Developing the right products using B2B market research - Schlegel and Partners in "planung & analyse" 4 / 2011

Developing the right products using B2B market research - Schlegel and Partners in "planung & analyse" 4 / 2011
Developing the right products using B2B market research

In times of tough competition it is vitally important to ensure that product innovations and developments are aimed specifically at customer requirements in particular and market demand in general. Qualified B2B market research supports management in achieving these goals.
“Our sales force already knows what our customers want. Our design teams are already creating the products of tomorrow”. Who is not familiar with such remarks? The answer, however, is yes and no.

Producers of automobiles and heavy machinery as well as their suppliers have long stopped developing along a one dimensional road map. Instead, alternative technologies are pursued and, subsequently, promoted depending on their contribution to primary or secondary company development goals. This makes the cost of technology assume a central position.

Especially in the automotive industry there are many competing rationales for the use of new technologies and product developments. Faced with extremely short development cycles, producers in the automotive industry must rely on the speedy development of the “correct” components. At the same time, suppliers want to effectively market their products while fully comprehending their products’ potentials. B2B market research makes it possible to prevent costly misallocations of investment resources, thereby streamlining a company’s products to such an extent as to prevent their substitution during the present technological cycle. After the completion of such a cycle this challenge begins anew, implying that B2B market research is not an indulgence but a necessity.

In order to validate investments into specialised exhaust cleaning components for a producer of exhaust systems, it was necessary to investigate the practical applicability of this technology, possible technological alternatives as well as the determinants of successful market penetration. Apart from cost, such factors might include the time such components require to heat up and operate at full efficiency, their susceptibility to impure fuels or the availability of similar technologies.

The expert interviews required to reach an informed evaluation when confronted with such questions generally involve contacts within the industry of our client and its suppliers. Using reliable channels of communication it is possible to generate highly relevant answers for our client without compromising the requirement for discretion set by all market participants.

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