Without market research, you have no way of knowing who your customers are or what they want, making it one of the key ingredients to business success. But how does market research play into the world of B2B networking? As targets in B2B differ from B2C market research, there’s significant alterations you should take into account when initiating research in a B2B context. Here, we share some tips on how you can effectively perform market research for B2B businesses.
What is B2B, and how is it different from B2C?
B2B stands for Business to Business, these are all business transactions that take place between one company and another. When a customer company buys from a selling company, to then resell a product, that initial transaction is considered B2B.
It’s critical to understand the differences between B2B and B2C markets, as they influence how you do market research. The core distinction between the two is that B2B markets involve more complex decision-making, usually due to dealing with suppliers from larger territories. In market research, you can see these differences through:
- Sample size – B2B studies have smaller sample sizes, as there are fewer buyers in B2B markets.
- Focus groups – focus groups are infrequent in B2B studies. Getting your target audience in the same room at the same time is considered a challenge, due to availability and logistics.
- Opinion – Since B2B markets have a more complex chain, businesses need to connect with specific people who have expert knowledge about the product area and industry.
Why is B2B Marketing research essential?
Start-ups use B2B marketing research to verify the feasibility of their product, improve their business model, and uncover differentiators. It’s a critical step for businesses when conceptualising strategies that understand market demands, deliver business results, and make getting new customers easier.
So what techniques should you become aware of when conducting market research for B2B businesses?
- Define your objectives.
Successful B2B market research starts with clearly defining your business objectives. Determine who your target market is, what sets your businesses apart from competitors, and what your competitive advantage is. Knowing your demographic and identifying your business goals from the get-go can help you determine the products you should be offering to other businesses.
- Tap online discussion forums.
One of the most beneficial techniques in B2B market research is giving business’ the flexibility to take part when it’s convenient for them. As we’ve mentioned above, focus groups are much more challenging to implement, since most professionals are busy and rarely available.
When you use online discussion forums as one on your market research platforms, business owners can take part while maintaining control over their schedule. Through online discussion forums, you also give your participants ample time to reflect on their thoughts, giving more depth and accuracy to their answers.
- Initiate a stakeholder interview.
To get more in-depth with your market research, you need to go beyond consumer data collection. Think about asking your B2B buyers to connect you with influential individuals, so you can get experts to support your study. Through stakeholder or influencer interviews, you can get more profound insights than you normally would.
- State participant benefits.
When doing B2B market research, you must understand that you’re competing with more pressing matters for your participants attention. Unlike consumer research, B2B research is more likely to be conducted during your participants’ working hours, and this is why it’s essential to introduce your topic, and state how it will benefit your potential clients.
To solve this issue, think from their perspective; “what will I benefit from partaking in this?” If your market research is successful in adding value to your participants’ work or day-to-day lives, the higher your chances of a successful response rate.
Get to the right people with Bartercard!
B2B market research poses unique challenges, and one of them is getting the right people to participate. However, there are ways to access the most suitable respondents for your B2B market research, and one of the best is via recommendations. Use your network and talk about your project to colleagues and fellow business owners—there’s a chance your contacts may know someone who can provide valuable insight for your research!
Bartercard is a B2B networking platform that allows you to connect with other businesses, build your brand, and attract new customers. What are you waiting for? Connect and grow your business by joining our network today!