As a business owner or decision-maker, you are likely to be focused on a myriad of functions, juggling so many responsibilities. With so many operational activities it can be difficult to have the time to sit down and start thinking about what your potential customers want, who they are, where they are… customer research and market analysis in a nutshell.
But trust us, dedicating time or resources to this type of research can be invaluable to the growth of your business.
Here's a quick look at why market data is so important. As well as some tips on how to find a strategic partner to help you with this arduous task.
What is customer research and market analysis in B2B businesses?
Customer research and market analyses are the study and collection of data that illustrates and defines who your ideal customer is. On the one hand, it structures who your potential customer is, how they think and what their needs are. It also defines the trends and dynamics of the market in which you participate and ultimately, but not least, it helps to tailor your product, improve your service and even boost your sales and marketing strategies.
This is an essential exercise for the success of any B2B-focused company. Whether your goal is to launch a new product or expand your market reach, it is essential to have data as a guide to help you make informed decisions.
In a brief overview, market research can help with:
- Identification of opportunities and threats.
- Knowing your added value and main differentiator
- Improve your products or services
- Knowing your ideal and potential customers
- Knowing the decision-making and purchasing processes
- Sizing your market and your competition
- Understanding trends
- Define effective messages for your audience
- Investing your time and money in the right sites/activities
Whether you are an entrepreneur just starting out or a veteran looking to grow your market share, it is crucial that you invest in research and analytics to build a solid foundation for success.
The challenge of market analysis in B2B businesses
While market research targeting B2C companies can also be complex and just as important, B2B-focused companies can have bigger hurdles when trying to do analysis. These are often highly focused and complex audiences, with lower demand and higher prices.
Given that even the sales effort is more complex when trying to sell to a company, it is natural to think that even the research needs to be much more in-depth. Failure to put effort into this analysis can also damage your brand's reputation.
Focusing on data such as gender, age and marital status will only result in a very limited perspective. In B2B approaches there are determining factors such as the search for needs, knowledge of organizational or internal structures, and budgets among others.
How to conduct customer research and market analysis in B2B business?
There are several ways to conduct customer and market research. Some are simpler, such as asking your target audience directly, through surveys or focus groups. Others are a bit more laborious such as analyzing web and social media data.
Also acquiring demographic reports from huge companies like Nielsen or Forrester Research, although can be useless if you don't have the knowledge to analyze and employ such information.
When conducting customer research and market analysis for a B2B company, there are some key considerations to keep in mind:
Imagine the research as a train ride.. where are you trying to get to?
Defining objectives will help you have a much more efficient path: are you trying to grow? are you trying to test a new product in the market? do you want to expand? move your business? improve it?
Collect market data
It is important to collect market data and analyze both current and expected trends and patterns in the industry. This information can help you identify areas with growth potential, as well as any existing or emerging challenges that your business needs to address.
Analyze competitors to understand their audience
B2B businesses need to take a close look at their competition and their target market in order to properly position themselves. By understanding what your competitors are doing and how your target market prefers to be communicated with, you can better set yourself up for success.
This process starts with a competitor analysis. B2B businesses should look at their competitors' marketing materials, their sales strategies, and their customer service practices. This will give you a good idea of what's working well for them and where there might be opportunities for improvement.
Once you have a good understanding of your competition, you can begin to develop your own positioning strategy. This should be based on customer research and market analysis. By taking the time to understand your audience and your competition, you'll be in a much better position to succeed in the B2B market.
Pay attention to your customers (if you already have them).
It is crucial to survey your existing customers and understand their needs, preferences and experiences with your products or services. This information can help you identify areas for improvement and can also be used to inform future product development efforts or marketing strategies.
Are there different methods of market research?
Ultimately, defining what type of research your company needs will depend on the answers obtained in the previous section.
This is about obtaining first source information. In this exercise, your company talks directly to your target audience to find out their needs or data.
As this is the first source of information, it is of great value. However, in such a dynamic industry as B2B, you may encounter several obstacles, such as lack of time or lack of interest.
This is information obtained by external companies, according to its nature, it can be public or private.
What makes this type of information stand out is that when it comes from external sources, it provides a fresher and more global perspective. However, depending on the sources, it may be inaccurate or biased.
Here it also comes into play whether the nature of the data and information obtained is qualitative or quantitative, depending on this will highlight key features such as accuracy or visualization of nuances.
Benefits of market research and consumer analysis
Increase your ROI
Having the support of market research helps make your next steps more effective, reducing unnecessary or ineffective spending.
Keeps you up to date on your customers or market
Know if your market is changing, who your competitors are and even expected changes.
Improve the number of your contacts
For your company to make the most of its resources, you need to target your messages to customers who may actually need your products. Understand what your differentiator is and who you need to target.
A perfect ally to grow your business
As a business owner or decision-maker, it's easy to neglect things like customer research and market analysis. But trust us: taking the time to understand your customers and anticipate changes in your industry can pay big dividends in growing your business. Fortunately, at Skief Labs we are market data experts. We understand our client's needs and we relieve this heavy burden.
It's time to grow, contact us!