Nowadays, the business-to-business world places more and more importance on market research. Market research is the process by which data is collected to see if a certain product or service meets the needs of the clients. With effective research, it’s possible to get valuable insight into other companies.
B2B companies that don’t perform solid market research expose themselves to the possibility of not knowing who clients are, why they choose your products or services or if you’re delivering what they are looking for. Given that the economy is more aggressive than ever, possessing knowledge about the preferences and concerns of your clients is paramount.
The business-to-business research lacks resemblance to the business-to-consumer research. Although they use pretty much the same gizmos and techniques, there are striking dissimilarities. In this article, we’re going to focus on the key traits that make B2B market research so special.
Mixed methodology: incorporating qualitative and quantitative research
B2B researchers often describe themselves as qualitative or quantitative, according to the methodology that they adopt. Let’s take a closer look at these approaches for collecting data:
- Qualitative research – Researchers get in touch with people to find out more about their past experiences and what they think about the business, product or maybe details relating to the marketplace. Respondents for market research projects are business professionals, such as project managers, high-level corporate directors, and SME owners. The aim is to understand why people do what they do. Insight is what allows researchers to pursue new lines of inquiry.
- Quantitative research – It’s more interested in measuring. Researchers examine significant sample sizes. As a rule, standardized survey questionnaires are utilized. Every participant is asked the same questions. Experts analyse the numbers and provide information that is relevant from a statistical standpoint.
These 2 methods are usually used together. It’s possible to say that business-to-business researchers are multi-skilled.
B2B research incentives
An incentive represents money or something of value that is provided to a respondent – in other words, a business person – to take part in the research project. When it comes to B2B market research, you can’t provide incentives like cash, free items, discounts or gift cards. Non-monetary incentives are used. They take the form of thank-you gifts and early access to the report containing the market research results. Is it really necessary to provide a stimulus for participation? As a matter of fact, it is. Respondents are either busy at work or they are required to handle requests coming from suppliers, colleagues, clients, etc.
Respondent anonymity is preserved
Business-to-business, as well as other industrial segments, necessitates a different approach to market research. When studies are conducted to see what view people have regarding the products or services that they purchase on behalf of companies, anonymity is preserved. More precisely, the responses aren’t attributed to a specific individual. Why? To maintain good relationships, of course.
B2B market research helps your business be more successful
Every company would benefit from solid market research. That is a fact. There is a strong correlation between research and growth or profitability. B2B market research allows you to identify new opportunities and development chances in the nick of time. These are the ways in which market research helps your business get to the top:
- Finally communicating for business – If you haven’t been living under a rock, then you certainly know that effective communication is key to business success. Humans are social animals by nature and creating good relationships can only be done through positive dialogue. B2B market research helps you start a conversation with clients.
Online discussion forums, as well as online surveys, provide you the chance to ask people what they think about your business and what aspects could be improved. What you have to do is respond to the feedback and follow up with clients. Change what needs to be changed and you’ll surely improve loyalty.
- Gaining data that is useful for making decisions and solving problems – You’re a successful B2B company, yet you want to change. You can use the market research data to determine the potential of your new idea, seize opportunities, and, last but not least, come up with long-term strategies. Or you can simply improve your products or services.
The great thing about business-to-business research is that it provides you accurate information. So, you don’t have to jump to conclusions about what is important to clients. Guesswork is eliminated altogether. You don’t have to interpret the data yourself. There are professionals out there who can help you with that.
- Finding out how your prices compare to the competition – As a B2B company, you’re faced with an influx of competition. People think that you’re more expensive than the other guys. Is this true? Unless you have market research performed, you won’t know for sure. Using say, a customer survey, will help you determine if indeed your pricing is higher.
You may have to lower the prices of your products or services, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You’ll attract more clients. And you may even be able to launch new products or services, creating a surge of sales.
The client is the one who takes the initiative in deciding how things should be done and defines the buyer-seller relationship. At present, businesses deploy available information to make up their mind as to which company to give their money to.
Since the priority of your B2B company is to grasp, define, and talk to customers, you should make an effort and embrace market research. As we’ve been able to see, it’s nothing like traditional business-to-consumer research. It’s downright hard. It’s a good thing that there are organisations that can help you. B2B research companies make available the proper tools and techniques, helping you gain invaluable insight.
You should hire the most stubborn people you can find. Consultants of this kind don’t think inside the box, meaning that they have a whole new perspective. At the end of the day, this is the B2B researcher that you can trust.