Best B2B Market Research Tools for Marketing Research Functions

October 27, 2023

ViB Editorial Team

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There’s one question that bugs us marketers whenever we’re trying to make a bold statement — Do I have the data to back this up? Whether you’re looking to assert a claim, launch a new product, get buy-in for more marketing budget, or reposition your brand, compelling evidence dictates your success. There are so many b2b market research tools that can aid marketers with this big task.

The best way to get that evidence and data? Market research.

And there are so many marketing research functions out there. Some break down the main functions of research as these: exploratory, descriptive, diagnostic, and predictive.

For example, market research helps you understand your consumers deeply, identify pain points, and offer valuable solutions to their problems. In doing so, you’ll reduce the number of negative experiences consumers have with your company, which after one or two, 64% of consumers switch to a competitor. 

Besides informing product strategy, market research is incredible for churning out original and differentiated content too. That’s so important because of AI tools like ChatGPT today, which is democratizing information access. Content marketers are struggling to stand out

There are statistics to back this up too. 61% of decision-makers say that a company’s thought leadership showcases its product value better than traditional marketing. In other words, original research powers content to generate leads.

B2B organizations must have a solid awareness of their industry space and the current market trends to stay relevant in an ever-competitive digital landscape.

What are B2B market research tools?

B2B market research tools are essentially platforms designed to help in any part of the research process. That could include collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data that is crucial for making informed business decisions.

Some b2b market research tools also come packaged as market research services, while some encourage a more DIY approach especially if you’re certain on doing market research in-house.

Trouble making that decision? This might be a helpful read: How To Decide Between B2B Market Research Services vs. In-House Research?

Either way, with 6 out of 10 marketers using market research to inform their decisions, you have the potential to significantly outpace your competitors by adding one, simple step to your decision-making process. 

If you’re like most marketers, budgets are tight and expectations are high. So, we compiled a list of reputable B2B market research tools and solutions, highlighted by specialty to help get you started. I’ll talk about research functions like trends research, social analytics, content marketing, data visualization, and lots more. Alright, let’s dive in. 👇

1. Overall most affordable and comprehensive — ViB Research

ViB Research is a custom B2B market research solution that offers unparalleled customization with undeniable results. 

I’m talking about full ownership of the research agenda and data produced. This helps open doors in content repurposing and lead generation. One major tech company that used ViB Research even saw $5 million in pipeline opportunities.

Screenshot of ViB Research - best b2b market research tool overall

The reason behind ViB’s flexibility is the ease of respondent recruiting. With a network of millions of high-tech, decision-making professionals, ViB makes it easy to find targeted respondents for a variety of custom topics within tech.

Pair that approach with a team of research specialists and data analysts, and ViB is able to deliver expert-level insights that you can repurpose anywhere.

Even better? Their cost is a fraction of the price of the large companies dominating the industry. 

For Marketing Manager, Mandy Skroupa, at Illumio, ViB not only provided valuable insights but gave her more content to share with their network. 

“We were able to take ViB's survey results and create a great report. That report has so much life to it — creating blogs, doing a webinar, getting other outlets to pick it up, putting it into social channels and into content syndication, and getting those survey results into the market in digestible ways — and delivered great benefits to us.”

📥 You can also read Mandy’s story with ViB Research, and download the state of industry report (and bonus white paper) she generated with the solution.

With ViB Research’s done-for-you approach, you’ll reap all the rewards without being stretched thinner.

Interested? This on-demand solution walkthrough, featuring some of the specialists and even a happy ViB customer, might answer your top questions.

See how Robert and others easily build libraries of differentiated content from a single research report.

Discover everything you need to know about ViB Research, including how it works and its success stories through our comprehensive video walkthrough.

2. Best tool for data collection — Qualtrics

Qualtrics is one of the best B2B market research companies and customer experience management agencies. They focus on collecting, organizing, and understanding important brand, consumer, and employee data with easy-to-use b2b market research tools.

Qualtrics has one of the most comprehensive suites of data collection features. In fact, the platform is what powers the data collection stage of ViB Research too.

Screenshot of Qualtrics - best b2b market research tool for data collection

Are you looking to understand brand sentiment across all marketing channels? Qualitrics has a tool for that. 

With their listening engine, easily engage stakeholders at the moment it’s most critical while keeping all data in a centralized location for any team member to access. 

One neat aspect of Qualitrics is it’s designed to be streamlined and adapted across every department of your enterprise. The XM Platform uses AI techniques to derive correlations between events and develop predictive models shareable across teams. (Note: Qualitrics is a useful tool for a team looking to perform and maintain the research themselves.)

3. Best tool for keyword and trends research - Semrush

Semrush is an online SEO (search engine optimization) platform that provides your team with insights to solve your marketing challenges and accelerate business growth. 

Screenshot of Semrush - best b2b market research tool for keyword and trends research

While there are a ton of SEO tools to choose from, Semrush is what we use too. It has expansive keyword and competitor research capabilities, packed into an intuitive interface that is user-friendly, even for those who are relatively new to SEO.

Semrush also seamlessly blends into your marketing tech stack, thus enhancing its functionality and your efficiency.

With a research tool like it on hand, keyword and trend research tasks like these can become a breeze:

  • Keyword research – Increase traffic to your website by using the most effective and searched keywords. 
  • On-Page SEO – Their platform will scan your site and offer solutions to improve your site’s health and SEO performance. 
  • Competitor SEO Analysis – Take a peek behind your competitor’s marketing strategy. Find the keywords they’re ranking for and see what content they’re putting out and when. 
  • Rank Tracking – Track the success of your current keywords as changes happen. Keep your company ahead of the curve.
 

If you’re looking to button up your SEO strategy and start taking website visitors away from your competitors, we highly suggest getting started with Semrush. 

4. Best tool for data visualization — Tableau

Tableau is a visual analytics platform that allows you to “connect to virtually any data source.”

Screenshot of Tableau - best b2b market research tool for data visualisation

Better yet, their data isn’t presented in bulky, unreadable tables and charts, it’s presented in a simple, visual format making it easy to share with stakeholders and potential investors. 

The best features of Tableau software are:

  • Data blending
  • Real-time analysis
  • Collaboration of data
 

Its intuitive structure allows professionals at any technical level to create dashboards and workflows in no time. It also integrates well with spreadsheets and databases, so you can access the visual data you need wherever and whenever you need it. 

5. Best solution for buyer research — ViB Deal Intent

Need to know everything about a potential buyer? Deal Intent is a lead B2B buyer intent data solution that delivers sales-ready leads actively considering solutions in your market.

Screenshot of ViB Deal Intent - best b2b market research tool for sales and lead intent research

The key differentiator is the accuracy and explicitness of the intent data generated. Unlike other intent data tools that sell vague signals from third party sources (think readership patterns for examples), ViB Deal Intent includes precise information around:

  • Timeline
  • Budgets
  • Goals
  • Role and other decision-makers involved
  • Consent to be contacted
 

The secret behind this precision is that you get valuable information from leads themselves and in real time. 

By eliminating the time, effort, and guesswork in actioning leads with vague intent, the ViB team puts you on the right track to identify potential deals (hence the name!) 

Graph of intent data points collected as part of ViB Deal Intent's unique zero-party data collection approach

How does it work?

Step 1 – Together, you create a target profile or ICP, and pinpoint your intent category. Using this profile, the ViB team leverages the relationships within the ViB Community to identify prospects who have a verified need for a solution like yours. 

Step 2 – Your company is then matched with members identified as having a project in the next 6-12 months. Those members freely answer questions about their budget, timeline, goals, and more.

Step 3 – With all the intent data points collected, your team receives each lead and their intelligence. Then, it’s a matter of using the intel to effectively connect with each lead, and potentially score a deal. 

🚀 Accelerate your sales pipeline and receive valuable contact-level intelligence, all at once.

6. Best for social analytics — Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a social media management and intelligence tool for brands. Cross-channel analytics reporting is crucial to getting a comprehensive understanding of the effectiveness of the marketing strategies and campaigns in place.

Screenshot of Sprout Social - best b2b market research tool for social analytics

Their easy-to-use cross-channel reporting allows you to compare content effectiveness across platforms. 

Then, organize and share your data in presentation-ready reports that are easy to understand across all departments.

Even better, their Advanced Social Listening Tool gives you access to information like:

  • Audience demographics
  • Industry influencers and thought leaders
  • Campaign performance 
  • Consumer sentiment
  • Share of voice
 

The easiest, most comprehensive social analytics platform– Sprout Social.

7. Best for user experience testing — Loop11

Maybe you’re a startup looking to test the user flow and click-through rate (CTR) of your website, but you’re not sure if there’s a tool out there that can do it for you. 

Good news – Loop11 is a user experience platform that allows you to study user intent, test the usability of your website, test the impact of your web copy, and identify any gaps in website responsiveness. 

Screenshot of Loop11 - best b2b market research tool for user experience testing

Loop11 helps you learn whether or not your consumers find your website easy to interact with and navigate. Especially useful during the launch of new apps and solutions platforms, you can ensure there aren’t any roadblocks to understanding your product or services. 

How to do market research?

We’ve gone through some of the best B2 market research tools and highlighted their unique differentiation factor. 

But, you may be thinking – these are great options, but we’d love to supplement them with our own research. Do you have any tips on the best ways to perform market research in-house?

Doing your own research is just as important as working with third-party B2B marketing research agencies. Not only does it give you hands-on experience, but it gives you a deeper understanding of where your consumers’ minds are at. 

I’ll go over how to best conduct market research in 4 simple, steps 👇

Graph of how to do market research in house in 4 steps

Step 1 - Define your focus and research approach

Before beginning the research, you’ll need to narrow the focus to specific issues — e.g. a certain consumer pain point or preference — or a specific agenda — e.g. content creation or product strategy. 

Start by asking general questions about the methods you could use. Which has the highest probability of giving you the information you need? Examples of research approaches are interviews, surveys, and focus groups

Another great tool to employ when starting market research is going through the SWOT analysis of your business. This analysis typically involves creating a matrix and answering important questions about your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 

Take a look at Semrush’s SWOT analysis template here.

Once you have your agenda and approach decided, you can identify who your target respondents should be, and begin developing your set of questions.

Step 2 - Collect the data

How you collect your data depends on the research methods you decide to use. 

For qualitative data, I suggest using resources like Survey Monkey, Survey Sparrow, or Google Forms. 

For quantitative data, some of the best market research tools are Qualtrics, Tableau, Excel, or Google Sheets.

Don’t neglect targeted respondent recruiting too. You can tap into lead lists or social platforms to promote your survey or form.

Step 3 - Analyze the data

Before starting, do a quality control check to make sure your data is clean and doesn’t have alarming outliers. Then, it’s time to draw insights.

The best way to analyze data is to categorize the data into relatable buckets. Take that information and measure the relevant statistics. You’ll begin noticing trends that lead to conversational launch points within your marketing team. 

Step 4 - Present results or continue testing

At this point, you’ll have received the information needed to present to department heads, consumers, stakeholders, or potential investors. 

If you’re intending to share your results externally, check out some of these market research report examples conducted by tech companies.

Or, if you need to iterate, that’s perfectly okay too! Use the information you’ve gained to refine your research approach and continue testing until you get the results you need.

Need more support to be successful with these B2B market research tools?

Market research not only gives you invaluable consumer data but also helps you make informed business decisions, and generate leads. But even with so much homework done on the best B2B market research tools to use, research is challenging. The process can feel like walking in the dark. 

If you need any help at all in figuring out the right market research tools, or even the right agenda, ways to apply your results and more, we’d love to chat too!  

Reach out to one of our team members for a no-pressure consultation today. We promise we’re here to help. 

Or if a self-paced evaluation is more your style, grab the ViB Research datasheet here to see all the specs and benefits to make an informed decision.

Interested in market research for your business?

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