When companies want to find answers to B2B questions, the instinct is to create a survey and blast it out to as many B2B customers as possible. For any company that has tried this, it is likely they were disappointed when survey responses were low, or the survey didn’t answer the questions they were hoping to find answers to. The problem isn’t the survey, per se, but in trying to use a quantitative study to answer B2B questions that would be more effectively answered with a qualitative research study.
While you can’t extrapolate the findings from a qualitative study to a broader population, it’s a great compromise in that you’ll be able to answer many questions you were hoping to better understand, and you can confidently trust the results. An added bonus by conducting a qualitative study (which often involves focus groups and in-depth interviews) is that you’ll often discover many more insights to questions that you didn’t even think to ask.
Qualitative research is a great way to deeply explore and investigate important motivations, themes, and drivers. Even better, you don’t need as large a target list to recruit from, as qualitative studies require fewer participants that quantitative studies. Typically for B2B qualitative research studies, you can fill a study with between 12-25 participants to sufficiently cover a homogenous population or persona group. Recruitment success rates tend to be higher for qualitative studies, and because there are fewer participants required, recruiters can spend their efforts finding high-quality recruits. Detailed screening guides help ensure that the best candidates for study participation are targeted.
After all the insights and information is gathered from the qualitative study, it might then make sense to test out certain themes that emerged from the findings on a larger population with a well-designed quantitative study.
What’s important is understanding which research methodology is appropriate for the questions needing answered. Working with a nationwide market research firm will ensure that the right type of study is created to meet your objectives.
At the end of the day you want results that will inform smart decisions. Partnering with experienced market research recruiting agencies will get you there.