Before you actually start to conduct your research, you must be familiar with the different types of research and what they include. Custom market research offers solutions tailored to individual business needs, so each customized market research project will be unique. Structure and timing depends on a number of key elements, including complexity of project objectives, determined size of primary research components, difficulty in recruiting target participant segments, etc. Though a research company may have experience conducting research in a specific market, it is important to bear in mind that each project is tailored to a specific business nee, and a sound process is often more important than market expertise. In fact, market expertise can often introduce bias. The fluid process of custom allows for changes and “tweaks” to improve the output as information is collected.
Any custom research project will have as the main deliverable the data analysis and recommendations based on the data acquired during the project. How that data is acquired (typically through a combination of secondary and primary research) is critical and very important in terms of project validity. Through the combined research approach the project, most often, will be designed to acquire both qualitative and quantitative information.
For most businesses, the concept of market sizing is readily understood but not easily accomplished. Many get stuck on establishing boundaries or defining the market before they even get to the data analysis and implications of their research. Determining market size can answer strategic questions about levels of investments in the business and profitable growth targets. Market sizing can also serve as a quick understanding of the potential for a B2B market opportunity in terms of volume or value, and is therefore pertinent to business strategy and decision making.
At its core, insights uncovered by B2B market research provide companies the information necessary to make better informed strategic decisions. Most research projects have two dimensions to consider: type and scope. Defining the best type of market research project is most often driven by the need for a deeper understanding of either: customers, competition, or a target market, while the scope is determined by the depth of the data needed to provide the insight for the strategic decision at hand.
The vast majority of companies competing in today’s global economy conduct some form of market research in the markets in which they currently participate or may potentially participate. Companies usually look to outside firms for their research and are faced with the choice of purchasing either syndicated or custom market research.
The Business-to-Business (B2B) is different in fundamental ways from the Business-to-Consumer (B2C) sector. Typically, B2C transactions occur through an intermediary, such as a retailer or agent, while B2B refers to transactions that take place between businesses and are generally upstream from consumer transactions. In this article, I will discuss the eight key criteria that distinguish B2B markets with implications that directly affect market research.