The Benefits of B2B Market Research
Product differentiation strategy begins with objective insights.
One head-spinning glance at the AdTech/marTech landscape will demonstrate the problem: There are literally thousands of adTech companies vying for the attention of publishers, brand and agency marketers. the adTech landscape appears evergreen. New companies, new capabilities, new solutions, new standards (and new jargon) enter the space every day.
What’s more: Stories of ad dollar waste, fraud, brand safety, and the “easy buttons” of Google and Facebook (and now, Amazon), are in the news nearly every day.
This adds up to most adTech organizations being hard-pressed to come up with a product differentiation strategy that allows their company to stand apart from the competition.
What Can B2B Market Research Do for an AdTech Company?
Research is crucial in clarifying several factors for marketing and executive teams. Brand perception, marketplace perception, and problem/solution topics are highly subjective, and internal perceptions based on “expertise” are often misguided, myopic, or just plain incorrect.
A CEO-founder may truly believe that her company is well-known. A Product Manager may focus his team on solving an often-noted pain point in the industry. A CRO may believe that the reason the market is failing to adopt his company’s solution is that his sales team is under-served by its B2B marketing materials.
For example, “brand safety” is a frequently-noted issue for many brand and agency advertisers. It would make sense to make brand safety a core marketing pillar for any adTech company trying to capture more marketshare. However, during a recent study conducted by Industry Index Research of brand and agency marketers using adTech, brand safety ranked very high as an issue by itself. However it ranked far from the top in importance when compared to other issues, including scale and reach.
Objective facts – data – provide a basis for both internal product roadmapping and outward facing marketing that stands to address real problems in AdTech with helpful solutions. Subjective impressions may be confirmed or debunked, products can be aligned with measurable (rather than perceived) needs, and marketing messages and B2B marketing materials can be formulated around topics that will cause buyers to stand up and take notice.
B2B Market Research Types
1. Marketplace Perception Studies
Understanding the environment in which an adTech company is operating is crucial to roadmapping products, planning new B2B content marketing initiatives, and other crucial topics.
Responses are collected quantitatively via an online survey to targeted panels of respondents, and are anonymized. Respondents rank, select, and sort options from a predetermined set of questions based on a research hypothesis. The resulting data allows an adTech company to uncover and clarify:
impressions on the “state of” the market
perceptions of performance of a particular technology type
ranking of problems/available solutions in a category
insight on marketing messages resonating in a particular category
Impressions of pricing structures
Marketplace Perception Studies may include a qualitative interview component to capture people “on the record,” providing anecdotal evidence to support conclusions.
2. Brand & Product Perception Studies
Understanding how the marketplace perceives an adTech company alone, and against its competition, is important for brand positioning, strategic product roadmapping and marketing communications. Just as in marketplace perception studies, responses may be collected quantitatively via an online survey to targeted panels of respondents, providing insights on:
perceptions of performance, including of trust and efficacy
insights on current impressions vs. current marketing messaging
Impressions of brand awareness and market penetration
What Can AdTech Companies Do with B2B Market Research?
The outputs of B2B Market Research may influence many factors internally. internal objectivity means aligning core messaging and marketing, dispels subjective perceptions, and aligns company around a focus. This is especially true in developing a product roadmap strategy. Data from research can aid in Identifying those messages which accurately trigger pain points that your potential customers are sensitive to, and are more likely to cause them to take action (become your customer).
But there’s more… Research may allow the company to produce data-driven content. Publishing of data-based content is more highly-regarded than most other forms of marketing, and may be very effective in generating inbound leads and gaining earned media opportunities.