Imagine you're a chef, and you've just created a new dish. You think it's a masterpiece, but how do you know if your customers will feel the same? You could rely on your gut feeling, or you could go out and ask your diners what they think.
The same principle applies to B2B marketing: You might think you have the best product or service, but without market research, you're essentially marketing blind.
In this episode of the Marketing Smarts Live Show, host George B. Thomas sat down with Jim Longo, a veteran in the market research industry, to discuss why market research is the strategic secret sauce for B2B marketing success.
Jim Longo is not just another market researcher; he's a visionary with 30+ years of experience in the industry. He has seen the landscape evolve and understands the nuances that many overlook. His approach to market research is holistic, focusing not just on data but on the human conversations that data can facilitate.
Let's unpack the wisdom shared during this enlightening conversation.
Why Market Research Matters: The Heart of the Matter
Jim emphasizes that market research is not just about collecting data points but about having meaningful conversations with customers. "Data is just the tip of the iceberg," he says. "What lies beneath is a treasure trove of insights that can only be accessed through genuine conversations."
Action item: Evaluate your current market research methods. Are you just collecting data, or are you having meaningful conversations with your customers?
The Pitfall of Confirmation Bias: A Cautionary Tale
We all love to hear that we're right, don't we? But in market research, confirmation bias can be a significant hurdle. Jim advises that trained professionals facilitate conversations to avoid leading questions and to ensure unbiased results.
Mindset shift: Be open to hearing what you don't want to hear. It's those uncomfortable truths that often lead to the most significant growth.
The Art of Customer Segmentation: Know Thy Customer
Before you even begin your research, you need to know whom you're talking to. Jim advises looking at who is buying your product now, whom you want to sell to in the future, and why you might have lost certain customers.
Action item: Revisit your customer segmentation strategy. Are you aligned with your current and future customer needs?
Stakeholder Involvement: A Collective Journey
Market research shouldn't be a one-department show. Jim recommends involving stakeholders throughout the process. Doing so ensures that the research is not just passed over to an insights team but is a collaborative effort that benefits the entire organization.
Next step: Involve stakeholders in the planning and execution of your market research. Make it a team effort.
Emotional Connection: The Human Element in B2B
Even in the B2B landscape, emotions play a role. Jim points out that understanding the emotional connection between your product and your customer can offer invaluable insights.
Principle: People buy from people, not companies. Even in B2B, emotional connections matter.
Conclusion & Your Next Steps
Market research is not a one-and-done activity; it's an ongoing process that requires attention, expertise, and a willingness to adapt.
- Conduct a market research audit in your organization.
- Train or hire professionals for effective market research.
- Involve stakeholders in the planning and execution of your market research.
- Re-evaluate your customer segmentation and targeting strategies.
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Join Jim and host George for their lively look at B2B market research:
Episode Details, Guest Information, and Referenced Links
Episode No. 22
- Live date: January 9, 2023
- Episode link: www.youtube.com/live/oS5GSaRSCig
- Original podcast episode: Market Research for B2B Marketing Success: Jim Longo on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]
Guest's social media profiles:
MarketingProfs resources referenced in the show:
- Marketing Research Tool: Expert Advice, Articles, & More
- The Secret to Great Marketing Research: Ask the Right Questions
"In B2B News" article referenced in the show:
"From the #mpb2b Community" links referenced in the show:
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