B2B marketers, get in here, please.
If we were to count the number of individual businesses in the world and individual consumers too, the latter would outweigh the former. However, it is often more challenging to market to a business audience than it would be to a commercial audience.
That is why B2B marketers tend to go all out when suggesting new strategies to not only keep their business afloat but also stay ahead of the competition curve.
With time, the place of research has become a point of contention. In times like this, when the economy is taking a downward trend, it becomes essential to review why research should be at the heart of all your campaigns.
Minimizing your Risks
There was a time when your brand could afford to take a series of bets and see what works out so that you can best focus on that. Look around you today, and you will see that there is no room for such luxury anymore.
This is not the time to gamble, but the moment of truth to only pursue what works.
That is the best way to ensure you can get back on your feet as fast as possible. It will also allow you to set up for an environment that will enable you to test and place bets in the future.
Right now, you want to go back to the research to see what it says about your business. You also want to evaluate what the research says about your target market – and how the current pandemic might have changed things.
On the back of that, research is also what shows you what kinds of marketing strategies and market entry tricks that you can leverage for better success.
This is not the time to trust your guts alone while going forward.
Of course, you must have been knocking out great marketing strategies for years now. Seeing as this is a different climate to what we have come to know, though, even you should know that nothing might work as it used to in the past.
Identifying Advertising Channels
A research piece showed that of all organic search and site traffic in Q1 2019, 52% came from mobile phones.
This might look like mere numbers to some, but it means more than that to a marketer.
For one, it shows that you have to optimize your website and other online channel contents so much that they can be well represented on mobile. Without that, you will be left with up to half of your potential market share being stolen by another brand that has gone the way of mobile.
Between the time that this research was first conducted and now, it is evident that the mobile search market has grown higher. Thus, companies investing in their mobile model will be the biggest beneficiaries of this mobile pump.
Right now, too, the way by which you reach your audience will have changed.
Some of them used to interact with you via their work emails and platforms, but they don’t have access to such anymore. More people are at home and streaming live content from the internet – so that means you can reach them better with ads rather than email right now.
Likewise, your research should tell you what devices your target market is accessing the internet with. That way, you can better prepare to create something to give them a wholesome experience of you on their preferred hardware.
The best marketers in the game understand that research is not just about understanding their target market – but knowing every threat that they have in the market too. One such risk is the competition.
Why is competition significant?
Say you are in the automobile business, and there are only 100 eligible consumers in the areas where your company operates. These are 100 clients that should be on your books, but your competition could have taken about half or more of them.
Thus, no matter how good your marketing is, you won’t be able to realize the full potential of it. Unless you understand what the competition is doing, and can rival that.
This is where competition research comes into the mix.
Now, you know what tools the other brands are using to attract the market to its side. You also gain a more in-depth insight into what parts of their offering seems to be the customer magnet. Armed with that information, you get to launch better campaigns of your own.
Every business has goals that it has to meet. But then, how do you come up with these goals?
There is a common saying that asks you to aim for the stars, seeing as you would land on the moon even if you failed. In regular parlance, that means that when you aim high, you would still hit a lofty goal that might not be the one you were gunning for.
As a marketer, NEVER think this way.
Without research, how do you even know that you have aimed for the stars? The goals might look lofty to you, but they could be mediocre according to what the statistics say you can achieve.
This works both ways too. After all, we have seen marketing teams fail just because they set unrealistic goals for themselves and had to go out of their way to achieve it.
While there is nothing terrible in aiming very high, marketing has become a science that recommends you stay within reasonable bounds.
A useful example here is with email opening statistics, which vary from about 15% – 25%, according to the industry. Without proper research into your industry, you might be aiming for the top percentile when that is not associated with your industry – and vice versa.
There was a time when we discussed the seeming rift between the marketing and finance departments, and how to eliminate such.
One of the many ways to get that done is with research.
The CFO got to where they are today by being able to see the numbers and interpret them. If you have a great marketing campaign not backed by the numbers, you might not get enough funding to make it happen.
We have been doing good marketing for long enough to know that not getting enough budget might be like not getting anything at all. Some marketing strategies need the next step to breakout. If the budget were to finish before that next step, everything goes to zero.
When you have the numbers to back up your claims, though, finance sees you as a more viable investment. You have also given the CFO something to back up their decision when they have to report to the upper management.
Finally, you will have made yourself accountable via the numbers you gave – so you have your work cut out for you too.
Let’s Imagine you didn’t Research
Let us say that, for one reason or the other, you decided not to go with market research.
On a typical day, the market is always evolving.
No one would have believed that digital marketing will take the crown from conventional marketing, but here we are today.
Without the research, we might not have been able to catch on faster than people are consuming more and more content on smaller and smaller screens. This went from the large TV screens to desktop computers, down to personal computers and then mobile phones.
Right now, we are not having a typical day.
The coronavirus pandemic, for one, has thrown many markets into turmoil. Even though it is affecting everyone, businesses will be hit harder than individuals. This makes B2B marketing very sensitive at a time like this.
With all that in tow, you are at a considerable disadvantage without research to guide you.
The veteran marketers will still have their ideas and guts, but how will they know how best to deploy these ideas where the data isn’t there for them? This means that they have to blow through a lot of marketing money, test plenty of strategies based on their thoughts, and cross their fingers.
While things can work, the chances are very slim – and we don’t like those odds.
Importantly, the fact remains that by the time you make headway with what your gut might be telling you, the competition might have left you in the dust. This is the same thing that will happen if you don’t leverage research fast enough.
Again, we do not like those odds. Do you?
Get Started Today
You don’t have to wait till things get back to normal before you start getting your research hats on. This is the best time to reach out to a qualified researching brand to get things going for you.
At iResearch, we help brands deploy various tools and protocols to capture both the instantaneous and future outlooks of the market.
That way, these brands can best prepare for what is happening now while also keeping in mind how to ensure continuous growth.
Only then are you guaranteed to see the current market condition as a speedbump rather than a mountain.
Do any of these trends jump out?
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