Understanding B2B Market Research

Business Market research is a valuable tool

Business to business market research is more complicated than consumer research and finding the right respondents is crucial since they are often busy, and may not want to participate. Insight Survey is one of the few B2B market research companies in South Africa that can target difficult-to-reach business professionals.

These are the key factors that make Business to Business Market Research different to Consumer Research:

  1. The purchase decision is involved and complex – The value of many purchases is often very high and there are often many people, seldom are decisions taken by individuals.
  2. B2B demand is derived from consumer demand – Depending upon where you are in the value chain will determine how much contact you have with the end consumer, and your interactions with others in the value chain.
  3. Less choice, or ability to switch supplier – If the supply of a product is interrupted, it can be difficult to substitute or switch suppliers due to fewer alternatives available. Switching may have time and cost implications.
  4. Smaller customer base – B2B markets are often characterised by smaller numbers of customers, companies may have hundreds, rather than thousands (or millions) of customers.
  5. Personal customer relationships -For many companies, the key selling mechanism is to personally visit their key customers, thus providing a chance for strong personal relationships to develop.
  6. High value spend – Many transactions can be very large in value.  In many markets, the Pareto rule applies – that 80% of value will be driven by 20% of customers.
  7. Technical products – Products themselves can be technical in nature, with customers wanting very exact information about what the product is or is not capable of – for example, technical data sheets, or technical performance data.
  8. Smaller, focused marketing budget – Advertising campaigns are often smaller, targeted and based on opportunities to see, feel and touch the product itself – trade shows and word of mouth still play a vital role.

Here are examples of key B2B market research questions: