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Every company dreams of being the first to ‘get in front of the prospect’ and today we show you how a combination of bidstream data, a best-in-class audience and contextual graph and proprietary B2B data makes this possible. The result? a chance to augment that research with valuable and accretive content which aids the customers understanding of your solutions landscape whilst simultaneously positioning your brand as the go-to solution and thought leader in the space. 

Are you struggling to understand your B2B buyers’ decision-making process? Are you tired of trying to create content that speaks to their needs, only to find out it’s not hitting the mark? The key to unlocking buyer intent is identifying the starting point of their research journey. In today’s digital age, B2B buyers have access to a wealth of information at their fingertips, and they’re using it to make informed decisions about purchases. By understanding the first step they take when researching a product or service, you can create targeted, effective content that speaks directly to their needs and drives conversions. In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of identifying the starting point of the B2B research journey and show you how to use it to your advantage.

Understanding the B2B Research Journey

In the highly competitive B2B solutions landscape, conducting thorough product research is paramount. One important step in this process is to understand the B2B research journey, which we went into great detail on here. As we previously discussed, here at FunnelFuel we believe that the B2B sales cycle consists of 6 steps. The first step happens when an organisation realises that they have a problem to solve, and this triggers the topic of todays blog – the research journey. 

Put simply, the research journey is when an organisation starts to research how to solve their challenge, and increasingly this begins in the content intent, using search engines like Google and trusted editorial websites that orbit around their sector and/or their problem.

The ability to deeply understand the B2B research as pertaining to your product or service then opens up the chance to interject the research with a combination of targeted content, whether delivered and found via organic means or via paid adverts targeting these deep contextual environments. To be able to leverage these tactics, we need to identify the needs and wants of customers, determining what type of content and messaging resonates with them the most, and figuring out how to guide them through the buyer’s journey. By understanding these factors, businesses can tailor their products and services to meet the specific needs of their customers, and ultimately increase their chances of success. Additionally, this knowledge can help businesses identify key touchpoints in the customer journey, allowing for more effective communication and engagement. Overall, a deep understanding of the B2B research journey is crucial for businesses seeking to succeed in today’s highly competitive marketplace.

B2B product research is a critical process that helps businesses make informed decisions when purchasing products and services. To fully comprehend this journey, it is essential to map out all of the steps that customers take from awareness to purchase. This involves researching the available options in the market, evaluating your product against those of your competitors, and gathering feedback from peers and colleagues before making a final decision. B2B product research is not only about finding the best option but also about understanding the features, functionalities, and benefits of the products being considered. It enables businesses to identify the most suitable product that meets their specific needs and requirements. Therefore, conducting thorough research is a crucial step in the B2B buying process as it helps organisations to make informed decisions that can positively impact their bottom line.

However, B2B product research is not just about creating content that guides customers through the buying process. It is also about providing them with a positive experience that will lead to repeat business and referrals. By understanding the specific needs and pain points of your target audience at each stage of the journey, you can create content that speaks directly to their concerns and demonstrates the value of your product or service. Ultimately, by mapping out the steps of the research journey and tailoring your content accordingly, you can establish yourself as a trusted advisor and build lasting relationships with your customers. As a result, you can increase customer loyalty, reduce churn, and drive revenue growth for your business.

Using context and bidstream data to build a stronger view of the market, the challenges being faced and what features a customer may prioritise

A lot of what we have been talking about here, is data which is created before the prospect ever gets to your website. This means that your on-site Google analytics is not going to be a panacea for uncovering this stuff – that comes in later in the sales cycle, when the prospect is already researching solution providers.

So how can we get an earlier view of the first prospects who are coming into the market? the answer lies in the fingerprints they leave behind when they start researching solutions and going onto premium digital content websites.

The first stage in the process requires a deep contextual understanding of B2B, which is why FunnelFuel built a contextual taxonomy designed only for this market. This gives us hundreds of levels of data around sub-contexts in B2B, meaning we have a laser like understanding of a B2B web page when we see one.

Secondly, you need to see these web pages, and that is where bidstream data comes in. FunnelFuel’s DSP listens to the entirety of the B2B publishing market – literally every content website that sells ads programmatically and we enable a bunch more who otherwise don’t sell into the wider ad-tech ecosystem. This lets us see which web pages are being read and precisely what these web pages are talking about. 

Third and finally, we need to be able to understand which companies read these pages, which we do using a bunch of our proprietary data around organisations, and a digital synching process. Know we understand which companies are reading which pieces of content, and exactly what those pieces of content are about.

Engage potential prospects before they even know your solution exists

Remembering our buyer journey, these people are still on stage 2 of the 6 stage process. They know they have a problem and they have Googled solutions to that problem. These early phases land them on broad articles which talk generally and at a higher level about the solutions landscape and the companies that provide solutions.

At this stage, for example, they may be reading an article that states ‘you need a reverse ETL in order to write data back into a CRM solution’. Great, but this could literally be the very first time I have ever heard of the term, and I certainly don’t know which companies offer those solutions.

THIS is the very moment where we can inject your organisations solution into the research journey, deploying cleverly and perfectly aligned adverts with valuable editorial content, which could, for example, come from your blog, into the journey.

This wins you early share of voice, and positions your brand as the dominant player in the industry. Sometimes this is literally all you need to win the customer, running through the rest of the sales cycle as the ‘first pick’ solution.

Leveraging Buyer Intent to Unlock New Opportunities

When conducting B2B product research, leveraging buyer intent data can be a powerful tool for gaining valuable insights into customer behaviour and preferences. By analysing the online search and bidstream (bidddable advertising opportunities on premium publishing websites) of potential customers, businesses can gain an understanding of what products or services their customers are interested in, what features they prioritise, and what pain points they are trying to solve. This information can then be used to inform product decisions and guide product development strategies. By incorporating buyer intent data into their research approach, businesses can better understand and meet the needs of their target customers, leading to more effective product offerings and increased sales.

Besides, the competitive B2B solutions landscape has made it more important for businesses to understand their customers’ needs and preferences. With the help of buyer intent data, businesses can identify the pain points of their potential customers and tailor their marketing efforts accordingly. By doing so, they can create targeted campaign strategies that generate leads and boost conversions. Additionally, analysing buyer intent data can provide insights into market trends and customer behaviour, giving businesses a competitive edge in their industry. In conclusion, incorporating buyer intent data into B2B product research can greatly benefit businesses by allowing them to optimise their marketing efforts, drive new opportunities, and ultimately achieve growth and profitability in an increasingly competitive market.

Wrapping up

In conclusion, unlocking buyer intent is essential to creating successful B2B marketing strategies. By identifying the starting point of the B2B research journey, you can tailor your content to meet the needs of potential customers, and ultimately drive conversions. The digital age has provided buyers with easy access to information, making it even more critical to ensure that your content stands out from the competition. With a solid understanding of your audience’s starting point, you’ll be well on your way to successful B2B marketing. Start by putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and asking yourself what their first step might be when researching a product or service; this small step will go a long way in unlocking the key to buyer intent.