“2020年初被认为是正常和可预测的买家之旅如今已不复存在.” This verbatim response from HInge Research Institute’s “Inside the Buyer’s Brain, Third Edition” Executive Summary 总结了为什么在这个时代,没有公司应该在不投资研究和差异化的情况下推进增长战略. 买家的旅程已经改变,你无法猜测它现在是什么样子,或者一年后会是什么样子. That could be a very costly mistake. You need to know what it looks like now⏤and only research can show that to you. In fact, research from Hinge Research Institute’s “High Growth Study 2022 Executive Summary表明高增长企业比无增长企业更清楚这一点,并进行了更多的研究.

It is not surprising that these firms not only grow faster, they are also more profitable. 这些公司会密切关注目标用户的行为变化和优先级,并根据需要调整差异化策略.

What is a Differentiator?

A differentiator is 你的公司的特点,使你区别于主要竞争对手,并使你的目标受众眼中的优势.

The key phrase in that definition is “separates you.” 

公司里有太多的专业人士认为,他们已经把目标受众都弄清楚了,可以很快确定公司的差异化. 我已经记不清多少次听到类似这样的话了:“我在这行干了15年了. I can tell you our key differentiators in my sleep.” That may be true, 但是,通过研究来验证这些差异,而不是留下大量的商业机会和收入,不是更安全吗? 

我从事网络安全领域多年,几年前参加了一个行业会议. I visited three or four booths and asked them what made their firm different. All of them told me that their staff were located in the United States. They all told me that they invest significantly to keep up with the potential threats. 四家公司都告诉我他们的产品通过了X机构认证,符合Y标准. 每个人都告诉我,他们的专业服务团队专注于确保他们的客户准备好应对任何威胁. So much for differentiation.

What if I were to stop by your booth at an industry conference…or visit your website? What would your messaging be? 它真的和我参观过的其他竞争公司的展位或网站不同吗?

Finding your differentiators requires time to develop and verify. They don’t just come down from the mountaintop from a Chief Executive Officer, President, Managing Partner, or Chief Marketing Officer. 而且,18-24个月前可能是差别化因素的东西,今天可能不再是差别化因素了. You need to conduct, commission, or license research to stay in touch with a dynamic marketplace. So, 你已经倾听并投入时间为你的公司适当地制定了一个差异化的列表. What is next?

The Tests of a Good Differentiator

Not all differentiators are created equally, nor are all .  For a differentiator to be effective, it must pass three tests:

1) Is it true?

First and foremost, a possible differentiator must be true.  You don’t want to garner a reputation as a bait and switch firm.  当你基于低成本解决方案的销售说辞赢得业务时,账单惊喜和意外费用就像一记耳光. 

Not only would this jeopardize the shelf life of that client’s account, 但这也可能对潜在的推荐和你在市场上的整体声誉产生负面影响.

On the flipside, 你可能需要考虑排除那些对你的公司来说是通用的,不是唯一的候选人.

Differentiators like “we have quality staff” or “we provide great customer service” may be true, 但这些是大多数客户在与任何专业服务公司合作时都希望检查的问题.  没有一家公司会说,“OD体育平台的员工没有经验”或“OD体育平台不是最积极响应的一群人”.”

2) Can you prove it?

Differentiators can uncover the real value or benefit clients receive from working with you.  Conducting research is a good way to discover these values, especially because of the possibility that you may overlook a value that clients receive. 

Example假设你的公司有一个比你的竞争对手更快的专有流程.  Because this process is so ingrained within your firm, you may take it for granted and think of it as standard operating procedure.  Your clients, however, see this as something that makes your firm different.

Statistics from brand research, client satisfaction research, and other forms of market research can be good proof points.  当潜在客户询问为什么他们应该与你的公司合作时,他们可以作为一个很好的辩护. 

Using the example mentioned above, you may choose to differentiate your firm based on your timeliness and responsiveness.

 “We deliver projects faster because of our proprietary process.”

A good proof point derived from research may look something like this:

“In a recent survey of our clients, 95%的人认为OD体育平台的及时性和项目的快速周转是他们从与OD体育平台合作中获得的真正价值.”  This proof point backs up and proves your claim.

3) Is it relevant?

Understanding your target audience is the first step in establishing relevancy of your differentiator. Where are you currently getting your business?  Where are the biggest opportunities? What does your ideal client look like? 

这些都是你需要回答的问题为了形成一个相关的微分方程. Industry and service specialization can be good ways to achieve relevancy.

Example: 让OD体育平台说,一个餐馆特许经营的所有者正在寻找一个会计公司.  They go online, do some research, and find two good accounting firms in the area. One is a generalist that offers a wide range of services; the other specializes in accounting services for restaurant franchises. 

While the former likely has the bandwidth to provide the services needed, the latter is perceived as having expertise relevant to the owner’s business. This differentiation is what will likely win over the restaurant owner.

In a competitive B2B landscape, developing solid differentiators is the bedrock of your marketing strategy.  When rooted in research, 经过深思熟虑的差异化将为你提供弹药,你不仅需要赢得更多的业务, but win more of the right kind of business.

It All Begins and Ends With Research

Through customized research, full-service research firms such as The Hinge Research Institute can help you get answers to questions such as:

  • What are my target audiences’ business challenges?
  • What makes them choose one service provider over another? Expertise? Industry experience? Technology adoption? Geography? Pricing options?
  • How important are your firm’s services in addressing prospect and client needs?
  • Is there a perception that other firms have some of the same differentiators as your firm?
  • 你的差异化因素是否足够强大,能够推动你的推荐意愿和客户忠诚度?
  • 贵公司未来三年的目标受众规划是什么?贵公司可以在哪些方面提供帮助?

Answers to these questions and others will ensure that your differentiators are true, proven, relevant, and most importantly, different. By commissioning research, you can make sure you are adapting to your target audiences’ behaviors and needs. But, you can also educate your target audiences by turning the same research into thought leadership content. 向他们展示你了解他们的需求和优先事项,以及他们的同行和竞争对手的想法和计划. 将研究成本转化为投资,以线索的形式显示回报, opportunities, and revenue that come from research-driven marketing campaigns. Use the research in blogs, articles, email campaigns, videos, sales collateral and presentations, websites, social media postings, and more.

With the right differentiators, your firm will:

  • See its visibility rise and strengthen its thought leadership
  • Be able to have its subject matter experts speak at more events and write more articles 
  • Generate more qualified leads
  • Get more referrals
  • Charge more for services

想了解更多关于研究如何帮助公司发展的信息,请下载OD体育平台的免费资源, Research as Content: A Guide for B2B Marketers.

您还可以观看下面的这些短视频,了解更多关于OD体育研究所如何支持您的自定义和授权研究报告的倡议.

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Kelly Waffle

How Hinge Can Help

Hinge and the Hinge Research Institute 可以为你进行定制化研究,包括瞄准和获取目标受访者, designing the research methodology, building the survey, collecting the data, analyzing the data, visualizing the data, writing the research report narrative, and professionally designing and producing the finished report. 你最终会得到一份报告,帮助你在脉搏研究上建立差异化,并利用研究作为思想领导的内容来产生领导.

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