Market Research

Industrial Market Research

DJS Research are specialists in the field of industrial market research. Our Consultants have more than 20 years experience each of using research to help industrial companies with a range of commercial issues including customer satisfaction, new product development, channel management and market entry and acquisition work.

We recognise that industrial markets are often very different and therefore we don’t offer any “off the shelf” packages.  All our research solutions are bespoke, utilising either primary research (qualitative and quantitative) or secondary research as appropriate.  Our approach is to work with you to design and execute research that answers the questions that you want answering:

  • Defining the problem – Our first task in any research project is to clearly understand and define your problem.  By doing this in a sentence or two we can ensure that the research remains focused.  We understand that in industrial markets the issue can often be quite complex so we take the time to understand the detail of your products and services, your value chain and key competitors before going on to define what you are trying to achieve and how research should input into this.
  • Understanding Your Market – A key question that we are often asked is “Our product is very technical, and we need to ensure that you know what you are talking about in front of customers”.  We understand the importance of understanding your product and market both in terms of conducting the research and in our credibility internally and externally.  Whilst we recognise we will never know as much as you about your market we can assure you we are very experienced in getting to grips with industrial markets after having done so for numerous clients in the past
  • Action oriented results – Our aim for every research project is to leave you with a clear understanding of what you need to.  We use our experience of researching other industrial markets to help us do this.   We never just leave you with a presentation filled with data

Consumer and industrial markets are entirely different in terms of the products that are supplied, the channel they are supplied by and the relationships that exists between the supplier and customer. This means that often a different approach is required for industrial marketing research: 

- Complexity of the purchase decision - The purchase decision is often complex (due to the high value and technical nature of the purchase) and there are usually many people involved including technical staff, purchasing, senior management or even external bodies such as customers or consultants.  We would typically target the main decision maker in research, but in some cases we will speak to other decision makers too where relevant

- Derived demand – Depending on where you are in the value chain will determine who you want to influence and therefore who you are likely to conduct industrial market research with.  Usually you will research your direct customers, but there may be issues for which you choose to research other groups further down the value chain.  For example if you want to create customer pull through of a new product you may communicate directly to an end consumer.  In any research project we aim to define who you want to influence and thus who the research should target

- Smaller customer base / higher value spend – Industrial markets in particular may have very few customers and typically the majority of this value will be driven by just a proportion of these customers.  In our research we understand that each and every customer is extremely important to you and in any contact we have we treat them with great care.  The limited numbers of customers also has implications in terms of the research mode we use.  We typically have to design a research method that maximises customer participation and this can often mean methods such as internet research are impractical  

- Global customer base - Industrial customers are more likely to be based in various places across the world and we find that industrial market research is often global in scope.  We recognise it is key to have an excellent research offer in all countries with the Far East and South America becoming increasingly important markets where we are required to conduct research

- Marketing channels – Industrial companies do not market their products in the same way as consumers in that they tend to avoid channels such as mass advertising and use smaller, more targeted means of communications such as trade shows or trade press 

- Brand – Some in industrial markets may claim that brand is not important because it is the technical performance and suitability of the product that is key.  However, we have seen in our industrial market research that brand is important in industrial markets, both in terms of the product and in terms of the company that sells the product

- Technical subject – Products can often be complex with their own terminology.  We make sure that we understand these issues and we brief any interviewers fully.  We only use specialist business to business interviewers who are familiar with technical subjects.  Any translations of questionnaires requires careful checking to ensure terminology has been translated correctly

Here are some examples of questions we have helped answer on behalf of industrial companies in the past:

  • Would customers further down the value chain welcome direct contact with me and if so what would be the benefit to them and to me?
  • What is the value of my brand?  If I change the name of my product/company will it affect sales?
  • How important is the company branding vs the product branding?  Which should we focus our resources on developing?
  • How can I strengthen my relationship with key accounts, improve their loyalty and sell more to them?
  • How can I justify my price premium in a cost competitive market?
  • What is the best channel configuration for my business in order to meet the needs of customers most effectively?
  • What do customers think are the key issues that the industry faces moving forwards and how can we react to these changes and change our marketing approach to better meet needs?

Finally, we publish a regular email newsletter detailing the most up to date industrial marketing research insights in the industrial sector, to view these, please click the link below:

Industrial Sector Market Research Newsletter 

Please feel free to have a look at our industrial sector insights and research findings which can be found here: Industrial Research Findings or for automatic updates follow our Industrial Twitter account: @DJS_Industrial


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