The best B-to-B Market Research, at its heart, fills knowledge gaps across the spectrum of business decisions using empirical methods. This elite form of research distinguishes itself from secondary research and Google searches because it has a defined scope, has a defined population, and describes the methodology and process used to create the results. The best B-to-B research methodologies have proven themselves over time as the results can be recreated. Leonardo da Vinci invented the empirical methods that the best B-to-B researchers use today, and we can use parallels between Leonardo’s thinking over 500 years ago and today. Continue reading
Growth – it’s the word every business person, manager and leader love to hear. We’ve worked with dozens of B-to-B companies and have consistently found a similarity amongst them all – people want to learn about and understand growth opportunities in their marketplace, or adjacent markets. Growth opportunities often come disguised, however, and lack of knowledge, together with an unsureness of the idea, make for a challenging environment to launch new products or expand into a new market. Organizations can occasionally default to cost-cutting strategies to stimulate growth or may believe that the market is saturated and there are no additional opportunities available. The fact is, it ought to be more comfortable to uncover growth trends today in this hyper-transparent, overly communicative, “social media” world. Take time and investment to capture data that will allow you to distinguish viable growth opportunities with the highest potential. Without data to support the growth, false starts occur, or companies struggle to get the innovation team off the ground. Here are a few ideas for you to identify the most promising growth initiatives and successfully move forward. Continue reading
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.