The rule of thumb for B2B research used to be that you had to use telephone surveys. Now, however, the tide is turning, and online surveys are becoming more and more popular with business respondents. The reasons for this are:
- Convenience: The business person does not have to take time away from work to answer a survey. They can do it while on break, at lunch or at home.
- Fewer interruptions. Because the respondent is completing the survey on their time, they are less likely to be interrupted, creating a more cohesive survey-response setting.
- No social desirability bias. Respondents are freer to express their opinions if they know they are anonymous (and cannot be overheard by the colleague in the next cubicle.)
- More thoughtful answers. Because the survey is completed in a more relaxed environment, respondents have time to think about their answers before responding.
- No gatekeeper to get through. Many business people have their phone calls screened, and marketing research calls are among those the gatekeepers are trained to block.
Additionally, the elimination of interviewer bias, greater speed of data collection, and lower cost are advantages that make online surveys a great methodology for B2B research. Obtaining a good, up-to-date, opt-in email list of the B2B respondents you need can still be a problem. However, many panel companies are developing strong B2B panel offerings that can assist with this challenge.
So if you have been limiting your B2B project due to the cost of telephone surveying, consider giving online surveys a chance. Online surveys could be the solution for which you’ve been looking.
Our next blog we continue our series on sampling challenges in B2B Research.