The Four Types of B2B Surveys

The Four Types of B2B Surveys

If you are just starting out with B2B market research for your organization, one way to get begin is to think of what types of research you and your organization will need to get to the next step. Every organization, every department, every person has different needs and is in a different stage of product development and maturity, therefore carefully consider what type of survey will best fit your current research needs.  We list here four of the most common and useful types of surveys for your next B2B market research project.

Exploratory – This type of survey is used when the problem is not yet clearly defined.  A company may want to add more features to their product and would like to see how the customer base would react to these changes. An organization may want to discover new ideas or insights, without necessarily attaching statistics or ‘hard’ numbers to a particular question or answer.  Most often, researchers will use verbatim questions in these types of surveys to allow the participant to provide their feedback without guidance or being cued provide a specific type of answer.

Descriptive – This type of survey is useful when you would like to be able to derive certain characteristics of your target audience. Who are your clients? What do they like to do? What types of things interest them or drive them in life and in business? This type of survey is extremely beneficial for starting out with a research program especially in B2B where the people within the organizations don’t always fit a preconceived mold.

Comparative – This type of survey is helpful when you would like to understand something about your target audience, and then repeat the same questions at a future date to see how the two datasets compare.  We see this type of survey done often with a B2B brand tracker, where it can be used to see where your organization stands relative to competing brands. Filtering this on generations, size of the organization, and regions can provide illuminating facts about where growth opportunities might lie.

Modeling – This survey type is helpful when trying to discover some factors that might be associated with a particular outcome.  For example, a company may want to know the overall effect on sales if they were to raise their prices by 5%, 10%, or 20%. Another example might be to see what could happen to sales if a company were to charge more for additional features.

Taking the time to think about the type of surveys you want to conduct will not only provide more useful data and feedback for your B2B research projects but can also help multiple areas of your organization by answering pressing questions and issues that each department may uniquely have.