B2B International has done for itself what it does for others – conducted market research to ask clients and prospective clients what marketing concerns/interests they have and what challenges they expect their business to face in the year ahead. The response is an overview of the prevailing mood in Europe and America and a snapshot of business people’s views of the marketplace.
The research surveyed 270 business professionals from large organisations, most of which appear in the Forbes Global 2000; a third in North America in December and the remainder in Europe in January, and confirms that brand is definitely the essence of a company. Key challenges are developing brand identity, and communicating to existing and potential customers with a compelling customer value proposition supported by a strong brand.
Gaining a competitive advantage (63% Europe; 49% US), and retaining customers and extracting maximum value out of them (58% Europe; 47% US) are the two main requirements for companies – on both sides of the Atlantic – to address over the coming year.
Asked if they could wave a magic wand that would solve any challenges their organisation currently faces, most respondents want to better understand their customers and their markets. Many also voice frustrations with internal factors – including investment, communications, CRM systems and inefficiencies with other internal processes, while a significant number are seeking ways to develop their business and brand by identifying solutions around four key questions: who (target customers), where (optimum markets), what (improved and differentiated products/services), and how (fastest and most effective route to market).
Businesses constantly look to grow, even in today’s harsh economic environment, and do this through product development, entering new markets, expanding in existing markets or moving ahead of the competition. Given this fact, it was interesting to note that the three main types of market research considered by companies are: market assessment, needs analysis & segmentation, and customer satisfaction.
Over £1,200 was raised for worthy causes through this online survey, with B2B International making a donation to charity for each completed questionnaire.