Market Research Agencies
For construction industry manufacturers and suppliers looking to expand into new markets or exploit new product and service opportunities, comprehensive market research is an essential early component of the business development plan. From discovering a gap in the market to ensuring customer satisfaction and planning effective marketing campaigns, research can provide the intelligence needed to ensure success and maximise the return. Also, market research can play an important role in securing new specifications and gaining inclusion on preferred supplier lists. In its comprehensive white paper, entitled 'Seeing What's Next: Insight-Driven Competitive Strategies', consultancy TLF Research points out that, whilst B2B clients do switch suppliers, it is much less common than in B2C markets and, consequently, it can be harder for suppliers to convert clients. However, using examples, the paper explains how a carefully structured survey programme of potential clients can monitor changes in the strength of the loyalty they may have to a competitor's products and, in so doing, reveal those that are travelling from 'vulnerable to flirtatious'.
Whilst depending somewhat on your research requirements, it is likely that the professional services of an external consultant will be required for all or part of the project. There are many hundreds of market researchers to choose from, but using a specialist agency, previously experienced in the UK construction industry, is likely to provide significant advantages and we have therefore produced the index below.
Market Research Agencies Database
This section contains over 25 Market Research Agencies, whom we have identified as having construction industry experience and who provide a range of services. These are listed below; if you are not logged in, you will see below only those companies who have enhanced their entries, so please log in to view the full list.
Selecting a Market Research Agency
In order to help choose the best agency for your project, the specialist construction industry consultancy, Competitive Advantage, provides a guide to help select and shortlist, and suggests that clients consider:
Their expertise in your sector of the market
The Construction Industry is unique, requiring thorough understanding of its dynamics, players and interrelations, with its own language. Your researcher, representing you, needs to be able to converse effectively with all echelons in the sector, from board members of large housebuilding and architectural groups through to the man-in-a-van.
Their experience in working with a company of your size and budget
Smaller agencies are more familiar with achieving good results with small budgets but may be over-faced by sizeable quantitative research.
In the article, Competitive Advantage goes on to suggest, “To help filter down your choice of providers, compare your research needs with their services. Many companies focus on specific types of research or industry. Conversely, if you need advice on the most appropriate forms of research to achieve your objectives, you may prefer to work with a multi-discipline market research company rather than a specialist, who will tend to recommend their own type of research.”
The full article touches on budgeting, timescales, asking for proposals and preparing a brief and a helpful downloadable template for this is provided. In the summary, it provides a series of questions to consider including:
• What type and size of company do you want to work with?
• How well does the prospective researcher demonstrate understanding of your company, markets, customers and your research objectives?
• How well will they integrate with your team?
The article and the 'market research brief template' can be accessed via the Competitive Advantage website here.
Competitive Advantage have also published an 80-page e-book on researching construction markets. Part one provides guidance on the elements you need to consider when implementing your construction research project; part two explains the different research processes and what to consider, as well as detailing the advantages and disadvantages for each. And, importantly, it demonstrates how to use research to inform your construction business strategy. The book costs £20 +VAT and is available here
The Market Research Society also provides a list of market research firms and publishes the 'Research Buyers Guide', a hard copy directory of market researchers, access to which is also available online via www.theresearchbuyersguide.com. Searches can be performed by a range of criteria, including experience.
Market Research Agencies with Construction Industry Experience
(You must be logged in to view, otherwise you will see below only those companies which have enhanced their entries):