Consumer and Business-to-Business Research: What is the Difference?

Consumer and Business-to-Business Research: What is the Difference?

Running a successful business is largely dependent upon how you develop relationships with customers, how you maintain and grow those relationships, and how you seek out new connections. Whether you are selling a product or a service, your customers include both consumers and other businesses you seek to partner with. Because of this, it is necessary to conduct both Business-to-Business Research and Consumer Research.

Consumer research and Business-to-Business research need to be approached in different ways because of the characteristics of each group.

Surveying Consumers

Consumer research involves using sampling to connect to a large number of potential buyers who represent the total population or a specified segment of the population. Research techniques focus on quantitative methods as a way to identify consumers’ perceptions and motivations.

The best consumer surveys connect with your customers — showing them that you care about what is important to them – while collecting valuable data. They use a variety of languages and are conducted online, over the phone, and by mail so you can reach each consumer in the way that is best for them. Once these surveys are completed, customized reports are generated and analysis is conducted, plus action plans developed to improve your bottom line.

Custom designed surveys include validated questions that allow you to explore various areas of your market, including purchases that are made frequently, such as food, and other types of tangible products. Intangible offerings such as travel & leisure and financial products are explored with a different set of survey questions.

Surveying Businesses

Business-to-business research looks at smaller more focused groups seeking the opinions and motivations of hundreds or thousands, rather than hundreds of thousands. Businesses-to-Business research often focuses upon the DMU (decision making unit) within each business being surveyed, which is often a small group within a business that makes buying decisions. But buying decisions can also be influenced by other departments such as production, technical, and financial units that enforce boundaries within the business, such as production numbers or budget restrictions. Also, specific individuals within a business can play a major role in buying decisions. It’s important to ask the right people the right questions.

Interpreting data from business surveys is often complex, but well-designed business-to-business research gives you the tools to effectively increase customer satisfaction, intent to return, intent to recommend, and improve your bottom line performance.

NBRI helps companies just like yours become global leaders by combining powerful research with deep analytics. If you’re ready to join their ranks, here’s how we can help: