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B2B vs. B2C Market Research

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B2B vs. B2C Market Research

By Unimrkt 07/02/2022

The acronyms B2B or B2C are not uncommon for those into marketing. It refers to the types of associations among two groups in marketing parlance, viz-a-viz a marketing campaign.

B2B denotes marketing relationships between business-to-business, and B2C talks about marketing connections concerning business-to-customer. While in both cases, there is the promotion of service or products being sold, research indicates that the decision-making method among these two relationships is pretty dissimilar. Thus, the need to understand the difference between B2B vs. B2C market research emanates.

Research also indicates that businesses base their purchase decisions on logic. Often, businesses comprise a team of employees making a buying decision. This is done for the sake of streamlining the route, savings and time. Businesses are similarly more apprehensive about ROI (return on investment in terms of saving money time or resources since these lead to a relative increase in revenue.) when purchasing a service or a product.

Differences between B2B and B2C Market Research

The biggest difference is the involvement of mixed methodologies- Almost all B2C market research reports and studies will cover mixed methodologies. This is not the same with B2B market research. The latter will depend on factors like the complexity levels of the B2B markets, the requirement for capturing ample data and the requirement for testing and verifying results with a view towards achieving an acceptable standard of confidence statistically.

The second major difference is the fact that B2B market research activities will naturally involve more web, telephone and email-based surveys and information gathering activities as compared to physical interviews of people. The focus group concept is rarely used while you talk about B2B market research. However, if you consider B2C market research, then in-person interviews, focus groups and personalized question and answer sessions are par for the course since the customer is focused on directly.

The third big difference lies in the sizes of samples. The B2B market research kitty will naturally have a smaller size as compared to B2C market research pools. For the latter, researchers, to successfully deal with such huge volumes, usually prioritize influential and the most important respondents to surveys, while also emphasizing the need to have more qualified participants.

Another difference that you should note is the fact that B2C market research incentives for survey participation may have in-your-face incentives like discounts, gift cards, cash rewards, free items, etc. However, these are slightly more complicated in case of B2B market research since they have to be tailored more towards the businesses employing respondents or participants.

The main difference that you should never forget is the subject/object of research, i.e. in B2C research, the person being researched or studied is the end-user or end-consumer or an individual making the buying decisions. In the B2B space, you may or may not always be researching those taking the final buying decisions. The lead times are also longer in the B2B market research space as compared to the B2C arena. B2B market researchers have to first identify organisational hierarchy and the authority demarcation for finding out the final decision-makers. Gatekeepers or people who will present a list of options to the decision makers also matter immensely in B2B market research.

Going further with the B2B and B2C differences, apart from portraying the solution to a given problem, one must also understand the benefits these diverse strategies and methodologies provide for both.

B2B Market Research Benefits and methodologies adopted:

  • Both Qualitative and Quantitative data are analyzed to get insight into the business needs, preferences and company’s opinions.
  • Data collection from multiple entities provides a more profound understanding of the business as a customer.
  • Specific target market permits for smaller sample sizes for conducting market research.
  • B2B market research can be conducted over the phone or online instead of in-person focus groups.

B2C Market Research Benefits and methodologies adopted:

  • A company offering B2B service or product may at the most, compete only with 1 or 2 competitors.
  • However, with B2C marketing, there is additional rivalry for paying attention to the brand
  • Thus, using B2C market research is critical to be competitive in the market.
  • B2C market research benefits from a larger population of prospective customers to participate in the market research.


The difference in B2B and B2C marketing being distinctive, diverse market research strategies are required to be deployed to derive benefits from the use of divergent marketing strategies for both because of their inherent uniqueness.

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