Leveraging Surveys to Gain Commercial Insight

Content marketing mavern Lisa VitaleWhat are commercial insights?

The internet today is awash with mediocre content, creating a significant challenge for B2B marketers – to rise above this noise. Best practices now call for marketers to craft uniquely insightful, relevant, and valuable content that resonates profoundly with buyers on both a rational and emotional level.  To this end, messaging centered on compelling insights of real commercial value increases your relevance and sparks buyer action by disrupting conventional thinking and demonstrating a cost to inaction.  It’s in the disruptive nature of the approach that buyer behaviors and priorities are changed in favor of your solution through the perception of the cost and risk associated with inaction.


A thought-provoking case study by CEB[i] defines a commercial insight as one which “elevates customer conversations and reframes their needs and the way they assign value to your points of differentiation.”  Recent studies support such an approach with findings that marketers who challenge conventional thinking and provide buyers with unique insights are now the highest performing sales reps, as opposed to the relationship-builders of yesterday.


CEB’s report suggests that B2B marketers can adapt their content for greater success by:

  • Sparking concern – create an emotional response to a business issue lacking visibility
  • Scoping the problem – outline your case with evidence, testimonials, etc.
  • Personalizing the pain – create a sense of urgency by ensuring the problem resonates with your prospect
  • Disrupting with commercial insight – challenge conventional thinking with your insights of material value and “reset…purchase criteria” in your favor


Using surveys to gain insight & test ideas

To unearth and develop such insights of commercial value, a deep understanding of your target market is critical.  Surveys are a great tool for ‘going directly to the source’ – they enable you to garner insights from individual prospects, as well as to gain the collective pulse of your target audience.  Additionally, surveys are an effective tool for testing new ideas and can be designed to both gain and communicate unique perspectives regarding prospects’ personal and organizational challenges.


In particular, prospect surveys are an exceedingly efficient tool, permitting you to reach, engage, and qualify your prospects, all while gaining you valuable insight into a highly-targeted market.


Kronos, a SimplyDIRECT customer, used our prospect survey to poll upper management in the food service industry regarding their workforce management systems.  Kronos’s goal was to determine how prepared the industry was to accommodate pending changes in healthcare regulations.  The commercial insight Kronos gained as a result of their survey identified the industry’s collective inability to efficiently distinguish between full-time and part-time employees – a key aspect of effectively managing healthcare changes.  Creating a cost-effective solution to this imminent problem for the food service industry provided Kronos with an urgent message of material value for their market.


Today’s information-rich digital context challenges us to bring a fresh, unique, and materially important perspective to our messaging in order to rise above the fray.  What commercial insights are awaiting your discovery?


Read how Kronos used SimplyDIRECT’s demand-gen surveys to improve their customer insight. Download the Kronos case study now – click the button below.

Kronos Discovering undiscovered needs

[i] The Challenger™ Marketing eBook, Introducing Challenger™ Marketing, Corporate Executive Board (CEB), 2013