A recent article featured in BtoB magazine – Online market research takes off
– suggests that internet surveys combined with more traditional research methods are becoming the norm.
The article estimates that 43% of all survey research carried out last year was conducted online. Whilst quantitative consumer research has been leading the online research charge, thanks to a much greater number of potential respondents, b-to-b research is believed to be heading in the same direction.
But it’s not just quantitative research techniques – the most widely used of which is the online survey – that are increasing in popularity. Qualitative research techniques, such as online focus groups and online panels, are increasing in prevalence too.
B2B International Director, Matthew Harrison, was interviewed for the article. He acknowledged that around 15% of B2B International’s overall research happens online, with particularly high usage among our Asian markets, especially Japan.
Harrison recognizes that the feasibility of online research is sometimes limited by the availability of qualified contact lists, but if such lists are available, this is a useful data collection method. As well as faster turnaround times, there are often significant cost-savings associated with online market research.
Yet in spite of its many benefits, online research is almost always a complement to traditional research techniques. All techniques used in the market research industry have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages. For example, online research techniques may not allow such detailed open-ended probing as telephone research, and response rates can be lower than with other methods.
When defining the methodology of any market research project, B2B International carefully considers the research objectives, and assesses which technique – or combination of techniques – will yield the best results within a given budget. These include, more and more frequently, a range of online techniques, but not to the exclusion of tried and tested ‘traditional’ methods.
Why not read our white paper, Using Online Focus Groups As A Business-To-Business Research Technique?