B2B Market Research Studies: 7 Tips For Engaging Stakeholders

How do you get stakeholders to care about your research?

B2B Market Research Studies: 7 Tips For Engaging Stakeholders

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In this podcast episode, Cascade Insights CEO Sean Campbell shares 7 tips for drawing attention to B2B market research studies.

He covers:

  • Tools to assess engagement.
  • How to read the data to determine what you’re doing right and wrong.
  • Ways to use the study to reach and attract key stakeholders.

I recently spoke at the Market Research Association’s Corporate Researchers Conference. While there, I realized I’ve seen the same topic at nearly every research conference I’ve attended. Be it a competitive intelligence event or market research showcase, there is always a session focused on how to get stakeholders to pay attention to your study.

As a first step, it’s a good idea to borrow a page or two from the B2B marketers’ playbook.

For B2B marketers, if it doesn’t engage, it doesn’t exist. Hence, B2B marketers monitor engagement once they have shared their content. You wouldn’t hire a B2B marketer who didn’t do this.

Corporate analysts can benefit from adopting a similar mindset.

Researchers should socialize their studies within their companies in ways that can be tracked and monitored.

Here are a few tried and true B2B marketing tips to get stakeholders to engage with your study. These techniques can be used internally and externally.

#1 – Leverage Newsletter Delivery Tools

Most organizations send out some form of a weekly, monthly or quarterly newsletter to internal employees.

At times, these newsletters are sent as old-school emails through an email distribution list or even to copied and pasted recipients.

These are not ideal methods when you want to gauge the impact your research is having.

As corporate researchers, one of your charters is to affect the rest of the organization with your studies.

As corporate researchers, one of your charters is to affect the rest of the organization with your studies.

You always need to be asking, who is this study most important to? Which areas in the company would benefit most from seeing the results of this research effort?

It’s a good idea to compile a list of those most likely to be impacted by your research and load that list into a newsletter platform.

Depending on the sensitivity of the research findings you’re sending, there are a variety of platforms that can be used for broad-based engagement (for less sensitive information) and others that can be used behind a company’s firewall (for sensitive information).

Once you start using these tools, you get two huge immediate benefits: open and click rates.

The data from these tools can lead to important insights.

For instance, you may realize that hardly anyone opened the research you sent out last quarter.  That alone would be worth the effort and time you put into learning a new platform.  Or you might find that one research effort garnered 80% of the clicks in your newsletter.  Either data point is valuable.

#2 – Put beacons in your emails.

Online People Icons In Social Network & Media - Vector Graphic
You can choose from a variety of tools like HubSpot Signal or Yesware that put a small tracking beacon inside your email.

These tools allow you to see how often an individual email was opened. You can even arrange to see how often links within your email were clicked.

The benefit of this type of integration is obvious.

When you send a notification that you’re about to launch a market research study or an email that the findings of your research are now available, of course you want to know how many people opened the message.

A low open rate may indicate that you are doing something that is limiting engagement with that study. Maybe you’re using a boring subject line. Or perhaps the body of the email doesn’t clearly convey the result of the study and why it matters.  Again, these insights can lead to more visibility for the research you have done, or changes to the type of research studies you conduct.

#3 – Take your social media temperature.

You also want to talk about engagement via the social platforms that your organization uses.

Almost every organization I’ve come across is invested in something like Yammer or Slack or Chatter or Jive.

Most of these tools have fairly heavy-weight backend analytics that you can look into. If you’re not tracking engagement with these tools, your analysis has a major hole in it.

#4 – Be honest with yourself when considering the statistics.

If the research you conducted generates nothing more than a dial tone inside your organization, well, you have to take that under advisement.

Maybe you’ll make the unpleasant discovery that your market research is attracting little attention.

However, such a realization may lead to important insight.

Maybe there wasn’t much reason to do the research in the first place. If the research you conducted generates nothing more than a dial tone inside your organization, well, you have to take that under advisement.

Consider whether the structure of the study, the delivery of the results, or the promotion could use improvement.

#5 – Identify what you’re doing right.

Examine your research efforts that drew the most engagement. This can be analyzed in terms of opens, clicks, downloads, etc.

(Once again, if you’re not using tools to track engagement, you are essentially firing research studies into the dark.)

When looking at the data, determine which research efforts were the most popular.

What do they have in common? Were they presented similarly? What elements can you replicate in your next study?

#6 – Assess whether your content is attracting new stakeholders.

As a research organization, one of the most important ways that you can measure success is to look at decisions impacted.

Obviously, one reason market research teams promote their findings is in an attempt to attract more people to impact, and to identify more people who might want to commission research in the future.

#7 – Talk to your B2B marketing peers.

Ask your marketing peers what tools they’re using today.

Are there ways you could borrow or leverage the tools they have already purchased for your organization?

Along the way, you’re probably going to generate a stronger sense of camaraderie with your B2B marketing peers. If you’re lucky, you may even find a whole new set of stakeholders to engage with and do research for.

This podcast is brought to you by Cascade Insights. Cascade Insights specializes in market research and competitive intelligence for B2B technology companies. Our specialization allows us to deliver detailed insights that generalist firms simply can’t match. Check out our array of free resources including our blog, podcast archive and newsletter.

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