We talk a lot about consumers, and they do constitute a large portion of our work across research and analysis, branding and marketing strategy, and recruitment and retention. But we also do a lot of B2B insights work for clients as well, often in partnership with our agency customers.
B2B projects have an extra layer of complexity, with gatekeepers, procurement processes, multiple buyers and decision makers, varied titles and myriad industries. But the insights are just as critical to connecting, engaging, converting and retaining them as customers.
Many of the same techniques apply to B2B just as they do to B2C. The difference is often in scope, scale, and goals of the research. For example:
Research & Analysis for Insight Development
With B2B organizations, the survey sample size is often much smaller than in consumer research, so it can be trickier to get statistically significant results. It’s relatively easy to access a consumer panel of thousands. With B2B, while digital and social platforms offer broader reach than we once had, samples are more often in the hundreds at best. In these cases, we put extra effort toward targeting and response rates.
We also need to be careful in the analysis stage. It can be helpful to look at subsets of data, for example, by title, or by geography. But when the sample size is limited to start with, we have to take care not to read too much into subset results. B2B insights initiatives often favor more direct forms of research, like focus groups and interviews, as well as social listening.
Branding & Marketing Strategy
When it’s time to apply the insights to branding and marketing strategy, there is little difference. The same principles apply, with insights informing the direction at every step:
- Start with your business, brand, product and service identity, vision and mission
- Identify your primary market segments and priority target markets
- Develop your value proposition with customer value at the core
- Create your marketing and communications strategy
Recruiting & Retention
In this case, the focus shifts to a consumer mindset regardless of whether the organization is B2B or B2C. The prospective and existing employees are the consumers of the corporate brand, message, and culture. It is this area in particular where Millennial and Gen Z consumer insights come back into full play.
B2B Insight Discussion
With the nuances listed below, a specific conversation is much more relevant than a conversation about general corporate insights. We would be happy to talk through some sample B2B insights projects with you and answer questions about things like industries served, how we conduct our research, and what the marketing strategy development process involves. Contact us to get the conversation started.