Standing for Business to Business, B2B research has several differences with B2C (Business to Consumers) research. True to its name, the involved participants in B2B research are mostly businesses or companies. Meanwhile, in B2C, individual consumers are mainly the targets or participants. Just from the participants, it can be seen that B2B has more complexity.
Luckily, there are dozens of marketing consultants that assist in making and doing this type of research. Before getting to know more about the aids that they could provide, here is a brief explanation about the B2B or Business to Business model.
What Is B2B?
The term refers to any transactional activities that happen between a company with other companies. It covers services and products. A simple example is the phone industry because the metal suppliers providing lithium and aluminum to the phone manufacturers include B2B organizations.
More than that, the manufacturers across nations might be built in the manufacturing partners, not in the original place of the brand. The phone products are sold to several distributors making another type of B2B activities.
Based on the simple explanation above, it can be concluded that B2B has fewer buyers to be targeted, the buying is based on demands not emotionally driven, services or products are more customized and limited to the demands, and the buying process involves more stakeholders and stages.
Regarding the criteria, B2B research is intended to build segmentations, map the complete buying process, develop the brand, measure the branding, and develop products, services, and engaging content. To help you achieve those intentions, these are several things that the B2B research solutions usually do.
Deciding Types And Methods Of The Research
Every part of the study is designed based on the objectives, including the types and methods. So make sure to have clear goals or questions before going to the consultants. The types vary following each goal, such as qualitative research to develop novel ideas and to map the process, while quantitative one to identify patterns as well as changes of the market trends. To understand more types and their functions, you can read here.
Sometimes the exploration needs layers. So the research could be primary or secondary. The secondary usually covers what primary misses. Hence different methods are used in each type.
Methods mostly involved in the primary are exploratory and in-depth, while contents analysis (from censuses, reports, databases, and directories) and quick surveys are usually used in the secondary one. The result of secondary could be supporting data.
Listing The Possible Participants
After deciding the grand design complete with each detailed step, it is time to target the participants. As mentioned before, some fewer buyers mean fewer participants also. As most of them are decision-makers, they are more difficult to locate and engage. Yet, this should not be a problem to B2B research solutions.
Good B2B marketing services providers should have wide and varied connections of panelists and experts from many locations, areas of expertise, company sizes, and responsibilities. To prove these, they usually put samples on their sites like in https://emi-rs.com/ to show their credibility and ability to deliver. They list their previous clients and projects that have been done.
Designing The Proper Research Instruments
As the participants are mostly decision-makers who can be busy, the right instruments, including words of commands and forms (multiple choice, scaled, yes or no, open-ended questions, and matrix questions), must be delivered effectively. The forms are most likely to follow the research types. Hence the expected data could be gathered.
These works are quite impossible to be done individually. Therefore, the team from B2B research solutions mostly uses the help of technological tools such as Engagio, Marketo, HubSpot, Intelliblend, HotJar, and more. Each has its specialties and functions. So, find the right one that your business needs.
Making Analyses And Generating Ideas
To get the best results, the data should be sufficient and not abundant. Hence, accurate and focused results can be generated. After collecting, the data can be categorized for further analysis. The final results and generated ideas should be checked or judged by the experts. They could be from the previous participants or other independent panelists to make a cross-checked result before taking further actions of the business strategies.
Maintaining A Good Connection With Panels Or Decision-Makers
This one actually can be done not only by the market research consultants but also the business owners. Who knows, in the future, the business owners need to have a further discussion with decision-makers? Maintaining a good relationship could create more opportunities like new collaborations.
There is also a possible follow-up B2B research in the future as an effort to the sustainable improvement of the business. The current respondents have a bigger chance to retake part respondents in future research. Therefore it is important to list any possible respondents from varied routes like LinkedIn, research panelists, industry communities, training centers, online forums, and more.
Though the collected data might be abundant, you can screen and filter them again during the process. Then you can still have contact and relation that might be useful for the time ahead.
Determining The Exogenous Factors That Might Affect The Business
Exogenous factors are factors that cannot be controlled or influenced by your company. They are mostly external and seasonal. The examples include tax policy, inflation, international legal aspects, national economic situation, nature, and more. Even though this is optional, preparing the best scenario for each possibility could put your business ahead of the competitors.