According to behavioural economics purchase decisions are not completely rational. Cognitive biases have a strong influence on the decisions that we make. Sometimes, B2B researchers manipulate cognitive biases of customers as well as companies to make their research more appealing. Today, we give an introductory guide to B2B marketers on combating bogus research.

Why create bogus research data?

Competitive pressures! There are numerous B2B research companies, and each one of them wants to make their client happy, so that they can sustain their business relationship. Thus, client satisfaction takes precedence over research quality. We are usually biased towards favour of their patrons.

Then there are novice or overwhelmed researchers who are desperate to make a mark, so they end up producing radical research data which may be an exaggeration, deviating from the reality.

In all fairness, we cannot blame the researchers always, as there are people who participate in online surveys just for the monetary benefits associated with it, providing insincere responses and consequently damaging the purpose of the research.

What are the red flags to look out for?

You will surely come across research which is not completely authentic, but if you look for the following signs before accepting any research, then you would be able to spot bogus research.

Misleading definitions

Surveys and questionnaires use several terms which may be misleading. Words like customer satisfaction, responsive etc. should be defined clearly. For example, if ‘not returning a product’ is considered as customer satisfaction, then number of customers satisfied will increase significantly, but if satisfaction is based on ease of doing business and after-sales experience then results might not be the same.

Questionable randomness

Even if the sample size is small, it should never be compromised. If the response of the sample can be predetermined then there is no point in conducting research. For example, a dairy product should not be reviewed by a sample predominantly comprising vegans.

Leading questions

Do the questions influence the respondent? Research should be oriented towards eliciting information, not coaxing the respondents to answer in a desired way. Asking, ‘do you consider national security important’ and ‘do you think surveillance is good’ might not yield the same results.

Averaging tendency

While researchers tend to use ‘average’ to conclude the results of the research, it should be used with caution. A skewed sample might impact the average. For example, 1 billionaire in a sample of 1000 millionaires can result in higher average business revenue per year. Researchers must evaluate the sample carefully before using average, median, etc.

This guide is not exhaustive but it will surely help you evaluate B2B research quickly. You may not have enough time or the resources to investigate every insight presented in the research, so remember to delegate research to someone you can trust.

At Tech Demand, we understand the importance of research, the challenges associated with it, and use effective ways to conduct it, without compromising its authenticity. Fill out our campaign builder and we will be happy to assist you in your research.