Market Research is important for all types and sizes of businesses in various stages of their life cycles. In a data-driven world, it comprises a big step in companies and brands charting their growth directions. A lot of market research is geared towards consumers, but businesses that sell to other businesses also need to understand the main pain points, fears, or dreams of their target market, and market research surveys can provide that data.
Business-to-business (B2B) market research explores B2B customers’ attitudes, motivations, and behaviors to inform strategies for businesses that serve other businesses. The insights gathered can be helpful for numerous reasons including:
- Market Segmentation – Understand who the customers are, create consumer segments, identify competitors, and map the marketplace.
- Understand the Customer Journey – Determine decision-makers and what influences them most, gain insights into how customers discover businesses or products, and the steps they take to make a purchase.
- Brand Development – Gather insights into how the brand is perceived, its unique selling proposition to its customers, marketing channels to use, and other brand health metrics.
- Measure Performance – B2B market research plays an essential role in measuring areas such as customer satisfaction, brand equity, ease of doing business, and best-performing products and services.
- Product Development – Armed with the data produced by the research, the business can form, develop, and test new product ideas, go-to-market faster, optimize pricing, and better predict the market.
How to Conduct B2B Market Research Surveys
Identify your research topic and develop your questions
The overarching research topic or objective determines the questions you will ask in your survey. For B2B surveys, pay extra attention to the length of the survey and the depth of the questions so that respondents do not feel like they are wasting their time taking the survey.
Decide on a methodology
Next, determine the best methodology for your objectives and needs. These methodologies vary from online panels, phone surveys, email surveys, face-to-face interviews, or even a combination of a few, and each methodology offers its unique pros and cons. It all depends on where you are likely to engage your respondents and the nature of the survey.
Choose the respondents
A B2B respondent base may be less straightforward to put together than a consumer database due to a number of reasons. Businesses are fewer than individuals, the audience is a bit more niche, and depending on a respondent’s position, time may be limited. The good news is that to be representative, your sample size may not need to be as big as a comparable B2C survey. Depending on the nature of the study, you can leverage your internal data to survey your existing clients and contacts, create your own panel, plug into an existing database, or post targeted advertisements in places your prospective respondents are likely to be.
Conduct the survey
When it comes to conducting the survey, choose a survey mode and a time when the business respondents you are talking to are most available and comfortable. Like individual respondents, offer a considerate incentive for completing your survey. It could be a gift to the respondent or the business, such as a discount, an upgrade, or a mention in the published report. When possible, customize the survey and outreach for the participants to increase your response rate.
Analyze the data to answer your research question
The ultimate goal for a B2B research project (and any other research project, really) is to gain actionable insights from the data. The data collected from the survey can be rich, but if not analyzed well, can come to naught. It is crucial to keep in mind that everything you are doing is to answer the initial research question – stay focused on pulling data that supports an answer. Data analysis can be simple or complex depending on the tools used, expertise, and the nature of the survey, so plan well from the start.
Finally, communicate and translate your findings into actionable items. Sum up your processes for building, administering, and analyzing the results, and summarize with key findings and limitations. For a positive effect, consider using data visualization tools to explain your findings and then connect the significance back to your original research problem.
How GeoPoll can Help with your B2B Research Project
Over the years, GeoPoll has worked with many brands and development organizations worldwide to help them collect actionable data. We have access to the largest respondent database in Africa, Asia and Latin America and have developed a robust survey platform to collect and analyze data quickly. For your B2B Market Research project, our team can help you develop effective questions, recruit a sample, run the survey using multiple modes, and analyze the data. Please get in touch to understand our capabilities.