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This assignment will investigate the role of research in the academic and business life of Business to Business Marketing. Somers () defines research as the study of a subject and its sources and investigating these in a systematic manner in order to find new conclusions (Somers, H. not dated).
Business to Business (B2B) is a transaction which occurs between two companies, that is to say, the consumer is not involved in the transaction of a company. The term may also refer to the total information of the company that provides goods or services to another company (Investor Words, not dated).
Techniques used in B2B research
Desk research is used to collect secondary data which is collected from previous research. Most research is published in electronic copy or hard copy of the research. Libraries, online databases and internet are important sources of the desk research (B2B International, not dated).
Internet research tool is growing rapidly in the industrial market and e-intelligence is important in B2B research. It is used to find all the material and new findings of a research (B2B International, not dated).
In this research there are three techniques used; they are focus groups, depth interviews and e-focus groups.
1. Focus groups: It is a method using in qualitative research. It is a type of group discussion. In this participants are involved in debate or in discussions of a market for a product. The participants make comment or suggestions of a market they have scrutinised to the subject and the other participants have to confirm or reject the comment. In this the focus groups understand the motivations and prejudices of the participants. Focus groups have four key characteristics.
i) All participants are actively involved.
ii) The people have experience in the field of research.
iii) The researchers provide depth qualitative data
iv) Discussions will help the researchers understand what is going on the market.
i. Focus groups are small groups with five to ten people involved. The participants have diverse experience in the field and interaction allows all members to speak. In larger groups there is little time and opportunity to for discussion. Therefore small groups are better suited and obtain a small pool of ideas.
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iii. Depth information provides qualitative data which does not have numerical value. The data is presented in words, diagrams and symbols etc. The data will be presented by the researcher to the group. The moderator of the group or researcher will guide the group to get the discussions for getting more ideas, attitudes and experiences. It is having more important preferences than group interviews. In this the key factor of this methodology is interaction between the group members.
iv. The topic discussion is important in the focus group. Questions are given to the group participants to start the discussion in a comfortable manner to give ideas and experiences on the topic to research. (B2B International, not dated)
2. Depth Interviews: Depth interviews are conducted for differing data collection in research and take the form of traditional appointment in personal interviews about the research. Nowadays, telephone or web interviews are common. It is a time extended depth interview. In this the participants contact by phone or net for several days on the research. From this the researcher will consider the information in questions and stimuli of the interview. Again the researcher expresses them to follow up the interview (Power decisions, not dated).
3. E-focus groups: online focus groups are the new innovation in taking the qualitative research methods. Technological advances help to conduct the market research when it can be difficult to interview groups. In the B2B group the e-focus is becoming popular in the market because they are offering many things. In e-focus group it is easy to conduct research because there is no need to transcribe or manually record the discussions because it is captured electronically. Online groups are more cost effective than traditional methods in viewing the rental, transportation and transcribing expenses.
In this we can find some benefits through e-focus groups they are
i. Participants and researchers are participating in group from their offices or houses without travelling to the specific venue.
ii. Researchers can watch the views of the groups online and send the messages and directions to influence the topic through the moderator with out disturbing the group session.
iii. In this the participants can participate throughout the world from their respective places. There is no need to come to the venue (B2B International, not dated).
Quantitative Research is used to measure the market, calculating the measurement of the market size and qualifying the measurement of the data. In this the data is in market share, market segmentations, penetration, distribution levels and growth rate of the market (Tutor2u, not dated).
In this research there are three techniques are used. They are CATI Interviews, sampling and e-surveys.
1. CATI Interview: CATI stands for Computer Assisted Telephonic Interview. In this research telephone is playing an important role in the B2B market and it is easy to solve the large scale quantitative projects. From this we have many benefits. They are
• From this interview we can reduce the interview error through navigating the data and increasing the accuracy of the data.
• From this we will get immediate feedback of the data.
• Getting more productivity with the lower cost.
• Complete the project rapidly, in a short period of time.
• We are managing the quotas and multiple languages with great accuracy (B2B International, not dated).
2. Sampling: sampling is a technique of selecting a suitable sample or gathering the information from the population by taking different parameters and considerations into account (Faridah M.W. not dated). In sampling the researchers use the rules of random sampling to applying for the consumer surveys in B2B research. In this sampling some researchers argue that ‘- as a rule of thumb-’ in B2B surveys that all the samples are relative to the lower sample size because the researchers or consumers see the target market as comparable to the structured environments and on similar criteria they make decisions on it. In this fewer survey responses to see that the same pattern that to relevant to the rest of the target market. This process is controversial, and may be strongly influenced by the structure of the organisation. In this case it is easy to understand the study concentration of market (apecipeg, not dated). In B2B research there is homogeneity between constructing the consumer market and consumer type sampling method are used. One advantage in this sampling is collecting the data in random sampling or error in the result to calculate mathematically. Random sampling is expensive because it requires the list of the companies involved in the research for selection. From this the researcher chooses to take multi stage sampling. In multi stage sampling the companies are listed into separate groups which have different characteristics in common. These company groups are known as stratum companies. The strata group companies are also having same and it is based of selecting the “quota” sample. From this the researchers select the companies in the process of quota or proportions from the stratum group companies to carry out (B2B International, not dated).
3. E-surveys: In the past, web surveys were a very expensive methodology and slower for self completion than the postal surveys. With advances in technology it is preferable to collect data through web survey to evaluate the satisfaction of customer and staff. This provides product and service feedback immediately and it is evaluated in many B2B markets.
All researchers prefer to web surveys because it saves the time, cost and getting the accuracy of the data through levels in automatic routing.
At present e-surveys are done by the email invitations. From this we have to check the basic requirements of the survey.
i. The researcher should have the accurate and quality of email address list.
ii. The researcher has to see the audiences are using their computers and internet in their day to day working environment.
iii. The format of the survey should be a questionnaire type and it should be completed in ten minutes of time only.
From this survey the customers are answered to this survey then online survey is right technique for collecting the data (B2B International, not dated).
This investigation has given an overview of the different tools and techniques used in research in the discipline of B2B marketing. It has looked at different methodological approaches and commented on their advantages and disadvantages.
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