B2B Marketing Executives Speak Out on the Challenges They Face
“Finding a Path to Customers and Prospects in a Crowded Marketplace can be Complex.”
Over the past several years, AIM research has helped clients in the B2B arena study their target audiences and evaluate their position in a market. Conducting customer satisfaction studies, brand awareness research, new product development testing, purchase and buying trend analysis were all designed to help marketing professional gain current and key market information to assist with making smarter and more focused business decisions.
By listening closely to our client partners’ goals, AIM structures a customized research programs to help identify the right “path” to meet their business objectives. As the market gets more and more complex and crowded, marketing executives expressed frustration with trying to reach customers or potential customers. With the ever growing and rapidly changing social channels and online/digital platforms, marketers are finding it difficult to get their target audiences’ attention. With many professionals still working remotely, even connecting with an existing customer or potential customer can be challenging.
To help provide marketing executives with the communication and research support they need, AIM determined it was important to get more feedback directly from marketing professionals. By understanding more specifics about the challenges an overcrowded market poses, AIM felt it would be better positioned to help find ways to help marketing managers determine the right path forward.
To gain the best insight on what challenges B2B marketing professionals were facing, AIM determined it was important to talk directly with a variety of executives to get more qualitative information on what was happening in the market. Direct dialogue with an audience is a great way to get more specifics on an issue and an opportunity to probe for additional details. With a more traditional quantitative online survey, you give up the flexibility to explore and dig deeper into a specific topic.
Since everyone is busy, AIM limited the discussion to 1-hour with participation of no more than seven professionals. AIM sent an email invitation to an internal list of marketing executives and partnered with Commercial Construction & Renovation magazine to assist with the recruitment. To make it easy to register, AIM built a custom online platform to assist with qualifying and registering participants. With the online registration platform, AIM was able to easily qualify participants and select different types of companies from across the United States.
With only an hour discussion, AIM developed a simple discussion outline and PowerPoint visual to focus on the following four topics:
- Explore marketers biggest pain point.
- Identify communication challenges.
- Understand social media use and frustrations.
- Investigate use and future role of AI in marketing.
AIM used two in-house moderators to make sure everyone in the group had an opportunity to participate and to keep the discussion focused on topic.
Virtual Groups Offer Flexibility, Diversity and In-Depth Feedback at Minimal Expense
With the high cost of conducting in-person focus groups, on-line discussion groups have become a popular, cost-effective method for conducting qualitative research when run the right way. Companies that need to recruit respondents from multiple markets find a virtual focus group much easier to set up – one that allows for more flexibility and customization than an in-person group. With virtual focus groups, participants also tend to be more comfortable sharing their opinions and more likely to expand with more detailed information.
Virtual groups also offer a way for marketing professionals to get direct feedback from their customers or target audience. It gives them the opportunity to listen and participate in the research without interfering in the results. It also provides the opportunity to ask additional questions or get information they didn’t originally plan on. Hearing live comments and feedback helps companies better understand and digest information directly from key targets or influencers.
As identified in another one of AIM’s case studies, Finding the Needle in the Haystack: Process to Maximize Sales Leads, sometimes finding the right prospects and potential business opportunities is like “finding a needle in a haystack”. For this client, AIM used a national construction project database to identify key projects in planning that met the client’s requirements for the highest potential for building new business. AIM was able to identify targets who had 100+ projects per month as potential participants.
AIM hosted a virtual group one-hour discussion with seven marketing executives. Marketing executives indicated one of the toughest issues they face is successfully connecting with their audience while remaining authentic and trusted. In addition, several in the group indicated that selecting the right communication channel and messaging to encourage action is difficult despite the number and variety of channels available to reach their target audience. A key challenge for some marketings is staying up with the data analytics which continuously change their formats and measurements. Most agreed that artificial intelligence is here to stay but will mainly be used to “assist” with some of the routine marketing functions but will not really replace humans. The group agreed that finding and implementing the right path(s) is not always easy, but research can provide market insight that certainly helps.
To get a copy of the complete report, Reaching Customers/Prospective Customers in Today’s Crowded Market, please feel free to call or email us. AIM can assist you with studying and evaluating any communication platform, analyzing your market position or preferences, messaging studies, or any other type of market research, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 847-358-8558.