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All you need to know about gathering B2B market research data

A post describing action points on gathering B2B market research data

GrapeData
Nov 17, 2022
B2B market research

Introduction

Market research is one of the most important parts of any business, whether you're an established company or a startup. It can help you shape your strategy and figure out where to invest your money and how much to invest. How is collecting B2B market research data useful? To avoid the costs of bad data. Forbes recently published an article talking about the high costs of low-quality data. For instance, a clear example of bad data having universal implications is flawed data that goes into credit-scoring algorithms. Forbes' editors describe how this data is sourced from brokers who don't have the foresight to main data quality. Read more about the article here

While there are many different types of market research, b2b surveys are particularly useful. One reason behind this is that they collect data from existing or potential customers about their needs and preferences. This information will give you insight into what consumers like about your product or service, as well as areas where it could be improved.

Know what you want to ask while gathering B2B market research data

Before you start gathering research data, it is important to know what kind of answers you want. The best way to do this is by asking yourself:

  • What answers am I looking for?
  • What questions do I want to ask?
  • Are there any questions that I don't want to ask but need to know the answer to?

For instance, if your project's goal is to gather sentiment from healthcare professionals using a particular software, then use this goal as your baseline. As you think about what kinds of questions to ask, keep in mind the end goal of your project. 

Identify your respondents

One step in gathering B2B market research data from a target audience is to identify the respondents. This means finding people who represent your ideal customer and then getting in touch with them. You may have already done some preliminary research about who you might want to survey. However, here's what you'll need to do in order to actually start gathering the information:

  • Decide on your target audience: This should be evident based on the goal of your survey (for example, if you're looking for feedback on a new product or feature idea). If you're unsure who would provide useful feedback on this topic, ask yourself which companies or customers would most likely use it. 
  • Find potential respondents: There are two main ways of doing this; using existing contacts or using social media tools like Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Audience Manager. Your choice will depend largely on how well-connected your company is within its industry or sector. Additionally, it will depend on how much time or money it has available. For example, if all employees at Company X are in each other's circles on LinkedIn then reaching out via connections might be easier than setting up an ad campaign targeting everyone who works at Company Y.

Determine the best data collection channel

  • Online surveys: These are the most common, and they can be used to generate both qualitative and quantitative data. Participants are asked to complete a survey online by choosing a response from a set of options.
  • Offline surveys: These can be done in person or via telephone. They're often cheaper than online surveys, but they're also less flexible. There's no way to track who needs follow-up questions or why someone didn't answer some questions correctly.
  • Focus groups: A group of people meet together in person and discuss their thoughts on a specific topic for about an hour at a time (you may want more than one focus group). Focus groups are best for generating qualitative data about people's attitudes, feelings, beliefs, motivations, behaviours, etc. Although you can also ask them direct questions if you want quantitative results too (e.g., "How many times have you bought products from company X?").
  • In-person interviews: One-on-one conversations between researchers and respondents that typically last 30 minutes or longer. These are ideal for getting detailed information about specific topics such as customer behaviour patterns or product usage rates within segments of customers.

Plan for data analysis

  • Keep in mind that the purpose of your research is not just to collect information, but also to analyse it and make decisions based on those findings. Before you even begin gathering data, consider how you will be using it during the planning stages, as well as during the implementation and evaluation phases of your project. Remember that there are many different ways to examine and interpret information. Therefore, you should have some idea of how you want to analyse your results before collecting any data at all.

There are a number of different methods for data collection. The kind of method you will choose will depend on the level of detail you need, as well as how quickly you need to collect the information. For instance, if you want to know how many people live within a certain distance of your store, then surveying them would be appropriate. On the other hand, if you want to gather in-depth information about buying patterns, then conducting follow-up calls might be more suitable. 

Set a realistic timetable and budget

Before you begin gathering research, it's important to set a timeframe and budget for your project. While the length of time that it takes to complete the project will depend on many factors (e.g., what data you are collecting), it's best practice to plan for a realistic timeframe. If you don't have enough time or resources to gather all of the information needed, focus on what is most important first. You can always come back later if additional data is needed.

As with any other business venture, there are risks associated with market research projects that should be considered upfront. For example:

  • The project may take more time than initially anticipated due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g., unavailable interviewees). This could lead to delays in delivering your results or increased costs of the research project.
  • You may discover new research questions during analysis which require additional resources at various points throughout development; potentially delaying your timeline
  • You may find that there is no market for the product or service in question. This can be especially frustrating if you've already invested time and money into developing it;
  • You may discover that your product or service isn't as good as you thought it was, which means that it needs to be re-designed (also known as a "fail fast" strategy).

Test your survey before launching it

  • Use a small sample to test the survey. The best way to do this is by using a colleague who has agreed to help you with your research, or recruiting participants from relevant online communities.
  • Make sure the survey is clear and easy to understand, as well as being relevant and long enough so that it gets meaningful results.

Before launching your survey, make sure that it’s clear and easy to understand. You should also test the survey on a small sample of people who are representative of your target audience.

To make sure your research gives you an accurate picture of your market and helps you act quickly, you need to plan carefully when gathering B2B market research data

Some of the tools that you can use to give an accurate picture of your market are company websites, SWOT reports, and industry association websites. Below are some tips to help you plan your project:

  • Plan ahead. Making sure you have enough people to respond will help ensure that the results are as representative as possible.
  • Loop in everyone in the project. It's important that everyone involved in planning the project is clear about what the objective is and why it matters; this will ensure that everyone involved has a clear understanding of what they're asking for and why it matters.
  • Identify your respondents carefully so that their responses reflect those of their peers.

It's important that everyone involved in planning the project is clear about what the objective is and why it matters; this will ensure that everyone involved has a clear understanding of what they're asking for and why it matters. 

Conclusion

Gathering b2b market research data doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming, but it does require careful planning. By following the tips outlined above, you can make sure that your survey results are accurate and useful for making business decisions. For more information, check out our blog post titled ‘How could B2B market research help in advertising campaigns’.