Valentine’s Day Marketing 2021, Falling in Love With Your Brand
12 Jan 2021

It is a well-known fact that Christmas is the holiday that drives the most retail sales. What most people are not aware of is the second biggest holiday retail day of the year is actually Valentine’s Day. 

Couples, partners, friends, and family go crazy for Valentine’s Day. Whether it is jewelry for a partner or chocolates for your mom, Americans are shopping in February! We have a feeling, Valentine’s Day 2021 will lead to more spending than ever. This hypothesis is three-fold: 

  1. More Quality Time Than Ever. While everyone is still staying home, many people have spent more time with their loved ones in the last 12 months than they have ever spent with them in a year period. In a turbulent year, we have leaned on our nearest and dearest more than ever and it is time to show our appreciation for them. 
  2. No Dinner & Drinks. Secondly, people cannot go out for a fancy meal at a fancy restaurant to celebrate the day of love. So, people will turn to retail goods in lieu. 
  3. Time to Browse. In other years, people were busy with the start of the New Year and many people were just busy all of the time. This year, everyone is stuck at home. We do not have plans between now and February 14th. People have more time to browse online for gifts this year and more time to buy.

Why Do You Need to Get Prepared Early?

We know it is still January, but Valentine’s day is just around the corner. If you are a brand, it is time to start preparing for this big shopping holiday. You only have a few weeks to get prepared for 

How to Prepare? 
eCommerce Ready

As expected, eCommerce is going to skyrocket this V-day, and January is the month you will need to make sure that you have everything in order to accommodate the increased spending and increased logistics (shipping, delivery, etc.) Is your website ready? Are you stocked after the Christmas holiday? 

Gift Guides

Write your own gift guide or find websites that will write gift guides and get your products in the gift guide. Most people are all out of ideas for gifts come February, you need to put your product on a platter for them. 

Invest in Digital Advertising.

Work out the last possible day that people can purchase from your site to safely receive the gift on time, and advertise the final shopping day online for people to receive their items. Instagram and Facebook ads can be very persuasive in this respect. If you are interested in following the marketing trends for this upcoming year, check out our blog what’s to come in 2021 here

Website Analytics

While it may be too late to conduct a full market research project before the big day. You might want to start your rebrand or strategy research now for the next big holiday. In the meantime, you can analyze your website. Look at the traffic from this time last year. Where are your leads coming from? Optimize these sources this year, get even more leads from the same places while trying to increase traffic in other areas. 

If you are interested in branding or advertising research for longer-term changes, reach out to Provoke Insights. This research could be complete by the next big holiday! 

Check out some of our other blogs on marketing technique and market research:

Thinking about conducting market research?  Provoke Insights is a full-service market research company headquartered in New York. Check us out.


and finally, follow our social media accounts:





The Top 4 Most Popular Blogs of 2020
28 Dec 2020

We are looking back on 2020’s most popular blog posts on Provoke Insights’ website. During this unprecedented year, what were the articles that stood out the most? What did people want to read about regarding brand strategy, advertising research, and content marketing research? Read the article to see all the winners! 

Fourth Place: Significant Differences Calculator 

Provoke Insights developed a proprietary tool in 2019 – the tool was popular last year but gained even more traction in 2020. Our tool runs two proportion Z-tests, by taking sample size, and percentages into account and it allows users to test tables of proportions against each other, as well as download the results. 

Significant differences are important when it comes to quantitative data, and it has been a pleasure to create and promote a tool of our own instead of relying on third-party software. 

To learn more about the tool, click here. 

Third Place: Sampling: the Importance of Good Sample

The third most popular blog was about survey sample. You can never underestimate the importance of high-quality sample. There are many ways research can go wrong, and bad sample means your research may sway you in the wrong direction. 

The sample is a critical component of accurate research. If the sample size is too small, not cleaned, biased, or of low quality, your research could become erroneous. Read the blog to understand exactly how to ensure that the research will provide actionable insights by guaranteeing precise responses. 

Runner Up: The Marketing Strategies for the Alpha Generation

The Alpha generations may have only a faint memory of the pandemic as many are only a few years old. However, living a year of your childhood through a pandemic is unlike any other generation’s experience. This young generation’s needs, wants, and attitudes are unique, and therefore marketers need to react accordingly.

This article discusses the marketing strategies to [plan for Generation Alpha. Provoke Insights has studied this generation further. You can read the other articles about Alpha too: 

Winner: The Pros and Cons of In-depth Interviews

Interestingly, the top read blog was about a popular remote research methodology – in-depth interviews. When it comes to research methodologies, many brands turned to what can be done remotely this year. In-person interviews and focus groups have been off the table since March. We had a 30-focus group research project transferred from in-person to online at the last minute in March.

With the global pandemic, everyone is more accustomed to web conferencing tools than ever before. It is advantageous for brands, as it is less expensive to conduct focus groups on Zoom (rather than in-person or on a focus group software), and participants have a much easier time joining and taking part.

To learn more about online qualitative methodologies, read this blog:

Online Focus Group research Software vs. Web Conferencing Tools

That is it for the top four blogs of 2020. A year unlike any other. We are looking forward to seeing what 2021 brings us. Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season and a healthy New Year! 

If your company is interested in learning more about the methodologies and specialties discussed here or wants to understand our market research capabilities, please reach out to [email protected], and we will be happy to schedule a call to discuss the research objectives with you.

In addition, check out Provoke Insights research services here.

Want to read more from Provoke Insights?  Find some more blog posts linked below:

  1. 2021 Marketing Trends
  2. Thinking About Conducting Market Research? Here’s a Checklist to Find a Research Provider
  3. DIY Market Research vs. Hiring a Specialist

Sign up for our newsletters here!

Follow our social media accounts:




2021 Marketing Trends
22 Dec 2020

The turbulent year 2020 has vastly shifted consumer behaviors and the speed of digital adoption. The outlook of a world where COVID-19 is controlled in 2021 is positive. However, the changes that have started in 2020 will continue to the subsequent year and will lend to the 2021 marketing trends.

Why is it important to track marketing trends?

  • You can integrate trends into your marketing strategy and it can present opportunities or barriers for your company
  • It is crucial to spot these early, so you can be prepared to act 

Marketing trends are most important to watch as you are deciding the strategy going forward into the new year. In this article, we will outline some of what we expect to see more of in 2021 and going forward. 

User-Generated content

As COVID-19 took the world by storm in 2020, there were restrictions placed on video production. This caused many brands to run out of marketing content. They could not shoot new adverts or create new content and so, they turned to promoting products and services with user-generated content. This is effective as it allows consumers to relate to the content instantaneously. With the global pandemic, people were also more inclined to 

Brand Activism

With 2020 being such a transformative year, in every shape and form, brands have become more engaged in playing a role. Consumers are also expecting the brands that they support to use the voice they have to be advocates for the causes they believe in. The Black Lives Matter movement has been revolutionary in that if a brand did not speak up in June, younger generations questioned their core values. Brand activism is becoming table-stakes. 

eCommerce Small Business More Sophisticated Marketing

eCommerce marketing tools are becoming more readily accessible to small businesses and eCommerce is growing exponentially. Small eCommerce business will become more sophisticated in 2021. They have been upskilling and adopting new integrations for their companies in 2020 and we can expect them to be in full swing next year. The marketing that consumers will receive from small business will reflect this change. Shopify, Etsy, and other third party marketplaces are aiding small businesses in running more like larger companies online and it is benefitting the sector. Support small businesses next year and reap the rewards! 

Nostalgia Marketing

This marketing that triggers comfort in people and improves connectedness with a brand has seen a come-back!  As the world has been an unpredictable place over the last 9 months, consumers have been drawn to what they know. 

It is important to stay abreast of the most up to date and innovative marketing techniques in 2021. This can be an advantage for your company. It is vital for us to stay up to date as we conduct market research with brand strategy as our focus. All of our research have also worked in strategy, therefore we often recommend marketing techniques to clients, if the findings point to one thing or another. Most recently, we recommended to a client that user-generated content would work for their core audience because they search for authentic brands and place a lot of value in other customer reviews. 

Check out some of our other blogs on marketing technique and market research:

Thinking about conducting market research?  Check out Provoke Insights research services here.


and finally, follow our social media accounts:





Thinking about Conducting Market Research? Here’s a Checklist for Finding a Research Vendor
10 Dec 2020

This article will outline the checklist for market research. That is to say it explains all that you need to run through to ensure that you are in an excellent place to conduct a quantitative market research study in-house. In addition, there is a list provided to go through if you are hiring a market research firm. Subsequently, there will be another article published in the coming weeks that will discuss qualitative research.

What to Consider if Conducting DIY Market Research? 

  1. Questionnaire Design: Is the team confident that they can write a research questionnaire in a way that will gather the insights objectively and without survey errors such as leading or double-barreled questions. Check out our article on survey mishaps here
  2. Timelines: Realistically, do you have the time to project manage the study in-house? Will you have to cut corners if you were doing it internally?
  3. Resources: Does the company have access to the resources, tools, and skills needed in-house to collect and analyze the data? Does your team have advanced analytics knowledge?
  4. Tools: Do you have tools to program surveys? Is your survey programming tool limited in capabilities? Do you have programs to develop crosstabs? Test significance? Is advanced analytics needed? Do you have the means to conduct it?  
  5. Sample: Do you have access to quality respondents? Will you be able to ensure that only qualified participants partake in the study? Can you reach the appropriate target audiences? Can you make sure that your sample represents the population you are targeting? Do you need to weight the data or use a sample stratified methodology? 
  6. Blind: If conducting research in-house, you will be revealing your company name to access participants. Are you sure that the study does not have to be blind? Can you tell the company name? This will skew the results, and you will not get a read on things like market penetration or awareness levels. 
  7. Reporting: Who is the data for? Do you have employees who can interpret the data and create graphs and charts that correlate? Do you need to draw conclusions for a specialized area (e..g branding)? 

The Checklist to Consider if Hiring a Market Research Company? 

  1. Research Objectives: This should be the top of the checklist for market research. It is often the case that a brand will know what questions they have for their target audience. This is great! However, the best place to start is with the overall business goals and the research objectives. For example, what are the ultimate goals for the research? What are the results going to inform? This will be some of the most critical information you can give a market research company to design a methodology to reach your goals. 
  2. Target Audience: Who do you want to speak with? While this may sound basic, research can often be erroneous as the data does not reflect the customer or the target audience that a brand is looking to reach. 
  3. Company-Type: Are you looking for a specialty firm? Is it a customer satisfaction survey or a brand study? Consequently, you should consider a market research firm with a strong specialty if you are conducting specialized research. You can find a directory of suppliers on GreenBook, Quirks, or BlueBook.
  4. Budget: Do you have money allocated for the project? For the most part, market research firms tend to spend significant time on proposals. A firm can better meet your needs by understanding the budget.
  5. Specialty: Are you looking for research in a specialized field? If so, find out if that firm has experience in that area.
  6. Ask The Right Questions: If you are looking for what to ask a market research firm in the interview process, have a look at this article.

What’s next?

If you are trying to decide between conducting research in-house or with a market research firm, you can read more about the pros and cons here. This checklist for market research is a good starting point. In addition, there is also more information surrounding errors and avoiding errors in survey research in this article about the margin of error. The turbulent year 2020 has vastly shifted consumer behaviors and the speed of digital adoption. The outlook of a world where COVID-19 is controlled in 2021 is positive. However, the changes that have started in 2020 will continue into the subsequent year.

Thinking about conducting market research?  Check out Provoke Insights’ research services here.

and finally, follow our social media accounts:




Election Polls: What the Pollsters Got Right and What Was Missed
24 Nov 2020

There has been a lot of finger-pointing at pollsters about the 2020 election and accusations that the poll results were not accurate. Media has mentioned that the election polls were “as bad” as the 2016 predictions. While the polling research needs some improvement, there are many reasons not to blame the pollsters.

Here are three aspects that are important to understand about the polls: 

  1. Mail-IN Changes the Voting Dynamic.

    COVID-19 has changed the way a lot of people typically vote. As many Americans are looking to socially distance to prevent the spread of the pandemic, many people opted to use mail-in voting. In this year’s primaries, 50.3% of Americans voted by mail. To compare, the 2016 general elections vote-by-mail was only 25% (Pew Research, 2020). Depending on the state, mail voting slows the process. Polls do not predict when a president would win a state’s electoral votes.

  2. Press Skews Survey Findings to Create Sensational Headlines.

    As mentioned in our blog, “Election Polls: Why You Need to Know What Margin of Error Is Right Now,” the margin of error plays a massive part in reading the results correctly. The margin of error lets you know with a certain level of confidence that if the same research methodology was conducted again, the results would be within the same ‘margin.’ Often, this year’s news promoted a specific presidential candidate is winning. However, they were actually tied according to the survey’s margin of error.  

  3. The Popular Vote Was Accurately Predicted For the Presidential Race.

    Both in 2016 and 2020, pollsters accurately predicted the national vote. Where polls have had more difficulty is predicting the state-level elections for presidential and senate races. Why? For a few reasons.

    • By the time polls are at the state level, the number of respondents completing the surveys is much lower than the national levels. The state-level surveys need a large enough pool to ensure that all of the different populations are surveyed. 
    •  In areas that are less densely populated or more diverse, the survey should be distributed via mixed mode: online, cell, landline, and in-person. For example, older populations are more likely to take a phone survey. Acculturated Americans respond more often to in-person questionnaires. 
    • Market research companies need to monitor the appropriate quotas to represent the population (e.g., education, gender). This is especially true with cohorts that may be harder to reach. For example, the Cuban population in Florida. Unfortunately, sometimes the proper surveying methodology takes significant cost and time, which may not always be available to these pollsters.

Read some of our recent case studies and blogs here to learn more about business and consumer research:

  1. Election Polls: Why You Need to Know What Margin of Error is Right Now
  2. The Power of Census Data
  3. COVID-19 and Conducting Market Research

Find Provoke Insights’ research capabilities here or email us at [email protected] with any inquiries.

To learn more about Provoke Insights – Check out SlideShare:

Provoke Insights Market Research & Brand Strategy Capabilities


and finally, follow our social media accounts:




DIY Market Research vs. Hiring a Specialist Market Research Company
18 Nov 2020

What are the differences between conducting DIY research or hiring a specialty market research firm? We all research every day. We research what recipes to cook, what products to buy, what news sources to believe, and the list goes on. If you think about it, our life is a culmination of the research we have done. With that said, it can be tempting to assume that it is easy to conduct market research without being a professionally trained market researcher. While this statement may have some truth, it comes with some significant caveats.  This article will outline the pros and cons of researching on your own and with a market research company. 

Pros of DIY Research

Institutional Knowledge

The employees of a company know the company inside and out. They will have the institutional knowledge that is needed to provide background information on a project. If using a market research firm, it is crucial to share as much information as possible to set the team up for success. 


The company conducting the research has total ownership over the project. This pro comes with some perks but also many disadvantages. While you will have the final say over every step, this can cause biases, incorrect approaches, and false results. Working with a research company will mean you can still have the final say on all steps, but it will be the final say on the correct approach. 

Cons of DIY Research


Conducting every stage of the process in-house is exceptionally time-consuming. While you are in charge of questionnaire design to recruitment, you will also be in charge of the entire analysis and reporting. Without the proper infrastructure in place, this can take up months and months of precious time. 

Resources Required

In the same vein as the previous point, if the company does not have the resources in place, it is challenging to efficiently conduct the research. While you can get the resources in place, this will append to the timeline and delay results even further. 

Researcher Bias

While conducting research in-house will allow the researchers to have unmeasured institutional knowledge of the product and brand, it can cause extreme biases. 

Research Errors

Professionally trained market researchers have an eye for detail that is learned with experience. These professionals go through years of training, apprenticeships, internships, studying, and research to get to where they are. 

The researchers can spot any errors in a study and hiring them will allow a brand to avoid errors altogether. As there are many opportunities for errors in market research studies. To clarify, some of the errors to look out for include (but is not limited to) the following:

  • Selection of improper methodology design;
  • Poor data collection methods;
  • Inadequate sample design, size, or poor participant quality;
  • Incorrect logic;
  • Improper use of statistical procedures;
  • Difficult to understand report.

Pros of a Market Research Firm

Unbiased Research

A market research firm will remain entirely impartial for the study and ensure that the design and results are free from subjective viewpoints and tendencies. The unbiased results are critical to ensure the results are reliable, but it is also a significant benefit when getting published. If a company is looking to use the results to position itself as a thought leader, you will be more likely to get the study published if it comes from an established research company rather than the company trying to position itself.  

Takes Up Less Time

Research companies have all of the tools in place to kick off a project and get you a report with analysis and recommendations within a standard timeframe (depending on the company) of 2-8 weeks. 

Best Practices When Hiring a Specialist

Market research companies are experienced and know all of the best practices from conducting research, free from mistakes or biases. The job of a researcher is to reduce the number of errors. 


A market research firm will have a higher research standard based on the experience and tools/resources available to the team. As a result of the training and education that they have studied, the quality will be improved. 

Cons of Market Research Firm


While the temptation to conduct research in-house is often led by the attractiveness of not paying out for professional research, it is not a huge cost when you consider the time saved. 

To learn more about working with a market research firm, you can read more in the following articles: 

Thinking about conducting market research?  Check out Provoke Insights research services here.


and finally, follow our social media accounts:






How Market Research Can Help You Open Up In A New Economy
10 Nov 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed business as we know it. At the start of the pandemic, companies had to create new solutions and find different ways to interact with consumers.

Among many other things, the pandemic altered the economy and business operations in unknown ways. Some of these changes are the following:

eCommerce became crucial: products that used to only be sold in-person are now sold online.
Because of this, many services shifted online and are now completely virtual.

Businesses that remained accessible in-person were transformed by the introduction of safety precautions like social distancing and mask-wearing.

A portion of products and services that were previously in high demand have become a thing of the past.

As potential vaccines continue to move forward, everyone is beginning to imagine what the post-COVID 19 economy will look like. Overall, businesses will face a new challenge of figuring out how to bring customers back to the same products and services that they enjoyed prior to the pandemic.

Opening Up Your Business in the Post-COVID Economy 

This challenge needs to be faced with an effective strategy, and that’s where market research comes in. Hence, by conducting research in the next few months, companies can paint an accurate picture of what their business should look like going into 2021.

Market research companies can provide consumers insights on what they enjoyed pre-COVID, what priorities are in this economy, and what will make them feel safe as the economy opens up.

Changed Consumer Behavior Forever

The pandemic caused permanent changes to consumer behavior and preferences. Because of this, market research will help companies account for the shifts that occured since then. Additionally, they will be able to understand what changes consumers want to keep post-COVID. For instance, consumers have the desire for retail and food companies to continue offering delivery and curbside pick-up options beyond the pandemic.

In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a significant amount of changes to the way we conduct business. As companies imagine what the post-COVID economy will be, they must create strategic approaches for opening up. Strong market research will ensure that they are not catering to trends that might not exist anymore.

Read some of our recent case studies and blogs here to learn more about business and consumer research:

  1. COVID-19 and Conducting Market Research
  2. Conducting Market Research in Localized Areas
  3. Differences Between B2B and Consumer Qualitative Research

Thinking about conducting market research? Check out Provoke Insights research services here.

Sign up for our newsletters HERE!

and finally, Follow our social media accounts:




Conducting Market Research in Localized Areas
09 Nov 2020

Conducting Market Research in Localized Areas

Targeting larger markets via online surveys has become easier than ever given the amount of flexibility provided by the internet to reach respondents from all over the globe. However, it is important for businesses to understand how to gain access on the local levels, in places with fewer people or niche populations. 

When it comes to gathering insights from an audience at the county or town level, it is crucial for market researchers to determine the most cost-effective and innovative approaches while ensuring accurate representative results. Here are five practices to employ when reaching localized markets:

Extensive Online Respondent Panel For Niche Markets

In market research it is imperative for researchers to find a partner who can help them uncover data in niche markets by providing them with an online respondent panel. Researchers should have an established sample that is representative of both, new explorers in the market, and seasoned consumers who have shown loyalty to certain brands or publishers. These often are the hardest-to-reach audiences, hence the need for a strong sample company. 

Merge Multiple Respondent Panels 

Accessing multiple respondent panels will ensure that you are getting insights from as many respondents as possible. Each panel has its own distinct recruitment method for research. Merging panels increases the likelihood that you will get enough sample to fill all quotas for the market. This will ensure the most reliable data for businesses that are looking for guidance on their strategies in local markets. 

Social media & SEM 

Commissioning targeted ads on social media and search engines will ensure that you are reaching your desired audience. Promoting the survey in targeted areas provides a direct link to consumers who may have not been reached through a respondent panel, but may still be interested in providing insights. 

Use Mixed-Mode Methodology: CATI & Online 

Employing a hybrid sample collecting method such as mixing CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing) and online surveys allow for more in-depth access to narrow populations. It can help to employ this when designing an approach for reaching suburban and rural areas. 

CATI can also be particularly effective when trying to gather insights from respondents who might not have computer access to complete the survey online, but do have a phone where they can be reached. Using a mixed-mode methodology like this ensures you are not missing out on data points from certain cohorts. 

Weighting for Rural Areas

Weighting is a correction technique that is used by survey researchers where a statistical adjustment is made to the survey data after it has been collected in order to improve the accuracy of the survey estimates. Using this technique correctly is crucial, especially for rural areas, because if not done right, it can cause the data to be misleading. This can cause ineffective strategy implementation for companies who are looking to grow. 

Conducting Localized Research Conclusion 

Gathering insights from consumers on the local level can be a challenge. However, data from local markets can often have an impact on overall strategy for businesses. Therefore, it is important for researchers to understand how to use cost effective methods to gather data from these regions. Make sure to follow these practices to ensure conducting research in localized areas is less challenging. 

Read some of our recent case studies and blogs here to learn more about business and consumer research:

  1. Election Polls: Why You Need To Know What Margin of Error is Right Now
  2. The Differences Between B2B and Consumer Qualitative Research
  3. The Pros and Cons of Secondary Research

Thinking about conducting market research? Check out Provoke Insights research services here.


and finally, Follow our social media accounts:




Election Polls: Why You Need to Know What Margin of Error Is Right Now
22 Oct 2020

Why You Must Understand Margin of Error Before Reading Election Polls 

The term ‘margin of error’ is a common term when it comes to market research. However, this lexicon is always mentioned more in mainstream media around an election. With less than two weeks to go until the United States Presidential Election, ‘margin of error’ is no longer jargon but a common-use term that comes up in the press every day.


What is a Margin of Error?

The margin of error is the accepted standard within the market research industry for data reliability. It lets us know with a certain level of confidence that if the same research methodology was completed again the results would be within the same ‘margin’.


This is an overly simplified explanation of the term. The margin coincides with a statistically significant confidence level. The confidence level is usually tested at 90%, 95%, or 99%. For example, if the margin of error is +/- 2% and the confidence level is 95% – if the same survey was completed again among a random sample, 95 times out of 100, the results would be within two percentage points.  


What Does This Have to Do With the Election?

Many times you see, headlines such as Biden leads a state by 2%. However, the margin error is 3%. In these instances, it means that Biden is not winning but tied with Trump.

It is something to keep an eye on in the polls as the election approaches. The number of eligible voters starts to decrease (because there are so many polls happening in the days running up to the election and only a certain number of voters taking polls). This causes the sample sizes to become limited, and margins of errors start to rise. You need to keep an eye out for these in the last few weeks before the election to ensure that the polls are telling the whole story.


Is the Margin of Error the Only Error that We Need to Account for?

The margin of error can be misleading. It assumes that we have accounted for all errors. If survey results state that 25% of the population is going to vote for a particular candidate with a +/-2% margin of error, then we can safely say that anywhere between 23% and 27% of people will vote that way.


That is not the case. The margin of error allows us to understand the sampling error. However, other non-sampling errors can occur in market research, and it is essential to keep your eye out for them in polls:


  1. The way a question is asked can result in errors (e.g. leading questions, incomplete list of choices to choose from, double-barreled).
  2. Many questions ask about intent rather than attitudes or past behavior. That requires a further interpretation that can leader to errors (e.g. voting models).
  3. Bad respondents (people taking a survey too quickly and not reading the questions, doing ‘straight-line’ or ‘pattern’ responses). The research company often cleans these, but when research is done very quickly, they do not have time to remove all bad participants.
  4. Weighting survey sampling to match the population may be off (In the 2016 election, education was not weighted and caused the polls to be off)


The margin of error is critical to look out for but not the be-all and end-all of research errors. It is essential to analyze the methodology and ensure that the number of errors are limited.

Read more about political polling here: The Accuracy of Political Polling

Read some of our recent case studies and blogs here to learn more about business and consumer research:

  1. The Pros and Cons of Online Survey Research
  2. The Power of Census Data
  3. COVID-19 and Conducting Market Research

To learn more about Provoke Insights – Check out SlideShare:

Provoke Insights Market Research & Brand Strategy Capabilities


and finally, follow our social media accounts:







Differences Between B2B & Consumer Qualitative Research
02 Oct 2020

B2B and Consumer Research are disparate. Businesses and consumers make decisions in very different ways. These differences mean researchers must employ distinct approaches and strategies when trying to gain insights from both groups. This is especially true for qualitative research. 

Audience – B2B Decision-Makers and Consumer

Within businesses, the decision-making process is more complex and demands a more robust analysis. The group of decision-makers is larger and broader than in the consumer context. While consumers can make purchasing decisions based on impulse or emotion, businesses aim to make a strategic, objective decision. 

While the majority of consumers are making buying decisions daily, this is not the case at businesses. Companies only have a select group of decision-makers for purchasing, and they are not as easy to come by. To account for this, market researchers need to ensure that they are speaking to primary or shared decision-makers at a company that will understand the process and, ideally, have insights on the entire process from start to finish. 

Incentives for B2B and Consumers

Given all consumers are making the decisions on their purchasing behavior, there is a larger pool of consumers available to respond to the research when compared to B2B. The pool of people making decisions for a business is smaller and they are often higher up at their company. Therefore, this B2B audience is harder to come by. This makes the research costlier than research conducted among the general population. Higher incentives will drive business decision-makers to participate in interviews. 

Methodology – In-depth Interviews for B2B 

This audience has to be senior in the company to be given the approval to make decisions for the business. Therefore, these senior workers tend to be busier than the average consumer. To account for this, in-depth interviews are often favorable over focus groups. In-depth interviews offer more flexibility for respondents to choose a time that suits their schedule. Therefore, this will increase the likelihood of their participation. 

Moreover, in-depth interviews can be done remotely. This removes the need to travel, which further reduces time barriers for participants. 

Focus groups are not as effective for B2B audiences because all participants need to be available at a pre-decided time. Also, if business owners are in similar fields, they may be wary of sharing their trade secrets with competitors. 

Interpreting Results of B2B Research

As the B2B decision-making process has many complexities. For example:

  • There are more people involved;
  • There are different levels of influence from each party;
  • Internal and external factors play a role;
  • And there are different drivers for the need.

As a result, the research often has more intricacies and can be more difficult. This means that the researchers and moderators need to be well versed in B2B research. They also need to have an in-depth understanding of the products and services involved. This will ensure that they gather the insights that the company commissioning the research needs. 

B2B vs. Consumer Research Conclusion

When conducting research among B2B audiences, it is important to take the needs of this group into consideration. The methodologies, incentives, and interpreting of results should differ from B2b and consumer research . 

Read some of our recent case studies and blogs here to learn more about business and consumer research:

  1. The Pros and Cons of In-Depth Interviews
  2. The Pros and Cons of Online Focus Groups
  3. COVID-19 and Conducting Market Research

Thinking about conducting market research?  Check out Provoke Insights research services here.


and finally, Follow our social media accounts: