Why do Quantitative or Qualitative Marketing Research in B2B?

Vincent Cloutier-Naud – October 17, 2018


The result of the U.S elections in 2016 and, closer to home, the recent Quebec elections, have caused the predictions of several polls to be wrong. Large polling firms predicted that two political groups were on par or close, when it was clearly a majority government that was brought to power. But what is the relationship between survey results and B2B marketing research?

There isn’t the slightest. If anything, this seems to undermine the confidence we have in marketing research. Does it remain relevant in B2B? I find that fewer and fewer customers are excited at the idea of investing in rigorous marketing research.

I have some theories and questions about why people are reluctant to invest in marketing research. Here they are.

Does marketing research kill the entrepreneurial spirit?

I recently read an article on NEO UQTR (the official media of the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières (UQTR)), and the author talks about entrepreneurial marketing vs. traditional marketing (in French) :

“The owner-manager also uses his flair to unearth opportunities (intuitive approach) and insists on innovation to stand out from the competition. For example, if launching a chain of restaurants dedicated to Poutine seems like a wacky idea for some, this is a challenge for a visionary, provided you reinvent the dish and position it with another clientele.

Customer satisfaction, propagated through word-of-mouth, is used as a tool to promote the concept. The 4 “P’s” of traditional marketing are integrated, even if they are not expressly defined as such. “– William Martinez, D.B.A. and professor of marketing at the UQTR.

 Many of our clients think they are in a context of entrepreneurial marketing that worked well at the start-up/development of their young company. However, it is important to note that market research does not highlight what people would like but, allows in many cases, to reduce the risk in the development of a new product or service.

Many of our clients believe they are in a context of entrepreneurial marketing that worked well at the launch / development of their young company. However, it is important to note that market research does not highlight what people would like, of course, but in many cases, can reduce the risk of developing a new product or service.

In my opinion, the real answer often lies between the two; A good dose of visionary creativity and, validation with the market when possible (in an ideal world, I know, I know!).

According to the Harvard Business Review “Companies are so focused on designing and manufacturing new products that they postpone the hard work of getting ready to market them until it’s too late in the game. “

This means that the main reasons for planting new products are for marketing reasons! So, no, don’t be so quick to eliminate the possibility of a market study; it could be a few dollars well invested!

“The Godwin point” and marketing research: The Apple example

First of all, what is the ‘Godwin point’: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches by 1.

In the case of marketing research, this is not a comparison with Nazi Germany but a comparison with Apple: “Steve Jobs did not get the idea of the IPAD by doing market research.”

True! But read the article previously mentioned and you will see that the main reasons for failure of a new product launch are marketing reasons! You think Apple has never experienced any product launch failures (Apple III, Lisa)?

My client’s feedback is enough

“Ah, I often ask for feedback from my clients”

“I’m going to walk through trade shows and I have all the” insights “I need.”

Yes, feedback is important. But it doesn’t necessarily answer a specific question you have. In addition, there is a risk of a Halo effect or, to be blinded by an assertion that does not necessarily represent the reality of your customers. At this point, rigorous marketing research can help you see more clearly in the needs of your customers.

Is marketing research being replaced by Big Data?

Designating the immeasurable amount of data generated by digital activities (mobile devices, the Internet of objects, the Web, etc.), for several customers, Big data satisfies them beyond all expectations; the need for information of the company. True, Big Data looks like the Eldorado of knowledge and will surely rule out marketing research.

Not quite. Marketing research allows you to get accurate information from your current or potential clientele. Big Data does not allow you to validate your specific questions such as you would like to ask your customers.

Have more questions about marketing research? Contact our specialists

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