Today’s world provides businesses with a plethora of information. Your company can get information on latest market trends, competition or legislation, for example. Businesses can also maintain direct contact with customers in many ways. The internet allows companies to get hands-on data about *almost* anything.
Several portals, like online libraries, company websites and search engines, provide information that your company can use for its benefit. The data can be used to align product and service developments with client requirements and customize product and service development in accordance with market trends.
Companies have yet to make optimum use of online data. They often develop solutions based solely on the input received from the Research and Development (R&D) team. Or the promotional campaigns are defined based on the perception of the sales team. The decisions may also be based on the requirements from a key client wanting a new feature. We assume that more clients within the same industry will experience the same need.
How safe is it to follow biased opinions or the perceptions of a group? Not always they represent the total target audience.
That is why it is important to evaluate and study the market when determining the launch date of new products and solutions, or marketing campaigns. This is especially true when the target is a B2B niche. The niche may be small, you have identified the potential it provides.
How can your organization access accurate and unbiased views of the needs, opportunities and prevailing trends in the market, to transform the information in profitability?
Using Marketing Intelligence to Understand a B2B Niche Market
The answer to the above question is marketing intelligence. It is a collection of everyday information relevant to a company’s markets, that has been analyzed especially for correct decision-making with regard to the company’s market penetration strategy.
In previous posts, we discussed the reasons why companies must first consider B2B niche markets when thinking about growth. When deciding to target a market, especially when it is new, it should be treated as a hypothesis that needs testing.
Identifying a B2B niche, it is easy if your company believes it has what it takes to expand or enter this new market. However, you should wait before jumping until various business dynamics are considered and analyzed. Such as:
- What is your company’s unique value proposition based on audience specifics? While your solution may be the same for the different targeted segments, the application may be different because the needs of each market will differ greatly.
- What are your competitors’ strategies? While you may think your business is different, better, faster or more effective from the competitors; how do competitors their own solutions? How does your company differentiate themselves?
- How much will your customers pay?
- Which communication channels are best for connecting with this niche market?
The Internet is Only the Starting Point for Research
The internet is an excellent starting point for gathering marketing intelligence. However, not every piece of information is available online. Especially in the B2B arena, you need further marketing intelligence to validate, reject or optimize your initial hypothesis.
Proper marketing intelligence comes from analyzing external and internal data. Today’s focus is on the external data. One must consider:
- The ecosystems vary from one niche market to another. Analyzing “the market” (as a whole) and drawing generalizations are no good. Focus on one niche at the time so as to understand market growth predictions, competitors’ approaches, and alternative solutions.
- Use both online and offline secondary informational sources. Industry reports, trade publications and associations help companies form an adequate picture of the market. They help you evaluate an appropriate market penetration strategy.
While general information is easily available online, the marketing information your business needs require access to data that cannot be found online. This includes the opinion of clients and the perception of market “insiders”, or competitor pricing. The unknowns can greatly influence your ability to reach your target market.
Companies that take the time and put resources in place to analyze external sources are then well-equipped for the decision-making process and the strategies that follow.
There is more.
Targeting a narrow, well-defined market segment is a highly profitable strategy.
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