Archive for the ‘White Papers’ Category
With worldwide expenditure on online research predicted to almost treble over the next three years, market research specialist B2B International believes the future is rosy for most online techniques, especially focus groups.
The technological revolution of the past 15 years has led to the rapid development of online data collection methodologies. Of these, the online survey is the most established but, more recently, online focus groups have emerged, making it possible to obtain qualitative information online.
Following similar principles to Internet message boards, the online focus group differs from online surveys in that it allows every participant to see the responses of all of the other respondents and encourages them to respond to these views as well as to the initial question posed by the researcher. In addition, the researcher inserts questions as the discussion develops, in order to probe areas of particular interest, or to gain further information on new topics that participants introduce to the discussion. In this way, online focus groups enable a real-time, dynamic discussion to develop between the researcher and the respondents, just as would be the case with a face-to-face focus group.
Business-to-business market research specialist B2B International has been firmly established in the online research industry since the company’s inception in 1998 and remains one of the forerunners in e-enabled research. B2B International has recently published a comprehensive White Paper – Using Online Focus Groups As A Business-To-Business Research Technique – which gives a balanced assessment of the rationale behind using the online focus group as a research methodology.
The White Paper outlines 13 key reasons to conduct online focus groups:
In addition to highlighting the undisputed benefits, B2B International Director Matthew Harrison, author of the White Paper, shares some of the insights that B2B International has learned through the large number of online focus groups it has conducted over the last several years. According to Harrison: “Online focus groups can take place for a defined period of, say, 90 minutes, as with a face-to-face focus group but our experience shows us that online groups are more effective when spread over a period of 2 days, with respondents entering the discussion at different times to suit their convenience. This way, groups generate more considered opinion and a greater volume of information, adding real value to the research.”
However, internet focus groups are not suited to every research project and B2B International is quick to recognise the limitations. These include the fact that certain target audiences – particularly the less web-savvy – are less suited to online groups than others; respondent recruitment can be labour-intensive and expensive; and certain limitations exist with presenting physical stimulae for respondents to touch, feel or smell.
In spite of this, Harrison is optimistic about the future for online focus groups: “There are many reasons why we believe the prominence and effectiveness of online focus groups will increase, but key among them would be convenience and technology. Increasingly busy schedules coupled with the need to speak to respondents all across the world make online focus groups an ever more viable option. Secondly, there will continue to be huge advancements in the capabilities of and familiarity with technology, enabling greater numbers of respondents from all across the world to take part with increasing ease and improved effectiveness.”
To read the white paper in full, please click here.
Is business-to-business marketing really that different from business-to-consumer marketing? As business-to-business market research specialists, managing hundreds of b2b projects every year, we certainly think so.
Our latest white paper, ‘Why is business-to-business marketing special?’, recognises the many differences between the business and consumer disciplines, highlighting the implications of these differences when it comes to implementing a business-to-business marketing strategy.
B2b marketing is about meeting the needs of other businesses, though ultimately the demand for the products made by these businesses is likely to be driven by consumers. When acting as consumers, we are often less well-informed, less accountable to others and far more susceptible to whims, indulgences, recklessness and showing off than is the case when we are in the workplace. We therefore have a tendency to make purchasing decisions that a rational observer (a business-to-business buyer that has to make a profit each month) would regard as ludicrous. As consumers we are far less likely to ask whether the product we are buying has an ROI. We buy what we want, not what we need. Not so in b2b.
B2b marketing is actually more unique than most people realise; our white paper highlights ten key factors that make b2b markets special and different from consumer markets. To summarise:
The full white paper, which expands on each of the above points and highlights their implications for the business-to-business marketer, can be accessed here.
Matthew Harrison, B2B International’s Director of International Operations, was featured in Marketing’s recent special issue on emerging markets.
Drawing upon his time spent working in our China office and using his extensive experience gained through managing research projects in such far-reaching geographies as Russia, Sri Lanka and Tanzania, Matthew offers invaluable advice to Western companies looking to establish or build a presence in any emerging B2B market. The full published article is as follows:
More of Matthew’s white papers on developing markets are available on our website:
The latest issue of Insight, B2B International’s regular newsletter, is available now.
In our Spring 2009 version, you can read all about our latest products, white papers and company news, as well as case studies about recent work we have done in the pharmaceutical and construction industries. There’s even an original parable which gives us all some food for thought at the present time!
Take a look now by downloading the pdf here.
A new B2B International white paper – Using Market Research For Product Development – is now available online.
In it, Julia Cupman assesses the importance of product development to a company’s growth prospects, focusing in particular on the vital role(s) that market research plays throughout all the different stages of the product life cycle, from initial concept through to product maturity. Product development research serves a host of purposes, such as establishing (unmet) needs, estimating likely demand, setting prices, shaping the specification of the product or determining optimal price points, to give but a few examples.
Of course, product development research does not just examine the product alone; packaging, advertising, pricing, service, brand and company reputation are some of the other factors which together make up the complete customer value proposition. Indeed, improvements to packaging, delivery, or any aspect of service support could have just as big an impact as improvements to the physical product itself.
Whether establishing potential opportunities for brand new products or trying to breathe life into a former favorite seemingly on its last legs, market research provides insight into the needs of the market, and reduces the risk associated with any form of product development.
To read the white paper in full, please click here
For further details on B2B International’s product development research services, please click here