If you were at IIEX Europe 2023 in Amsterdam, you likely left excited about the dialogue around data quality, new methods, and generative tools like AI. If you didn’t make it, we’ve outlined the key trends and future outlooks in B2B market research.
Play research jazz when the rules aren’t working
Don’t stick to the rules just because they’re the industry standard, as shared by Mustang Research’s Oksana Pleskova. Work with research partners who have the capabilities to pivot or improvise with market realities – whether budget cuts, or unexpected hiccups on projects – and consult on adjusting the game plan to ensure it hits business objectives. Especially for B2B, look for partners who have niche targeting capabilities, so you can quickly recalibrate strategy based on project updates and quota progress.
Run pilot projects with new vendors to derisk budget spend
According to The Economist’s Group’s Helen Devine (UX Research Manager) – while insights leaders are often keen to work with new vendors and methods, it’s a lot of work to onboard new partners. Diageo’s Efrain Rosario (Head of Global Futures & Shopper Planning) addressed this through proof of concept projects, as does Checkout.com’s Matt Harris (Senior Customer Research & Insights Manager). Test drive a pilot project with a new vendor to ensure you’re getting the full value – and more – from your spend.
You’ll know what good quality data looks like for that particular study, you’ll have a gold standard to compare other suppliers to, and you’ll have at least a portion of your total sample that you have 100% confidence in. And in time, that will help shift mindsets for you and in your business.
Checkout.com, Senior Customer Research & Insights Manager
Filter generative AI tools through the human lens
AI may sound alluring, but don’t forget it’s part of a larger suite of new tools and methods to help insights leaders better understand their audience.
As Diageo’s Efrain Rosario noted:
We’re considering new methods like AI, crowdsourcing, and gamification. It’s in the pursuit of: how are these going to help us better understand people?
COTY’s Nithya Seshachalam (Sr. Manager of Predictive Analytics & Strategy) continues on the potential applications of AI for research: “Humans learn in a complex way. Given enough data points, if we can make sense and understand the larger insights of huge topics – it’d be immensely helpful to have tools to help make sense of all the conversations happening online to know where consumers are going next.”
Research buyers are prioritizing supplier reputation over relationship
GreenBook’s Head of Content Karen Lynch previewed key takeaways from the 2023 GRIT Insights Practice Report, which revealed an emerging trend: reputation beats relationship. Relationship fell from 50% to 37% (from 2019 to 2022) as a key factor in supplier selection – while reputation quietly increased from 42% to 43%. Buyers are increasingly willing to try new suppliers if existing partners can’t meet their needs and deliver decision-quality data.
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