Earlier this year, B2B International carried out a survey with 103 professionals across the UK and the U.S., who are responsible for b2b marketing and research in large organisations (those with 500+ employees). The aim of the study was to obtain a deep understanding on the market’s requirements of business-to-business research providers.
The survey revealed that the top requirements of a b2b market research company are its understanding of its client needs, relevant industry experience and professionalism (each mentioned by over half of respondents). A further four factors followed in importance: responsiveness, insightfulness, creativity, and b2b focus.
Responsiveness was considered to be important by significantly more respondents in the U.S. than in the UK (62% versus 25% respectively). Interestingly, being well-known and large were the least important requirements, with less than 10% of respondents in both countries ranking these factors in their top five needs of a supplier.
A needs-based segmentation was uncovered, comprising 3 segments (see below).
The needs-based segments differ in that the insight seekers demand intelligence (such as market or competitive intelligence), the b2b creativity seekers look for assistance in differentiating, and the professionalism seekers require confidence in their vendor in terms of the formality of the relationship backed by firm credentials.
Which segment do you think best applies to you?
- Insight seekers (32% of organisations)
Insightfulness and intelligence are of particular importance to this segment, in addition to the research provider having an understanding of its clients’ business needs.
- B2b creativity seekers (36% of organisations)
A b2b focussed research supplier that thinks outside the box and with authority, is of particular importance to this segment, along with relevant experience and an understanding of its clients’ business needs.
- Professionalism seekers (32% of organisations)
The professionalism of the supplier is of paramount importance to this segment, who also values an established and well known research agency more than other segments. The supplier’s understanding of its clients’ business needs and relevant experience are also important.