The B2B industry — unlike B2C/ D2C, is more competitive and cruel.
Its constantly evolving nature, complexity, and the essence of cutting edge over competitors make it difficult for businesses to thrive in the long term.
At the same time, that is what makes it amazing as well!!
Your conventional marketing ideas and business strategies may or may not work in B2B every time. Hence, it becomes necessary that whatever steps you take are well thought out, logical, data-backed, and verified. And this is where the art of marketing research becomes an essential tool for building and growing the business.
But what is marketing research anyway? Let’s find out.
B2B market research
It refers to the process of analyzing business insights and knowing your current position in the marketplace by surveying your potential customers or a sample of those participants. The most common types of marketing research include market surveys, customer feedback, focus groups, social media interactions, trials, and even website traffic.
However, the pandemic changed the marketplace scenario, and these factors have become more important than ever. So, let’s learn and understand some of the important processes and tips for effective market research.
Benefits of B2B market research
Dive deep into customers’ mindset
In any business, the requirements and desires of any customer change over time. To keep yourself updated with those necessary changes, you need to tap into their mindset. Building a strategy on their past behavior might lead to a downfall, and you won’t want that to happen to your business anytime.
Evaluating business performance
Marketing research is an effective tool for monitoring your business performance too. It helps you know how satisfied your end customers are, what changes have occurred in their behavior over time etc. This will help you tailor your approach in time for your next quarter.
With your market research-backed strategy, you will be able to target your customers more efficiently. Your prediction will be backed by numbers and data rather than guesses. This engagement will allow customers to connect with you in a better way and thus guaranteeing better sales.
Process of market research
Market research is carried out in two major steps:
- Data Collection
- Data Analysis
Before carrying out these two steps, you must first identify the problem. This involves defining the objectives you are carrying out your research for, knowing the target market, a key advantage over competitors, and the problem you are seeking to resolve.
Once you have identified the objectives, you can go for data collection either through the qualitative method or the quantitative method. Here is an insight to help you differentiate between the two.
These methods stress finding the behavioral patterns of your potential customers and understanding your target market. This approach could be time taking complex and may require your team to be in a close relationship with your potential customers. It works extremely well for B2B as their target domain is small in population, and helping them know their strengths and weaknesses in detail.
Some of the common qualitative methods used for B2B market research are focus groups, open-ended surveys, and personal and telephonic interviews.
While the qualitative method helps you enjoy the customers’ patterns and behavior, the quantitative approach provides you with numbers that can back up the evidence collated from the qualitative approach. These numbers are cost-effective and can be easily collected through various methods like questionnaires, polls, surveys, etc. It helps you compare your collected data easily and eliminate bias in it.
If you are wondering which one is better and why? Then, there is no correct answer. Both methods are correct in their way and have their importance. While qualitative data collections help you, deep dive into information and have great flexibility, quantitative numbers make your life easier with easy comparisons and conclusions.
Time to get your questions sorted
After finalizing the approach for your study, another important thing you need to focus on is asking your respondents the right questions. Here are the different types of questions you can put forward to them:
- Yes/ No
Used when binary answers are required from the participant’s side
- Multiple choice questions
Used when you want them to choose from a given set of answers. In order to introduce flexibility and know more, you can add the fourth option as “other”. In that case, they might be able to tell you what you are lacking or what they are specifically looking forward to.
- Scaled questions
Used to gauge answers towards the products, services, and client satisfaction on a scale of 1-10.
- Matrix questions
Used to analyze multiple products with the same set of criteria
- Open-ended questions
Used where you want participants to provide their answers.
Choose a new sample
Choosing a new sample will allow you to know your potential customers in depth. This, in turn, will help you apply your market research to make logical and strategic decisions for your business. While a small pool size of participants can be preferred for quantitative research, a larger sample size is sought for qualitative results, and in-depth knowledge is required. The size of the sample also depends on the budget allocated for research and the answers being looked up by the company.
In such a situation, you should also focus on the quality of the data. Make sure the sample you choose is neither too against you nor completely in favor of you. This biasing may lead to an error in prediction later.
Repeat the process
B2B market research is not a one-time thing. It needs to be repeated from time to time to see its magic in your productivity. Most successful businesses tend to do market research quarterly. It is considered an ideal time to do research. It is neither too often nor takes up too many resources from your company.
B2B marketing research is an efficient tool to guide your business on a successful path. In this digital age, the marketplace is quite vulnerable and prone to fluctuations. In such situations, every business needs to be well-connected with its customers and know what they desire and what their behavioral patterns are. This will give you a competitive advantage over other businesses, thus promising you a good ROI.
How can CleverX help you achieve this?
At CleverX, we refrain from using any third-party panels and collaborate with experts who are 100% legitimate and a part of our community. With people coming from diverse locations and industries, our clients find it easier to conduct their studies in a much more strategic manner — ensuring genuine and original data. Visit us to understand how B2B businesses are making a hit with us!