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B2B Market Research

The term ‘Business-to-business (B2B) market research’ is best understood in the context of its counterpart, ‘B2C market research’. Loosely defined, any research that does not fall under the B2C category can be classified as ‘B2B’.

B2B market research is research that a business conducts among other businesses; rather than among end-consumers/ users. Top B2B market research companies have their origins in B2C market research.

B2B market research demands a specialised approach since it involves studying business users, who have their own unique perceptions and behaviour patterns about B2B products/ services. The B2B value chain is different, the B2B buyer’s mindset is different, the way he chooses/ rejects products/ services is different. Hence the need for B2B market research.

When to conduct B2B Market Research?

Here are some scenarios in which B2B market research should be a go-to methodology:

  • Defining/ refining geographic target markets
  • Evaluating competitive advantages
  • Assessing market viability
  • Sizing markets
  • Forecasting
  • Evaluating channel partners

What methodologies does B2B market research utilise?

Some methodologies leveraged by B2B market research are similar to those utilized in B2C research. Others are somewhat unique to B2B research. Depending on the B2B market research objective, these methods can be applied to collect data among C-level executives, decision makers, industry experts, Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), channel partners, vendors or other business stakeholders. A mix of Qualitative and Quantitative methods can be used, in a single B2B market research study.

Here’s a brief description of some of the emergent and popular data-collection methodologies in B2B market research:

  • Online B2B panels are popularly used when covering specialist occupations like Construction workers, Architects, Designers etc.
  • Central Location Tests could be used where the business objective is to obtain business stakeholders’ reactions to a new product/ service that are being considered for launch. These are typically conducted at central venues like a market research facility or a hotel, and could involve simulating the product/ service being tested. Once respondents have been exposed to the product/ service being tested, their feedback is collected.
  • Co-creation sessions are a popular method where the business wants to brainstorm with business stakeholders, to arrive at solutions. Such sessions could be broken down in smaller parts, to sustain respondents’ interest in the co-creation exercise.
  • Hackathons or Contests are an emergent B2B research method, where respondents are given a business problem to design solutions. Responses collected are analysed to understand respondents’ approach to the business problem, their key pain points and themes of solutions they propose.
  • DIY tools like Ahrefs, BuzzSumo, InMoment, Google Search Console are steadily gaining acceptance among business users. These are tools that can collect and visualize a wealth of data from business stakeholders such as channel partners, social media influencers etc.
  • CATI/ CAWI methodologies also work well, in B2B studies. These are cost-efficient methods to reach specialist occupations in certain industries eg. Construction, Medical devices etc.
  • Focus groups, popularly referred to as “FGDs”. These typically comprise 4 to 10 participants and are conducted at a research facility, with a separate viewing room for observers/ clients. The group is facilitated by a moderator, whose job is to guide the free-flowing discussion in directions that will help understand a broad range of customer perception, behavior and expectations.
  • Other forms of FGDs like Modified versions of FGDs like Mini-groups (also referred to, as ‘Executive roundtables’) Diads (interviewing 2 respondents together) and Triads (interviewing 3 respondents together) can also help address certain B2B market research objectives.
  • In-depth interviews, popularly referred to as “DIs / IDIs”; are typically conducted either in person or telephonically. This method enables ‘vertical’ data collection i.e. the individual business’ relationship with the company conducting the research.
  • Secondary research from company websites, industry association websites, competitor websites, financial reports, analyst reports etc. can also provide valuable insights; in a B2B research study.

Finding B2B market research companies and how we can help

Buying B2B market research locally as well as globally is a time-consuming task. B2B market research agencies could be difficult to identify. Once identified, they may/ may not have expertise and/ or resources, in the specific industry that you want to conduct B2B research. Also, new DIY tools are cropping up faster than they are being consumed by business users. This makes it critical for any business considering DIY market research tools, to thoroughly evaluate such tools, before subscribing to them. Directories like ESOMAR, Greenbook and Quirks list hundreds of market research agencies. Yet, B2B market research agency choice relies significantly, on whether the agency is a good fit of industry experience, research expertise and digital know-how.

How myMRPlace works

Finding your ‘best fit’ B2B market research partner is easy and swift, on myMRPlace. Here’s how:

As a buyer, you create your account within 5 minutes and post your project requirements. Next, myMRPlace notifies all secondary market research suppliers in its database about your requirement. Suppliers typically respond within 1 working day. The platform currently has over 800 suppliers, spread across 90 countries. Apart from the currently registered suppliers, myMRPlace team can reach out to suppliers from its 10000+ robust database of verified research companies across industries depending on the project requirement.

Once you receive quotes and choose a supplier, myMRPlace can become your single-point platform for all your project management needs.

myMRPlace has delivered over 100 B2B research projects, across South East Asian, African and European markets. Reach out to myMRPlace suppliers now, to quickly identify, genuine and competent research companies across the world.