Let’s start by agreeing on a basic reality: doing research that involves business-to-business (B2B) markets or issues can be a more daunting undertaking than conducting consumer research.
The content is often more complex, which can make writing and structuring the survey more difficult. Mostly, though, challenges arise in the highly-specialized and limited populations needed for B2B surveys.
When sampling consumers – even within narrow demographic categories – researchers can easily access larger study populations. By comparison, the population quickly dwindles down to a select few when your sample is limited to “C-level executives with IT responsibilities at companies in the financial services vertical.” Those few potential participants don’t have a lot of spare time to answer surveys.
There are many factors involved to identify and reach the right participants for any B2B research project. Here are some considerations to keep in mind that will help you to deliver the kind of actionable insights your organization seeks:
- Think of the myriad stakeholders who might be involved with or affected by your research
- Discuss channels available to reach B2B research audiences, from online and telephone options to face-to-face interviews
- Develop a market-by-market strategy outlining the potential obstacles involved with reaching populations around the world
- Devise unique offerings that will motivate or entice time-challenged B2B audiences to complete your survey – including incentives that involve little or no expense for the researcher
Make certain that you’re eliciting responses from the correct target audience. This factor is particularly crucial due to the small populations typically involved in B2B studies; a few respondents without the exact qualifications or experiences you’re seeking can significantly skew your results, and cloud the insights you derive.
Remember the value that an experienced partner can bring to your research; the more complex and challenging the project, the more important that experience becomes.