Business to business marketing is growing as the internet improves inter-business commerce. Today, B2B commerce exceeds 5 trillion in revenue per year thanks to B2B marketing techniques and research strategies.
Though even with B2B marketing’s proven results, only 60 percent of businesses have a concrete B2B business plan. So why are 40 percent of businesses not capitalizing on business-to-business marketing?
The answer lies in marketing research. Identifying datasets helps target consumers (businesses) and create a successful marketing strategy.
Beyond communication, globalization also increases the number of businesses within your target niche. And while you won’t find those businesses on Google, you can find them with market research.
So today, we’re breaking down the steps in marketing research your business needs to find and market to potential clients.
Marketing Research 101
First thing’s first; we need to touch on exactly what marketing research means. It’s the process of studying datasets derived from surveying human participants and analyzing data.
If it sounds complex, don’t worry, it’s actually straightforward. Market research just means collecting data, whether from focus-groups or social media.
And collecting data means finding your “personas.” “Personas” refer to which businesses might have an interest in your product or service.
After you have your personas you can start the actual data collecting. You’ll gather information from surveys, social media cookies, business contacts, and third-party databases.
To keep it simple let’s break down the market research process step by step. We’ll start with identifying personas, move onto data collection, and touch on marketing campaigns.
Finding Buyer Personas
Every different niche that’s interested in your product represents a buyer persona. You’ll target companies that fall into these personas with your B2B marketing strategy.
Finding personas means deciding who’s likely to buy your product or service. To get started, look no further than your current clients. We’ll call them “pre-existing clients.”
Break your pre-existing clients into narrow personas based on their business niche. The personas that generate revenue will yield the best return on your marketing investment.
Third-party tools can help analyze your existing customer database, grouping clients into categories that represent your best B2B opportunities. The same tools can also identify niches where you can find more B2B clients.
Moving past pre-existing clients, we have what we’ll call, “database clients.” These are “clients” taken from a third-party database.
These databases help find not only relevant buyer personas but also potential clients to include in those personas.
Collecting Consumer Data
Collecting consumer data really means sorting clients into personas and then collecting information that helps formulate a marketing strategy for each persona.
To collect the best persona data, conduct both human and data-based market research. First, send out surveys and conduct focus-groups to identify what type of businesses like your product.
Survey and questionnaire design vary based on the specific persona you’re targeting and your own product or service.
Though beyond human research methods you can also capitalize on the rise of social media and its enormous datasets.
Take Facebook, for instance.
Nearly every business uses the social media giant, and Facebook takes advantage of its own popularity. The platform attaches “cookies” to web browsers that then track browsing history.
And when 71 percent of B2B researchers begin their product investigation using Google…well, it means Facebook knows everything about those business’ search habits.
Software can take that information and connect browsing histories with Facebook profiles. Once assigned a profile, businesses are easily grouped into personas based on location, demographic, size, and more.
Once you’ve gathered several personas from human and data-based research, it’s time to design your B2B campaigns.
A Look Into Campaigns
Marketing is the final culmination of any set of B2B market research steps. After all, you’re collecting information to sell your product or service to the company most likely to buy them.
Knowing how your buyer personas think, feel about, and interact with your brand helps design strong marketing content.
And the better your marketing campaigns, the better the chances they’ll turn companies into conversions.
Similar to conducting the market research itself, third-party software can help analyze data trends within buyer personas that will help your brand narrow your B2B marketing efforts.
Creating Your Own Steps in Marketing Research
Following our steps in marketing research will give you a solid foundation to build upon. While not perfect, our guide covers the basics you need to know to research for your next B2B campaign.
However, we recognize our guide isn’t the be all end all of market research knowledge. There’s much more to organizing a marketing campaign than we can summarize in 100 words.
For instance, we touched on third-party software but didn’t elaborate too much on how it can help your B2B campaigns. Third-party software’s true applications aren’t something we can quickly explain.
Instead, it’s best to talk to the experts. And that’s why we’re here to help. We hire experts that know B2B market research from data collection to the final B2B marketing product.
Our B2B solutions can help your business access data sets, organize your own data, bolster your SEO, utilize social network data, and more.
We specialize in connecting your company with the global B2B market to ensure you’re one of the 60 percent of businesses with a strong B2B strategy.
If you’re ready to start your B2B market research, get in contact with us. We’re ready to bring your brand market research success.