In the research world, price and timing pressures from clients have become the norm and as you look at where to cut, the sample may seem a tempting choice. But, we’ve all heard the adage ‘you get what you pay for’ and, particularly with B2B sample, that’s true. Don’t make the mistake that price and speed are the only differentiators between B2B panel vendors; there’s also quality. Here’s how the lack of it could end up costing you much more when the results come in.
B2B respondents are notoriously hard to reach and often your clients are looking for niche markets complicating things even further. This equals time you don’t have right? You might think the solution is river sampling but let’s look at what that involves.
River sampling is a method that drives potential respondents to an online portal through ads and pop-ups on websites or social media where they are screened for studies in real-time. Qualified respondents are then randomly assigned to a survey.
What’s missing? Often the right respondents, if you’re relying on river sampling alone, as it offers only a minimum of demographic information. Think about the nuances between developers, for example. Are you trying to reach corporate developers or developers for startups? Are they building SaaS apps or software? The list could go on. An established B2B panel vendor that reaches across categories and sectors can offer robust panelist profiles that help you accurately define and drill down to find respondents with the expertise to truly give you the insight you need in a way the river can’t.
Once you’ve recruited your sample, how do you know they are who they say they are? For example, we use social media verification and ongoing re-profiling. Besides, panel vendors should follow industry guidelines such as ESOMAR 28, as well as privacy guidelines in the countries where panelists are being recruited. Admittedly, this requires time and investment.
If you’re considering B2B sample that is much faster to attain and much cheaper than the rest; ask yourself “why?” Are they cutting corners in some of these areas? Those of us in the research industry know-how rampant dishonest behaviour can be amongst respondents. The fast, cheap trade-off may not be worth it if you can’t be completely confident in the data and able to justify it if needed.
Nurtured and well-maintained B2B panels go to great lengths to keep panelists engaged because we know how valuable they are! Respondents who agree to participate in surveys on the fly or who are in panels that are not well maintained could simply be in it for the incentive, resulting in speeding through surveys, poor-quality responses and/or attempting to take a survey multiple times.
Realistically, respondents in nurtured panels may try this too, but the difference here is that there are monitoring mechanisms in place to identify and screen them out, and because quality is paramount, there’s time built-in to the process to do so.
Think of it this way, your sample is the foundation upon which your B2B research is built. Being able to trust in the respondents enables trust in the responses. Without that, fast and cheap samples can cost you much more than a project re-do; it can cost you credibility and ultimately your client. For more information on our proprietary B2B research panel, contact IRB today!