B2B Research Essentials: Achieve Success with Confidence
Your business success depends on your customer and marketplace feedback
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As you can see, strong B2B research methods can help you determine what current challenges exist. You will uncover where your competitive advantages can be highlighted and new opportunities present in your customer landscape. By using this information, you’ll be able to make smarter business decisions.
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Within primary research, companies 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 research.
For example, if a company is looking to fill a particular need with a new product offering for HR Online Recruitment Platforms, it may want to talk with a group of HR Professionals to uncover:
- 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 qual interviews can then be refined into a more quantitative study (conducted via either an online survey or a telephone survey), which can measure things like:
- 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 you answer big questions like:
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 quantitative B2B 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 decisions about product development, pricing, and distribution, which will lead 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.
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, 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 has to do with 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 may be when you actually need the research results. For example, if the results are scheduled to be presented at the company’s shareholder meeting or during a specific customer conference, 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 sample respondents may be more available to give you time for your study. Consider the busy periods for your particular target audience 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.
Many articles, contractors, and consultants provide a myriad of options for conducting B2B projects. On the one hand, 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 are specifically seeking.
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.
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