Wondering how B2B market research is different from B2C market research?
Let's first go back to basics and start with their definitions. B2B stands for business-to-business and B2C stands for business-to-consumer. There are several intricacies when reaching out to either audience.
Typically, B2B market research requires a more strategic approach than B2C market research. For starters, specific types of professionals are often times more difficult to reach than most consumers. To reach the right audience for B2B research, there are several best practices when it comes to choosing the approach and methodology.
Check out what makes B2B market research different and how to use best practices in B2B market research below!
Still scratching your head? Learn more about the differences between B2B and B2C market research.
Learn what makes B2B market research different from B2C research and the best practices of conducting B2B research.
Difference #1: Access to the right audience
Access. Access. Access. There's a reason why I listed access to the right audience as a first best practice for B2B market research.
Gathering meaningful data for future decision-making is crucial for market research. For B2B market research, there are several types of recruiting methods depending on the type of B2B research and budget.
Recruiting methods may include:
- Prospect email lists
- Prospect phone number lists
- Prospect mailing addresses
- Targeted online/social media advertisements
- Use of panel vendor(s)
As a general rule, prospect lists (whether it's emails, phone numbers, or mailing addresses) generate low responses rates. People assume these lists will provide a response rate of 50% or higher, but experience and best practices tell market research pros to expect a response rate below 10%. Unfortunately, while these lists are likely cheap and already curated by the client, they produce minimal results.
On the other hand, targeted ads and/or use of panel vendors may be the ideal methodology for your B2B market research. These methods vary in cost, but are more likely to gather a higher response rate which is critical for successful B2B research.
Difference #2: Gathering the right information
In order to access the right audience, it's important to ask the right questions, in the right format.
The goal of any type of B2B market research is to engage your target audience in a meaningful conversation. This could mean conducting B2B research in several types of formats such as online surveys, focus groups, and in-depth phone or in-person interviews.
Choosing the right B2B market research approach always stems from the goals and objectives of the research. For example, an online survey is best to measure quantitative objectives, while in-depth interviews and focus groups are best to explore qualitative objectives.
There are four steps to conduct a B2B market research study.
Step 1: Determine objectives
Step 2: Decide on a methodology
Step 3: Get a quote or proposal from a B2B market research company
Step 4: Begin your B2B market research study
Learn more about the B2B market research process from start to finish.
Difference #3: Have a plan B...and a plan C
The last difference is simple. Have a back up plan in place if results are not producing as intended.
Wondering what to look for?
At the beginning of B2B research fieldwork, check to see if the response rate is within the research goal, questions are being interpreted as intended, and questions are meeting the goals and objectives of the study.
If any piece of the study needs to be adjusted, the beginning of fieldwork is the ideal time. This gives the research team time to make adjustments to ensure the study is successful.
For example, a law firm is targeting survey respondents through paid Facebook advertising. To test this type of fieldwork, the law firm has invested $200 to run a video ad on Facebook over the weekend.
After the campaign is done they noticed the type of people answering their survey is not in their target demographic. The law firm can either choose to run the Facebook campaign again, utilizing Facebook's target audience feature or choose to shift their efforts to another B2B recruitment method.
B2B Market Research Example
In a previous post, our B2B market research company discussed a recently completed study. The post walks through the overview of the project, approach, and outcomes.
The B2B market research study was conducted for a data analytics software company. The goals were to help the team gather information needed to help generate targeted content marketing to consumers.
Our approach used an online survey sent to a prospect email list and members of a B2B research panel. The survey included several screening criteria to ensure we reached the right audience.
Learn more about this B2B market research project and the outcomes.
Drive Research is a B2B market research company located in Syracuse, NY. Our team specializes in custom market research for both B2B and B2C purposes. Learn more about our market research services.
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