Considering Custom #2: Types of B2B Custom Market Research, Matching Need to Project Type

Custom Research TypesAt its core, insights uncovered by B2B market research provide companies the information necessary to make better informed strategic decisions. Most research projects have two dimensions to consider: type and scope. Defining the best type of market research project is most often driven by the need for a deeper understanding of either customers, competition, or a target market, while the scope is determined by the depth of the data needed to provide the insight for the strategic decision at hand.

In determining which type of B2B market research will best match your need, the first place to start is by determining the necessary information to develop your strategic direction. An effective way to accomplish this is to develop a set of critical questions in each of the three categories (customers, competition and market). Developing a set of questions will help researchers determine the best project type to match your need. 

Below are examples of some market-based questions and the research options that match the potential need.

Is the market large enough to provide the revenue that I need? 
What is the overall competitive situation, and is there a potential opportunity? 
What is the market size, growth, and influence of new technology?
  • Market Assessment
    A typical Market Assessment consists of an in-depth analysis of a target market opportunity through secondary and primary research. The focus can be on a single segment or multiple segments. Project deliverables include review of key market dynamics: size, growth, segmentation, supply chain, technology assessment, and competitive analysis with a concluding market opportunity analysis and strategic recommendations.
Our products have growth potential in four new markets - which one is the most attractive?
We are active in several markets - are there new applications we can expand to?
  • Market Opportunity Assessment
    Similar to a Market Assessment, this project type includes the review of market dynamics for multiple target segments. Typically conducted in a phased approach, the first phase identifies and prioritizes potential markets (based on market attractiveness and best fit with your products/services) by predetermined criteria. The second phase consists of a more in-depth analysis of the top identified target segments from the first phase (usually 3-4), which will include extensive primary research.
How can I get quick snapshot of a market so I can determine how to treat it in my strategic plan?
  • Market Insight
    A Market Insight is a quick, high-level Market Assessment that includes secondary research and a limited primary research component. The basic approach is designed to deliver a report in 3-4 weeks in order to make informed decisions quickly, compressing your speed to market. The final deliverable is a market intelligence report that contains market size, market growth rate, market projections, share positions, competitor profiles, and supply chain dynamics.

The following questions are examples of competitive-based questions and research topics that match the potential need.

How do I best compete with XYZ company?
What are my competitive strengths that I can leverage?
  • Competitive Assessment
    A Competitive Assessment develops a thorough understanding of a key competitor’s strategy and value proposition to assess valid threats and potential opportunities. A typical report includes: market position, market share, value proposition, product offerings, technology position, financial performance, and business strategy.
  • Competitive Set Positioning
    Much like a Competitive Assessment, a Competitive Set Positioning provides a thorough understanding of a set of competitors. A typical project identifies and targets a group of competitors in a specific product/service area. These projects can be on-going and include: the development of competitors’ strategy, value proposition, business model, performance, relative competitive positioning, and overall competitive profiles.

The following questions are examples of customer-based questions and research topics that match the potential need.

What are the most important service areas I need to improve to grow share?
How do I compare to the best supplier in the industry?
Who do my customers think is the best supplier in the industry?
How can I improve customer loyalty?

  • Customer Insight
    The Customer Insight survey process focuses on identification and measurement of the satisfaction and loyalty levels of the customer to include high value product and service attributes, relative performance on key attributes and compared to competition, opportunities for improvement, path to increase customer/market share and potential for new product and service development. The deliverable is a fact based, data driven report that provides solid direction on overall business improvement opportunities

Who are my potential customers and where are they located?
How many potential customers are located within a 200 mile radius of our plant?

  • Customer Mapping
    A Customer Mapping project targets the identification of potential customers for a product/service in a given geography. The deliverable is a database of potential customers to include customer information (location, plants, contact, etc.) and commercial information based on qualification criteria (such as sell requirements, pricing, buying criteria, unmet needs, supply chain, etc.) consistent with the customer’s market strategy.

I currently have no sales force in this market, how can I create enough sales to justify a sales force?

  • Lead Generation
    This type of project is a B2B business development telemarketing project designed to identify, qualify, and confirm leads based on specific, predetermined criteria such as target market, company size, capabilities, and geographic presence. Lead Generation can go as far as appointment setting.

Matching the proper project type to your specific strategic needs is critical in maximizing the value of custom B2B market research. Creating a list of key questions early in the process is an excellent way to determine the amount of research needed but also the type and scope of the research.

For more information on determining how to successfully navigate the market research process, download our free eBook. If you have questions about our custom research, find out more about our services.

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Editor's Note:

This post was written by Priority Metrics Group (PMG), a partner in custom research.

About PMG:

Priority Metrics Group (PMG) is a professional marketing consulting firm based in Spartanburg, South Carolina. PMG provides customized research, analysis, and consultation services designed to generate profitable growth for clients. They work with leading organizations in a variety of manufacturing and service industries. They are experts at gathering and processing market information, analyzing data, and translating information into actionable growth initiatives.

Topics: Market Research Strategy Marketing Custom Market Research