Bucking the current environment of economic doom and gloom, leading business-to-business market research agency B2B International (with offices in the UK, US and China) recorded its twelfth consecutive year of growth between 2007 and 2008, to an annual turnover of £3.3m ($4.7m).
Business Development and Finance Director Matthew Harrison puts this continued success down to a number of factors:
Key to this growth has been our expansion into the huge US and Chinese markets over the past three years. This has brought us nearer both to our customers and to our research respondents, increasing our client service and product quality alike.
We have also placed increasing emphasis on specific growth sectors. For example, renewable energy and environmental research now make up around 20% of our revenue and we expect growth in this area to continue.
A further growth factor is the emphasis B2B International places on collecting information in ways that suit its target audiences. Telephone interviewing continues to be the most common data collection methodology employed, but the range of online techniques continues to expand, as do the regions across which online research is conducted. This year B2B conducted online surveys across Europe, North America, and 12 Asian countries; it added Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese and Italian to its suite of online focus group languages; and most notably, online recruitment and in-depth interviewing was introduced in China, profiting from websites such as QQ and their increasing take-up amongst young people and professionals.
So will B2B continue its impressive growth record in 2009’s increasingly challenging economic environment? Managing Director Nick Hague remains cautiously optimistic:
It would be unrealistic to think that we would remain completely unaffected by this economic downturn, which is impacting upon many of our competitors and target industries. However, we remain extremely optimistic that, by continuing to listen to the needs of our clients and respondents alike, we will come through the recession and be well placed for impressive growth in the future.