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.

Next steps:

  • 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.

* * *

Join Jim and host George for their lively look at B2B market research:

Make sure you don't miss any future episodes: Subscribe to the Marketing Smarts Live Show on YouTube. And to catch up on all previous episodes, check out the full playlist on YouTube.

Episode Details, Guest Information, and Referenced Links

Episode No. 22

Guest's social media profiles:

MarketingProfs resources referenced in the show:

"In B2B News" article referenced in the show:

"From the #mpb2b Community" links referenced in the show:


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image of George B. Thomas

George B. Thomas is a marketer, video Jedi, and HubSpot certified trainer with 25+ years of sales and marketing experience. George is owner and HubSpot Helper at He has a record-breaking 38 HubSpot sales, marketing, service, CRM, and CMS certifications. George harnesses his expertise in graphic design, Web development, video editing, social media marketing, and inbound marketing to partner with, teach, and develop solutions for companies looking to develop their businesses and increase their revenue.

LinkedIn: George B. Thomas

Twitter: @GeorgeBThomas