B2B Market Research Methods for Better Decision Making

| January 6, 2022

Here we assess the strengths and weaknesses of the four essential B2B research methods so you can choose what works best for your business goals.

The best B2B market research methods depend on the business problem you are trying to solve. These four types of market research each deliver specific benefits, and each has drawbacks. Understanding these will help you choose the one that works best for your situation and why we at NewtonX often use a mix of market research methods in our client engagements.

 

Quantitative research at scale

1. Quantitative research at scale

Use quantitative research methods to collect numerical data that you can systematically analyze. With quant studies, you can form broad conclusions about the surveyed population. A typical quantitative research survey asks focused questions of a large field of respondents and takes 10-20 minutes to complete. Questions are formulated to limit the range of possible answers. Typical formats are multiple choice, ranked choice, pick list, and ranges. The results are easy to analyze and to feed into other data applications. The strengths of this approach are that you can capture information in large enough quantities to be confident of its accuracy and that you can use it in advanced statistical analysis. The weaknesses of quantitative research methods are that they cannot provide deep insights into questions about why and how, and you can’t add ad hoc questions or follow-ups.

 

In-depth qualitative research

2. In-depth qualitative research

The strength of qualitative research is that you can conduct one-on-one interviews and explore in-depth motivations, relationships, and nuances. Qualitative analysis is based on asking open-ended questions about matters too complex to be reduced to pure numbers. You can explore why someone feels a certain way about a product or service or what an expert thinks about issues in their field. The downsides of qualitative research are that it is time-consuming, expensive, and does not scale. The best use of qualitative research is establishing foundational knowledge you can use to form relevant hypotheses. You can test these hypotheses with large scale quantitative research methods. NewtonX uses qualitative research mixed with quantitative research in this way. Our Q3 qual-quant-qual approach starts with developing hypotheses with qualitative research that we test with quantitative research. We finish with a second round of qualitative research to understand the how’s and why’s behind the numbers.

 

Online community of experts

3. Online community of experts

You can curate an online community of senior leaders in similar roles across different functions through a platform for asking questions, stimulating discussions, sharing feedback, and solving business challenges. Online communities are ideal for exchanging insights between senior professionals. If you have a sizeable expert panel, you can use the online community for quantitative research, too. An online community is useful for developing product roadmaps, creating a marketing and sales playbook or go-to-market strategy. You can also use it for ongoing tracking of opinions on issues facing your industry. A weakness of this marketing research approach is that it can be difficult to recruit, engage, retain and replace members. The innovative NewtonX Graph gets past these difficulties using AI to custom recruit from the world’s largest addressable audience to find a pool of professionals that precisely match your needs.

 

End-to-end consulting: hands-on analysis from the very best

4. End-to-end advisory services

Working with a company providing end-to-end advisory services blends B2B market research with analysis, interpretation, advising, and planning. You get valuable insights from leading experts and data-backed recommendations for strategies and tactics. 

Partnering with NewtonX for advisory services gives you hands-on analysis on B2B market research insights from our internal team of former McKinsey, IBM, and Bain consultants. We 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 next steps that will inform the product roadmap or your next project launch.

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