Top 5 Do’s & Dont’s for Effective B2B Qual

Qualitative investigation in the world of business to business (B2B) is essential when seeking ways to create sustainable growth. If you find yourself struggling to reach and effectively engage your stakeholders of interest (i.e., prospects, customers, employees, key opinion leaders, industry experts, analysts, suppliers, distributors/dealers, regulators, etc.), turn to a proven approach: digital hives. Developed by seasoned qualitative researchers to capture valuable insights in ways that are convenient, effortless and fun, ENGINE Digital Hives are as agile as the marketplace demands. Below are some of our best tips to bear in mind as you seek to deeply connect with your stakeholders:

DO: PARTNER WITH B2B RESEARCH EXPERTS

Your B2B audience is hard to reach. Your stakeholders are very particular people performing very specific roles, often in dispersed geographies. They aren’t often or easily engaged from survey panels, but may instead be found in professional organization lists, or on specialized social media sites or other corners of the internet. Before you sign on with any potential research partner, make sure they have expertise in B2B engagement and have the tools to be able to not only find your stakeholders but more importantly, get their attention and motivate them to engage with you.

DO: RESPECT YOUR STAKEHOLDERS’ TIME

Your stakeholders are time-starved. Their days are jam-packed, and in many cases spent offline. In a B2B qualitative engagement, your participants are more than likely to be “found” before or after working hours. Make sure you are recruiting them and focusing your outreach at times when they are the most online and available to you. And make sure your qualitative platform is mobile-enabled!

DON’T: FORGET THAT YOUR STAKEHOLDERS ARE HUMAN BEINGS

B2B research can be very technical and, at times, rather structured. No matter what topic you may pursue, don’t forget about the human desire to tell personal stories. Give your stakeholders an opportunity to share their worlds in their own voice. It can be as simple as asking, “What’s it like being you in your organization? What was the best part of your week? The worst? What stories do you have to tell?” You will be amazed at how quickly this creates a rapport. 

DON’T: MAKE YOUR RESEARCH ALL ABOUT YOU

Whether you are talking to executives, financial analysts, or factory workers, the pressure for new ideas, innovation, and growth is unending. The best reward structure to foster engagement in your online qual is not solely financial: offering stakeholders access to tools, tips and insider information will help generate richer insights and create deeper emotional connections to your brand.

DO: LET THEM HAVE A VOICE

Your stakeholders get it…you have specific research goals. You need ideas, experiences, reactions to a situation, a concept, an opportunity, a trend.  But don’t forget your stakeholders have thoughts of their own that they will likely want to share. Make sure you leave time for unstructured listening to capture their emotions as much as their experiences, their hopes and desires as much as their expertise, and their interests as much as their future vision. You may get the next great industry idea simply by keeping your ears open.  

At ENGINE, our Digital Hives team brings deep knowledge of how to find, engage and learn from B2B audiences online in an agile fashion. We can go live with your stakeholders — regardless of demographic, industry, language, or geography — in as few as 24 hours, without sacrificing quality. Let us help you tap into your stakeholders through Digital Hives today!

Written by Jennifer Adams, SVP, Digital Hives of ENGINE Insights.