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Professional Services and Business Services

Professional services and business services possess great scope for business-to-business market research since they are essential to every industry at some time or other.

The market

Market research within the professional services industry has ballooned over the past decade. This sector consists of the ‘traditional’ professions such as law, accountancy and architecture, plus the broader services sector (in particular management consultancy and human resources). Professional services firms typically ask for market insights in the following areas:

  • Pricing strategy research – Corporates and smaller clients alike are challenging the fee structures and pricing levels of legal firms and other professional services firms. Two key challenges are conveying to clients that they are receiving value for the fees they pay; and developing new and more transparent pricing models
  • Market opportunity research – There is a significant amount of consolidation occurring in professional services industries. Key challenges for businesses are evaluating the size of market opportunities and identifying and screening acquisition targets
  • Differentiation – Segmentation and brand development studies allow professional services firms to differentiate themselves and ensure that they are extracting value for everything they offer. Value proposition workshops and branding workshops enable the development of a clear differentiation strategy

 

Our approach and our experience

Our vast experience encompasses many of the world’s leading professional and business services organisations, with B2B International’s team offering top-class market insight through a consultative approach that ensures the findings from our studies result in action.

Our pricing research within the professional services sector takes many forms. Competitive pricing assessments are an excellent way of ensuring that your activities are appropriately in line with your competitors’. The most common pricing techniques in professional services research are Van Westendorp and Gabor Granger questioning – the relative simplicity of these techniques and the short timescale required make them extremely appropriate for busy senior respondents. If the target audience runs into the thousands, conjoint analysis and choice-based conjoint become good options.

We are the leading providers of business-to-business market opportunities research. We specialise in researching the most difficult industries and the most difficult respondents in the most challenging of places. We place special emphasis on calculating the size of the part of the market that is accessible to your business. Competitive analysis, value chain analysis and decision making unit analysis all form part of this type of study.

We are recognised worldwide experts in b2b branding research and b2b market segmentation implementation. Our studies culminate in action-oriented workshops, involving your senior management teams and others responsible for implementing the programme, and are led by the leading practitioners in the field.

Case study: Pricing Research

Business challenge

One of the world’s leading professional services firms approached B2B International wishing to ensure that it was pricing appropriately in a number of geographies. Driving this need was the company’s falling revenue in several countries and a perception that its offerings were becoming commoditised.

What we did

B2B International conducted a two-phase study, culminating in a pricing strategy workshop. We began with competitive research, obtaining price points for several competitor offerings through a mixture of desk research and competitor interviews. Phase two of the project saw us gain potential customers’ perceptions of the value of two offerings, using the Gabor Granger technique.

The study revealed that whilst our client was more expensive than its key competitors, this was appropriate given the higher value placed on our client’s offering. The key issue to resolve was our client’s communication of that extra value, which was frequently not clear to the target market. Our client subsequently changed its marketing approach following our study to better reflect the priorities of the customer base.

Our industry expertise

The information provided by the B2B research was both insightful and thought provoking and the staff involved were excellent.

Drake Lane Associates

B2B illustrated a clear understanding of the project, offered proactive advice as to how we could use the information, and importantly, came across as people we felt could work well with and trust to get the job done.

Baker Tilly