The five main differences between B2B and B2C market research

| September 24, 2021

Despite sharing the goal of helping a company better understand their place in the market, B2B and B2C market research are different in many ways.

Good market research is integral to the growth and success of any company. Understanding the different uses and methods between business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) research lets companies know what kind of research they should be performing to accomplish their goals. Here are the top five differences between B2B and B2C market research.

 

1: Target audience

B2C market research targets individuals and their preferences, while B2B market research targets individuals and their business knowledge. These means B2C research has a much larger body of potential survey respondents or panel members. By its nature, B2B research tends to demand high levels of knowledge and expertise.

 

2: The market research methods used

B2B research requires a different kind of research to B2C as the buying process is different, and so is the information buyers need so they can make a decision. B2C research often relies on consumer panels. These panels are sourced from large swaths of people who’ve agreed to participate in market research beforehand. B2B research can’t as easily depend on panels as B2C because the specialized knowledge required for B2B research isn’t as easy to hone in on using a traditional panel. B2B research demands more specific methods, like using custom recruiting.

 

3: The type of information the research provides

In B2C market research, there are numerous metrics that businesses can use to collect data from consumers on B2B surveys, including but not limited to: 

    • satisfaction 
    • loyalty
    • price sensitivity
    • willingness to recommend a product or service
    • purchase intention

The metrics may vary depending on the product or service being sold. The audience will also have a say in what metrics they would like to see used to evaluate their experience. This kind of information is vital to success – knowing which metric each audience values allows companies to cater their products or services accordingly to increase sales and revenue.

The buying process from businesses is often more rigorous than for individual consumers due to the fact that they have various stakeholders which influence their decision making process. This requires a different approach in order for them to come up with a solution that will benefit all stakeholders.

 

4: How much detail the market research needs to provide

Although both B2B and B2C market research require very high level data (such as who your target audience is and what message you want them take away from your project), businesses also require detailed insight into: 

  • business operations
  • important policies and procedures, 
  • SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)

Businesses need this information to grow, as well as to retain existing customers. It’s important that marketing managers understand what marketing means within their organization before they start marketing their products/services successfully. Click here if you want us help with desk research and analysis for your B2B marketing projects: desk research & analysis services

 

5: How long it takes

Conducting business surveys often takes longer than conducting consumer surveys. This is because clients want detailed low-level data to ensure that they’re covering all aspects of their business from a marketing perspective. The process of gathering such detailed data takes time. So does finding the professionals knowledgeable enough to provide that data in the first place.

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