Emerging from the shadow of consumer panels – B2B challenges and best practice

Marek Vaygelt
Freelance consultant, United Kingdom

INTRODUCTION

Consumer research on the internet has been with us for us a decade, and arguably panel-based B2B internet research for even longer. Since the turn of the century the raising of internet consciousness driven by the innovators in the industry (e.g. Harris Interactive, Greenfield, Ciao, Bloomerce, etc.) ensured that the debate was about the relative merits of internet versus other data collection methods. This debate was held almost solely with regard to consumer research. Papers at conferences with titles such as “The Future of Internet Research” were presented in the context of consumer demographics highlighting comparisons with face to face research and with little or no reference to B2B research. Even today the “Future of Internet Research” ignores B2B research completely.