Cloud computing has grown significantly in the past year, but it still only represents less than 6% of total IT spending, a $3.8 trillion industry. There are still significant opportunities for growth in this burgeoning category.
To capitalize on the growth, you must have market research data to understand where your business can grow most effectively.
What does market research look like in 2020 — and what are the top tools to conduct market research today?
The tools listed below will provide you and your team with insights into developing the ideal customer profile (ICP), the total addressable market (TAM), and buyer propensity for your organization’s solution.
Complementing these tools with Intricately’s actionable data on cloud spending, product usage, and adoption creates a powerful combination for planning, forecasting, and executing your go-to-market strategy.
Top 10 Market Research Tools
- Dun & Bradstreet
B2B market research today
With an expanding environment for profitable opportunities between businesses, the current B2B digital commerce market is much larger than the business-to-consumer (B2C) market.
It also means leveraging a different kind of data: Instead of solely looking at consumer preferences and trends in B2C markets, B2B vendors need to look closely at tech stacks and department spending behaviors.
B2B market research uncovers market and buyer insights from customers, market data, and spending behavior.
Effective B2B market research can:
- Help businesses use data to define their markets — and determine whether these markets are in a place to receive their products or solutions. There’s a “big picture” element to B2B market research, which will help vendors define their Total Addressable Market (TAM), Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), and more.
- Enable companies to develop a clearer picture of their target audiences and competitors. This gives GTM teams a competitive advantage as they prepare to launch a product or expand into international markets. It also helps outbound sales and marketing teams prioritize leads for account-based selling.
- Gives sales and marketing teams the data they need to tailor messaging to their ICP. While teams typically go deeper later, market research tools will help build the foundation for future sales and marketing activities for sales prospecting.
B2B market research is much more complex than B2C market research for a number of reasons. For one, you’re targeting a smaller, more specific audience. You’re also marketing to an audience that will make a complicated purchasing decision dependent on multiple stakeholders.
You’re also dealing with an audience that’s more knowledgeable and has a highly specific technical aptitude for the solutions they’re looking for. Finally, the target audience may also be more susceptible to digital supply chain disruption, causing them to be more risk-averse.
These potential B2B selling challenges point to the need for a market research tool that provides actionable, regularly updated insights.
The elements of an effective B2B market research strategy
The most effective B2B market research strategies incorporate several tactics that cover a range of avenues. These include:
- Customer and decision-maker interviews
- Industry and company leader research
- Focus groups and roundtables
- Economic insights
- Competition analysis
- Market sizing
- Business risk analysis
Together, these methods help paint a detailed picture of the market. Once you frame your market research with specific goals and identify the most effective tactics to execute, you can then support the tactics above by using top market research tools.
The benefits of an effective B2B market research strategy include:
- Better, more specific ICP and TAM. As you prepare your go-to-market strategy, market research will help you better understand both the entire market and individual companies.
- More efficient account-based outreach. Identify your most promising accounts and the right strategy for approaching them.
- Intelligent conversations. Round out sales and marketing materials and come prepared to discovery calls with detailed insight on your prospect’s needs and how they’re spending.
Why you need B2B market research
B2B market research is critical for two principal reasons: supporting a more complicated buyer journey and making more informed selling decisions.
Support a more complex buyer journey
Businesses have much more information available today to vet companies offering similar solutions. Prospective buyers routinely educate themselves on these solutions through directories, forums, reviews, databases, and industry websites.
Overall, this is a good thing: it makes for a more educated buyer and productive conversation. But it also adds a challenge to the mix: how can you ensure you’re talking to the right person, at the right time, and saying the right thing?
Fortunately, as the marketer (or sales rep), you have the same access to these resources. You can leverage the data mined through market research to get a clear vision of your customers' buying behavior and goals.
“As hard as it has become to sell in today’s world, it has become that much more difficult to buy,” writes Gartner’s Brent Adamson. “The single biggest challenge of selling today is not selling; it is actually our customers’ struggle to buy.” B2B buyers have to identify the problem, explore solutions, articulate requirements, select a vendor… the list goes on.
Taking the time for in-depth B2B market research means you’ll be better equipped to support potential buyers as they work through this journey.
Make more informed selling decisions
On the seller side, market research also points to valuable metrics that provide insights about the value of pursuing an account, what customers are looking for in a product and even economic trends that could affect a product’s success.
This benefit of B2B market research spans both the big picture (like looking into greenfield territory or an entirely new market) to the more granular (identifying the top 50 prospective buyers in your market).
By using data and intelligence tools, you’ll be better equipped to meet the prospective buyer at their knowledge and interest level and direct them toward your solutions.
Ultimately, market research tools help you uncover who your potential buyers are and why they need your solution.
Top Market Research Tools in 2020
Dun & Bradstreet
Dun & Bradstreet provides several business data and analytics tools, including Workbench Data Optimizer, Visitor Intelligence, and DNBi Professional.
Using Workbench Data Optimizer, you can profile your ideal buyers and optimize demand generation through data. Its Visitor Intelligence Tool provides key insights via cookies and IP addresses to give you a deep understanding of digital traffic. The idea is that you can compare online and offline prospect data with greater confidence.
Use for: Profiling opportunities and targeting segmented audiences.
Crayon provides guided searching through its SimplerChoices platform.
The tool compiles and organizes consumer and behavioral data within the context of the search to create “taste maps” — maps that help predict what a consumer will like about a product. Their Yoda product is designed for enterprises and helps sales and marketing teams understand the available data.
Use for: Understanding buyer preferences and validating product roadmaps.
Intricately powers market research activities by providing deep dives into data based on how more than 7 million companies adopt, use, and spend on cloud infrastructure.
If you’re looking to answer questions like “At what rate is India adopting cloud hosting?” or “What technologies do companies in Australia deploy right before advanced CDN?”, Intricately provides real-time answers with an in-depth look into categories, spend, usage, and adoption of cloud technologies to better predict revenue opportunities and prioritize sales targets.
Use for: Strengthening ICP and TAM, territory planning, and prioritizing new opportunities.
CBInsights uses natural language processing and data storytelling to present firmographic and technographic data and spend intelligence in a digestible way. You can use CBInsights to pinpoint emerging industries and strike just as start-ups are receiving funding.
For example, curious about which start-ups Amazon is funding? CBInsights filters consumer and competitor data from a variety of sources, allowing you to see which start-ups and enterprises are spearheading the most progressive innovations by reviewing the largest investments by big enterprises.
Use for: Market sizing and identifying business relationships.
CrunchBase is an analysis tool that provides company profiles and data reports. Users can customize searches with a seemingly unlimited number of filters.
There’s also a great trend-scoring tool that ranks trends based on data like date of last financing and size of funding rounds. We’re a big fan of its alert feature, which allows you to track certain data points, and after saving a search, the database will update search results based on new data.
Use for: Matching new companies to your ICP and understanding the big picture of new tech developments.
Brandwatch is a beginner-friendly, effective social media listening tool with the ability to generate full analytics reports.
The reports use clear, attractive visuals to display years of analytics, making it much easier to identify long-term trends. You can also customize certain settings to classify posts.
While mainly used for consumer research, social media listening tools can, and should, be used in B2B market research.
Use for: Uncovering actionable insights from organic buyer conversations.
Mintel is a market research agency that provides clear reports that can save you a ton of time in the initial research phase.
They present essential business intelligence in simple, approachable language. If you’re overwhelmed with the amount of research needed for several companies at once, Mintel can help you get some quick context for a company by presenting its history, showing where it is now, and predicting its future as well.
Use for: A do-it-for-you approach to B2B market research, to go in-depth and get it done fast.
Gartner is known for its gold-standard, exclusive market research tools that are consistently ahead of the curve.
It produces highly detailed industry reports about categories, trends, technologies, and vendors using trusted sources. Gartner also provides calls with in-house analysts, which can be extremely helpful if you need one-on-one time with someone highly knowledgeable about your particular topic.
Use for: Getting a detailed big picture for categories, products, and trends in the market.
InsideView is a tool for gathering contact data that you can import into your own CRM and use to prepare for sales calls.
You can perform basic searches by criteria like company size, location, and industry. Its Social Insights feature allows you to view a company’s new articles and social media updates all in one place.
Use for: The data management you’ll need for effective market research.
Forrester is another industry-standard business intelligence company that provides proprietary research as well as consumer and business data.
Its product reviews are thorough and give you a deeper understanding of potential partners and prospects without expecting you to deep dive into lengthy reports. The market research company provides helpful summaries that give a good overview of the material and key insights.
Use for: In-depth analysis of your target market, buyer preferences, trends, and more.
Upgrade your B2B market research
Implementing these valuable B2B market research tools will help guarantee your team has a much easier time developing your ideal customer profile, positioning sales materials, and expanding into international markets.
By monitoring the digital footprint for more than 7 million companies, Intricately gives cloud sales and marketing teams an unfair advantage in their market research approach. This Includes product adoption, usage, and spend insights to power ABM campaigns; the ability to prioritize prospects by growth and spend potential; and real-time data on how prospects may already be using your products.
Companies like Snowflake, AWS, Equnix, Cloudflare, and others rely on Intricately insights to to:
- Identify the ideal customer profiles
- Define their total addressable markets
- Implement territories and account plans for global sales teams
- Execute account-based marketing programs to drive growth
- Increase their pipeline and streamline their prospecting
Schedule a demo today to see how Intricately’s data on adoption, usage, and spend can speed up your revenue growth.