Evaluate different research methods so you can always choose what works best for your team.
B2B research best practices call for different research methods depending on the business problems you’re trying to solve. Understanding different methodologies is essential for decision-makers who want to conduct their expert market research in the most efficient and effective ways possible. We’ve outlined the strengths and weaknesses of four essential B2B research methods below. Read on so you can always choose the one that works best for you and your team’s needs.
Quantitative surveys: for large scale expert market research
Quantitative expert research is focused on collecting numerical data that directly measures variables and can be systematically analyzed. They are helpful for drawing broad conclusions about the surveyed population. In B2B expert market research, quantitative surveys are usually short in length, mostly running 10-20 minutes, and fielded at a large scale.
Quantitative surveys include questions posed in such a way that they limit the range of possible answers. Questions may include multiple choice, ranked choice, or pick list formats. This enables researchers to easily analyze and organize the data the survey provides, even if there are hundreds of respondents. Because quantitative research makes it easy to collect data in bulk, it’s great for gauging general satisfaction with a product, company, or service, or for measuring general brand recognition.
Qualitative 1:1 consultations: in-depth answers to open-ended questions
While the strength of quantitative research may be its breadth, the strength of qualitative research is its depth. In a 1:1 consultation, you interview a professional at length to get down into specific human nuances. The more general approach of quantitative research may not cover these entirely.
Qualitative consultations are the best choice for answering open-ended questions about matters that can’t easily be reduced to pure numbers. They can help you understand why someone feels a certain way about a product or service, or what the most knowledgeable people in a given industry think are the biggest problems facing their field. Because of these in-depth insights, 1:1 qualitative consultations are a great starting point for B2B research. They can help establish a foundation of knowledge you can use to form relevant hypotheses. These hypotheses can then act as the basis for more large-scale expert market research in the future.
At NewtonX, we observed the utility of pairing qualitative and quantitative research, which is why we developed the Q3 Formula. This innovative technique combines rounds of qualitative and quantitative research within the same population. Using the Q3 method, we start with 1:1 interviews that inform a survey to test initial findings at scale. Clients can then follow up with individual candidates for further 1:1 interviews. This gives our clients the best of qualitative and quantitative research simultaneously.
Online communities: expert market research from a curated pool of professionals
Using curated online communities is another useful research methodology. They offer senior leaders in similar roles across different functions a platform through which to gain feedback, ask questions, and solve critical business challenges. Online communities are distinguished by their ability to foster the exchange of insights between senior professionals. They’re also capable of offering both qualitative and quantitative research,
Our clients often choose to use communities when they need help informing their product roadmap, marketing and sales playbook, and go-to-market strategy. Communities allow leaders to help each other solve their most important business challenges. Because you can consult them intermittently, communities are great for tracking how expert understanding of issues facing your industry shifts over time.
End-to-end consulting: hands-on analysis from the very best
According to the 2021 Business and Innovation GRIT Report, insights leaders equate project success with better insights and better recommendations. With end-to-end consulting, you can gain not only valuable insights from leading experts, but also actionable recommendations about the data you’ve gathered through your own research.
Partnering with NewtonX for end-to-end consulting means getting hands-on analysis on insights from our internal team of former McKinsey, IBM, and Bain consultants. Our end-to-end consulting can take on a spectrum of different formats, all tailored to our clients’ needs. Our team can help translate a spreadsheet of results into a summary, whitepaper, or report with charts and a full analysis of the data, showing valuable trends, insights, and actionable next steps that will inform the product roadmap or your next project launch.
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