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B2B market structure and competitor research

Whether you’re looking to enter a new market or better capture the opportunity in an existing one, we can provide you with an accurate map of the market environment.  This map will:

  • Define the market you’re in and direct and indirect competitors
  • Profile buyers – their firmographic make up and hot spots of opportunity
  • Size the market, identify key segments and growth patterns
  • Calculate your own and competitor market share
  • Profile competitors – operations, financial performance, offer, positioning and reputation

Over the last decade we’ve created market maps for dozens of world-leading B2B brands. Brands like Vodafone, Premier Farnell and BSI. We couple this extensive experience with a deep understanding of the different information sources available and how best to collate them.

The result is research which makes a real difference.

Our guiding principles

Our guiding principles

The first step towards accurately mapping your market environment is to decide which market you’re actually in. That’s not as obvious as it sounds and requires three steps:

  • Define the issue your product or service addresses
  • Define your product category and niches within it
  • Identify substitute products or solutions

This will ensure that the market map created is detailed and has no blind spots.

Having defined the space you’re playing in, the next step is to build a comprehensive and accurate picture of it. Four sources of information are invaluable here:

  • An analysis of sales and other internal data can shine a light on key segments and buying patterns within the market
  • Your colleagues, especially those who have worked with competitors previously, can provide insights into market structure, market segments and competitor strategy
  • Externally published information in the form of market reports, industry and government statistics often contains key data on market size, market share, growth patterns, key segments and trends
  • Competitors often publish significant amounts of information about the segments they target, their strategy, their offering and their financial performance. This can take the form of sales & marketing materials or statutory information (e.g. published accounts, Annual Reports)

When compiled, triangulated and analysed these sources are often enough to provide a comprehensive market map. However, if there are gaps or additional detail is desirable then two further steps can be followed:

  • A small number of people know an awful lot about your market. Interviewing industry experts such as trade body leaders, trade media editors and industry analysts can be an invaluable source of insight
  • Sometimes information about market size and share simply isn’t available. If so, a primary survey of buyers in your market can reveal levels of spend and how this is distributed between different suppliers and product types. This engagement can also add valuable information about how competitors are perceived

Read Case Study

REXEL - mapping the B2B buying process

Circle helped REXEL to map out the B2B buying process in their market and identify what really drives supplier choice.  These insights have been used to create a compelling value proposition and a truly multi-channel customer experience. See how we did it here…

Read more

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