Most good B2B marketers today know that effective marketing requires the insight of market research.
Research reveals much of the critical information needed to make productive marketing decisions. This information includes the answers to:
- Who is the buying decision-maker?
- Who influences the buying decision?
- What are the biggest pains experienced by the users, influencers and decision-makers that the product or service being sold can relieve?
- What other options are open to prospective buyers for solving this problem?
- Is the product and/or company known in the market?
- How is the company and/or product perceived by the market?
- What channels and resources are prospective buyers using to research and evaluate solutions?
- What are the objections to purchasing the product or service?
- How can these objections be overcome?
Products and services are usually created to fill existing gaps in business processes or operations. Thus, many of these questions must be answered before the product is even created. But once the B2B marketing has begun, fresh research is needed to determine which channels, messaging and content offers have the best chance of producing the desired marketing results.
In addition to traditional research methods (industry surveys, benchmark studies, analyst insight) there is one research method that can take as little as 15 minutes and yield immeasurable insight. That is to sit down and ask the above questions to one or more of the sales people in the organization.
Because sales people are in direct contact with prospects on a daily basis, the answers marketers need are safely tucked inside their heads. Having frequent 15-minute one-to-one conversations with individual sales people is a smart and easy way to help keep marketing messages, content offers and even channel choices on target.