I’ve been working in business to business – aka B2B – marketing for a long time. This means I’ve made a lot of mistakes and slipped on a lot of banana skins, an awful lot of them. Far too many to devote a post to every single one of them, I’m afraid. I thought it worthwhile, however, to share a few of them over the next few weeks.

So here’s my B2B marketing banana skin no 1 to avoid. It’s this: thinking the research is going to give you answers.

You have to do the research into your market of course. You can’t base many decisions without information. My point here is the research you do for your business is never enough, and it’s never exactly the right information.

I’ve worked in several businesses and in each case we’ve sought to get certain information to help us form our strategy. You simply can’t get the information you need, sliced in the way you want it. Even the information experts, the ones who do nothing else for a living, can’t give you exactly what you need. If you could get it, you’ve probably missed the market.

Avoid the B2B marketing banana skin of thinking you’ll get a perfect market picture. You’ll get some of it, and you’ll have to make assumptions and do qualified guesswork on the rest. Study the information you have and make your best play. Don’t wait for something perfect to come along. It won’t. Pick a point and go.