Market research is all about improvement – for the brand, their consumer and all who actively or passively consume along the customer journey. As a concept it’s fairly simple, there’s an opportunity to improve your business, your research team curates the killer questions, the respondents have the ammunition for you to load, and you squeeze the trigger to make positive changes.
These simple steps historically deliver time and time again but, after 25 years in the industry, it would bring me great joy to be able to flip this concept straight onto its head, or even just its side, and see what market research magic we can make.
My first stop – Business to Business (B2B) research.
It was an honour to host a B2B Soapbox Online Event for the BIG Committee. We got to hear from four amazing speakers, including BEAM Fieldwork’s very own Daniella Aborele, who beautifully illustrated the benefits of B2B market research for brand or product development. She discussed…
- Insightful and valuable data collection
- Understanding and building B2B typologies
- Performance monitoring
- Identifying untapped market segments
Daniella’s idea of creating a more personalised approach for B2B fieldwork certainly stuck firmly with me after the session. It sparked an engaging and creative dialogue amongst the forum attendees, and it got the cogs in my head turning.
One of the most compelling discussion points was the current (and broadly accepted) linear research transaction, which looks something like this: issue/opportunity insight of business respondent incentive reward. I believe that more creativity can be applied to this standardised structure and, in order to do so, many questions must be raised.
- Could more longstanding relationships be established and nurtured over time for B2B research?
- Could we shift the dynamic whereby the research becomes a mutually beneficial collaboration?
- Could the fieldwork and research deliver for both parties, delivering mutually acquired insights as the incentive for participation?
Naturally, this would require a level of matchmaking only ever undertaken by the research team on Channel 4’s ‘First Dates’ (which, by all accounts, leaves no stone unturned). In order to replicate their level of match-making precision, we would conduct individual interviews for prospective partners, dovetailing both business and individual professional goals, set up an agreement for total transparency (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and complete alignment of the future insights that will be revealed throughout the research. All of this would be just some of the ‘courting’ that would be required to format the perfect B2B ‘date’.
Once a certain level of congruency is determined in the discussion, then comes the need for an adequate and legally binding agreement signed by both parties. Plus, a water-tight discussion guide to ensure equal benefits for both businesses.
Now of course, there are many additional complexities to this methodology but, while it’s by no means perfect, I do believe that there is infinite potential in its benefits. These include strengthening of business relationships, closing the gap between client and organisation, building alliances for growth and overall allowing a fresh outlook that can be beneficial to all (to list but a few).
Market research is all about improvement – not just for the end consumer – but within the client’s business and my own company, BEAM Fieldwork.
Amy Middleton – Director
Want to discuss more about BIG, B2B research or BEAM Fieldwork? Drop me a email: firstname.lastname@example.org