B2B Research – The benefits and methods
What is B2B Research?
B2B market research is the objective and systematic analysis and collection of information and insights relating to the business-to-business market. This typically involves exploring buyers’ needs, attitudes and behaviours via surveys, interviews, focus groups, and data analysis to inform sales and marketing strategies for B2B organizations.
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The Benefits of B2B Market Research
B2B market research serves as a powerful tool for companies seeking success and growth in today’s competitive business environment. it is generally recognised by CEOs around the world that knowledge is power.
For companies operating in the business-to-business sector, market research plays a pivotal role in gaining a comprehensive understanding of their target markets, customers, and competitors.
B2B research enables companies locally and around the world to make data-driven decisions, identify market opportunities, understand customer behaviour, gain a competitive edge, enhance product development, mitigate risks, and expand their market presence. By harnessing the benefits of B2B market research, new and emerging businesses can position themselves strategically, deliver value to customers, and stay ahead of the curve in their respective industries.
There are very significant differences in terms of B2B and consumer (B2B) research.
Compared with B2C research….
- In B2B, there are far fewer customers to sell to but they often tend to have much higher spending levels
- B2B decision-making units are larger
- A particular issue is that decision-makers are much harder to engage and locate
- Overall this means that B2B research is more expensive as they are generally much harder to get hold of.
Secondly, they are significantly more complex issues at hand
- B2B products and services tend to be much larger, more complex and involve a combination of product and service.
- Products are likely to be sold through multiple distribution channels
- Understanding B2B customer requirements needs fast thinking and a good understanding of businesses and decision-makers.
Third, there are differences in how B2B purchases are made:
- The B2B buying journey is often much longer with more stages and stakeholders
- Buyers require more information throughout the buying process
- B2B purchases can be less emotionally driven but not entirely so
Qualitative is ideal for B2B research – especially when large numbers are not possible. It is highly versatile and enables you to..
- Develop your Thought Leadership
- Explore and develop new product or service ideas
- Obtain a detailed understanding of B2B decision-making processes
- Evaluate reactions to marketing comm such as websites and promotional materials
- Explore perceptions of a company, brand or product
- Understand your brand positioning or reactions to your marketing strategy
- Develop market segments and personas
Quantitative B2B survey research is useful when the research is going to inform critical business decisions and to..
- Test new product ideas or service concept
- Review and identify the optimal pricing strategy
- Track brand image and perceptions of competitors
- Monitor and evaluate customer satisfaction
- Monitor changes and discover emerging trends in the market
- Customer and market segmentation
- Evaluate reactions to messaging and promotional materials
Key reasons for using B2B include:
- Buyer personas along with customer segmentation
- Decision-making process
- Reasons for lost sales
- Brand equity (e.g., awareness, consideration)
- Customer satisfaction and loyalty
- Needs and decision-making criteria (e.g. price, service, features)
- Which products or services are most needed and why