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Conducting B2B specific research is a great vehicle for understanding how clients and would-be clients answer the types of questions they have. As a matter of fact, quantitative data helps your organization understand key preferences and requirements by soliciting feedback from various relevant B2B audiences:
- Other stakeholders
Conducting competitor analysis by surveying or sampling a portion of these audiences to understand their market strengths and weaknesses is another principal reason for using B2B research.
As you can see, strong B2B international market research methods can help you determine what current challenges exist. You will uncover areas where your competitive advantages can be highlighted, and new opportunities that are present in your customer landscape. By using this information, you’ll be able to make smarter business decisions.
Within primary research, a B2B market research company will conduct qualitative and/or quantitative research, depending on their particular goals and requirements:
Qualitative research is typically conducted with smaller groups and goes into more depth to gather opinions, ideas, and thoughts of those being interviewed. Many businesses may use qualitative research methods such as online focus groups or in-depth interviews before or after quantitative market research questions.
For example, if a company is looking to fill a particular need with a new product offering for HR Online Recruitment Platforms, the best way is to do business use market research by talking with a group of HR Professionals to uncover these pain points:
- what their biggest challenges are in recruitment areas,
- what tools and information they wished they had, or
- what problems they cannot seem to solve.
Quantitative research would typically follow, and the feedback from focus groups can then be refined into a more quantitative study (conducted via either an online survey or a telephone survey), which can help answer this set of questions:
- frequency of need,
- willingness to pay to meet that need,
- and preferences on how to learn about new products or services.
Concept testing can help inform you about strategic decisions:
Is there a demand for your product or service?
And it can help you fine-tune issues such as pricing, packaging, and communication preferences.
When a company embarks on business research like quantitative B2B international market research, it really wants to gather the hard data or numbers from a sample size that is a statistically significant portion of its target audience. The results are designed to help the business make better product development, pricing, and distribution decisions, leading to greater profits and lower costs in the long run. Quantitative research may be in the form of a phone interview or, more typically, online surveys.
When is the best time to conduct B2B research?
You can also consider natural moments of gathering feedback when your business reputation is at stake, like before and after a crisis, or even more regularly when, regular daily matters count, such as after a customer calls your service line, after a conflict resolution attempt, or once a purchase is made and received.
The second issue with timing is the scheduling of the actual research. Practical considerations such as when a budget is available or renewed or how work plans are put in place may dictate beginning a project at the start of a calendar year or a specific quarter.
Another factor is when you actually need the research results. For example, if the results are scheduled to be presented at the company’s shareholder meeting, during a specific customer conference, or during the peak time for the industry community, you’ll need to backtrack to determine the timing of the actual research.
Consider the busy periods for your particular target audience and avoid scheduling a survey during those times
You’ll also want to consider when your potential audience may be experiencing a peak time for their business operation and when they are more available to give you time for your study. Consider your target audience’s busy periods and avoid scheduling a survey during those times. For example, don’t send accountants surveys during tax season or ask for input from educators during the first week of school or during common exam periods.
Conducting international B2B market research is an intricate process that calls for a keen understanding of diverse markets and their nuances. A successful international B2B market research campaign begins with defining clear and measurable objectives. What are you hoping to learn from your research? Whether it’s identifying potential opportunities, understanding the competitive landscape, or assessing the demand for a new product or service, having a precise target is crucial.
One of the key considerations in international B2B market research is understanding cultural differences. Ensure that your research instruments like surveys, questionnaires, or interview guides are culturally sensitive and translated correctly, maintaining their intended meaning. Familiarize yourself with local business customs, etiquette, and legal or ethical considerations to build trust and ensure meaningful interactions.
In international B2B market research, the choice of research methodology matters a great deal. Primary research techniques such as interviews, surveys, and focus groups can provide invaluable first-hand insights. However, the logistical challenges of conducting primary research across different time zones and languages can be significant. Therefore, combining these with secondary research techniques, like studying existing market reports, trade statistics, or government publications, can often provide a more holistic understanding of the market.
Many articles, contractors, and consultants provide myriad options for conducting B2B projects. On closer look, companies with large budgets and complex research projects can hire a full-service research marketing agency to manage all the details, from strategy to compiling a comprehensive final report.
Many do-it-yourself options abound online on the opposite end of the spectrum, which can be executed inexpensively and quickly. However, results may or may not provide you with the range of market research reports you seek.
Most businesses choose to conduct B2B research someplace between those two extremes. With all the technology and connectivity available today, both quantitative and qualitative research can often be completed in-house with assistance from online B2B panel providers
Remember, international B2B market research is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each market is unique and will require a tailored research strategy. Being flexible, patient, and adaptable is key to overcoming potential challenges and succeeding in your international B2B market research efforts.
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