B2B research has always posed its unique challenges, but the past two years have been increasingly challenging for B2B researchers. COVID has changed the ways in which we live our daily lives and how we conduct business, with the home being the central hub of all activities both personally and professionally.
One of our last business-related blog posts before COVID was about how commercial builders were looking to create more community by building communal workspaces as technology was causing workers to become more isolated. This was posted in October of 2019. Just five months later, the world shifted. We didn’t realize how isolated workers would become (or how ironic this blog post would be in hindsight).
In 2020, we shared some of the ways that COVID was changing the landscape for business decision-makers at companies that use market research and that are in industries like healthcare, retail, and home improvement.
Fast forward to 2022, and we have learned that the economic impacts of the pandemic are still evident in our personal and professional lives. When we think of issues like inflation, product shortages and supply chain issues, we can see the parallels between what is happening in the consumer world and what is happening in B2B research.
In the past couple years, we have seen recruiting and fieldwork timelines balloon from two weeks to four weeks or longer. The cost per interview for B2B respondents and B2B panel providers has also increased proportionally as more workers have left the workforce or have become harder to reach. And this is especially true for companies that focus on more specialized B2B research services.
Likewise, the Great Resignation saw an extraordinary number of employees voluntarily resigning from their jobs beginning in early 2021 and some 11 months later, Fortune Magazine reports that 4.5 million walked off the job, quoting the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In B2B research, this means that the proverbial “needle in a haystack” business decision-maker is now in even shorter supply.
Supply Chain Issues
Businesses are rethinking how they are getting products to consumers in this post-COVID era. In many ways, this mirrors how C+R has adapted to changes in the research world – from when and how we ship products to respondents to how we approach our digital and in-person qualitative recruits.
We will continue to keep you updated as B2B issues are likely to evolve; in the meantime, we look forward to seeing you at our upcoming webinar “A Needle in a Haystack: Finding the Right B2B Respondent.” If your brand needs help from a B2B market research agency, please reach out to us by filling out this form and we will have a B2B market research consultant contact you.