TOP TIPS: CONDUCTING FRUITFUL B2B RESEARCH
Market research is vital and a wise investment when implemented effectively. It is argued businesses that don’t carry out consistent research are in the minority. An important tool, research can provide sufficient reason needed for making decisions, remove the sway from assumptions and personal beliefs, and focus messages and agendas.
Despite this, the research-led approach isn’t always suitable and it shouldn’t be used haphazardly. It should only be executed if evidence is needed, if a decision needs justifying and if it offers clarity and eradicates doubt.
Read on to discover the key to carrying out successful B2B research…
First of all you should define the aim of carrying out the research – is it one off activity or on going monitoring? If you are you looking to create a new product or building your brand, managing customer experience or looking to construct commercial, pricing or sales strategies, a one off research project is sufficient.
In addition to targeting isolated activities, research can be used to continuously monitor and listen in on a certain subject. For example, to monitor brand perceptions, customer contentment and allegiance.
Next, define the project’s goals to work out the exact extent of the research. This also ensures that there is clear guidance throughout the whole project and all key stakeholders are working collaboratively.
Using legitimate interest is the most flexible lawful basis, however by replying on this you are taking on more responsibility. The interests for storing and using data must have necessary, clear and specific benefits and outcomes.
Choosing whether primary or secondary research is most appropriate is next. Do you need to gather new information to complete the task (primary) or is there existing material that can be relevant (secondary)?
If you are going down the primary research route, the subsequent choice is between observational, qualitative or quantitative methods – or a mixture of all three:
• Observational: the process of ‘watching’ the target audience to gather insight
• Qualitative: the use of open-ended questioning to the target audience, e.g. focus groups or in-depth interviews
• Quantitative: the gathering of numerical data using closed and structured questions, e.g. questionnaires or surveys
Finally, equipped the goal and methodology, you need to outline your sample population – a trusted sample is one that is big enough to allow a reliable conclusion to be drawn. How many people will it include? Will it be restricted to a particular geographical location? And will it only focus on a specific industry or sector?
From carrying out research for clients, for example the renowned Green Paper for Gram, to executing our most recent white paper focusing on the wholesale sector, we have a wealth of experience to help you with your next research project.