Understanding the preferences and behaviors of B2B customers and what their competitors are doing can mean the difference between business success and failure.

While you may have a clear vision in your B2B market research, relying on conventional techniques might not always be enough. 

💡 Read Creating a Marketing Strategy that Works: Benefits, Steps, Tools

The question isn’t just about knowing what to look for but also discovering techniques that will: 

  • Bring your customer’s perspective closer to your brand 
  • Provide insights into future trends  
  • Enable you to proactively tackle potential problems
  • Close the experience gap where your customers get what they expect

In this article, we’ll examine five overlooked yet powerful B2B market research techniques that will help you gain new levels of audience insights.

Let’s get started.

1. Use B2B Keyword Research 

B2B keyword research involves identifying the search phrases that B2B customers use when seeking a product or service to address a specific issue within their organization. 

By examining these keywords, you can gain insights into their goals and pain points. For example, if they’re searching specifically for “cost-effective digital marketing solutions,” this could mean affordability is a priority.

Another example is if they’re looking for “innovative B2B sales lead generation strategies,” creativity is an important factor for them. 

In essence, B2B keyword research paints a clear picture of your target audience’s top priority and what puts you on their wavelength.

As a result, you can create marketing messages that resonate well with them. Using this personalized approach grabs their attention and demonstrates a deeper understanding of their needs.

Media Analytics for Marketers Ebook

In addition, keeping an eye on the changing trends using B2B keywords can help you customize your offerings according to your client’s needs.

For instance, let’s say you’re a B2B tax software company. Using keyword research tools, such as Semrush and Ahrefs, can help you discover that your potential clients frequently search terms like “tax deduction optimization” and “audit risk reduction.” 

It’s clear that maximizing deductions and minimizing audit risk are their top concerns. You can then focus your marketing campaigns on how your software addresses these pain points. 

2. Research testimonials and reviews

Testimonials and customer reviews provide valuable insights into the customer experience. You can get started by looking at:

  • Your customer testimonials 
  • Your competitors’ testimonials 
  • Customer interviews conducted by your sales teams
  • Interviews of sales and customer service representatives

This information is easily found on forums and review sites like Capterra, Quora, G2, and Reddit. You can also embed Google reviews on your website. These platforms provide valuable insights from unbiased ratings on user satisfaction, features, price, and other important factors.

Interviews take it further. They bring awareness to your potential clients’ motivations, challenges, and candid opinions.

If you look at the best and worst reviews, you can expand your offerings and develop messages that resonate with your clients’ needs. It also ensures your solutions remain relevant. 

For example, instead of generic benefits, you can highlight features that address their specific pain points. 

Another great resource is third-party reviews. This is comparable to forums, where you have the opportunity to “listen in” to authentic user feedback about your product.

Capterra collects customer reviews
Image via Capterra

Here is an example of a review from Capterra, which collates reviews of Determ. 

Testimonials and reviews is a big B2B market research technique
Image via Capterra

As you scroll through the various sections, you can get a sense of both your customers’ biggest pain points and your rival’s most important selling points. 

3. Leverage B2B Social Listening

While reviews and surveys are effective B2B marketing techniques, brand and industry-relevant conversations happening on social media are a live feed of customer sentiment.

It reveals their unfiltered thoughts and concerns surrounding your brand and its offerings. 

It could be happy emojis praising your customer service or angry tweets bashing your pricing.

This raw feedback can give you insights to level up your B2B marketing strategy and/or product development.

For instance, say you’re a B2B marketing agency targeting tech startups, and you come across a topic like “The struggle of finding qualified tech talent.”

To address this concern, you can create a blog post offering tips on attracting and retaining top tech talent. This positions you as an industry expert. It attracts potential clients who are looking for your type of expertise.

The good thing is, there are social listening platforms like Determ that can track relevant keywords, hashtags, and brand mentions across multiple platforms. 

Determ, a market research tool
Image via Determ

Additionally, this B2B market research technique can be active and engaging.  

Join the conversation by responding to comments, answering questions, and participating in industry discussions. This builds trust and shows you’re genuinely interested in what your target audience has to say.

4. Check Out Your Competitors on Social Media

Your competitors might not be intentionally spilling client secrets, but their social media is a goldmine of unsolicited feedback. 

“The reality is that most of your competitors aren’t likely doing a very good job with social media (most companies aren’t), which gives you the chance to stand out,” says Forbes contributor, Stephanie Chandler.

Seek out the gaps in your competitors’ content and fill them out. Using social listening tools, you can see what kind of content generates engagement, what questions get asked, and what complaints surface.

Determ Sentiment Analysis

This B2B market reseach technique will sure help you learn something about what your company can do to improve and stand out from the rest.  

Valuable insights from competitors include:

  • Number of “Likes” per post (type, date, time)
  • Number of updates per week
  • Number of retweets per tweet (type, date, time)
  • Tone, style, and content shares
  • Number of followers per profile
  • Frequency of communication with other users

All these data can help you strategize where and how your company fits in the field online.

Additionally, you can learn from your competitor’s mistakes and hone your strategy to accommodate what appeals to your audience.

Furthermore, observing what your competitors promote and celebrate on social media can alert you to emerging trends and shifts in client expectations.

5. Add a Human Touch By Using Influencers

Part of the reason why influencer marketing is important in B2B marketing is the difference between the B2C and B2B buying process. 

As mentioned in the Attrock expert guide, with the B2B buying process timescales are much longer. There are also more people involved in the decision-making. Lastly, there are often considerably larger amounts of money involved. 

With the increasing use of peer-to-peer communication channels and review sites, it’s no surprise that influencers are becoming more important in the research phase. 

Influencers build deep trust with their audiences by acting as their go-to advisors and sounding boards. 

By analyzing their content and engagement, you get a glimpse into the topics that matter most to your clients and the language they use.

Additionally, these trendsetters aren’t just passive observers; they’re active drivers of change. By tracking their evolving interests and promoting topics, you can anticipate where your industry is heading and adjust your offerings accordingly.

It’s also worth mentioning that influencers can breathe life into your eCommerce marketing strategy. Collaborating with the right ones can amplify your reach, lend credibility to your brand, and inspire new, creative ways to engage with your audience. 

To Sum Up B2B Market Research

These five often-overlooked B2B marketing techniques we’ve looked at provide a roadmap to better understand your clients and stay ahead in the market. 

From the power of B2B keyword research to gathering testimonials, reviews, and customer interviews, each technique offers unique insights into client preferences and expectations. 

Social listening emerges as a live feed of customer sentiment, allowing you to address real-time reactions and position yourself as an industry expert. 

Lastly, by examining your competitors on social media and analyzing industry influencers, you can learn valuable benchmarks and trends to stay competitive. 

By integrating these techniques into your B2B market research, you’ll be able to strengthen client relationships, anticipate their needs, and drive revenue growth for your business.  

If you’d like to find out how social listening can help your brand, book a demo with our experts and see how Determ can help you.

Author Bio Gaurav Sharma is the founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. Grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years | 10X leads | 2.8X conversions |  300K organic monthly traffic. He also contributes to top publications like HuffPost, Adweek, Business 2 Community, TechCrunch, and more.

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