sellers have to spend in their sales cycles, the fewer deals they can actually close in a given year… and ultimately, that’s less revenue that you can attribute to marketing. Sales coaching is one way top performing firms shorten their sales cycles, but through this report, you can get a broader idea of how impactful tactical improvements to sales efficiency can really be.
MarketingSherpa’s 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report
The only premium report specifically recommended in this list, MarketingSherpa’s annual report analyzes the strategies and tactics of top performing B2B organizations, providing survey data on successes, challenges, and tactics designed to increase the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
Aberdeen Group: Lead Scoring Prioritization
Aberdeen’s guide to lead scoring is a few years old but still relevant and frequently referenced. Per Executive Summary, “The report identifies best practices in lead scoring and prioritization by analyzing the processes, capabilities, and performance of top performing organizations.”
In coordination with Eloqua’s Grand Guide to Lead Scoring, these resources are must have lead scoring references for B2B marketers.
Mintel: Global Market Research & Market Insight. Mintel is a global and award-winning provider of Market Research. We deliver top-class data, Market research, trends & insights to impact your business.
To reiterate the previous point about making improvements to sales efficiency, this research report highlights the value of maintaining sales training reinforcement practices. Sure, the Best-in-Class are 15% more likely to support post-training sales education activities, but the implications also extend to quota attainment, sales team personnel retention, and overall knowledge sharing and collaboration.
Want more free resources on marketing and sales alignment of overall marketing best practices? Join Aberdeen’s free readership community today!
Market Research Chicago | Market Research Companies | C+R. At C+R Research, a market insights agency, we deliver great research, deep perspective and committed client service.
JL Market Research – A Montana Based Market Research Company. JL Market Research Company is Montana based with over 20 years of experience in marketing and marketing research, you can depend on us to provide accurate and understandable market research.
Turquoise | Full colour market research company. A leading global market research company combining 30 years of experience with an ongoing relentlessness for understanding how humans behave.
Explorer Research – The Behavioral Research Company. Explorer Research is a leading behavioral research firm. We deliver deeper insights and better market research through advanced behavioral science.
Market Research Agencies in India, Market Research Companies in India. Top Market Research Agency in India – Market Xcel is the top market research company in Delhi, India. Get market research method for your business and reach more clients by this firm.
Market Research Company in Chicago Area | Insights in Marketing. Insights in Marketing can help your business solve your marketing research needs. We’ll help you understand your customer in no time!
Pacific Market Research. Pacific Market Research is one of the nation’s leading research and consulting firms. Our mission: To challenge the definition of market research and consulting by finding new ways to deliver data, insights and strategies that enable clear, decisive action.
Business Research Services India | B2B Lead Generation, Market Research, Data Collection Company India, US, UK – iResearch Services.
Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) is engaged in providing big data and predictive analytics solutions to CPG, retail, OTC healthcare, and media companies. The company claims to be catering 95% of CPG, health and beauty, and retail companies in the Fortune 100 list.
Headquarters: Illinois, United States
Founded In: 1979
Revenues: USD 1.2 billion (2018)
Dynata is a provider of first-party data contributed by business professionals and consumers. The company claims to be one of the largest providers of technology-based research solutions and online panel data based on opted-in data.
The company is a result of a merger between Research Now and SSI that happened in December 2017 and was rebranded as Dynata in January 2019.
Headquarters: Texas, United States
Founded In: 1999
Revenues: USD 0.509 billion (2018)
Westat offers research services to help clients in improving outcomes in health, social policy, education, and transportation. Westat undertakes studies on health conditions, employment, medical expenditures, science, technology, and earnings.
Headquarters: Maryland, United States
Founded in: 1963
Employees: ~2,000 (only HQ)
Revenues: USD 0.506 billion (2018)
Intage offers marketing research services as well as marketing system solutions and consulting services based on data obtained from custom research and panel research. The company primarily serves consumer goods clients, companies from the services sector, and government agencies.
Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan
Founded In: 1960
Revenues: USD 0.489 billion (2018)
Businesses want their products and services to be liked by everyone and they want to execute this strategy right from the scratch. For this, they need to know what exactly people need from them or what can be done to make them love your brand.