Artificial Intelligence is sweeping through the world at an unprecedented pace. First adopter industries such as high tech, automotive, and financial services utilize AI to help foster innovations like autonomous driving, automated investing, and software machine-to-machine learning. For our B-to-B industries, however, the opportunity for AI-driven insights presents a challenge for both corporate market researchers and market research agencies alike. Much of the daily work has already been significantly and successfully outsourced to software, such as data gathering, cleaning, and report population (to name just a few ways), yet successful researchers have adapted, innovated, and leveraged these changes to focus on activities that software cannot (yet) replicate. Simply put, the ways for market researchers to provide value to decision makers (in ways that #AI cannot) will continue to, as more solutions incorporate this incredible software innovation.
New product development processes have typically described several phases. For example, the famous Stage-Gate process has six stages separated by six defined go/no-go gates. Other methods have more or fewer steps. Here are a few of the more popular methodologies for new product development:
Data is great. But most data consist of information about a single point in time, especially when the survey is about a single transaction, such as your last visit to a restaurant. Recurring – or tracking – research is valuable because it can tell you whether that data point is increasing, decreasing, or staying the same over time. And those changes can have a significant impact on the success of your business.
Think back to that microeconomics class you took in college, and you may remember that elusive concept: the “rational man.” According to economic theory at that time, people made purchasing and investment decisions rationally. The only problem is – they don’t.
If they did, everyone would save enough money for retirement, no one would take on more student loans than they can comfortably pay back, and there would be no state lotteries because the chances of winning are just not high enough to rationally justify the investment.
You’ve probably seen some version of these B2B customer loyalty statistics*
● Reducing customer attrition by as little as 5% can increase profitability by 20% to 125%.
● The likelihood of selling to an existing customer is 60% to 70%, compared to 5% to 20% for a new one.
● 40% to 50% of companies haven’t brought on a new vendor in the last five years.
● Loyal customers spend ten times more on your business than new ones.
● Acquiring new customers can cost up to five times more than generating new business from someone with whom you’ve already worked.
● 84% of B2B decision makers start the buying process with a referral.
“Why do I need a brand? I’m not Coca-Cola.”
Consumer brands spend millions developing, monitoring and enhancing their brands, which may lead to the misconception that brands are not important for B2B companies. Even if you don’t think you need a brand, you already have one. David Ogilvy described brands as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes.” That includes the advantage you deliver, how and where you deliver it, and the value of that benefit. Essentially, if you have customers, you have a brand. So, let’s examine some brand positioning basics – and why brands matter for B2B.
If it’s been a while since your last statistics course, you might feel a bit intimidated by some of the terminology used in marketing research. After all, great examples of data misinterpretation and misuse are all around us these days! This blog should help you understand some the most common terms as well as explain common pitfalls for each.
Concept testing is that stage in product or marketing campaign development where concepts (usually detailed descriptions or storyboards) are evaluated to determine if they have enough potential for further investment and development. With the astounding rates of new product failure in the market, it is safe to assume that many businesses neglect this critical phase.
Your key messages are the superheroes of your marketing campaigns. They cut through the clutter! They jump off the screen! They change minds and create sales! Marketing messages form the focus and deliver the pay-off for our campaigns. Without a robust set of marketing messages, you risk weak and ineffective communications. We ask a lot of our marketing messages, and that’s why it is always a good idea to test them before you launch your campaign. Here are six questions that you should answer to make sure your marketing messages have the maximum superpowers:
Most businesses understand that innovation and new products are critical activities for their success. But neither innovation nor great new products simply come like a flash of lightning. As Idris Mootee writes in the Ivey Business Journal: “Innovation is a process, and while the introduction of a genuinely innovative product or service may be highly publicized or even glamorous, the process itself is driven much less by creative brainstorming or strategic planning than by carefully managed and highly-sophisticated cross-disciplinary thinking and research.”