I’ve said this in different forms and formats before, but everyone who is struggling to attract B2B leads online has failed to properly focus their marketing efforts.
Part of focusing properly is ensuring that that there is actually a market for your product or service.
Researching your market using publically available data is an essential part of B2B lead management and generation.
Below are sources where you can find valuable market data.
Unlike customer interviews, which provide first-hand accounts of where to focus your efforts, market research offers different perspectives, analysis, and conclusions of these first-hand accounts.
Market research validates your lead conversion efforts by providing important information to identify and analyze the market need, market size and competition.
Examples of information sources include reports and studies by government agencies, industry trade associations, other businesses within your industry (e.g., research reports, white papers, books), chamber of commerce, media sources (e.g., journal and magazine articles, news reports), and so on.
There are three main types of market research data: Public, Commercial, and Educational.
Public Information Sources
Public information sources are usually free and can be found online as well as at public libraries.
- Government statistics are among the most plentiful and wide-ranging public sources. Much of this is online.
- Your local library is one of the best sources of business information, including a wide range of government publications, directories with information on businesses, and a selection of magazines, newspapers and newsletters.
- Other public information resources include your local chambers of commerce.
Commercial Information Sources
Commercial sources are valuable but usually involve cost factors such as subscription and association fees.
- Among the best commercial sources of information are research and trade associations.
Tip: A good way to identify which associations are aligned with your target audience is to look at your customers or prospects profiles on Linkedin. Near the bottom of their profiles you will find a section called Groups; many of these groups are actual industry associations that you can target.
- Local newspapers, journals, magazines, and radio and TV stations are some of the most useful commercial information outlets.
Tip: Contact the sales departments of these businesses and ask them to send you their media kit – they are chock full of great market data.
Educational institutions are frequently overlooked as valuable information sources even though more research is conducted in colleges, universities, and technical institutes than virtually any sector of the business community.
- Contact the university administration and marketing or management studies departments for further information.
To better understand how market research can be applied to generating more qualified leads online, download our Lead Gen Blueprint.