What is B2B survey marketing research?

B2B survey marketing research is a form of market research in which professionals in a given industry are surveyed. It enables companies to target the right customers with the right message at the right time. B2B surveys can be used as a source of secondary data for marketing decision-making and as a way to gain insight into customer needs and wants. B2B surveys help companies find out what their prospects and customers want, need, or desire. They also help them find out how they can best serve those prospects and customers by providing products and/or services that meet these needs. At the same time, B2B surveys provide business owners with information that is useful in making business decisions such as determining the costs of operations, determining optimal product or service mix, identifying new markets or product lines to enter, etc.

What do I need before I start my B2B survey marketing efforts? 

Before you begin your B2B survey marketing efforts you should have some idea about what kind of information you hope to gather from your respondents using your survey questions—and what kind of format you will use for distributing it (email vs regular mail vs social media sites). The survey format that you choose will be influenced by the kind of information that you hope to gather from your respondents.

For example, if you are planning on gathering information about their preferences for certain products/services, it would be best to use a survey format that allows them to express their preferences by choosing from a list of predetermined choices (such as “yes” or “no” or “I prefer not to answer this question”). If you are planning on gathering information about their attitudes and opinions about something (such as your company, a particular product/service, etc.), it would be best to use a survey format that allows them to give you an open-ended response (such as writing in their own words what they think or feel about the topic at hand).

You should also have some idea about how often you plan on conducting your surveys — and if there is going to be any follow-up after a respondent has responded to a question on a particular topic — or if this will happen only after several weeks or months rather than immediately upon receipt of the questionnaire itself. 

Another thing that you should know about when conducting B2B surveys is that your prospective respondents are likely busy. This is because B2B surveys are often aimed at professionals. This means that they might not have time to answer your questions at the moment when you ask them these questions. It is very important that you cast a wide enough net when attempting to attract respondents. It’s also important to make sure to only include the most essential questions on your survey so you don’t waste anyone’s time.

When conducting B2B surveys, it is also important that you carefully design the survey so that your respondents will not have any problems answering your questions. You should also make sure that the instructions are clear and easy to understand so that there will be no confusion as to what they should do during the survey.

It is also important that you properly segment your respondents. This is because different segments will have different needs and wants. For this reason, you should make sure that you divide your respondents into different segments based on their needs and wants. And once you do this, you will be able to identify which segment is more likely to respond favorably to your products or services. Keep in mind that you need to remember that not all respondents will respond to your survey regardless of how great it is. That is why you should divide your respondents into different segments. This way, you can properly identify which segment will likely respond favorably to your products and services.

How does B2B survey marketing research work? 

There are several ways that businesses use surveys to gather information about their customers and prospective customers:

  • Surveys may be sent directly to individuals who work for an organization (employees). Surveys may also be sent to anyone who has had contact with the company. These could include past customers, members of trade associations, suppliers, contractors, etc.
  • Survey results may be used in conjunction with other types of data such as web analytics to determine where people are coming from on the Internet when they come from various websites. 
  • Surveys can also be distributed through social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, as well as through blogs.
  • Companies may use a combination of means including multiple forms of communication depending on their needs for specific types of information at certain times. 

What kinds of questions should I ask when conducting my B2B survey

You should consider asking general questions about the respondent, such as:

  • Demographics (age range; gender; location), 
  • Client/customer concerns
  • Company size
  • Industry type

You should ask about more specific topics as well, tailored to whichever market research use case the survey is about:

  • For surveys concerned with product-market fit, it’s important to ask about product gaps in the market and customer satisfaction with a product. When the survey is about a prospective product, questions like “How would you feel about x feature?” should be included.
  • Surveys focused more on customer voice — customer experience with your product or service — should be more subjective: what do you like about this product, etc.
  • Surveys intended for competitive benchmarking should include questions about why people choose (or don’t choose) to use your competitor’s products, and their general perceptions of your competitors.
  • Finally, you should also include some follow up questions at the end to make sure you didn’t miss anything out during your initial interview.

For more specific examples of how to word B2B survey questions, read our article on the subject.

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