B2B Research Essentials for Market Success

B2B research covers everything from brand perceptions, product fit, customer service requirements, sales and marketing strategies

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Market Research » B2B Research Essential for Market Success

​B2B market research is an excellent vehicle for understanding not only how clients and prospects see things, but also the types of questions, preferences, and requirements they have. B2B market research can also help you understand your competitors and how you compare to them in terms of product features, price, customer satisfaction, and other metrics. As a matter of fact, soliciting feedback from current, prospective, and lost customers, employees, suppliers, and other stakeholders can be the difference between business success and failure.

​What is B2B Market Research?

 

B2B market research is the process businesses (that sell to other businesses, not consumers) take to gather data on what potential customers are looking for and what they need. The research can cover everything from brand perceptions, product fit, customer service requirements, sales and marketing strategies, and more.

 

By researching how your potential audience thinks, feels, and behaves, your decision-making and strategic planning for attracting your target market will be more effective. Not only that, but when you have customers on board, you won’t risk not delivering what they expect. You’ll also be better able to predict future trends and tackle issues before they happen.

 

Differences between B2B and B2C Market Research

 

The key differences between B2B market research and B2C market research are:

B2B research might be looking at more complex and niche markets
Enterprise and other large businesses often have very focused or complicated market audiences, whereas B2C is often simpler or more general.
B2B customers may need more convincing than B2C customers, which means research needs to be more in-depth
Your target audience will need higher incentives to choose to participate – so your research needs to be detailed enough that you can make the most attractive offer.
B2B customers might be more scarce
With a smaller sample pool, you may not be able to complete quantitative research and may need to focus on using qualitative research to meet your information needs.
B2B market research may take more time in the field
For all of the above reasons, you probably won’t be able to complete data collection as quickly as you can with B2C research.
Things to ask your current customers or prospects:
The best way to understand what attracts customers you want to your business is to ask the people who’ve already followed that path or who are considering that path.
Things to ask former clients:
Understanding why you’ve lost clients can be just as valuable as knowing why they came to you in the first place.
Create a research panel:
This requires much effort upfront and in ongoing maintenance but can pay dividends as you can access this panel repeatedly.
Access an existing research panel or buy a list:
This is a costly approach, and B2B customers are unlikely to participate – but in some cases, it can be a good start.
Advertising on your website, a trade journal, or an industry community:
Accessing participants may be easier if you advertise in spaces where potential customers might be.

 

The easiest and most reliable source of B2B market research respondents is a market research panel. A panel company solicits and vets participants who agree to participate in marketing research to share their opinions about products, services, and suppliers in their industry. To join a panel, participants must provide extensive information about themselves so the panel company can verify that they are who they say they are.

 

There are two types of panel companies. Full-Service Panel Providers offer access to their extensive, proprietary database of millions of B2B participants, often globally. Most Full-Service Panel Providers also offer their programming and hosting services for online surveys and data tabulation and reporting services. On the other hand, Panel Resellers don’t recruit and maintain a proprietary panel but provide samples aggregated from other panel providers.

 

How to Choose a B2B Panel Partner

 

Utilizing an online panel provider will increase your success in reaching the right business audiences with an online research methodology; however, choosing the right panel provider is critical. A reputable panel provider will be able to answer your specific project-related questions and also be able to talk about how they recruit and manage their panels.

 

A reputable market research company will offer its response to ESOMAR’s 28 Questions, the research industry’s detailed questions about its panel operations and practices. When you’re screening B2B panel providers, you’ll want to ensure they have a few key processes to help ensure that you’re getting the online panel quality for which you’re paying.

 

In addition to solid panel recruiting and management, here are some additional tips to look for in your B2B panel partner:

  • Specialization in B2B: Some panel providers focus on business-to-consumer panels, and then recruit from their consumer panels to find B2B respondents. A true B2B panel will have the expertise and proven experience with the B2B marketplace that you need to provide quality respondents and hence, quality data.
  • Categories of B2B markets: Look for panel categories focused on industry and role, product or service, or markets.
  • Targeted Recruiting: Ask your potential B2B panel provider how they recruit panel members. Find a provider who has a well-thought-out process in how they engage their participants.
  • Vetting Process: Just because a panelist claims to work a particular job or live in a specific country doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. Talk with your panel provider about the steps they take to vet, confirm, and verify identity, professional credentials, and other demographics.
  • Multiple Reward Programs: Panelists will be motivated by different incentives. An experienced B2B panel provider will offer a variety of rewards and incentives to recruit, retain, and reward their best panelists.
  • Ongoing Quality Control: Just because a professional fits particular survey criteria today doesn’t mean that will hold in six months. Talk with your panel provider to find out how frequently panelist data is confirmed or updated. And how they identify and get rid of respondents who do not provide quality data.

 

Market research is a vital component of a successful business plan and provides invaluable information to new and seasoned B2B companies. Developing a strong partnership with your B2B panel provider can help ensure quality results that will guide you to success.

It’s a Great Day to Discover Why B2B Research is Key to Market Success!

Contact OvationMR Today…

To learn how we can help you with your B2B Research.

 

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Bart Borkosky

Bart Borkosky

Author

Bart is Chief Research Officer at OvationMR and is responsible for Online Panel and Online Sample Data Quality. He also consults with clients on sampling design for various types of online research campaigns and political polling. Bart can be reached at Bart.Borkosky@ovationmr.com

To learn more about OvationMR Business Traveler Panel Solutions, Online Sampling, and Online methodologies for ensuring your success, you can visit Panel Quality & Recruitment or Download 2022 PanelBook or contact us at info@ovationmr.com

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